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What are they?

Prebiotics are non-digestible food substrates that selectively stimulate or limit the growth of specific microorganisms in the colon, bringing benefits to the host. In a practical way, they are polysaccharides, oligosaccharides or non-digestible fructossaccharides, such as dietary fibers, which stimulate the growth of bacteria that confer health benefit.

What are prebiotics for?

The beneficial bacteria of the intestine use prebiotics as an energy substrate. They tend to stimulate the growth of resident and nonpathogenic microbiota, and limit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms, which could harm the body. These bacteria bring several positive functions in the gastrointestinal tract, cognitive function, cardiometabolic health and bone health.

How to get prebiotics from the diet?

These can be found in the diet in the form of dietary fibers such as oats, vegetables (lettuce, cabbage, arugula), psyllium, among others. The consumption of dietary fibers has several positive consequences in the body, and especially relating them to the microbiota.

When do you need to supplement?

Prebiotic supplementation has already shown very interesting results in bowel-related pathologies, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There are also studies linking them with improvements in childhood obesity and benefits in aging, indicating the potential of these substrates in health benefits.


Article: Simon E, Călinoiu LF, Mitrea L, Vodnar DC. Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics: Implications and Beneficial Effects against Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Nutrients. 2021; 13(6):2112.

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