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Encyclopedia > Prebiotic

The word prebiotic has two separate and disparate meanings:

Before Life

From the roots pre (meaning before) and biotic (referring to life), the word prebiotic can refer to the time before life appeared on the earth or any other planet with the capacity to harbor it.

Category of Functional Food

Prebiotics are defined as: Non digestible food ingredients, that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, and thus improve host health (Gibson and Roberfroid, 1995).

Most potential prebiotics are carbohydrates (such as oligosaccharide), but the definition does not exclude non-carbohydrates to be used as a prebiotic. In theory, any antibiotic that would reduce the number of potentially harmful bacteria and favour health promoting bacteria or activities, can be considered a prebiotic. An oligosaccharide is a saccharide polymer containing a small number (typically three to six) of component sugars, also known as simple sugars. ...

The definition does not emphasize a specific bacterial group. Often, however, it is assumed that a prebiotic should increase the number and/or activity of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria, as these groups of bacteria are claimed to have several beneficial effects on the host. A product that stimulates (or claims to stimulate) bifidobacteria is considered a bifidogenic factor. Some prebiotics may thus also act as a bifidogenic factor and vice versa, but the two concepts are not identical.

Typical dietary sources of prebiotics are Jerusalem artichokes which contain Inulin, raw oats, and unrefined wheat or barley. Binomial name Helianthus tuberosus L. The Jerusalem artichoke, also called the sunroot or sunchoke, is a flowering plant native to North America, grown for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable. ... Inulins are a group of naturally occurring oligosaccharides (several simple sugars linked together) produced by many types of plants. ... Binomial name Avena sativa Carolus Linnaeus (1753) Oat (Avena sativa) is a species of cereal grain, and the seeds of this plant. ... Species T. boeoticum T. durum T. monococcum T. spelta References:   ITIS 42236 2002-09-22 Wheat (Triticum spp. ... Binomial name Hordeum vulgare L. Barley (Hordeum) is a major food and animal feed crop, a member of the grass family Poaceae. ...

External link

  • More reading on prebiotics :Food-Info.net on prebiotics and bifidogenic factors

  Results from FactBites:
AlliPro is a remarkable prebiotic / probiotic formula. (314 words)
AlliPro is a remarkable prebiotic / probiotic formula.
This stabilized Allicin is a PREbiotic, because it selectively kills the harmful organisms and allows the beneficial ones to flourish.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
  More results at FactBites »



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