Friday, May 4, 2012

Prebiotics are good for inflammation in the gut

Another study ( Gopalakrishnan et al)  showed that supplementing with Galacto-oligosaccharides reduced colitis (inflammation) in test mice. Prebiotics are the foods that feed the good gut flora they are fermentable fibers that beneficially affect the host by stimulating the growth of specific microbial populations. They are commonly found in fruit, vegetables nuts and other plant foods.

Prebiotics are not well digested in the upper gut and are therefore available to be metabolised by commensal as well as probiotically supplemented bacteria residing in the lower GI tract. Studies suggest that such non‑digestible oligosaccharides may have a range of health benefits.

Plants with high levels of prebiotics are found in such foods as onion, asparagus, chicory, banana and artichoke. Studies indicate a dose of 4 g per day is sufficient to induce a prebiotic effect 
A combination of probotics and prebiotics is known as synbiotics which boost the number of beneficial bacteria and improve the colonisaion in the gut.

The gut microbiota plays an essential role in intestinal immunity. the treament with GOS lead to a significant increase in the percentage of NK cells in the spleen and a 1.5-fold increase in fecal Bifidobacterium ssp. These data suggest that GOS reduces colitis by modulating the function and trafficking of NK cells and may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for individuals with inflammatory bowel disease.

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