Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit to the host (Guarner and Schaafsma, 1998).
Synergistic combinations of pro- and prebiotics are called synbiotics (de Vrese and Schrezenmeir, 2008).
The term is especially reserved for products in which the prebiotic compound(s) selectively favours the probiotic organism(s).
A prebiotic is "a selectively fermented ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microflora that confers benefits upon host well-being and health" (de Vrese and Schrezenmeir, 2008).
Benefits of Probiotics
- Enhances immune system response 1
- Balances out the adverse effects of antibiotics, including occasional diarrhea 2
- Healthier looking skin and improves complexion 3
- Enhances ability to digest food 4
- Increases nutrient absorption from food 5
- Encourages normal digestive health, including promoting normal bowel movements 6
- Increases ability to synthesize B vitamins 7
- Heightens ability to absorb calcium 8
- Cunningham-Rundles, S., Ahrne´, S. and Bengmark, S. “Probiotics and immune response.” Am. J. Gastroenterol.(2000): 95:22–25.
- D’Souza Aloysius L., Rajkumar Chakravarthi, Cooke Jonathan, Bulpitt Christopher J. “Probiotics in prevention of antibiotic associated diarrhoea: meta-analysis.” BMJ (2002): 324-1361.c
- Al-Ghazzewi, F.h., and R.f. Tester. “Impact of prebiotics and probiotics on skin health.” Beneficial Microbes (2014): 99-107.
- Syngai, Gareth Gordon, et al. “Probiotics – the Versatile Functional Food Ingredients.” Journal of Food Science and Technology (2016): 921–933.
- Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, Zehra-Esra Ilhan, Dae-Wook Kang, and John K. Dibaise. “Effects of Gut Microbes on Nutrient Absorption and Energy Regulation.” Nutrition in Clinical Practice 27.2 (2012): 201-14.
- Sebastián domingo J.J. “Review of the role of probiotics in gastrointestinal diseases in adults.” Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 Jun – Jul; 40(6):417-429
- Capozzi V., Russo P., Dueñas M.T., López P., Spano G. “Lactic acid bacteria producing B-group vitamins: a great potential for functional cereals products.” Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. (2012): 96(6):1383-94.
- Scholz-ahrens K.E., Ade P., Marten B., et al. “Prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics affect mineral absorption, bone mineral content, and bone structure.” J Nutr. 2007 Mar; 137(3 Suppl 2):838S-46S