The Importance of Prebiotics in Functional Foods and Clinical Practice


Prebiotics are substances that can promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms, mainly in the intestinal tract, and will modify the colonic microbiota. The following health benefits are attributed to prebiotics: relief from poor digestion of lactose, increased resistance to bacterial infection, better immune response and possible protection against cancer, reduction of the risk of diseases such as intestinal disease, cardiovascular disease, non-insulin dependent diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis. This article presents a discussion of prebiotics, with descriptions of the concepts and its use in clinical practice, and a review of some recent research showing the benefits that these ingredients provide to human health and providing data on the recommended intakes for consumption.

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V. Sousa, E. Santos and V. Sgarbieri, "The Importance of Prebiotics in Functional Foods and Clinical Practice," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2011, pp. 133-144. doi: 10.4236/fns.2011.22019.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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