Chemopreventive Potential of Probiotics and Prebiotics


Utilization of probiotics and prebiotics in food products and in the diet supplemental form continues to gain interest because of their health benefits. Cancer is the leading cause of death and strategies for chemoprevention are important to reduce mortality and morbidity. Probiotics are gaining attention to use as preventive agents. Efficacy of their use as chemopreventive agents was established through research. This review focused on the mechanisms of prebiotics and probiotics action against cancer. Benefits of probiotics against cancer are attributed to competitive exclusion of pathogenic bacteria, direct physical binding to carcinogens, altering intestinal environment to modulate the production enzymes, antioxidant activity and immune modulation. Prebiotics are indigestible food components that could promote the growth of probiotics. Chemopreventive properties of prebiotics are due to their production of short chain fatty acids and enhancing the immunity of the host. Anticarcinogenic properties of pre- and probiotics result from a combination of events rather from a single event.

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Sunkata, R. , Herring, J. , Walker, L. and Verghese, M. (2014) Chemopreventive Potential of Probiotics and Prebiotics. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 1800-1809. doi: 10.4236/fns.2014.518194.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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