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What is Prebiotics?
The prebiotics concept was proposed by British microbiologist Gibson in 1995 as a “non-digestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria already resident in the colon”. Specifically, it is defined as a food ingredient that has the following criteria:
- It resists to host digestion (for example gastric acidity, hydrolysis by mammalian enzymes and gastrointestinal absorption).
- It modulates the composition and/or activity of the gut microbiota.
- It selectively stimulates the growth and/or activity of the intestinal beneficial bacteria.
- It facilitates the health of the host.
In recent years, a number of fermentable carbohydrates have been reported to show a prebiotic effect. These include non-digestible oligosaccharides, polysaccharides, and dietary fibers, and some of them are known as ingredients involved in Japanese Food for Specified Health Uses (FOSHU). Various effects of prebiotics have been reported, such as the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine, intestinal function, enhance immune function, prevent allergic conditions, increase of mineral absorption, anti-tumor, anti-obesity, and prevention of arteriosclerosis.
Milk Oligosaccharides (MO)
Milk oligosaccharides are milk components and oligosaccharides produced from them. They have long been studied as a factor that supports the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the body, and are used in foods and pharmaceuticals. In addition, human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), which are contained in human breast milk, fulfill a variety of physiologic functions. Several studies have shown that HMOs are particularly important for the development of the newborn baby's intestinal microbiota and they can reduce the pathogen infections, support the immune system and improve the brain development.
- 3'-Sialyllactose Sodium Salt
- 6'-Sialyllactose Sodium Salt
- D-(+)-Lactose Monohydrate
Oligosaccharides are well known as a widely used food ingredient of prebiotics. There are various types of oligosaccharides including soybean-oligosaccharides, fructo-oligosaccharides, milk-oligosaccharides, galacto-oligosaccharides, xylo-oligosaccharides, and isomalto-oligosaccharides. Many of them are approved as ingredients of Food for Specified Health Uses in Japan.†
|Classification||Constituent Monosaccharides||An Example Of Structure||Products|
|Melibiose [M0050] |
|Kestose [K0032] |
|Xylobiose [X0067] |
|Isomaltose [I0231] |
|Cellobiose [C0056] |
|N-Acetylchitobiose [D4215] |
Chitin Oligosaccharides [C2762]
|Chitobiose [C3679] |
Chitosan Oligosaccharides [C2849]
Oligosaccharides (Approved ingredient standards for Food for Specified Health Uses in Japan)
- D-(+)-Melibiose Monohydrate
- Chitin Oligosaccharides (contains N-Acetylglucosamine)
- Chitosan Oligosaccharides
- Chitobiose Dihydrochloride
- Chitotriose Trihydrochloride
- Chitopentaose Pentahydrochloride
- D-(+)-Trehalose Dihydrate
- D-(+)-Trehalose Anhydrous (>98.0%)
- Palatinose Hydrate
Polysaccharides, Dietary Fibers
Many of the polysaccharides and dietary fibers are energy sources for intestinal bacteria and indispensable elements for maintaining the gut microbiota. For example, indigestible dextrin is known to transport into the colon to be fermented by the gut microbiota, and galactomannan and amylopectin are reported to be selectively fermented by several bifidobacteria.
|Name||Chains||Chain Linkages||Constituent Monosaccharides||Classification|
|Tamarind Gum||Main||β(1-4)||Glucose||Linear |
|Carrageenan||Main||α(1-3)/β(1-4)||Sulfated galactose |
|Guar Gum‡ |
Locust Bean Gum
|Alginic Acid||Main||β(1-4)||Guluronic Acid |
‡Since polysaccharides are heterogeneous compounds, representative principal chain linkages and constituent monosaccharides are shown.
Main Chain : Glucose
Main Chain : Galactose
Monosaccharides, Sugar Alcohols, Organic Acids
In recent years, rare sugars such as L-arabinose, D-tagatose, and D-psicose have been studied as components with various physiological functions, and are expected to be applied to Microbiota-Accessible Carbohydrates (MACs). In addition, sugar alcohols such as maltitol and xylitol and organic acids such as gluconic acid have also been reported to be fermented by specific intestinal bacteria.
- L-(+)-Rhamnose Monohydrate
- D-(+)-Galactose Anhydrous
- N-Acetyl-D-mannosamine Monohydrate
- 1) The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) consensus statement on the definition and scope of prebiotics
- 2) Prebiotics
- 3) History of development of the concept and definition for "Probiotics" and "Prebiotics" and their perspective for future consensus
- 4) Science of human milk oligosaccharides
- 5) Human Milk Oligosaccharides and Intestinal Bacteria: Current and Past Perspectives
- 6) Functional Oligosaccharides: Chemicals Structure, Manufacturing, Health Benefits, Applications and Regulations
- 7) 4 - Polysaccharides: Occurrence, Structures, and Chemistry
- 8) Polysaccharides; Classification, Chemical Properties, and Future Perspective Applications in Fields of Pharmacology and Biological Medicine (A Review of Current Applications and Upcoming Potentialities)
- 9) Cooperative action of gut-microbiota-accessible carbohydrates improves host metabolic function