Prebiotics

Investigating the potential of prebiotics to rebalance and maintain health

Task Force Information

Objectives and list of Task Force
members

Contact Information

Contact details in case you have
specific questions

Activity Overview

Overview of ongoing and
upcoming activities

Expert Groups

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experts involved in each activity

Publications

List of publications of this
Task Force

Multimedia

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recordings and much more...

Completed Expert Groups

Details including experts involved of
each activity

Task Force Information

Objectives

A prebiotic is a food ingredient that selectively stimulates growth and/or the activity of microbial species inhabiting the host, which may bring about health benefits.
A better understanding of mechanisms of prebiotics is still needed. The task force aims at providing mechanistic insights linking prebiotics to individual health benefits.

Task Force Members

*Scientific Advisor

Contact Information

For more detailed information, please contact Naomi Venlet at nvenlet@ilsieurope.be or Toula Aslanidis at taslanidis@ilsieurope.be

Activity Overview

Expert workshop to identify knowledge gaps and a roadmap for building a health claims portfolio - Upcoming -

Objectives

Identify underlying gaps in our mechanistic understanding and possible means of filling these gaps. The activity will seek to bring together leading scientific experts, industry leaders and independent regulatory advisors, in an interactive and creative environment to identify current gaps in our mechanistic understanding, and importantly, propose the next steps necessary to fill these gaps.

Expected results

Workshop and workshop report

Cognitive Performance, gut microbiome and and role of Prebiotics - Upcoming

Objectives

This activity will focus on identifying the most promising cognitive domains for prebiotics interventions and aims to elaborate what could be transferred from studies from the diseased population to the healthy general population.

Expected results

Peer-reviewed publication

Expert Groups

Role of prebiotics in bacterial and viral infection, and vaccination efficiency – NEW

Background and Objectives

Recent research, including human clinical research, gut microbiota effects and resultant metabolites, suggests a beneficial effect of non-digestible carbohydrates-type prebiotics consumption on immunity and resistance to infections. In this context, the purpose of this review is to collect and assess the scientific evidence and provide academic and industry scientists working in the prebiotic field with answers regarding the potential impact on viral and bacterial diseases and vaccination efficacy.

Output

The review will give the current status for prebiotics impact on infections, both prevention or recovery, and in supporting vaccination efficacy, for academics and industry scientists in this field. Especially in the SARS-Cov2 crisis, such a review may offer guidance to academia and industry to propose research or to manufacture food products with prebiotics for healthier diets to support immunity in vulnerable individuals.

Expert Group Members

Publications

All Publications

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Prebiotics

GUT MICROBIOME AND HEALTH

Together with proteins and fats, carbohydrates are one of the macronutrients in the human diet. Digestible carbohydrates, such as starch, starch-based products, sucrose, lactose, glucose and some sugar alcohols and unusual (and fairly rare) α-linked glucans, directly provide us with energy while other carbohydrates including high molecular weight polysaccharides, mainly from plant cell walls, provide us with dietary fibre. Carbohydrates which are efficiently digested in the small intestine are not available in appreciable quantities to act as substrates for gut bacteria. Some oligo- and polysaccharides, many of which are also dietary fibres, are resistant to digestion in the small intestines and enter the colon where they provide substrates for the complex bacterial ecosystem that resides there. This review will focus on these non-digestible carbohydrates (NDC) and examine their impact on the gut microbiota and their physiological impact. Of particular focus will be the potential of non-digestible carbohydrates to act as prebiotics, but the review will also evaluate direct effects of NDC on human cells and systems

Keywords Expand

Prebiotics, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), non-digestible carbohydrates

To download this open-access article, please click here.

This work was commissioned by the Prebiotics Task Force.

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Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health

Nutrition and Brain Health

Nutrition, Immunity and Inflammation

Prebiotics

Probiotics

GUT MICROBIOME AND HEALTH and NUTRITION AND CONSUMER SCIENCE

The gut and brain link via various metabolic and signalling pathways, each with the potential to influence mental, brain and cognitive health. Over the past decade, the involvement of the gut microbiota in gut-brain communication has become the focus of increased scientific interest, establishing the microbiota-gut-brain axis as a field of research. There is a growing number of association studies exploring the gut microbiota's possible role in memory, learning, anxiety, stress, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, attention is now turning to how the microbiota can become the target of nutritional and therapeutic strategies for improved brain health and well-being. However, while such strategies that target the gut microbiota to influence brain health and function are currently under development with varying levels of success, still very little is yet known about the triggers and mechanisms underlying the gut microbiota's apparent influence on cognitive or brain function and most evidence comes from pre-clinical studies rather than well controlled clinical trials/investigations. Filling the knowledge gaps requires establishing a standardised methodology for human studies, including strong guidance for specific focus areas of the microbiota-gut-brain axis, the need for more extensive biological sample analyses, and identification of relevant biomarkers. Other urgent requirements are new advanced models for in vitro and in vivo studies of relevant mechanisms, and a greater focus on omics technologies with supporting bioinformatics resources (training, tools) to efficiently translate study findings, as well as the identification of relevant targets in study populations. The key to building a validated evidence base rely on increasing knowledge sharing and multi-disciplinary collaborations, along with continued public-private funding support. This will allow microbiota-gut-brain axis research to move to its next phase so we can identify realistic opportunities to modulate the microbiota for better brain health.

To download this open-access article, please click here.

This work was conducted in collaboration with the Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health, Nutrition and Brain Health, Nutrition, Immunity and Inflammation, Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces.

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Prebiotics

GUT MICROBIOME AND HEALTH

Together with proteins and fats, carbohydrates are one of the macronutrients in the human diet. Digestible carbohydrates, such as starch, starch-based products, sucrose, lactose, glucose and some sugar alcohols and unusual (and fairly rare) α-linked glucans, directly provide us with energy while other carbohydrates including high molecular weight polysaccharides, mainly from plant cell walls, provide us with dietary fibre. Carbohydrates which are efficiently digested in the small intestine are not available in appreciable quantities to act as substrates for gut bacteria. Some oligo- and polysaccharides, many of which are also dietary fibres, are resistant to digestion in the small intestines and enter the colon where they provide substrates for the complex bacterial ecosystem that resides there. This review will focus on these non-digestible carbohydrates (NDC) and examine their impact on the gut microbiota and their physiological impact. Of particular focus will be the potential of non-digestible carbohydrates to act as prebiotics, but the review will also evaluate direct effects of NDC on human cells and systems

Keywords Expand

Prebiotics, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), non-digestible carbohydrates

To download this open-access article, please click here.

This work was commissioned by the Prebiotics Task Force.

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Multimedia

Poster

Understanding the Prebiotics Metabolic and Health Effects

Webinars

'Understanding Prebiotic and Probiotic Mechanisms that Drive Health Benefits'
Watch the Webinar
'Webinar on Microbial Metabolism Associated with Health'
Watch the Webinar

Completed Expert Groups