Investigating the potential of prebiotics to rebalance and maintain health
Task Force Information
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
Expert workshop to identify knowledge gaps and a roadmap for building a health claims portfolio - Upcoming -
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.
Workshop and workshop report
Cognitive Performance, gut microbiome and and role of Prebiotics - Upcoming
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.
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.
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
Systematic Review of the Effects of the Intestinal Microbiota on Selected Nutrients and Non-Nutrients
Gut Microbiota Functions: Metabolism of Nutrients and other Food Components
European Journal of Nutrition 2018;57(1):1-24. Commissioned by the Functional Foods and the Prebiotics Task Forces.
Towards Microbial Fermentation Metabolites as Markers for Health Benefits of Prebiotics
Nutrition Research Reviews. 2015;28:42–66. Commissioned by the Prebiotics Task Force.
Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Gut Microbiota
ILSI Europe Concise Monograph. 2013:1-32. Commissioned by the Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces. Translation available in Portuguese and Japanese.
Prebiotic Effects: Metabolic and Health Benefits
British Journal of Nutrition. 2010;104(Suppl 2):S1-S63. Commissioned by the Prebiotics Task Force.
Understanding the Prebiotics Metabolic and Health Effects
'Toolsets for Mining the gut Microbiome to Enable Precision Nutrition'
Watch the Webinar
'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
Overview of completed activities since 2021
Prediction of individual responses to prebiotics and probiotics intervention (collaboration with Probiotics Task Force)
Understanding the Relationship Between the Molecular Structure and the Effects of Prebiotic Compounds on Microbiota and its Metabolites
Joint nutrition cluster activity on ‘mechanistic insights into the gut-brain axis' in collaboration with Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health; Health Benefit Assessment of Foods; Nutrition, Immunity & Inflammation; Nutrition & Brain Health; and Probiotics Task Forces
Updated concise monograph - Dietary Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Gut Microbiota in Human Health (collaboration with Probiotics Task Force)
Revealing the Mechanistic Role in Human Physiology and Beneficial Aspects of Short Chain Fatty Acid (SCFA) Production in the Gastro-Intestinal Tract (GIT)