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 cognitive functioning: What do we know and where to go next?
Background and objectives
Cognition comprises the mental processes of attending to, understanding of, remembering, and utilizing information. Cognition is influenced by genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors, including nutrition. In fact, recent evidence suggests that prebiotics may influence cognitive functioning via the microbiota-gut-brain axis. This may occur by modulating the microbiota composition and function, resulting in signal transduction via nervous, endocrine, and immune pathways to the brain and central nervous system.
A perspective article that provides a short synopsis of the field, and proposes a list of recommendations to move the field forward. Specifically, it will highlight the need to perform studies in healthy participants that test the potential “rescuing” effects of prebiotics under conditions where cognition may be transiently compromised. Ultimately, such studies would allow better estimation of the magnitude of effects of prebiotics, since current studies largely yield null findings.
Expert group members
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
Commissioned by the Prebiotics Task Force.
European Journal of Nutrition 2018;57(1):25-49. Commissioned by the Functional Foods and the Prebiotics Task Forces.
(2022) 79:80. Commissioned by the Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health, Nutrition and Brain Health, Nutrition, Immunity and Inflammation, Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces.
Nutrition Research Reviews. 2015;28:42–66. Commissioned by the Prebiotics Task Force.
'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)
Updated concise monograph - Dietary Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Gut Microbiota in Human Health (collaboration with Probiotics Task Force)