Gastroenterology clinic

Prebiotics and probiotics

Jacqueline S Barrett, Jane G Muir, Peter R Gibson



There is much interest in the use of probiotics, live micro-organisms that deliver a health benefit to the host, and prebiotics, food components that selectively stimulate the growth or activity of intestinal bacteria. In a limited number of situations, there is evidence to support the use of probiotics. Currently, there are no evidence-based indications for supplemental prebiotics.

Article Extract

  • Prebiotics are food ingredients that escape digestion, reach the large intestine and selectively stimulate the growth and/or activity of bacteria that are believed to be beneficial to health, such as bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria.