Nutrition Publication

The Nest 44: Pro-, Pre-, and Synbiotics: Myths and Facts

Editor(s): Hania Szajewska, Clemens Kunz, Yvan Vandenplas. 44

Gut microbiota, including probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics, is a hot topics of discussion in the clinical practice. It is well established today that not all probiotics and/or prebiotics are equal. Probiotics health benefits are strain specific and in the case of Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMOs) and prebiotics, functions are dependent on their structural composition.

In this issue of The Nest you will read articles about:

  • Available proven clinical effects of specific probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics in childhood
  • Structural differences between HMOs and other prebiotic oligosaccharides and their impact on physiological functions
  • Differences between probiotics and postbiotics and the level of scientific evidence of each of them

Articles

Gut Microbiota and Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics

Author(s): Hania Szajewska

Dysbiosis, an altered gut microbiota composition and/or activity, contribute to the development and progression of diseases, such as allergy, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, necrotizing enterocolitis, type 1 diabetes, and autism. This article discusses the clinical effects of probiotics in children and how they should be choosen, as well as potential effects of specific prebiotics, considering that not all probiotics and/or prebiotics are equal. Probiotics health benefits are strain specific and in the case of Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMOs) and prebiotics, functions are dependent on their structural composition.

Human Milk Oligosaccharides versus Prebiotics Oligosaccharides

Author(s): Clemens Kunz

In this article Clemens Kunz explains the structural differences between HMOs and other prebiotic oligosaccharides and how they impact their physiological functions. HMOs are complex structures with a high potential for specific functions due to their monosaccharide composition and linkages between them. No other biological fluid contains such a high variety and structures as human milk.

Do Probiotics Really Need to Be “Alive”?

Author(s): Yvan Vandenplas

Although the definition of a probiotic requires that the microorganisms ingested are “alive”, some data suggests that particles of microorganisms and/or their metabolites maybe sufficient to induce some effects, but still more evidence is needed to confirm their potential benefits . This article discusses differences between probiotics and postbiotics and the level of scientific evidence of each of them.