Optimal synbiotics – new study unlocks the ideal pre- and probiotic combinations

By Stephen DANIELLS

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Probiotic

Optimal synbiotics – new study unlocks the ideal pre- and probiotic combinations
A team of researchers may have taken a large step towards designing the optimal synbiotics for gut health as a new screening study reveals the best match between pre- and probiotics.

Screening of 7 commercially available prebiotics and 6 commercially available probiotics revealed, for example, that short-chain fructooligosaccharide (sc-FOS) prebiotics increased the growth of Bifidobacterium lactis​ BI-07 more than the other prebiotics.

Scientists from Increnovo LLC (Wisconsin), NIZO food research (The Netherlands), and Chemi-Source, Inc. (California) presented the data for presentation at the upcoming American Gastroenterological Association’s (AGA) Digestive Disease Week in Florida in May.

According the FAO/WHO, probiotics are defined as "live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host"​. Prebiotics are "non-digestible substances that provide a beneficial physiological effect on the host by selectively stimulating the favorable growth or activity of a limited number of indigenous bacteria"​. Synbiotics are a combination of the two.

The new study sought to go beyond matching prebiotics and probiotics, and investigated which prebiotics worked best with which probiotics.

New paradigm

Mark Olson, President of MRM (Metabolic Response Multipliers), the company that is commercializing the results for dietary supplements, told NutraIngredients-USA that the study represented a “new paradigm of thinking in gut health”​.

The probiotics choice for the study was based on the probiotics with the most science behind them. “We wanted probiotics with a significant level of stability and species robustness,”​ he added.

Study details

The scientists used 7 commercially available prebiotics: galactooligosaccharide (Purimune, GTC Nutrition, Golden, CO), transgalactooligosaccharides (Bimuno, Clasado, Sliema, Malta)  agave inulin (Fructagave PR95, Barrington Nutritionals, Harrison, NY), chicory inulin (Oliggo-Fiber DS2 Inulin, Cargill, Wayzata, MN), maize dextrin (Nutriose FM06, Roquette, Keokuke, IA), arabinogalactan (FiberAid, Lonza, Allendale, NJ),  short-chain fructooligosaccharide (NutraFlora P95, GTC Nutrition).

These prebiotics were screened for their ability to affect growth of 6 commercially available probiotics: Lactobacillus acidophilus​ DDS-1, (Nebraska Cultures, Walnut Creek, CA), Lactobacillus acidophilus​ LA-5 (Chr. Hansen, Milwaukee, WI), Lactobacillus acidophilus​ LA-14 (Danisco, Madosin, WI), Bifidobacterium lactis​ BB-12 (Chr Hansen), Bifidobacterium lactis​ BI-07 (Danisco), 3-strain probiotic L-33 (Bifidobacterium bifidum,  Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococci faecalis​, Wakunaga of America, Mission Viejo, CA).

Results showed that GOS, trans-GOS, sc-FOS and chicory inulin boosted the growth of Lactobacillus acidophilus​ strains DDS-1, LA-5 and LA-14.

On the other hand, arabinogalactan and maize dextrin had no effect on the L. acidophilus​ strains.

Bifidobacterium​ strains BB-12 and BI-07 were enhanced the most by GOS and trans-GOS.

Chicory and agave inulin, arabinogalactan and maize dextrin had no significant bifidogenic effect, they added. 

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