Ajaypal Singh1*, Omji Porwal1, Neeraj Sharma1, Amit Singh2, Saurabh Kumar3 and P.K. Sharma1

1KIET School of Pharmacy Meerut-Road Murad Nagar Ghaziabad. India.
2RV Northland College of Pharmacy Dadari. India.
3Rajiv Academy for pharmacy Mathura, Chattikara Mathura. India.


Prebiotics are short-chain carbohydrates that alter the composition, or metabolism, of the gut microbiota in a beneficial manner. It is therefore expected that prebiotics will improve health in a way similar to probiotics, whilst at the same time being cheaper, and carrying less risk and being easier to incorporate into the diet than probiotics. Three prebiotics, oligofructose, galacto-oligosaccharides and lactulose, clearly alter the balance of the large bowel microbiota by increasing bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus numbers. These carbohydrates are fermented and give rise to short-chain fatty acid and intestinal gas; however, effects on bowel habit are relatively small. Randomized-controlled trials of their effect in a clinical context are few, although animal studies show anti-inflammatory effects in inflammatory bowel disease, while calcium absorption is increased. It is still early days for prebiotics, but they offer the potential to modify the gut microbial balance in such a way as to bring direct health benefits cheaply and safely.

Keywords: Prebiotics, Microbiota, inulin, bifidobacteria.