Prebiotic foods: what they are and what they are for. Among functional foods, those foods that have the proven ability on a scientific basis to determine improvement in health. And the prevention of certain pathological conditions, we find prebiotic foods. The first to study, identify and name prebiotics in 1995 were Gibson and Roberfroid.
The prebiotics is non-digestible carbohydrates (fruit – and gelato – FOS oligosaccharides, lactulose, polyols) present in some foods such as legume peel, tomatoes, broccoli, artichokes, apples, bananas, asparagus, chicory, yogurt, milk.
According to the guidelines of the Ministry of Health, a substance to be defined prebiotic must have certain characteristics:
-be safe for humans;
-it must induce positive effects for human health;
-must be able to overcome, without undergoing substantial changes in its characteristics, the digestive processes that -occur in the first section of the digestive tract;
-act as a fermentable nutrient substrate for the microflora present in the intestine, selectively stimulating the growth and/or metabolism of one or more bacterial species;
-must be able to positively change the microbial flora in favor of the symbiotic intestinal flora represented by —-bifidobacteria, lactobacilli;
-They are not to be confused with probiotics
-What are probiotics? The bacteria that make up the flora in …
and dietary fiber.
When we take foods containing prebiotics , we notice a momentary significant change in the colon microflora .
This effect can also be associated with a direct and indirect modulation of hepatic lipogenase . To these studied effects, others are also added, established over time, such as:
-reduction of fecal pH and acidification of the contents of the intestine, a condition hostile to the development of pathogenic microorganisms
-mucosal nutrition and cell proliferation
-increased bioavailability of minerals
-reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels
According to nutrition guidelines, the recommended intake dose of prebiotics varies from 2 to 10 grams per day. Generally, if taken in the right doses, they have no side effects. However, excessive ingestion of prebiotics can give rise to phenomena of intolerance. And gastrointestinal disorders such as: flatulence, abdominal bloating, diarrhea. Therefore, in those subjects in which gastrointestinal disorders may occur. It is advised to take prebiotic foods in graduated doses in order to prevent unpleasant effects and reach the recommended dose.
In the case in which lactic ferments are taken it is important to verify that they are prebiotic and probiotic. So as to help the body to recover after debilitating disorders.