Prebiotics and Quality Carbohydrates: Enhancing Digestive Health
Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that selectively stimulate the growth and activity of beneficial gut bacteria. Some beneficial gut bacterial can metabolize prebiotics, which gives them a growth advantage.
Some prebiotics have more specialized benefits and can play a protective role in gut function. This is especially true for selected oligosaccharides called two prime fucosyllactose, or 2’FL, that are naturally produced and are identical to oligosaccharides originally identified in breast milk, referred to as human milk oligosaccharides, or HMO. They have been shown to stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria known as bifidobacteria.
The growth of beneficial bacteria may also be beneficial to systems in the body other than the gut. The protective influence of 2’FL may extend to the respiratory system where they may protect from otitis media, or in the urinary system where the oligosaccharides may protect from urinary tract infections. They may stimulate the immune system and reduce the risk of developing allergies or asthma in babies. Some research suggests that they contribute to brain development.
These natural prebiotics may have a major clinical impact on long-term health.