A prebiotic is a selectively fermented ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microflora that confers benefits upon host well-being and health. Probiotics can improve intestinal function and maintain the integrity of the lining of the intestines. Probiotics help maintain a strong immune system. Prebiotic increases the number and/or activity of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria. Probiotics are: "Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria are the most common types of microbes used as probiotics and prebiotics; but certain yeasts and bacilli may also be helpful. Metchnikoff proposed that consumption of fermented milk would "seed" the intestine with harmless lactic-acid bacteria and decrease the intestinal pH and that this would suppress the growth of proteolytic bacteria.
HOW IT WORKS :
The modern diet doesn’t provide the required amount of beneficial bacteria. Maintenance of a proper microbial ecology in the host is the main criteria to be met for a healthy growth. Probiotics are one such alternative that are supplemented to the host where by and large species of Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Bifidus, Bifidobacterium Longum, Bifidobacterium Brevis are considered as main probiotics. The field of probiotics has made stupendous strides though there is no major break through in the identification of their mechanism of action. They exert their activity primarily by strengthening the intestinal barrier and immunomodulation. The main objective is to provide a deep insight into the effect of probiotics against the diseases, their applications and proposed mechanism of action.