The Role of Probiotics, Prebiotics and Synbiotics in Adult Gastrointestinal Health

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Jin Yu Chieng, Yan Pan


Gastrointestinal (GI) health is important because a healthy gut can maintain our general health and protect our body from infection or illness. Apart from vitamins and minerals, probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics have become increasingly famous as a supplement in our daily diet. Previously, a large number of studies had been performed to study the efficacy of probiotics in the prevention or treatment of illnesses. The purpose of our review is to discuss recent data on the benefits of probiotics in human’s GI health. Promising results on the effect of probiotics in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, particularly ulcerative colitis and pouchitis have been obtained from studies. Other reports also showed that a few probiotics can improve symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome. Saccharomyces boulardii was shown to prevent traveler’s diarrhea but further studies are needed for firm conclusions. Lactobaccilus rhamnosus and S. boulardii are recommended in the treatment of acute infectious diarrhea. There are promising indications that probiotics could be useful in the prevention or treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and a Lactobacillus-containing combination has been shown to prevent diarrhea caused by Clostridioides difficile. Addition of probiotics to current Helicobacter pylori eradication regime can further increase the eradication rate.


Probiotics, Prebiotics, Synbiotics, Gastrointestinal health

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