Prebiotics are non-digestible food supplements which continue to gain interest due to various health promising benefits. They change the gut microbiota and prevent common disorders such as obesity, cancer, hypertension, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, constipation, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and various allergies.
The life style and food habits of humans have been changed with the advancement of technology in this era which cause various gut related disorders. Hence, there is need of fibers enriched diet to regulate the healthy gut microbiota. The focus of scientists is now towards the use of symbiotic (combination of prebiotics and probiotics) to regulate the healthy gut microbiota. Many food industries have focused on discovering new prebiotics along with nutraceutical and pharmaceutical properties. The relationship between gut microbiota, health status and effect of drugs and antibiotics in humans can be explored by understanding the genomics, metabolomics and system biology. The use of in silico tools further improves the understanding of effect of these prebiotics in maintaining the healthier microbiota and for developing new prebiotics. This review paper discusses the types of prebiotics, their mode of action, applications, safety issues and potential of xylitol as emerging prebiotic.
Keywords: Prebiotic, Xylitol, Application, Safety issues, Microbiota.