What’s the latest in prebiotic research? August Edition

This monthly feature provides an overview of some of the latest studies on prebiotics. We’ll share key findings and insights from the studies. Have a study you’d like us to cover? Email GPA Communications Director Traci Kantowski traci@prebioticassociation.org.

The Effect of Prebiotics On Human Iron Absorption: A Review

This review summarizes studies assessing the benefit of prebiotics for the enhancement of iron absorption. There is evidence in the literature that prebiotics enhance iron absorption. Since cereals are often fortified with iron, identifying this connection can help enhance iron absorption in those most at risk for iron deficiency.

Key takeaways

There are promising findings supporting an enhancing effect of certain prebiotics, but inconsistencies between the studies and results exist. The most convincing evidence exists for the prebiotics galacto-oligosaccharides and fructo-oligosaccharides combined with the commonly used iron compound ferrous fumarate, from studies in adult women with low iron stores and anemic infants.

Access the study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35816457/

Husmann FMD, Zimmermann MB, Herter-Aeberli I. The Effect of Prebiotics On Human Iron Absorption: A Review. Adv Nutr. 2022 Jul 11:nmac079. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmac079. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35816457.

Impact of probiotics and prebiotics in the modulation of the major events of the aging process: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials

The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the impact of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics on the major events that affect individuals aged 65 or older focusing on microbiome target therapies.

Key takeaways: Nine RCTs and 1 secondary analysis (n = 475, 55.8% female) were included. Overall, most interventions aiming to improve the microbiome using probiotics, prebiotics or synbiotics demonstrated improvements in age related major lifestyle diseases (glucose homeostasis, cognitive function, frailty phenotype, gut microbiota profile, immune parameters). The authors concluded that targeting the microbiome is a efficacious therapy to modulate the process of aging and looks promising for health prevention in old adults. More studies are needed to clearly identify the mechanism of action.

Access the study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35469958/

Chenhuichen C, Cabello-Olmo M, Barajas M, Izquierdo M, Ramírez-Vélez R, Zambom-Ferraresi F, Martínez-Velilla N. Impact of probiotics and prebiotics in the modulation of the major events of the aging process: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Exp Gerontol. 2022 Jul;164:111809. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2022.111809. Epub 2022 Apr 22. PMID: 35469958.

Current use of probiotics and prebiotics in allergy

Research has identified that the microbiome plays a role in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases. This review looks at studies aimed to influence allergic diseases through modulation of the gut microflora. A non-systematic review of the literature was performed focusing on relevant trials evaluating the effect of probiotics/prebiotics/symbiotics in prevention and treatment of allergic disease.

Key takeaway: For each allergic disease, there were many studies and systematic reviews which provide guidelines for the prevention of allergic disease and for the treatment of food allergy. However, only guidelines for use of prebiotics and probiotics as an adjunct in the prevention of atopic dermatitis can be supported not other forms of allergic diseases. The effects of microbiome modulators on the treatment of allergic diseases remains controversial.

Access the study: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35792336/

Fiocchi A, Cabana MD, Mennini M. Current use of probiotics and prebiotics in allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2022 Jul 2:S2213-2198(22)00686-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2022.06.038. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35792336.


This list was curated by Susan Hewlings, Ph.D., R.D., Director of Scientific Affairs Nutrasource/GRAS Associates