Treatments & therapies to control and influence our gut microbiota
Probiotics: Live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.107 ,108 Examples include strains of the genera Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Probiotics can have multiple interactions with the host,109 including competitive inhibition of other microbes, effects on mucosal barrier function and interaction with antigen presenting dendritic cells.72
Prebiotics: A selectively fermented ingredient that results in specific changes in the composition and/or activity of the GI microbiota, thus conferring benefit(s) upon host health.110 Prebiotics are usually non-digestible carbohydrates, oligosaccharides or short polysaccharides, with inulin, oligofructose, galactofructose, galacto-oligosaccharides and xylo-oligosaccharides being some of the most intensively studied.
Synbiotics: A combination of probiotics and prebiotics administered together. Common, well-known beneficial bacteria which have a long-standing association with health include lactic acid producing genera such as the Bifidobacteria or Lactobacilli.
Faecal transplant: The introduction of gut bacteria from a healthy donor into a patient, through transfer of an infusion of a faecal sample via nasogastric tube, nasoduodenal tube, rectal enema or the biopsy channel of a colonoscope.111