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Nutrients 2017, 9(12), 1376;

Recent Development of Prebiotic Research—Statement from an Expert Workshop

DSM Nutritional Products Ltd., R & D Human Nutrition and Health, P.O. Box 2676, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland
Department of Food and Nutritional Science, The University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, Reading RG6 6AP, UK
Department of Health Sciences and Technology, Laboratory of Food Biotechnology, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland
Department of Medical Microbiology, University Medical Center Groningen, 9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands
Department of Surgery, Division of Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, University Hospital Zürich, 8091 Zürich, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
PDF [512 KB, uploaded 20 December 2017]


A dietary prebiotic is defined as ‘a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit’. Although this definition evolved concomitantly with the knowledge and technological developments that accrued in the last twenty years, what qualifies as prebiotic continues to be a matter of debate. In this statement, we report the outcome of a workshop where academic experts working in the field of prebiotic research met with scientists from industry. The workshop covered three main topics: (i) evolution of the prebiotic concept/definition; (ii) the gut modeling in vitro technology PolyFermS to study prebiotic effects; and (iii) the potential novel microbiome-modulating effects associated with vitamins. The future of prebiotic research is very promising. Indeed, the technological developments observed in recent years provide scientists with powerful tools to investigate the complex ecosystem of gut microbiota. Combining multiple in vitro approaches with in vivo studies is key to understanding the mechanisms of action of prebiotics consumption and their potential beneficial effects on the host. View Full-Text
Keywords: gut microbiota; healthy gut; prebiotics and health benefits gut microbiota; healthy gut; prebiotics and health benefits

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La Fata, G.; Rastall, R.A.; Lacroix, C.; Harmsen, H.J.M.; Mohajeri, M.H.; Weber, P.; Steinert, R.E. Recent Development of Prebiotic Research—Statement from an Expert Workshop. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1376.

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