Synbiotics are products that contain both prebiotics and probiotics and whose purpose is to restore and/or maintain the good health of intestinal microbiota.
In a healthy organism, intestinal flora (or microbiota) is made up of around 100,000 billion bacteria that live in perfect harmony as a stable ecosystem. This equilibrium can be disrupted under the effects of some medications (antibiotics in particular), infections, or diseases. This dysbiosis is itself implicated in various illnesses.
Synbiotics, a synergistic effect of probiotics and prebiotics
Treatment of dysbiosis can be based on the administration of probiotics and prebiotics with complementary properties.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that, when administered in sufficient quantity, have beneficial effects on the host’s health. The primary probiotics are yeasts, lactobacilli, and bifidobacteria, in the form of medications, dietary supplements, or naturally occurring in fermented milk products.
Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial colon bacteria in the host’s microbiota. This non-digestible dietary fiber is found in certain foods, such as endives, bananas, and pears.
These substances can be combined in a single product, called a synbiotic. The aim of this combination is to benefit from the properties of both products.