Developing new symbiotics with polyphenols and probiotics
Research over the last decade has shown that gut microbiota (GM) plays a key role in human health. Diet has a major influence on the composition and metabolic activities of GM. Indeed, fruits and vegetables, due to their fibre and polyphenol content, are potent modulators of GM. There is a bi-directional relationship between polyphenols and the GM and some polyphenols could be considered as prebiotics. Probiotics are another important category of natural ingredients (e.g. probiotic foods, dietary supplements) with multiple beneficial effects that interact with GM. This review explores the challenges and opportunities to combine polyphenols and probiotics to develop new symbiotics to deliver digestive and extra-intestinal health benefits through the modulation of the GM.
INTERCONNECTION BETWEEN GUT MICROBIOTA,
HEALTH & DIET
The gut microbiota (GM) plays an essential role in human health and changes in the homeostasis of the microbial community (i.e. dysbiosis) is involved in the aetiology of different diseases such as cardiometabolic disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, neuropsychiatric diseases and cancers (1, 2). The GM plays several important functions such as biosynthesis of vitamins, neurotransmitters and short chain fatty acids (SCFA), education of the immune system, protection against pathogens, and modulation of the energy biogenesis (3). The GM is exposed to different external factors (e.g. diet, drugs, antibiotics, pathogens) which can impact both its composition and functions.
The past decade has seen a tremendous increase in the research on the GM but it’s still extremely challenging to define what a healthy microbiome is (4). However, a decrease of the microbiota richness or diversity is generally considered as an indicator of an unbalanced and unstable microbial composition (i.e. dysbiosis). L ...