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  1. Dubert-Ferrandon, Alix PhD
  2. Newburg, David S. PhD
  3. Walker, W. Allan MD


Prebiotics are nondigestible carbohydrates that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon and thus improve host health. Various beneficial effects on the gut composition were indeed observed after prebiotic supplementation and also on the prevention of the development of diseases. Inflammatory bowel disease symptoms were alleviated when the patient was supplemented with prebiotics. Prebiotics were also used in gastroenteritis diseases; they had the potential to inhibit pathogen colonization. Patients with colorectal cancer can be supplemented with prebiotics that influence positively the development, progression, and treatment of the cancer. Allergy symptoms have also been shown to be reduced when the patients are fed prebiotics. However, more human studies are required to understand better the mechanisms underlying the protection of prebiotics in disease development, prevention, and symptom alleviation