Prebiotics are indigestible dietary or functional fiber compounds that encourage growth and activity of bacteria in the large intestine and colon. Examples include inulin and fructooligosaccharides. See: Inulin.

Health considerations

There has been some evidence linking prebiotic intake to decreased risk of colon cancer, improved ability to deal with intestinal infection or inflammation, improved absorption of essential minerals, and as a possible aid to individuals with inflammatory bowel disease.

Keep in mind

Overconsumption of prebiotics can lead to bloating, gastrointestinal issues, and flatulence as gut bacteria ferment the fiber, producing gases. Direct evidence of prebiotic supplements’ benefits is difficult to establish.

May be found in

Chicory root, raw garlic, raw leek, raw and cooked onion, raw asparagus, raw banana, jicama, jerusalem artichoke, raw oats, beans


Proceedings of the Nutrition Society
British Journal of Nutrition
The Journal of Nutrition
British Journal Of Nutrition 2

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