There is an increasing appreciation for the role beneficial bacteria play in the health of humans. “Probiotics” is one name given to bacteria that potentially improve health by means of their actions in the alimentary canal. As a result of numerous clinical trials, probiotics have become one of the hottest categories of nutritional supplements and an area ripe for further innovation and advancement.
The greatest benefits in probiotic clinical and other trials usually are found in those cases in which probiotics are consumed in conjunction with foods and supplements that promote their growth, which is to say, with prebiotics. There even is a term for these beneficial combinations: synbiotics. Hence, prebiotics in general selectively promote the growth of probiotics and synbiotics are combinations of probiotics and prebiotics that have demonstrated superior benefits, often yielding unanticipated results.
Prebiotics for the most part fall into the following four categories:
- Non-digestible fibers
- Resistant starches and sugars
- Bacterial metabolites
- Other prebiotics, e.g. Glycostat®
Glycostat® favorably influences the survival of common beneficial organisms found in the human intestines and works in concert with these organisms to benefit larger health concerns. Glycostat® is significantly unique in this regard such that it has been featured in patent applications, specifically Taiwan Patent (6663-001ATW) and Chinese Patent (6663-001ACN). These two applications cover the use of Glycostat® as a synbiotic with common probiotic organisms such as Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus paracasei, and Lactobacillus fermentum for lowering body weight and improving the binding and excretion of cholesterol.