A prebiotic is an inorganic and safe, fibre-like nonabsorbable food carbohydrate. It promotes the growth of intestinal bacteria that are beneficial for the body, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. Prebiotics exist in breast milk, formula milk and food, such as mushrooms, asparagus, onions, garlic and soya beans. There is evidence to suggest that prebiotics reduce respiratory tract infections in young children.
Polydextrose is a prebiotic. It is a glucose polymer in structure. The bacteria in the large intestine use polydextrose as nutrition, and polydextrose increases the number of beneficial intestinal bifidobacteria.
Polydextrose increases food mass in the bowel and prevents constipation. Polydextrose is generally well tolerated, but like other prebiotics, it may increase the production of gas in the bowel and cause flatulence.
In short, polydextrose changes the gut microbiota for the better. Intestinal microbiota extensively regulate the body’s defence capability and several other functions and are studied actively. Most recent research results have shown that intestinal microbiota also affect brain function.