GARLIC AS PREBIOTIC (Allium sativum)

GARLIC AS PREBIOTIC (Allium sativum)


1.0     Introduction

Pribiotics are food ingredients that induce growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms (e.g. bacteria and fungi, (Hutkins et al., 2016). The most common example is in the gastrointenstinal tracts, where prebiotic can alter the composition of organisms in the gut microbiome.

In diet, prebiotics are typically non-digestible fiber compounds that pass undigested through the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract and stimulate the growth or activity of advantageous bacteria that colonize the large bowel by acting as substrate for them (Sanders et al., 2016). As a functional food component, prebiotics, like probiotics are conceptually intermediate between foods and drugs. Depending on the jurisdiction, they typically receive and intermediate level of regulatory scruting, in particular of the health claims made concerning them. (Hutkins et al., 2016).

According to one source, a prebiotic is a selecting fermental ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microflora that confers benefits upon host wellbeing and health (Roverfroid, 2007), possibly involving only two classes of prebiotic compounds: Transgalacfoohgosaccharide and Inubin. Other dietary fibers also fit the definition of prebiotics, such as resistant starch, (Zamam, 2005; Gomez et al., 2015), pectin (Bellen et al., 2015), betaglucans, (Arena et al., 2014), and oxylooligosaccharides, (Karlsson et al., 2017). A 2016 review stated that prebiotic are: “food ingredients that help support growths of probiotic bacteria” or “nondigestible substances that act as food for the gut microbiota. Essentially, prebiotics stimulate growth or activity of certain healthy bacteria that live in your body (Monika et al., 2014).

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the regulatory agency for product labeling, differentiates between “prebiotic” and dietary fibrer” stating that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of the food constituents which are the subject of the health claims and a beneficial physiological effect related to increasing numbers of gastrointenstinal microbiota. Consequently, under EFSA rules individual ingredients cannot be labeled as prebiotics, but only as dietary fiber and with no implication of health benefits (Delcour et al., 2016). The prebiotics definition does not emphasized a specific bacterial group. Generally, however, it is assumed that a prebiotics should increase the number or activity of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria. The bifido bacteria and the lactic acid bacteria (LABs) are important as these groups of bacteria may have several beneficial effects on the host, especially in terms of improving digestion (including enbancing mineral absorption (Coxam, 2007), and the effectiveness and intrinsic strength of the immune system (Seifert and Wats, 2007). A product that stimulates bifido bacteria is described as a bifidogenic factor, a concept that overlaps, but is not identical with being prebiotic.

While there is no broad consensus on an ideal daily serving