Critical Research Gaps in the Prebiotic Field

Food and nutrition scientists have been investigating the health benefits of prebiotics using in vitro, animal and human studies. Evidence is accumulating, but many questions remain unanswered. Of paramount importance is to advance our understanding of how prebiotics impact human health by:
  • Understanding the technological aspects and limitations of creating foods containing added prebiotics
  • Investigating the potential health benefits of prebiotics in humans, including targets such as gastrointestinal tract function, mineral absorption, immunological response and different manifestations of metabolic syndrome
  • Investigating  the effects of prebiotics in different population groups (for example, children and the elderly)
  • Understanding the relationship between the consumption of different prebiotics and improvement of human health and their mechanism of action
  • Investigating how prebiotics with different structure from various sources (such as plants and milk) is linked to the function
  • Investigating the effects of different prebiotics on the composition and function of the intestinal microbiota
  • Determining how prebiotics might optimize probiotic functionality
  • Investigating dose response relationships for various prebiotics and different clinical outcomes
  • Determining the long-term effects of prebiotics
  • Identifying consumer trends to market prebiotics effectively
  • Understanding consumer behavior and perception to address the confusion consumers may have about prebiotics and their role in health and nutrition
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