Sunday, January 30, 2011

Liver Heath: Prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics was associated with significant improvement in minimal hepatic encephalopathy MHE

A synbiotic is a supplement that contains both a prebiotic and a probiotic that work together to improve the “friendly flora” of the human intestine. As probiotics are mainly active in the small intestine and prebiotics are only effective in the large intestine. The prebiotic probiotic combination gives a synergistic effect called synbiotics.
Probiotics: The Facts
Probiotics are living microorganisms which work within your gastrointestinal (GI) tract to have a positive effect on health. Most probiotics are "good" bacteria like Lactobacillus, Acidophilus, Enterococcus, Bifidobacterium or Escherichia. Centuries of folklore suggesting the health benefits of ingesting dairy products which are fermented and contain live and active cultures are now scientifically supported. Probiotics can be founding a variety of dairy products (yogurt, most notably) and as dietary supplements (both powdered form and capsules).

Prebiotics: The Facts
Prebiotics can be manufactured (using enzymes to alter sucrose), isolated from plant sources (like chicory) and found as a naturally occurring substance in many foods. Prebiotics do not get metabolized in the stomach or absorbed in the GI tract. They are fermented by the microflora in the GI tract. Most importantly, prebiotics encourage the growth and increased activity of "good" bacteria within the intestines; thus, enhancing the effects of probiotics. The most well-known prebiotic is inulin, a dietary fiber common in plants like artichokes, asparagus and leeks. Prebiotics are often added to foods like cereal, breads, drinks and yogurt.

How They Work
Probiotics work in the body to balance the effects of potentially harmful bacteria, aid in digestion, decrease infections and even lessen certain allergic reactions. They strengthen the lining of the GI tract and help to stimulate the immune system. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients which work within the intestinal tract to enhance the growth of "good" bacteria and increase your body's resistance to invading harmful bacteria or viruses.
Read more: The Differences Between Probiotic & Prebiotic

Intestinal Microflora
Bacteria and other organisms that live inside the intestines. They help digest food. Vitamins such as biotin and vitamin K are made by intestinal microflora. Also called gut flora, gut microflora, intestinal flora, and microflora.

Synbiotics Support Gut in Cirrhosis

HOUSTON—Cirrhosis patients with minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) can use synbiotics (prebiotic-probiotic combination) to modulate the unbalanced, pathogenic intestinal microflora that commonly manifests in MHE, according to a recent meta-analysis.

Researchers from State University of New York, Buffalo, N.Y., and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, published their review Jan. 20 online ahead of print in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

The scientists searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for published studies in all languages, using a priori criteria, with pooled relative risk and heterogeneity estimated as the measures of association. In the nine studies meeting their inclusion criteria, the use of prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics significantly reduced the pooled relative risk (RR) of no improvement of MHE (RR 0.40, 95% CI 0.32-0.50; P less then 0.001).

Their subgroup analysis revealed five studies with lactulose showed significant reduction of risk of no improvement of MHE (RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.24-0.47; P less then 0.0001) with no inter-trial heterogeneity.

In two trials, the use of probiotics and synbiotics was associated with significant beneficial effects (RR 0.41, 95% CI 0.26-0.65; P less then 0.0001 and RR of 0.51, 95% CI 0.32-0.80; P=0.004 respectively).

They found no major adverse events associated with any of the interventions, but probiotics and synbiotics were better tolerated than was lactulose.

They concluded the use of prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics was associated with significant improvement in MHE.

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