The health benefits imparted by probiotics and prebiotics as well as synbiotics have been the subject of extensive research in the past few decades. These food supplements termed as functional foods have been demonstrated to alter, modify and reinstate the pre-existing intestinal flora. They also facilitate smooth functions of the intestinal environment. Most commonly used probiotic strains are: Bifidobacterium, Lactobacilli, S. boulardii, B. coagulans. Prebiotics like FOS, GOS, XOS, Inulin; fructans are the most commonly used fibers which when used together with probiotics are termed synbiotics and are able to improve the viability of the probiotics. Present review focuses on composition and roles of Probiotics, Prebiotics and Synbiotics in human health. Furthermore, additional health benefits like immune-modulation, cancer prevention, inflammatory bowel disease etc. are also discussed. Graphical abstractPictorial summary of health benefits imparted by probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics.
Keywords: Cancer; Cardiovascular diseases; Intestinal disorders; Prebiotics; Probiotics; Synbiotics.