Can Polyphenols Serve as Prebiotics?

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Hereas a quick round of word association: I say aprebiotica and you thinka | aFiber, a right? If that was your selection, youare not alone. Nor are you without reason: In 2006, FDA guidance1 not only reinforced the prevailing definition of prebiotics as anondigestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively inducing the growth and/ or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colonaathat is, afiberaabut singled out oligosaccharides as acommonly useda prebiotics, to boot. So itas not surprising that when most of us think about what feeds our friendly intestinal floras, we think of fiber.

Now, however, emerging research suggests that this definition may in fact be too narrow. In short, itas possible that some probiotic bacteria may receive aid and convenience from compounds that donat fall under the historically fibrous prebiotic rubric. Case in point: polyphenols, which aare being recognized for their prebiotic potential in addition to their wider range of health benefits, a says Shaheen Majeed, chairperson worldwide, Sabinsa( East Windsor, NJ ).

Though evidence for polyphenolsa prebiotic potential remains nascent, the potential it holds for synbiotic formulation deserves attention. So those in the know are maintaining their eyes on polyphenols and the prebiotic science surrounding them. As Majeed says, aThese consequences are real, and polyphenols are here to make a difference in the prebiotic category.a

Polyphenolic Protection

Itas not as if polyphenols didnat already deserve our love. These naturally occurring antioxidant phytochemicalsamore than 8,000 of which have been identified in sources ranging from fruits and vegetables to tea, wine, chocolate, and olive oilaare the second-most abundant compounds in plants, trailing only carbohydrates.

As a class, they comprise stilbenes, lignans, phenolic acids, and flavonoids, and they exist, more or less, to protect their plant parents. But over the years, tells Majeed, aresearch has suggested that polyphenols play a vital role in promoting our vitality and optimal health and wellness, a too, along with those of plants.

According to researchers, polyphenolsa bill of human health particulars runs from cardiovascular benefits, possible cancer prevention, and metabolic and blood sugar balance, to cognitive supporting, joint and bone health, weight management, a healthy inflammatory answer, andanew to the listaoptimal intestine health.

Fiber Fundamentals

Thatas a change of pace, as gut health had principally been the province of probiotic bacteria and the prebiotic fibers that feed them. And that stimulates sense, because a preponderance of proof asserts that probiotic bacteria are instrumental to a well-functioning gastrointestinal tract, and that prebiotic fiber promotes their proliferation.

aThese bacteria are important as they may have several beneficial effects on the host, especially in terms of improving digestion and the effectiveness and intrinsic strength of the immune system, a says Stephen Lukawski, BA, MEd, global marketings and marketing consultant, product development and partner, Fruit daOr Nutraceuticals( Villeroy, QC, Canada ). aPreliminary research has also demonstrated potential effects of probiotic bacteria on the absorption of calcium and other minerals, bowel acidity, and inflammatory bowel disease.a

As for the fibers that fuel them, those with the highest profiles as prebiotics include inulin, fructooligosaccharides( FOS ), guar gum, and resistant starch. And the high profile these specific prebiotic ingredients enjoy, Majeed notes, is thanks in no small component to the aleverage were presented by FDAa in its aforementioned 2006 guidance on what a prebiotic is.

New Compound on the Block

aHowever, a Majeed continues, aover the years, newer ingredients have caught the attention of the industry, owing to their prebiotic benefits.a In fact, the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics in 2016 updated its definition and scope of prebiotics to encompass non-carbohydrate ingredients, Majeed notes.

And thatas where polyphenols come in. aSeveral analyzes have demonstrated that polyphenols play an important role in improving gut health by boosting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine, a Majeed tells. And whereas poor absorbability is often a drawback for a nutritional ingredient, the poor absorbability of polyphenols abecomes an advantage, as far their prebiotic positioning is concerned, a Majeed adds.

So how do polyphenols perform prebiotically? Their effectiveness, Majeed says, ais suggested to be due to their ability to stimulate the growth of beneficial microbiota while hindering that of pathogenic strains, and to their anti-adhesion activity against harmful pathogens. Overall, theyare believed to confer positive benefits by modulating intestine microecology.a

Here Comes Cranberry

And while researchers have focused mainly on the flavone, flavonol, anthocyanidin, and catechin polyphenols found in fruit, vegetables, red wine, and green tea, Lukawski says itas time for these compounds to amove over, as here goes cranberry, and itas showing prebiotic benefits in the gut.a

To wit, a Sabinsa-sponsored study2 published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology compared the prebiotic effect of Fruit daOras proprietary Cran Naturelle cranberry seed powder versus FOS fiber on Sabinsaas L- (+) -lactic acidaproducing Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 probiotic preparation, marketed as LactoSpore.

The studyas results indicated an increase in the viable B. coagulans MTCC 5856 counting when the cranberry seed powder served as the sole nutrition sourceademonstrating that the bacteria can actually ferment it. Additionally, under anaerobic conditions the cranberry seed powder inhibited growth of undesirable E. coli ATCC 25922 while supporting B. coagulans MTCC 5856 growthasuggesting that it contributes to a gastrointestinal environment favorable to the healthful probiotic. Ultimately, in vitro gastric acid and pancreatic enzyme digestibility tests showed that the cranberry seed powder resists gastric acid even better than FOS, though its non-digestibility to pancreatic enzymes equaled that of FOS, the companies say.

aIt seems that the cranberry seed acts as a natural food source, a Lukawski says. And itas not unreasonable to suspect that it would do so. The powder contains 20% -2 5% pure protein, 50% fiber, and, Lukawski continues, aall the essential amino acids. Itas also standardized to contain a minimum of 3% insoluble proanthocyanidin content. It seems to be the ga the probiotics need to feed from, as it provides the carbon, nitrogen, and amino acids necessary to stimulate the strainas hardiness and growth.a No wonder he calls the powder aa superfood for various probiotic strains.a

Cranberry Caveats

Along with previously published literature, this new analyse, Majeed tells, ais encouraging and certainly expands the concept of prebiotics beyond non-digestible oligosaccharides to include polyphenols as attractive alternatives.a It also adds to a body of proof suggesting that polyphenolsa health benefits are based on their microbial useaand on the metabolites thus producedarather than on the parent molecules themselves.

aHowever, a Majeed confess, ain comparison to oligosaccharides, the number of studies done on polyphenols is restriction and, hence, more research is needed to ascertain their prebiotic potential.a So product developers and ingredient suppliers should exercise the usual caution when promoting polyphenols as prebiotics.

aLike any other synbiotic preparation, a Majeed says, aproducts including polyphenols as a prebiotic source would require the same level of checklist for the formulators to follow.a That means clean-labels demands still apply, aand when it comes to claims and use levels, companies should have enough research data to back those levels and asserts, a he tells. aMore importantly, formulators should design products that gratify customersa expectations in delivery format, ease of delivery, benefits, and more.a

To Market, To Market

Some are already doing just thatastarting with Sabinsa. Its LactoCran is a synbiotic preparation blending LactoSpore with Fruit daOras Cran Naturelle cranberry seed powder, and Majeed believes itas awell positioned to break through in the synbiotic market.a

Lukawski is also bullish on the future prospects for the cranberry juice that his own company launched. Called Sun Cran Naturelle, it combines Fruit daOras cranberry polyphenols with Taiyo Internationalas( Minneapolis) galactomannan-based guar fiber ingredient, marketed as Sunfiber. aWhen combined with the cranberry juice, a Lukawski says, aweare now able to deliver a dual-function product for supporting of a healthy urinary tract and gut health. No one has in the past done this combining, and weare the first to market.a A analyse investigating its anti-adhesion properties is underway at Rutgers University, Lukawski adds, with results expected asometime in April.a

Finally, he mentions a collaboration between his company and the International Agriculture Group( Mooresville, NC) aproducers of NuBana, a resistant starch removed from green bananas. aGreen banana is a natural prebiotic fiber with scientifically proven benefits surrounding its resistant starch, a Lukawski says. aWhen formulated with our cranberry seed powder, it becomes a superfood prebiotic that offer a combination of protein, fiber, and amino acids.a

Sabinsa is even combining its B. coagulans probiotics with the cranberry-banana ingredient to make what Lukawski calls aa LactoCranBana brand thatas ideal for use in nutrition bars, yogurts, smoothies, shakes, and other dairy products.a He foresees its availability in early summer.

With all this to look forward to, itas no wonder Lukawski is aexcited for the future of the prebiotic a chance for polyphenols, a he says. aWhen blending polyphenol prebiotics with probiotics, weare entering a whole new space and category.a

References 😛 TAGEND

FDA Draft Guidance. aGuidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Product and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration.a downloads/ RegulatoryInformation/ Guidances/ UCM1 45405. pdf. December 2006.
Majeed M et al ., aCranberry seed fibre: a promising prebiotic fiber and its fermentation by the probiotic Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856, a International Journal of Food Science and Technology. Published online February 17, 2018.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: A http :// herbs-botanicals/ can-polyphenols-serve-prebiotics

Source: Nutritional Outlook Magazine

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