Effects of Inulin-Based Prebiotics and Probiotics on Gut Microbiota and Immune Markers

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study in Healthy Subjects

The gut microbiota is implicated in diverse interactions affecting human health. The present study reports a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study conducted by administering a new synbiotic formulation composed of two Lactobacillus strains (L. plantarum and L. acidophilus) and one Bifidobacterium strain (B. animalis subsp. lactis) and two types of fructans (fructo-oligosaccharides with a degree of polymerization of 3–5 and inulin-type fructans with 10 DP).

The effects of this synbiotic were evaluated on healthy subjects for 28 days, and the maintenance of its efficacy was evaluated at the end of a follow-up period of 28 days. The synbiotic treatment contributes to higher biodiversity of the gut microbiota, increasing the community richness with respect to the group with the prebiotics alone and the placebo group. Its positive effect is also reflected in the variation of microbial community structure favoring the beneficial short-chain fatty acids bacterial producers.

The amelioration of the health status of the subjects was also established by the reduction of common infectious disease symptom incidence, the stimulation of the gut immune system showing a noteworthy variation of fecal α-defensin2 and calprotectin levels, and the modulation of the response of the respiratory tract’s immune system by salivary IgA as well as total antioxidant capacity biomarkers.

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