Lactulose, best prebiotic for lactic acid bacteria

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    Lactulose is probably the best prebiotic for increasing the levels of Bifidobacterium in the colon. Increasing Bifidobacteria has shown to reduce candida albicans levels in the colon as a result of lowering the ph and producing lactic acid.

    Lactulose, lactic acid bacteria, intestinal microecology and mucosal protection.
    Salminen S1, Salminen E.
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    During the fermentation of lactulose, short-chain fatty acids are formed with consequent lowering of the colon pH and modification of the microflora. Lactulose promotes the growth of lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria and, more specifically, Lactobacillus acidophilus in the colon. Lactulose and lactulose-containing products fermented with lactic acid bacteria lower colonic pH balancing intestinal microecology and normalizing intestinal transit. In animal studies, lactulose promotes a mainly Gram-positive faecal microflora, but large doses of lactulose may be associated with transient diarrhoea. Our studies indicate that lactulose with lactic acid bacteria effectively relieves constipation in human volunteers. Lactulose with lactic acid bacteria in a fermented diary product can balance and prevent radiotherapy-associated diarrhoea and intestinal side effects. Normalizing the intestinal flora and stabilizing mucosal integrity with lactulose has beneficial effects in intestinal disorders. Lactulose and lactic acid bacteria offer a promising ingredient combination for future functional and special dietary foods in treating intestinal disturbances.

    Lactulose ingestion increases faecal bifidobacterial counts: a randomised double-blind study in healthy humans.
    Bouhnik Y1, Attar A, Joly FA, Riottot M, Dyard F, FlouriƩ B.
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    Faecal bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, perceived as exerting health-promoting properties, may be increased by ingestion of high-dose lactulose in humans. The effects of low and well-tolerated doses of lactulose are not well known. The aim of the study was to assess the effects of prolonged low-dose lactulose administration on faecal bifidobacteria and selected metabolic indexes potentially involved in colonic carcinogenesis.
    In all, 16 healthy volunteers were included in this controlled, randomised, double-blind, parallel group trial. Participants ingested lactulose or placebo (sucrose) at a dose of 5 g b.i.d. for 6 weeks. Stools were regularly collected at baseline (d0), and after 3 (d21) and 6 (d42) weeks of sugar ingestion. Tolerance was evaluated using a daily chart.
    Faecal bifidobacterial counts were higher in lactulose than in sucrose group (P=0.03). Lactulose ingestion led to a significant increase in faecal bifidobacteria counts from d0 to d21 and d42 ((m+/-s.e.m.) 8.25+/-0.53, 8.96+/-0.40 and 9.54+/-0.28 log colony-forming units/g wet wt (CFU/g), respectively (P=0.048)). Placebo ingestion did not lead to any faecal bifidobacterial count change. Total anaerobes, Lactobacillus and pH were not significantly changed throughout the study in the two groups. Neither faecal bile acids nor neutral sterols were modified by lactulose. Excess flatus was more common in the lactulose group (P=0.03), but was very mild. Bloating and borborygmi did not differ between both the groups.
    A measure of 10 g lactulose/day increases faecal bifidobacterial counts, and lactulose fulfils the criteria requested to be considered as a prebiotic.

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