The term prebiotic is used for indigestible food ingredients that have beneficial effects on the health of their host by specifically stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or more bacterial species in the colon. In addition to probiotics, prebiotics are among the most common food additives. Most potential prebiotics are carbohydrates, but by definition non-carbohydrates can also be used as prebiotics. Since they form a selective food base for intestinal bacterial species such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, the composition of the intestinal flora can be specifically influenced in this way. Microorganisms, which have a beneficial effect on their host, can potentially colonize the colon of humans and animals.
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