Prebiotics

Prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients that benefit the host by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Beneficial species of bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli readily ferment the prebiotic oligosaccharides (oligofructose and inulin), whereas pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli do not.[4] The potential of prebiotics to replace antimicrobials for pathogen control or performance enhancement has not been proven conclusively, because feed supplements can have mixed effects depending on the bacterial species, the animal, and its age.[4] Existing data from studies with chickens suggest that oligofructose can reduce cecal concentrations of Salmonella but not Campylobacter. In swine, oligofructose can reduce mortality and morbidity due to infectious E. coli but showed no effect on weight gain or feed efficiency in neonatal and weaned pigs and only mixed effects in growing pigs.

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