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Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2017 Dec;46(4):783-795. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2017.08.004. Epub 2017 Oct 4.

Prebiotics and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

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Department of Clinical Nutrition, Rush University Medical Center, 1700 W Van Buren Street, Suite 425, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Food Science, Purdue University, 745 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.


Dietary fiber, specifically prebiotics, is the primary source of energy for the gut microbiota and thus has the potential to beneficially modify microbiota composition. Prebiotics have been used in both in vitro studies and with animal models of colitis with largely positive results. Human studies are few and have been conducted with only a few select prebiotics, primarily fructan-containing fibers. Although disease activity and inflammatory markers have improved, more needs to be learned about the specific prebiotic compounds and how they can be used to best improve the gut microbiota to counter changes induced by inflammatory bowel disease.


Crohn disease; Fiber; Inflammatory bowel disease; Prebiotics; Ulcerative colitis

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