Pre-, pro or synbiotics play an important role in the modulation of the gut microbiota.
A growing amount of clinical evidence shows that pre- and probiotics can have beneficial effects in infants at risk of, or living with food allergies.1–4
Synbiotics are a combination of pre- and probiotics.5 Pre- and probiotics can influence the immune system directly, or indirectly, via the gut microbiota, and therefore they may play a role in preventing the onset of an allergic disease.6 The objective of combining pre- and probiotics is to achieve stronger positive effects than with either component alone (synergy).7
Gut microbiota dysbiosis has been reported in infants with allergic conditions with low levels of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli compared with healthy, breastfed infants.8
Given the presence and important role of these naturally occurring pre- and probiotics, and recognising that breast feeding is not always possible, there is a compelling rationale to combine pre- and probiotic ingredients (synbiotics) in infant formula so that functionally it more closely resembles human breast milk.
Dr Adam Fox: Using EHF and AAF formulas to manage cow's milk allergy
Professor Seppo Salminen: When to recommend synbiotic containing formulas
The role of synbiotics in allergy management