- Prebiotics serve as food for specific microbes in the gut but their health benefits are likely due to broader changes in the function of communities of microbes.
- Prebiotics can lead to a durable change in overall function of gut microbial community with potential for long-term health benefit while probiotics are live microorganisms that when administered in adequate amounts can confer a health benefit even in the short term.
- Prebiotics ferment to short-chain fatty acids known to positively influence human metabolism and immunity. Commercial prebiotics may be beneficial in some individuals but intolerable in others.
- Further research is needed to determine the specificity of prebiotics in terms of their biological effects. Other dietary fibers/proteins may have similar health benefits that have not yet been determined.