Prebiotics: why more is not necessarily better

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Too much prebiotic “may not be a good thing” for regular bowel function.

That was one of the surprising preliminary results from an ongoing study presented at a conference in Sydney last month by Dr Jane Muir, head of translational nutrition science in the Department of Gastroenterology at Monash University.

While much of the research to date has focused on water homeostasis, particularly the bulk and water-holding capacity of wheat bran, more recent evidence suggests prebiotics are also critical.

The Monash researchers measured the composition of a range of foods and