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IRON – University of Reading

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The effect of prebiotic Synergy1 during iron supplementation on microbiota and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in women with low ferritin levels.

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibre that exert bacteria changes in the intestine and bring about health benefits

  • They are used in foods to increase beneficial gut bacterial numbers
  • They have been found to improve the intestinal bacterial composition of the general population
  • They are safe for human consumption
  • They have been consumed by humans for hundreds of years

Proposed benefits of prebiotics

  • Reduce the number/activities of disease causing bacteria
  • Influence satiety
  • Improve immune response
  • Reduce risk of gastrointestinal illness such as travellers' diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, infections
  • Increase absorption of minerals

Ferrous salts administrated during iron deficiency are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. Around 75% of the unabsorbed iron will reach the colon where could be used by intestinal bacteria, especially by non-beneficial bacterial species. Prebiotics are safe interventions that promote growth of beneficial microorganisms as bifidobacteria. The aim of this study is investigating if a prebiotic intervention during iron supplementation could help to mitigate

the adverse effects of iron in the microbiota and therefore, reduce the gastrointestinal symptoms usually associated to iron consumption

Are you?

  • Age: 18-50 years (premenopausal)
  • Gender: Female

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