Building A Stronger Immunity

What is Influenza?

                Influenza is a common infectious disease that brings a huge disease burden worldwide. It is an acute viral respiratory infection caused by RNA viruses that result in fever and myalgia in infected people. Influenza pandemics are unpredictable and can have significant impacts on human health and the economy worldwide. Influenza vaccinations are used to prevent influenza infection. However, low vaccine efficacy will lead to inadequate protection, breakthrough infection and influenza-related morbidity and mortality (Lei et al., 2017).

Probiotics & Prebiotics

                Probiotics are good bacteria that alter the intestinal microflora and bring beneficial properties for the host whereas prebiotics such as Inulin and Oligofructose are functional ingredients that stimulate the growth and metabolic activity of probiotics. Both probiotics and prebiotics can work synergistically to enhance our immunity (Lei et al., 2017).

Inulin & Oligofructose (FOS)

                Inulin and Oligofructose (FOS) are prebiotics that keep you strong and healthy as they feed the good bacteria in our intestines. They provide food for healthy microflora to flourish our intestines. They are unable to digest and eventually pass into your intestines through stomach where good bacteria eat them. They help to cleanse the body system as well as boost up our immunity (Miremadi & Shah, 2012). Good bacteria strengthen the immune system by stimulating the immune cells to be resistant to infection (Carlson et al., 2015; Vieira et al., 2013). Good bacteria such as Bifidobacteria can improve our body immune functions by suppressing any activity of harmful bacteria like Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfrigens (Miremadi & Shah, 2012).

Orafti® Synergy 1 is a specific combination of long chain inulin and FOS that is derived from chicory root. It is a uniquely functional form of prebiotic dietary fibre that could enhance the host’s ability to respond to infections. It selectively nourishes healthful digestive bacteria for an additional boost to our immune system. According to Lomax et al., (2015), Orafti® Synergy1 can enhance the immune response in healthy middle-aged adults. It was found that after supplementation with Synergy1 (8 g daily for 4 weeks prior to vaccination and 4 weeks post-vaccination), there was a higher and enhanced antibody response to the vaccine.

Journal Summaries: Effects of Inulin and Oligofructose on Immune System

ReferencesFructans Used & Effective DosageTarget Group (Age)Outcome
Lomax et al., 2015Consumption 8g/d of Synergy 1 for 4 weeks prior to vaccination and 4 weeks post-vaccinationHealthy middle-aged adults with their age between 45-65 years old and body mass index (BMI) 20 to 32 kg/m2Synergy 1 can enhance some aspects of the immune response in healthy middle-aged adults
Bunout et al., 2002Prebiotic mixture (6 g/d of a 70% FOS and 30% Inulin mixture)Healthy elderly people with age ≥ 70 years oldIncreased antibody response to influenza and S.pneumoniae vaccination
Saavedra & Tschernia, 2002Supplemented with 0.2 g prebiotic (a mixture of FOS and Inulin) per kg body weight per dayInfants (7-9 months)Higher blood IgG levels after measles vaccination

Thus, prebiotics are essential to promote a healthy immunity. It can be easily incorporated into a wide range of food and beverages and it is simpler than ever to sneak into your diet.


Bunout, D., Hirsch, S., de la Maza, M., Munoz, C., Haschke, F., & Steenhout, P. et al. (2002). Effects of prebiotics on the immune response to vaccination in the elderly. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, 26(6), 372-376.

Carlson, J., Erickson, J., Lloyd, B., & Slavin, J. (2018). Health Effects and Sources of Prebiotic Dietary Fiber. Current Developments In Nutrition, 2(3).

Lei, W., Shih, P., Liu, S., Lin, C. & Yeh, T. (2017). Effect of Probiotics and Prebiotics on Immune Response to Influenza Vaccination in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients, 9, 1-17.

Lomax, A., Cheung, L., Noakes, P., Miles, E., & Calder, P. (2015). Inulin-Type β2-1 Fructans have Some Effect on the Antibody Response to Seasonal Influenza Vaccination in Healthy Middle-Aged Humans. Frontiers In Immunology, 6.

Miremadi, F. & Shah, N. P. (2012). Applications of inulin and probiotics in health and nutrition. International Food Research Journal, 19(4), 1337-1350.

Saavedra, J. M. & Tschernia, A. (2002). Human studies with probiotics and prebiotics: Clinical implications. Br. J. Nutr. 87(2), S241.

Vieira, A., Teixeira, M., & Martins, F. (2013). The Role of Probiotics and Prebiotics in Inducing Gut Immunity. Frontiers In Immunology, 4.

Yeh, T. L., Shih, P. C., Liu, S. J., Lin, C. H., Liu, J. M., Lei, W. T., Lin, C. Y. (2018). The influence of prebiotic or probiotic supplementation on antibody titers after influenza vaccination: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Drug Des Devel Ther, 25, 12, 217-230.