Published: 2021-09-27

Knowledge and consumption of probiotics and prebiotics in India: a narrative review

Arshia Shireen, Mitravinda Aneesh


In this narrative review, we discuss existing literature on the knowledge, consumption, and factors influencing the consumption of probiotics and prebiotics in India. We also examined the current nature of the probiotics and prebiotics market in the country. There were only a handful of studies on the knowledge and consumption of probiotics and prebiotics among Indians, mainly conducted in urban areas and middle to high-income households. Limited research showed that the knowledge of probiotics had increased appreciably in the past decade, while there is still poor technical knowledge among Indians. Simultaneously, prebiotics is an unfamiliar concept to the general public. Younger individuals are more aware than their older counterparts. The probiotics market in India offers several milk-based beverages, yogurt, and curd, while few non-dairy beverages are available from overseas. The prebiotics market in India has several powder formulas and some chewable tablets. The consumption of probiotics and prebiotics is limited to popular foods like curd, probiotic drinks, buttermilk, and milk, wheat, onion, tomatoes respectively. The modern Indian diet lacks traditional probiotic and prebiotic sources despite their presence in several regional cuisines. Furthermore, awareness of these foods and the knowledge and belief in their health benefits are the most influential factors in their consumption. Contrarily, the perception of not requiring these foods for the maintenance of good health prevents their consumption. Improving awareness and knowledge while offering diverse gut-healthy foods in all strata of Indian society can increase the utilization of these foods and improve general health and prevent chronic diseases.


Probiotics, Prebiotics, Knowledge, Consumption, Traditional foods, Market

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