PREBIOTIC POTENTIAL OF STARCH OF TINOSPORA CORDIFOLIA, A COMPONENT OF SOMAVIT®: AN IN VITRO STUDY ON GROWTH MODULATION OF BIFIDOBACTERIUM AND LACTOBACILLUS STRAINS
Prebiotic is a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit. The present study aimed to investigate the prebiotic potential of starch of Tinospora cordifolia (5% w/v) based on in vitro growth stimulation of Lactobacillus plantarum and Bifidobacterium bifidum, using individual strains and consortia. Bacterial cultures were incubated under anaerobic conditions with starch of Tinospora cordifolia (test) and with distilled water as the control. At various contact time points (0, 1, 48 and 96 hours), small aliquots were sampled. The organisms were plated on specific growth media under anaerobic conditions for Bifidobacterium and microaerophilic for Lactobacillus, and total viable count was determined by standard plate count. Starch of Tinospora cordifolia promoted growth of both bacterial strains, singly and in consortia. The mean log colony forming units (CFU) ± standard deviation of Lactobacillus in test was significantly higher in comparison to control (8.09±0.07 vs 7.06±0.03, p<0.05) at 48 hours incubation, thereafter the growth of Lactobacillus plateaued through 96 hours. CFUs for Bifidobacterium in test were 8.52±0.28 at 48 hours and 8.74±0.14 at 96 hours incubation, both significantly higher (p<0.005) when compared to control. Bifidobacterium in test exhibited 90-fold relative increase in growth when compared to control. Lactobacillus being more robust showed an immediate increase in growth, while Bifidobacterium demonstrated a delayed but sustained growth, which extended over a period of time. These findings suggest that Starch of Tinospora cordifolia may enhance the gastrointestinal health of the host through modulation of overall composition of gut microbiota.