Microbiota influences the body's endurance by boosting the amount of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and TH1 and TH17. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it was the easiest way to heighten the number of microbiota by consuming prebiotics.
Prebiotics are foods in the form of complex carbohydrates that are difficult to be hydrolyzed/digested by carbohydrate digestive enzymes, so the intestine will not absorb them. Hence, prebiotics is microbiota's consumption.
Pharmacist, Ika Puspitasari, MSi, Ph.D., who is also a researcher from the UGM Faculty of Pharmacy, said that complex carbohydrate food sources are difficult to digest because they have long and branched chains. Complex carbohydrates are characterized by a moderate to low glycemic index (IG).
"A low glycemic index indicates that the material is difficult to digest, not immediately or longer converted to carbohydrate monosaccharides, so it does not cause a rapid increase in blood glucose levels," she said, at the UGM Faculty of Pharmacy on Monday (4/4).
Ika said ingredients with a low IG would last a long time in the digestive tract so that it does not feel hungry fast. Ingredients with low to moderate IG will increase the production of short-chain fatty acids, which are essential for increasing resistance by maintaining a healthy and balanced digestive system.
"The existence of short-chain fatty acids in large quantities will increase the population of microbiota, including bifidobacterium adolescents, ruminococcus bromii, and Eubacterium rectale," she explained.
Some local Indonesian complex carbohydrate sources as prebiotics, including Porang in the study, worked in reducing the number of E. coli bacteria, increasing the amount of short-chain fatty acids, lowering the pH of feces. Then Uwi, Gadung, Talas, which shows glycemic index 14-22, increases the number of L. acidophilus, L. paracasei, L. rhamnosus, and L. Plantarum bacteria.
While the Canna and Garut research results reveal a growing number of Lactobacillus, furthermore, sweet potatoes, which in the research showed could increase Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, and a decreasing number in Enterobacillus, Clostridium perfringens and Bacteroides.
According to Ika, several local Indonesian carbohydrate sources during the Covid-19 pandemic became food ingredients that have essential functions, including being able to increase endurance through improving the condition of microbiota in the digestive tract.
Therefore, for those who are fasting Ramadan currently consuming complex carbohydrates as a substitute for rice has a double benefit to make the stomach not to get hungry easily, and the immune system increases.
"Therefore, consuming foods with low and moderate glycemic indexed complex carbohydrates (IG) has an important role in increasing endurance through improving the condition of microbiota in the digestive tract," she added.
Author: Agung Nugroho
Translator: Natasa A