Wednesday, June 19, 2024

What Are Prebiotics And Probiotics

What Are Prebiotics And Why Should I Be Eating Them

What Are Prebiotics and Probiotics?

Prebiotics are plant fibers that stimulate the growth and activity of good bacteria living in the human digestive tract. Prebiotic fiber provides food to existing bacteria, keeping them healthy, growing and functioning at their best ultimately helping to maintain the health of your digestive system.1,3,4

The number of live organisms in fermented foods may vary depending on manufacturing processes.

What Are The Side Effects And Risks Of Probiotics

Supplements play an important role when the diet is not adequate to supply our needs. In the case of probiotics, one’s diet is the ideal source for probiotics. These are live bacteria and need to be carefully monitored, stored, and combined for the health benefits that one would be taking them for. At this time, probiotic supplements are not monitored in the U.S. the way that food or medication is. They fall under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 . This requires that the dietary supplement or dietary ingredient manufacturer be responsible for ensuring that a dietary supplement or ingredient is safe before it is marketed. The only time that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may get involved is if action is needed to be taken against a manufacturer after the supplement is marketed and then found to be unsafe. This means that as much as we may know about probiotics, we can’t be certain of the safety or content of the supplements available to us.

Probiotics And Prebiotics: The Good Guys In Your Gut And The Food That Feeds Them

Probiotics are the good bacteria living in your gut.

Probiotics help you in a variety of ways:

  • They break down and digest food.
  • They support overall gut health.
  • They ensure the immune system works well.
  • They also play a role in how you think and feel. Gut bacteria can improve the production and regulation of hormones, such as insulin and leptin. And they have been found to produce neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA which play a key role in your mood.

Prebiotics are the food for the good bacteria. They come from the non-digestible fiber in certain plant-based foods. With names such as oligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharide, and inulin, they stimulate the growth and activity of your bodys beneficial bacteria . All prebiotics are fiber, but not all fiber is prebiotic.

You need both probiotics and prebiotics. They work together to support your microbiome the community of trillions of bacteria in your body that help it function properly.

Its a synergistic relationship. Without prebiotics as fuel, probiotics would starve leaving you open to a host of problems, such as leaky gut, a compromised immune system, and constipation. And with no probiotics around to eat them, prebiotics would be of little value to your gut.

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Prebiotics For General Health

Ongoing research has shown that prebiotics may provide health benefits to the general population. These benefits include improved calcium absorption, decreases in allergy risk, improved immune system defense, and other positive effects on metabolism.

Research is ongoing to understand the full effects of these foods on gut health, metabolism, and certain diseases. But not all nutrition experts are able to confirm that consuming functional foods or prebiotics will necessarily boost specific health outcomes.

Can Probiotics Be Harmful

whats the difference between a prebiotic and a probiotic ...
  • Probiotics have an extensive history of apparently safe use, particularly in healthy people. However, few studies have looked at the safety of probiotics in detail, so thereâs a lack of solid information on the frequency and severity of side effects.
  • The risk of harmful effects from probiotics is greater in people with severe illnesses or compromised immune systems. When probiotics are being considered for high-risk individuals, such as premature infants or seriously ill hospital patients, the potential risks of probiotics should be carefully weighed against their benefits.
  • Possible harmful effects of probiotics include infections, production of harmful substances by the probiotic microorganisms, and transfer of antibiotic resistance genes from probiotic microorganisms to other microorganisms in the digestive tract.
  • Some probiotic products have been reported to contain microorganisms other than those listed on the label. In some instances, these contaminants may pose serious health risks.

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Beyond The Difference Between Prebiotics And Probiotics

*Items marked with an asterisk are affiliate links. If you purchase through this link, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you*

Now that weve established the difference between prebiotics and probiotics, I think its important to recognize how both prebiotics and probiotics work together to support our bodies.

What Are The Best Brands/products To Buy

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Risks And Side Effects Of Prebiotics And Probiotics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point out that the use of commercial prebiotics and probiotics is generally safe for healthy people. But there are rare instances where a healthy person becomes sick after ingesting certain types of bacteria contained in probiotics. Probiotics arent regulated according to drug standards by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . This means that some of the live bacteria being used in probiotics hasnt been evaluated according to strict safety measures. Thats something important to keep in mind when considering prebiotics and probiotics.

When you start a synbiotic regimen, there are some common side effects. Gas, constipation, loose stool, and loss of appetite sometimes happen, especially at the beginning of the regimen. Bloating and acid reflux have also been reported .

There is one side effect of probiotics that is known to be dangerous: having an allergic reaction to the bacteria that are being added to your body. If you break out in hives or experience extreme stomach pain after ingesting a prebiotic or probiotic, stop taking the supplement. Contact a doctor to determine if youre having a reaction.

Think You Have A Gut Health Issue Heres When To See A Doctor

Prebiotics & probiotics

Your gut microbiome is kept healthy through the presence of a diverse and stable colony of bacteria. Occasionally, this microbiome is compromised due to one or more of these factors:

  • Stress
  • Your Diet
  • Infections27

If your gut health is out of whack, bad bacteria may overtake the good. If you experience the following gut-related symptoms, check in with your doctor.

  • Heartburn
  • Drastic changes in cravings and appetite28

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Prebiotic Versus Probiotic: Whats The Difference

Pre and probiotics are beneficial for human health because gut bacteria play a key role in many aspects of the body, not just the colon.

The gut microbiota consists of trillions of bacterial cells which carry out a variety of important functions in the human body. Its not possible to live without your microbiota, and the benefits of a diverse and balanced microbiome extend well beyond the gut. Here are just a few important jobs gut microbes do:

  • Promote protection against metabolic diseases
  • Help maintain a healthy body weight
  • Produce important short-chain fatty acids
  • Train the immune system to work optimally
  • Deter pathogens that could make you sick
  • Maintain the intestinal lining against leaky gut

Your colonic bacteria trade their health-promoting functions for a place to live . In fact, they do so well for you that you barely even know theyre there. It is possible to increase the diversity of your gut microbiota . Thats where prebiotics and probiotics come in.

How Popular Are Probiotics

The 2012 National Health Interview Survey showed that about 4 million U.S. adults had used probiotics or prebiotics in the past 30 days. Among adults, probiotics or prebiotics were the third most commonly used dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals. The use of probiotics by adults quadrupled between 2007 and 2012. The 2012 NHIS also showed that 300,000 children age 4 to 17 had used probiotics or prebiotics in the 30 days before the survey.

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The Role Probiotics Play In Your Health

Up until the past few years, scientists in the medical profession paid little attention to the colonies of bacteria that live in the lower gut. Today, we know maintaining a healthy balance of good versus bad bacteria is important because people with more beneficial bacteria are less likely to suffer from a wide range of diseases and conditions.

Once GI experts realized there is more to the lower gut than first assumed, the push to understand the diverse roles these bacteria play became urgent. Many mysteries still need solving, but clinical evidence increasingly indicates that people in good health should optimize lower gut bacteria. You can accomplish this by eating prebiotics to encourage the growth of your existing gut microbes, and probiotics to add to the ones that are already there.

The science on what probiotics do is still emerging. There is some hard evidence that suggests eating probiotic foods and supplements can have a beneficial effect on health. Other evidence suggests probiotics benefits are limited to those individuals in good health and should be avoided by those who suffer from certain serious health conditions. There is no research that demonstrates the risks or the benefits of probiotic supplements on children.

Yogurt and supplements arent the only places you can find probiotics. More foods that contain probiotics include:

What Foods Contain Probiotics

Prebiotics and Probiotics: Why You Need Both For a Healthy ...

The discovery of the benefits of probiotics began with sour milk. Today we have many other options to get various bacteria from our foods, although it’s not as simple as just adding them to the food. For there to be health benefits, the microorganism has to be able to survive the passage through the gastrointestinal tract, survive the food manufacturing process, and grow and survive during the ripening or storage period. Also, the bacteria must not negatively affect product quality and be included on the Generally Recognized as Safe list.

Most bacteria are included through the fermentation process. Fermentation helps extend the shelf life of perishable foods. It is a slow decomposition process of organic substances induced by microorganisms or enzymes that essentially convert carbohydrates to alcohols or organic acids. The lactic acid supplies the bacteria that then add the health benefits to the food. You can purchase foods that are fermented or ferment them yourself.

  • Kefir: This could be the most ideal probiotic dairy product because it contains both bacteria and yeast working together to provide the numerous health benefits. In a recent eight-week study, people with diabetes were given kefir milk containing Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and bifidobacteria vs. conventional fermented milk. The hemoglobin A1C levels were significantly lower in the group consuming the kefir.

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Heres What You Need To Know About Prebiotics And How They Help Your Own Microbes

Our food choices depend on so many things culture, preferences, momentary cravings but perhaps we should consider what our microbial partners like to eat.

Gut microbes help us metabolize food, protect against pathogens, and bolster our immune system. Although the science linking gut microbes to health and disease still has a way to go, researchers are learning that beneficial gut bacteria have nutritional preferences of their own. Appealing to our gut microbes by including foods they prefer in our diets can expand communities of beneficial gut microbes.

We hear so much about probiotics, but not as much about prebiotics, so dont be surprised if youre confused. Dietary scientists have kept the definition broad because researchers are still adding to the list prebiotic foods, but basically prebiotics are substances selectively used by certain groups of microbes that benefit the host.

Heres an easy way to tell the difference: Probiotics are live bacteria, like what you find in yogurt. Prebiotics are dead material, most commonly dietary fibers, which enrich organisms already in your gut. Gut bacteria can ferment some, but not all, fibers. Fermentable fibers are considered prebiotics only if microbes produce byproducts beneficial to health.

Inulin And Fructooligosaccharide Side Effects

As you add extra fiber to your diet, you may notice some side effects. While not necessarily harmful or common, some potential side effects include bloating and gas. To reduce the chances of experiencing these side effects, add Prebiotin to your diet slowly. This helps your lower gut adjust more comfortably. As your body gets used to digesting more fiber, these symptoms will fade.

The side effects may also include noticeable improvements in certain health matters. Consuming more fiber is proven to improve regularity and reduce the symptoms associated with certain lower GI diseases such as leaky gut. The research on prebiotic fiber is moving fast. The latest independent studies show that people who ate more prebiotic fiber found it easier to lose weight, fight depression, lower cholesterol, improve bone strength and more.

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What Are Prebiotics: Prebiotics Vs Probiotics Part 1

Prebiotics and probiotics are confusing to people. How do I know if I have a prebiotic or a probiotic? What does each one have to offer? Well have two posts that will help to define prebiotics and probiotics, explain what they are, and how they can work together. This first post covers prebiotics, with an E.

How To Use Prebiotics Safely

Prebiotics & Probiotics – What You Need to Know

Try to get prebiotics from whole foods since they also have healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some experts say you should get at least 5 grams of prebiotics in your diet every day. Too much can lead to gas or bloating. Start with small amounts so your gut can get used to them.

Although side effects are rare, prebiotics arenât for everyone. If you have IBS, prebiotics can make your symptoms worse, and you could have:

Mayo Clinic: âPrebiotics, Probiotics and Your Health.â

Harvard Health Publishing: âCan gut bacteria improve your health?â âGlycemic index for 60+ foods.â

International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics: âPrebiotics.â

Colorado State University: âThe 10 best food sources of prebiotics.â

International Food Information Council Foundation: âGut Check: Prebiotics and the Microbiome.â

Cleveland Clinic: âPrebiotics vs. Probiotics: Whatâs the Difference?â

UMass Medical School: âThe 10 Best Prebiotic Foods for IBD.â

International Journal of Biological Macromolecules: âHealth-promoting effects of konjac glucomannan and its practical applications: A critical review.â

Nutrients: âYacon as a Food Supplement: Health-Promoting Benefits of Fructooligosaccharides.â

Columbia University Irving Medical Center: âWhat You Need To Know About Prebiotics.â

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Soluble And Insoluble Fibers

Medical scientists and nutritionists categorize dietary fiber into two classifications. Soluble fiber, as the name suggests, dissolves easily in water. Plants such as beans, greens, and other complex carbohydrates contain soluble fiber some foods, such as the potato, contain a mix of insoluble fiber and soluble fiber . The human body breaks down these complex carbs into a gelatinous, viscous byproduct that the large intestine turns into gasses and acids that encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the lower gut. These bacteria positively affect several essential bodily functions and overall health.

Insoluble fiber wont dissolve in water but is just as important to overall health and well-being as soluble fiber. We can further classify insoluble fiber into two types: fermentable and non-fermentable. Non-fermentable insoluble fiber is known primarily as a bulking agent, and consuming adequate insoluble fiber keeps people regular. Fermentable insoluble fiber such as resistant starch produces the same healthy gasses and acids in the large intestine that soluble fiber does. One important difference between the two types of fibers is that soluble fiber tends to slow digestion while insoluble fiber speeds it up.

Prebiotin Fiber Complements Probiotics Perfectly

If you want to take advantage of the benefits of probiotics and you also want to make sure the beneficial bacteria you already have is optimized to its full potential, supplement your probiotic regimen with Prebiotin. A trained microbiologist cannot tell you which probiotics are the best ones to choose, so why try to do something you are not trained to do? Eat lots of foods with prebiotics in them and take a prebiotic supplement like Prebiotin. Its the best thing you can do to maximize the benefits of both prebiotics and probiotics on the bacteria in your gut, and your overall good gut health.

Finally, there is a great deal of good research being done on probiotics. Keep tuned as interesting things may be happening.

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What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Prebiotics

Youve heard of probiotics: the stuff you find in yogurt and kombucha thats great for your gut. But prebiotics? Yes, theyre a thing and theyre just as important as probiotics. Its important to know the difference and understand why you need both probiotics and prebiotics for the best gut health. So buckle up: were going on a ride that will get you more intimate with your gut than when Miss Frizzle took the Magic School Bus inside Arnolds stomach.

How Are Probiotics Regulated In The United States

Prebiotics vs Probiotics

Government regulation of probiotics in the United States is complex. Depending on a probiotic productâs intended use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration might regulate it as a dietary supplement, a food ingredient, or a drug.

Many probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which donât require FDA approval before they are marketed. Dietary supplement labels may make claims about how the product affects the structure or function of the body without FDA approval, but they arenât allowed to make health claims, such as saying the supplement lowers your risk of getting a disease, without the FDAâs consent.

If a probiotic is going to be marketed as a drug for treatment of a disease or disorder, it has to meet stricter requirements. It must be proven safe and effective for its intended use through clinical trials and be approved by the FDA before it can be sold.

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