How Prebiotics And Probiotics Interact
Prebiotics serve as food for probiotics, so probiotics need access to prebiotics to work effectively.
Research assessing the connection between the two is ongoing, and scientists cannot yet confirm whether taking prebiotics can support probiotic development.
People who eat a balanced, varied, and healthful diet will get many prebiotics and probiotics through their food:
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.
How They Work With Probiotics To Improve Health
While probiotic benefits have become more widely known in recent years, especially with the growing popularity of fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi, prebiotics still remain under the radar. All types of fiber that we get from eating whole, plant foods play a major role in nutrient absorption, gut and digestive health.
Can you take prebiotics and probiotics together?
Yes, and you should. Prebiotics, together with probiotics, open the door for heightened levels of health in general, so nearly everyone can afford to include them in their diets more often.
As prebiotics make their way through the stomach without being broken down by either gastric acids or digestive enzymes, they bring about positive changes in the digestive tract and organs. Essentially, prebiotic compounds become nutrient sources, or fuel, for the beneficial bacteria housed within your gut.
Prebiotics work together with probiotics to allow specific changes to take place, both in the composition and activity of the gastrointestinal system. They play a fundamental role in preserving health by maintaining balance and diversity of intestinal bacteria, especially by increasing the presence of good bacteria, such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.
Because the health of the gut is closely tied to many other bodily functions, prebiotics and probiotics together are important for battling inflammation and lowering overall disease risk.
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Probiotics And Vaginal Health
Probiotics may also be of use in maintaining urogenital health. Like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem. The dominant Lactobacilli strains normally make it too acidic for harmful microorganisms to survive. But the system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors, including antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills. Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection.
Many women eat yogurt or insert it into the vagina to treat recurring yeast infections, a “folk” remedy for which medical science offers limited support. Oral and vaginal administration of Lactobacilli may help in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, although there isn’t enough evidence yet to recommend it over conventional approaches. Probiotic treatment of urinary tract infections is under study.
Probiotics are generally considered safe they’re already present in a normal digestive system although there’s a theoretical risk for people with impaired immune function. Be sure the ingredients are clearly marked on the label and familiar to you or your health provider. There’s no way to judge the safety of unidentified mixtures.
Pre/probiotic Skin Care: What Are They And Do They Work
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Youve probably heard the words prebiotic and probiotic before. These buzzwords sound fancy and are touted as great aids for your digestive health, but what do they actually mean? And what do they have to do with skin care?
With prebiotic and probiotic skin care emerging as a hot new trend, we enlisted top dermatologists and skin care experts to learn more.
How Dietary Fiber Affects Gut Microbiota
Gut microbiota performs several important tasks once the bacterial mix has been favorably resolved by consuming beneficial dietary fibers. Following ingestion, the body breaks down the dietary fiber found in certain complex carbohydrates in the large intestine via fermentation in fact, the large intestine contains more bacteria than any other place on or in the human body. Fermentation produces gasses and acids that help beneficial bacteria multiply while stifling the production of bad, disease-causing microorganisms. When these good bacteria multiply, they strengthen the walls of the lower gut. Because the lower gut produces a variety of hormones that help the body regulate optimum health conditions, it stands to reason that making adequate dietary fiber a part of your everyday diet is essential for better overall wellness.
The lower guts forgotten organ appears to regulate a wide range of potentially disease-causing bacteria. Recent research indicates that proper bacterial mix helps people fight obesity. A strong colon wall helps people absorb the minerals calcium and magnesium. Eating fermentable fiber reduces bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which fights hardened arteries and heart disease. There is now considerable evidence that a bad bacteria mix, called dysbiosis, is part of many, indeed most, chronic intestinal disorders. Prebiotics may well help reverse this bad mix of bacteria.
Certain Probiotic Strains Can Help Keep Your Heart Healthy
Probiotics may help keep your heart healthy by lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.
Certain lactic acid-producing bacteria may reduce cholesterol by breaking down bile in the gut .
Bile, a naturally occurring fluid mostly made of cholesterol, helps digestion.
A review of 5 studies found that eating a probiotic yogurt for 28 weeks reduced total cholesterol by 4% and LDL cholesterol by 5% .
Another study conducted over 6 months found no changes in total or LDL cholesterol. However, the researchers did find a small increase in HDL cholesterol .
Consuming probiotics may also lower blood pressure. A review of 9 studies found that probiotic supplements reduce blood pressure, but only modestly .
In order to experience any benefits related to blood pressure, supplementation had to exceed 8 weeks and 10 million colony-forming units daily .
Probiotics may help protect the heart by reducing bad LDL cholesterol levels and modestly lowering blood pressure.
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A Taste For The Good Stuff
Weve discovered that good bacteria, like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, are more likely to gain the upper hand if theyre ‘fed’ certain foods. Foods such as onions, beans, leeks, Jerusalem artichoke and garlic are rich in these non-digestible carbohydrates called prebiotics. Prebiotics are resistant to stomach acid and digestive enzymes, so reach the colon unchanged.
For most healthy people, simply increasing the amounts of prebiotic-rich foods, along with a generally balanced diet, should be enough to keep our good bacteria thriving. But most of us need antibiotics at some point, despite the average GPs efforts to keep inappropriate prescribing to a minimum. And with resistant bacteria on the rise, complications from taking antibiotics is an ever-increasing risk.
Likewise, several studies suggest that people with IBS have an overabundance of bad bacteria, which may not cause acute severe illness like salmonella, but which may bear the blame for their bloating and pain.
Where To Buy Inulin And Oligofructose
It seems pretty clear that consuming FOS and inulin together provides clear health benefits. Prebiotins patented inulin and fructooligosaccharides blend is the only formula on the market that gives your entire colon the fiber it needs to nourish the healthy bacteria already living there. Our formula is the most independently tested prebiotic on the market.
It is also proven to grow the healthy bacteria your body needs. You could certainly purchase natural fructooligosaccharide food sources, but you may not want to eat the amount necessary to reap the benefits you seek. Our inulin and fructooligosaccharide source can help you comfortably make up the fiber deficit in your diet.
The Prebiotin formula has significant amounts of both oligofructose and of inulin. The health benefits of inulin and oligofructose include positive bacterial action throughout the colon. It is why we call this product a full-spectrum prebiotic formula. It is why medical researchers have overwhelmingly chosen this formula for their research. Products with just oligofructose or just inulin only give your colon half of what it really needs.
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Conditions Related To Allergy
- A review of 23 studies in which probiotics were tested for treating allergic rhinitis found some evidence that they may be helpful for improving symptoms and quality of life. However, because the studies tested different probiotics and measured different effects, no recommendations about the use of probiotics could be made. Few side effects of probiotics were reported in these studies.
- A review of 11 studies of probiotics for asthma in children had inconclusive results.
- Atopic dermatitis is an itchy chronic skin disorder thatâs associated with allergies but not caused by them. Itâs most common in infants and may start as early as age 2 to 6 months. Many people outgrow it by early adulthood. Atopic dermatitis is one of several types of eczema.
- A 2017 review of 13 studies of probiotics for the treatment of atopic dermatitis in infants and children did not find consistent evidence of a beneficial effect. A review of 9 studies in adults provided preliminary evidence that some strains of probiotics might be beneficial for symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
Prevention of Allergies
What To Know About Inulin
Inulin, on the other hand, is a larger, more complex molecule. Because it takes the colons bacteria much longer to ferment inulin, there is more available to the bacteria that reside in the rest of the colon, mostly on the left side. Like oligofructose, inulin is somewhat effective on its own but really needs another quick-fermenting fiber to provide the optimal beneficial health effects. Unfortunately, foods with these prebiotics are rather low in the oligofructose component, so an ideal formula would be one where the basic inulin would be enriched with oligofructose.
Inulin and oligofructose are the two most natural and beneficial prebiotics we know.
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How Do They Make Me Healthier
When prebiotics are fermented, they produce short-chain fatty acids like butyrate that help keep the colon healthy, maintain blood sugar balance, and even affect brain neuroplasticity, says Dr. Pedre. In other words, prebiotics are the fuel that probiotics use to regulate a well-functioning gut. As a dietary fiber, they help the microorganisms in our intestines grow, and theyre often taken to maximize a probiotics benefits. You don’t need to take a prebiotic for probiotics to work, but it can give the live bacteria a boost.
Prebiotics can also help with common digestive issues like bloating and constipation, increase mineral bioavailability, and even promote satiety and weight loss. Some studies even posit that prebiotics can be beneficial for stress-related behaviors. The benefits of prebiotics arent limited to humanstheyre also given to calves, poultry, and even farmed fish to increase growth and reduce the rate of respiratory and gut disease.
Wooden Spoon’s prebiotic powder uses herbs like burdock and elecampane.
Prebiotics Benefits: What Do Prebiotics Do
Prebiotics nourish your gut microbiome, boost the growth of beneficial bacteria, and promote the production of health-promoting substances.
You probably already consume prebiotics without even realising it because they naturally occur in plant foods, and milk too. The most stable sources of prebiotics are specific types of dietary fibre because they are less sensitive to heat and age, compared to say, polyphenols, which are plant nutrients that can be affected by cooking.
However, just because many fibers are prebiotics doesnt mean that all fibre is prebiotic. Some insoluble fibers cant be broken down by gut microbes. Thats okay because they give mass and bulk to your stools, like psyllium husk and hemicellulose. They help you to have regular bowel movements, thus preventing constipation and abdominal discomfort.
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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.
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.
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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.
What Does It Mean To Me
If you have IBS and have brand loyalty to one brand, all this evidence may not mean anything at all. But if youre still struggling – as so many people with IBS are – you may be wondering which product, if any, is worth taking. Looking at the science, rather than the fluff, there are several options that seem to make a genuine difference. What you do with this information is up to you.
What About Postbiotic Skin Care
Aside from prebiotic and probiotic skin care, theres also something called postbiotic skin care.
“Postbiotics are waste from certain microorganisms, which by itself helps to improve the ecosystem of the gut or skin. Like actual live probiotics, postbiotics also help your digestion and nourish your skin,” Fedotova said.
Your microbiome naturally releases these postbiotics, which in turn help regulate your skin flora and reinforces the skin’s healthy barrier. Think of it as checks and balances. They are beneficial in that they help support the growth of “good bateria” and can even be anti-inflammatory, so they could potentially be of help with skin conditions such as acne and rosacea.
Postbiotics can be applied topically and potentially be incorporated into probiotic products, or be consumed orally.
What Foods Contain Probiotics
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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