All about Prebiotics and Probiotics
Ever wonder what's the difference between probiotics and prebiotics? Despite their widespread use, these terms are often misunderstood. Probiotics are living bacteria strains that support digestive health. In the long run, they improve immune function, ward off diseases, and boost metabolism.
Prebiotics are a type of fiber that feeds the good bacteria found in your digestive tract. They're commonly referred to as oligosaccharides. Both probiotics and prebiotics promote optimal health and help balance gut flora.
What Are Probiotics Good for?
Thousands of years ago, Hippocrates said that all disease begins in the gut. Modern research supports this claim. According to science, gut bacteria play a key role in health and disease.
Probiotics are considered "good bacteria," and occur naturally in fermented foods. They're also available in supplement form. Upon ingestion, they balance gut flora and improve digestive health. There are many different strains of probiotic bacteria and each strain has unique benefits. For example, L. Bulgaricus is extremely powerful pathogen inhibitor (ie inhibits E Coli, Salmonela, Lasteria etc). B. bifidum helps break down protein, carbs, and fat so that your body can function at its peak. B. longum maintains the integrity of the digestive tract. L. acidophilus enhances nutrient absorption.
Probiotics are really helpful during antibiotic treatment (you can find more information about why it is good to take probiotics during antibiotic treatment here) and during travelling abroad as they help with balancing the gut flora. As a result, they can boost your natural defenses, prevent diarrhea, and relieve bloating.
How Do Prebiotics Work?
Contrary to popular belief, prebiotics don't contain bacteria. They actually feed the friendly bacteria living in your gut. These fibers occur naturally in asparagus, bananas, onion, dandelion greens, and other vegetable foods. They can be also found in pill form. Yogurt, kefir, natto, kimchi, and other fermented foods contain both prebiotics and probiotics.
Studies indicate that prebiotics may prevent obesity and weight gain, balance your hormones, and lower stress response. When consumed regularly, they reduce bad cholesterol levels and heart disease risk. These fibers make their way through the GI tract without being broken down. They work synergistically with probiotics to improve digestive health.
Which one to choose?
There are many different brands of probiotics and prebiotics on the market. Some products even combine the both. Our recommendation is always to read the description and list of ingredients of each product prior purchase. Don’t be misled – high CFU count or attractive price does not necessary indicate a product of high quality.
Our team is keen on natural products and also – on science. Therefore, we would recommend Proviotic which delivers the purest prebiotics and probiotics. The probiotic bacteria are extracted from the snowdrop flower and the prebiotics come into the form of fibers from carrot juice. The product is also free of soy, gluten, lactose, and GMOs. Due to its unique composition, it destroys pathogens (you can find studies from Harvard Medical School here) and promotes the formation of healthy gut bacteria. Made from organic plant-based ingredients, it's ideal for vegans and vegetarians.