Probiotics and prebiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to ‘good bacteria’ found in the human gut.
Prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates that are used as nourishment by probiotics allowing them to survive in the gut.
Probiotics and prebiotics are beneficial to digestive health because of the positive effect they have on the bacteria that lives in our digestive systems. Probiotics are live micro-organisms (mostly bacteria), and prebiotics are the non-digestible foods, mainly carbohydrates, which stimulate the growth of probiotics.
Our gut is home to numerous bacteria, otherwise known as gut flora. A healthy digestive system has a good balance of both good and bad bacteria.
If the balance is upset (often due to lifestyle and dietary factors), harmful bacteria can flourish increasing the risk of diarrhea, vaginal yeast infections and many other health problems.
- Taking antibiotics.
- Eating a poor diet high in refined carbohydrates.
- Insufficient dietary fibre.
- Exposure to environmental toxins.
Benefits of prebiotics
Prebiotics – indigestible carbohydrates – are found in a variety of plant foods as well as saliva and breast milk. They create balance in gut flora by promoting beneficial probiotic microorganisms to grow and multiply and preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.
Benefits of probiotics
Benefits attributed to these live micro-organisms include aiding digestion, fighting off harmful bacteria, making nutrients available for your to use and keeping the bowels functioning
Some of the many health claims made about their benefits of probiotics include:
- Preventing constipation and diarrhea.
- Improving digestion.
- Boosting immunity.
- Reducing the risk of certain cancers.
- Stablising blood sugar levels.
- Improving mineral absorption and balance.
- Eliminating harmful bacteria.
- Lowering triglyceride levels.