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    • cal29-July-2022 adminAmrita Sandhu

      Prebiotic And Probiotic

    • One feeds the bacteria, and the other is a type of bacteria itself! Then how is it good for the body? Read on to understand all about Prebiotics and Probiotics!

      Some bacteria and microorganisms can be good for you! Prebiotics are food items containing high fibre content that protects the gut microflora and are foods for the good bacteria in the digestive system. Probiotics are living microorganisms that conserve the good bacteria in our stomach.

      Both Prebiotics and probiotics support building the healthy tributary and sustaining the other microorganisms, improving gut health and digestion. They can also help boost organ functioning and strengthen the immune system. Prebiotics like FOS, GOS, XOS and Inulin; fructans are the most widely used fibres. Bifidobacterium, Lactobacilli, S. boulardii, and B. coagulants are the most commonly used probiotic strains.

      Table of Contents

      1. Probiotics

      2. Benefits Of Probiotics

      3. Prebiotics 

      4. Benefits Of Prebiotics

      5. The Final Say

      6. FAQs

      Probiotics

      Probiotic means ‘for life; it comes from the Greek word ‘bios’ or life. It is used for non-pathogenic organisms that provide benefits to the host. The latest definition put forward by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and WHO (World Health Organisation)  jointly state that “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit to the host” are probiotics. 

      Probiotics are live. They are added mainly to fermented milk products in combination or by themselves. New types of probiotics are turning up, but further research is required in the field. Good bacteria and certain yeast are amongst them. Saccharomyces boulardii is a type of yeast that acts as a probiotic in the body and helps fight off harmful bacteria and other organisms that might enter the body.

      Benefits Of Probiotics

      1. Boosts Digestive Health 

      Studies have found that with the consumption of probiotics, there are chances of reducing the diarrhoea associated with antibiotics by almost 60%; hence, probiotics are great for the digestive system.

      2. Better Mental Health

      Although there is a lack of research in this area, some studies say that if we include probiotics in our diet, it can reduce the risk of depression and help resolve mental health issues. A healthier body results in a happier mind.

      3. Improved Gastrointestinal Health

      Patients with stomach issues have shown remarkable improvement through active consumption of probiotics. Some researchers have found that probiotic bacteria can prevent the onset of IBS (Irritable bowel disease).

      Prebiotics

      Prebiotics are the non-digestible bacteria that affect the gut's overall health and work towards restoring the activity and growth of microorganisms in the colon. The most common prebiotics are bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. 

      A complete prebiotic should combat stomach acids, hydrolysing enzymes and bile salts in the intestine. They should not be absorbed in the upper gastrointestinal tract. And they should be readily fermentable by the beneficial intestinal microflora.

      Some prebiotics like pectin and inulin have health benefits like relieving inflammation, lowering the onset of diarrhoea and other intestinal disorder symptoms, and preventing colon cancer. Prebiotics enhance the bioavailability of minerals. They also promote the feeling of being full, which helps in weight. This helps reduce obesity and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.

      Benefits Of Prebiotics 

      1. Boosts Immunity 

      Prebiotics helps increase and maintain the colony of microorganisms that stimulate the immune system. This helps reduce the risk of gut diseases while strengthening the immune system.

      2. Prevents Colorectal Cancer

      It can improve the gut microflora by controlling and maintaining the activity of the bacteria in the stomach, thus preventing colorectal cancer in many cases.

      3. IBS Prevention

      Prebiotics help upgrade the mucosal barrier and balance the microflora, preventing inflammatory bowel diseases. It is also beneficial for infectious diarrhoea.

      4. Easing Constipation

      By increasing the growth of good bacteria, prebiotics like bifidobacterium help overcome problems like indigestion and constipation and aids the uneasiness associated with these.

      The Final Say

      The consumption of probiotic foods and prebiotic foods can be very advantageous to your health. While it may sound like one type of bacteria and the other feeds the bacteria, Prebiotics and probiotics have multiple benefits to the host's metabolism and overall health and well-being. They facilitate and maintain better gut health, digestion and immunity and help prevent certain diseases like constipation, diarrhoea, IBS and colon cancer. They help manage blood pressure levels and boost immunity! Supplements for these are readily available in the market in various forms, like drinks and pills.

      FAQs

      1. Are prebiotics better than probiotics?

      There is no competition between the two. Both work towards better gut health. Probiotics are microorganisms that help maintain gut health; prebiotics is fibres that act as food for probiotics and help aid bowel issues. So, both work simultaneously, and both are equally important.

      2. Which probiotic should one look at while buying?

      The most common probiotics you should look at while shopping is lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Other than these, many trials and research are going on around different strains of probiotics.

      3. Do we need to consult healthcare professionals before taking probiotics?

      Generally, you can take probiotics without consulting your doctor, but if you have issues with your gut, a consultation with a professional is always advisable before making any decisions. Seeking medical advice is always recommended!

      4. Why are all prebiotic fibres, however, all fibres not prebiotic?

      Prebiotics are food for the microorganisms existing in our gut. Fibres can be soluble and insoluble both; hence, the organisms do not digest some fibres in the gut; thus, all the fibres are not prebiotics.

      5. What are some food sources of prebiotics?

      Bananas, onions, garlic, barley, asparagus, oats, apples and flax seeds are some excellent food sources of prebiotics. They help with gut health and digestion and have nutritional value too.

       

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