What is Pre and Pro-Biotics and Do We Really Need Them?

To understand the role of these microorganisms, it must be clear on what their individual functions are and where they work. 

Prebiotic are specialized plant fibres that beneficially “feed” the good bacteria already in the large bowel or colon. The body itself does not digest these plant fibres; instead, the fibres act as a “fertilizer” to promote the growth of many of the good bacteria in the gut. Inulin and oligofructose serve as prebiotics in the gut and provide support to the full spectrum of the gut wall. Prebiotics can be found in various plant sources high in fibre: many fruits and vegetables; the skin of apples; bananas, onions, garlic, and beans.

Probiotics are friendly bacteria that are needed for good overall health and improve the balance in the digestive system. The word “pro” means for and “bios” life. Probiotics are very sensitive to heat and stomach acids. The average adult carries approximately 3-4kgs of gut bacteria; this enormous amount of bacteria will negatively influence your health if it is not healthy. Probiotics are live bacteria found in yogurt, dairy products and supplements. There are thousands of different species working in different places for specific outcomes in the gut.

What can cause an imbalance?

  • Excess alcohol intake
  • Consuming too much dietary fat
  • Eating a low fibre diet
  • Excess stress
  • Eating too many processed foods
  • Gut infections
  • Antibiotic use

Benefits of creating a balance:

  • Increase vitamin and mineral absorption
  • Enhanced and strengthened immune system
  • Reduced risk of cancers due to reduced carcinogens in the colon
  • Better control of sugar levels in blood
  • Reduced blood triglyceride levels
  • Better-controlled weight and appetite due to healthy gut hormonal changes
  • Increased “good” bacteria in the gut – most important of all
  • Related to a decrease in the “bad,” unwanted bacteria in the gut
  • Reduced abnormal bacterial leakage through the gut wall, otherwise known as “leaky gut” syndrome
  • Improved bowel regularity
  • Reduced intestinal infections
  • Relief for inflammatory bowel disease

Probiotics needs prebiotics and all biotic needs you to maintain a well-balanced, healthy diet for a strong gut. FutureLife product range are high in fibre and have a good source of prebiotics. 

Post by @futurelifeZA

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