Probiotics and prebiotics are two dietary components that have a special ability to influence the microbiome. Live bacteria known as probiotics have been shown to provide health benefits, such as improving or restoring the health of our gut microbiome. The microbes found in probiotic foods, drinks, and nutritional supplements resemble many of the ones that naturally inhabit human bodies.

In order for a food or beverage to be classified as “probiotic,” it has to have enough live bacteria that withstand the current food processing methods to be present in the finished product. The strains must also be scientifically validated in their ability to benefit human health.

Prebiotics are food compounds that offer numerous health benefits and supply a source of energy to microorganisms already present in the hosts’ microbiome. High-fiber foods provide most of the naturally occurring prebiotics. These strains pass through the gastrointestinal tract, undigested, reaching the large intestine where they will be fermented by the bacteria present in the gut.

Essentially, prebiotics are the primary nourishment for the bacteria in our stomach. When prebiotics are metabolized in the gut, they produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which help nourish gut lining cells, relieve gastrointestinal issues like constipation and diarrhea, and improve calcium metabolism. SCFA’s can also stimulate cellular communication between the central nervous system and immune system, promoting healthy immunological and inflammatory responses.

Because there are few natural dietary sources that provide prebiotics, most people opt for a supplement. Prebiota is a unique combination of prebiotic-active soluble dietary fiber that promotes colonic populations of beneficial bacteria growth and improves gastrointestinal and systemic immune function. There are easily absorbed soluble fibers in it that encourage healthy growth of bacteria populations in the colon, improve nutrient metabolism in the body, support gut health and function, and promote effective immunological responses.

Infectious Disease Physician

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