Knowing the difference and the importance of Probiotic & Prebiotic
The Difference Between Probiotics and Prebiotics
Probiotics and prebiotics are both pretty hot health topics these days, both carrying different, yet essential roles for the body. Probiotics and prebiotics work hand in hand, the former improves the microflora or good bacteria in your body while the latter serves as food for the microflora. Think of a garden — probiotics are the flowers planted inside of a garden while prebiotic is the fertiliser, water and soil that a garden needs to thrive.
- PREBIOTIC is a non-digestible part of foods or known as prebiotic fibre, is found in food like bananas, onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, the skin of apples, chicory root, beans and many others. These fibres are undigested and travels through the small intestine, and is fermented when it reaches the large colon. This fermentation process acts like a fertiliser if you will, to feed beneficial bacteria colonies (including probiotic bacteria) and helps boost the number of desirable bacteria in our digestive systems or gut. The healthier the gut, the healthier the body.
- PROBIOTICS are live beneficial bacteria formed naturally through the process of fermentation like yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso soup, kimchi, and others. Probiotics are also available in the form of a pill and as an added ingredient in products like yogurt and health drinks.
The gut bacteria, collectively referred to as the gut flora or gut microbiota, perform many important functions in the body. Ingesting a balance of both pro- and prebiotic ensures that you have the right amount of bacterias in your gut, which would improve your overall health.
Why Are the Gut Bacteria Beneficial?
While the word bacteria tends to hold some negativity, our digestive tracts thrive on good bacterias, which in turn, protects you from harmful bacteria and fungi. Besides that, these bacterias also send signals to your immune system and help regulate inflammation. Some of the gut bacteria is derived from the vitamin K and short-chain fatty acids. What are short-chain fatty acids you ask? Well, they are the main nutrient source of the cells lining the colon, and their role promotes a strong gut barrier that helps keep out harmful substances, viruses and bacteria. This also reduces inflammation and may reduce the risk of cancer.
How Does Food Affect the Gut Microbiota?
Your diet and the food you consume play a very important role in keeping the balance of good and bad microbiomes. A high-sugar and high-fat diet for instance tips the balance in the favour of the bad bacteria, and this allows harmful species to overgrow. Once you begin to feed these bad bacterias, they thrive and colonise easily, without as many helpful bacteria to prevent them from doing so.
Like a slippery slope, the harmful bacteria will lead to the absorption of more calories than people with a healthy balance of gut bacteria, who tend to be leaner. Additionally, food treated with pesticides like Roundup also effects the gut bacteria negatively. However, more human research is needed on this. Research has shown that taking antibiotics can cause permanent changes in certain types of bacteria, especially when consumed during childhood and adolescence. Because the use of antibiotics is widespread, to treat a cold, infection and more, researchers are now studying how this impact health in the long run.
Benefits of PROBIOTICS
The benefits of probiotics have been preached time and again for its ability to balance the friendly bacterias in the digestive tract. Healthcare professionals recommend taking it in the form of supplement to patients on antibiotics in an attempt to repopulate the colon with desirable bacteria after the course of antibiotics has wiped out both beneficial and undesirable bacteria.
Every gut flora is different, so it is necessary to determine which probiotic works best for your body. Most importantly, when choosing the probiotic, ensure it’s alive because probiotic bacteria are fragile and can easily be killed by stomach acid, time, and heat.
Benefits of PREBIOTICS
Researchers have shown that prebiotics feed the helpful bacteria prevalent in the gut. Compared to probiotic, prebiotic fibre is not as fragile as it’s not exposed heat, stomach acid, or time and nor does the fermentation process differ depending on the individual. Scientific literature indicates that with the increase of prebiotic fibre, it builds a good support for your immunity, digestive health, bone density, regularity, weight management, and brain health.
Orifera Probio is a both a Probiotic and Prebiotic supplement that consist of 10 Billion colony forming unit (cfu) per serving and it is a multi-blend strain consisting of five Probiotics and four Prebiotics. It’s suitable for the whole family and children too.