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How do Prebiotics & Probiotics Impact and Influence Gut Health
The gastrointestinal tract of humans carries over 1,000 different types of bacteria. Some beneficial bacteria help promote health by revitalising our immune system. It helps in nutrient absorption and improves our digestive system health, and it also inhibits the growth of pathogens. And few other bacteria are harmful, they are pathogenic bacteria that could cause diarrhoea, and constipation, are responsible for intestinal infections, and release carcinogens and toxins.
Table of Contents
Effect of Food on the Gut
Effect of Dietary patterns in the gut, especially the intake of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, rules the gut microbiota composition.
1. Dietary Fibres
Important energy sources for gut microbiota. Dietary administration of fibre alters the niche environment in the gut by providing substrates for microbial growth, allowing microbial species that can utilise these substrates to increase their populations.
2. Fat Diet
Intake of a high-fat diet decreases the diversity of the gut microbiome. High-fat diets caused a rapid decline in gut microbiome diversity.
3. Protein-Rich Diet
The effects of proteins on gut microorganism composition vary according to the types of proteins. The consumption of animal-based proteins, particularly red meat, might increase the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases.
4. Fermented Food
Fermented foods or beverages are made through enzymatic action in controlled microbial growth. There are several benefits of fermented foods regarding health and disease prevention.
What are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics induce the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut; they don’t contain bacteria. All prebiotics are primarily found in dietary supplements. The fibre inulin, found in chicory root bananas, and asparagus, are prebiotics used as food for gut bacteria. Other sources of prebiotics are garlic, onions, artichokes, and legumes.
Prebiotics don’t provide many health benefits by themselves. If prebiotics is added to infant formula milk, it makes the milk as healthy as breast milk. When we use both prebiotics and probiotics, it is more effective.
If a food source contains both prebiotics and probiotics, it is known as a synbiotic. Synbiotic foods include cheese, kefir, and certain types of yoghurts. Prebiotics are commercially available as a food or as a capsule supplement. They come in both liquid and powdered forms.
What are Probiotics?
When we talk about probiotic bacteria, they are typically referred to as two bacteria. Strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium both are associated with probiotic formulas. Fermented food products contain natural probiotics. Food products like yoghurt and kimchi are excellent sources of probiotics. Pickles are also a source of natural probiotics. Probiotics are available in both liquid and powder form, and you can purchase them as a food-grade health supplement. Probiotics need refrigerator storing to keep the bacteria alive to reproduce.
Benefits of Probiotics
Improves Digestive Health
Numerous studies have found that probiotics help in the improvement of gut health. Some people taking probiotics as antibiotics reduce the risk of post-antibiotic diarrhoea. In preterm infants, probiotics could help prevent life-threatening diseases like necrotising enterocolitis. Probiotics help treat many gastrointestinal disorders, such as improving colon regularity. Many strains of Lactobacillus provide potential benefits, including in children managing diarrheal conditions. One of the ways Intake of probiotics can prevent obesity, and type-2 diabetes is by intake of probiotics.
Improves Gastrointestinal Health
The results of many studies suggested that people having gastrointestinal disorders affecting the stomach and intestines have experienced drastic improvements with probiotics. People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or bloating and gassy experiences have improved their symptoms after the intake of probiotics in their diet. Many research has proved the strain of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium can be beneficial in these abdominal discomfort conditions. These probiotics are effective in individuals with only these particular symptoms, but they might not be helpful for the improvement of someone with no digestive problems or different symptoms.
Side Effects of Probiotics
- Few studies showed people with Crohn’s disease had a high risk of adverse events when they took a particular probiotic.
- If you have a weak immune system, you will be vulnerable to probiotics.
- Probiotics may not be safe for people with underlying severe medical illnesses.
If you are concerned about the risk of side effects of probiotics, you should speak to your doctor before increasing your intake of probiotics.
Benefits of Prebiotics
- Prebiotics are a component of some foods that the body cannot digest. They serve as food for bacteria and other beneficial organisms in the gut.
- Fermentation helps the probiotic growth of gut bacteria. It improves the gut environment by enhancing proper digestion and metabolism.
- Prebiotics may play a role in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. A high prebiotic intake helps reduce IBS symptoms.
- Many foods contain natural prebiotics, so taking a prebiotic supplement is not necessary.
Side Effects of Prebiotics
It is safe to consume most of the prebiotics. There is not much of a side effect. In a few cases, people experience bloating and abdominal uneasiness, and you may have gas until prebiotics adjusts in your digestive system.
Suppose you are suffering from a gastrointestinal disorder or people with IBS. In that case, you should get advice from your healthcare provider or get a personal recommendation about whether you should include prebiotics in your diet.
Because of the variations in the strains, all the probiotics are different because of the variations in bacteria strains. Everyone does not need to take antibiotics, and not all the probiotics will work the same way for you. If you are lactose intolerant, make sure you take lactose-free probiotics. For people on an antibiotic medication, the combination of both probiotics and prebiotics is beneficial. It helps combat the healthy bacteria killed off while you take antibiotics.
This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.