Prebiotics and Probiotics

What are Prebiotics and Probiotics and How Can They Help with Your Digestion Complaints?

Are you feeling bombarded by the vast range and type of pre and probiotics available on the shelves? Do and wonder how exactly they work and how they can enhance your digestive health?

Probiotics:

Our bodies are mostly composed of bacteria, with the majority of these bacteria found in our digestive system.  These are crucial in their beneficial role at influencing our overall health, along with our digestive health.  Good bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria may become imbalanced by an overgrowth of bad bacteria through lifestyle factors, such as stress and poor nutrition choices, as well as alcohol and antibiotic use.

A probiotic is a form of good bacteria which not only works to restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut, but it can also help to relieve digestive issues and protect your immune system.  The effects of a probiotic are determined by the strains of bacteria used in its manufacture, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus.

Prebiotics:

A prebiotic, which may be incorporated in certain probiotics, is a natural fibre that works to enhance both the balance and effect of probiotics by providing substrate for their growth.  Some great prebiotic food sources include Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, leeks, onions and asparagus, all of which can be easily added into the diet.  To achieve the optimal benefits when choosing your probiotic supplement, always aim to choose an option which incorporates a prebiotic, as these will work in synergy to enhance the overall action of the formula.

This information has been brought to you by Nutritional Therapist and College of Naturopathic Medicine graduate Caroline Punch, who specialises in digestive health.

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Health tip written by Caroline Punch, CNM Graduate in Nutrition

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