There are billions of microbes living in the human body, with most of them living in the large intestine. They promote digestion, train immunity, and produce vitamins, neurotransmitters, and other beneficial compounds.
Studies indicate that the total weight of all the microbes living in the human body may be a few hundred grams. However, most of these microbes are highly beneficial for human health. It means that they are living in symbiosis.
All the beneficial bacteria living in the human body are together called microbiota. The combined genetic information held by microbiota is massive, and it is called a microbiome.
Now science knows that these microbes living in the human body are essential for wellbeing. They help prevent diseases and can influence almost every function of the human body. Thus, there is a need to take care of microbiota. One of the ways to boost microbiota is by consuming foods or supplements rich in probiotics and prebiotics.
What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics can be regarded as foods that are good for gut microbiota. These are mostly fibers that humans cannot digest, but beneficial microbes or bacteria living in the gut can consume them.
It appears that fruits, vegetables, and legumes are incredibly high in prebiotics. For example, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) present in bananas, garlic, onion, and other plants are quite an excellent prebiotic.
Studies show that prebiotic intake can boost health and prevent diseases.
- Prebiotics can reduce the duration of various infections and can even help in antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
- They reduce inflammation, prevent chronic disorders, and are especially good for lowering the risk of inflammatory bowel disease.
- Help protect from colon cancer.
- Increase bioavailability of various minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, and possibly iron. Thus, they are suitable for general wellbeing and bone health.
- Prebiotics also promote weight loss and help prevent obesity.
Prebiotics may have some direct health effects. However, they mainly work by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
What are probiotics?
Another way of boosting the population of beneficial gut bacteria is consuming live bacteria. One can consume foods or supplements that contain these live bacteria.
There are many health supplements containing probiotics. They mostly contain bacteria belonging to Lactobacillus species or Bifidobacterium species. However, some probiotic supplements may contain other bacteria like streptococcus thermophilus, S. boulardii, and many more. The science is still exploring the health benefits of different bacterial species.
Supplements are generally good for boosting microbiota as they contain bacteria that are resistant to acid and bile. In addition, they can fight pathogenic bacteria and have good mucosal adhesion properties.
Probiotics help in many ways, and science is still studying their benefits and mechanism of action. They help by producing bacteriocin, and short-chain fatty acids, normalizing gut pH, stimulating the immune system, producing biologically active compounds, and normalizing mucosal barrier function.
- Boost immune response, and may even alter immune responses and thus help in inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
- Reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
- Help normalize cholesterol levels.
- Prevent certain cancers.
- Boost production of certain neuropeptides and thus help improve mood and mental health.
- Prevent lactose intolerance and other allergies.
- Help prevent the leaky gut syndrome.
- It may help improve metabolic health and thus reduce the risk of various metabolic disorders.
- Probiotics are also good for female health and may help prevent vaginal infections.
Although it is evident that probiotics are essential for optimal health, but unlike vitamins or nutrients, there are no intake recommendations for probiotics. Experts recommend people consume foods rich in probiotics like yogurt and various fermented foods. Additionally, one may intermittently consume probiotic supplements.
The seven most commonly used bacterial probiotic strains are Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia, and Bacillus.
Most commercially available supplements may contain these strains in various numbers. In addition, there are many proprietary blends for different health conditions. Thus, some probiotic supplements may be better for specific health conditions.
One can use prebiotics and probiotics to boost the population of beneficial gut bacteria. In addition, one can use prebiotics and probiotics in combination for maximum health benefits.
Our company produces proprietary prebiotic and probiotic blends that can help in many health conditions. Such blends are especially good for the leaky gut syndrome, mental health issues, mood disorders, autoimmune disorders, allergies, atopic dermatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, lowering cholesterol, boosting metabolic health, and more.
Here it is vital to understand that normalizing gut bacteria requires time. There are many reasons for changes in gut bacteria, like environmental toxins and the use of antibiotics. These changes in gut bacteria increase the risk of many health conditions.
Using our proprietary blend can help prevent and even treat various health conditions, from mental health issues to metabolic disorders, and boost gut health.