I went to a website and it said, ‘first it was probiotics – then it was prebiotics’. And I went to Google to search for prebiotics digestive supplements, and at the top of the search results it said, ‘did you mean probiotics digestive supplements’.
Well no, probiotics did not come before prebiotics – and yes, I was searching for prebiotics digestive supplements.
Probiotics are the current nutritional ‘buzz’, they are supposed to get rid of everyone’s digestive problems and related issues. There are numerous probiotics supplements and products being made, and they are being heavily advertised and promoted.
But do they really work and provide all of the wonderful benefits that are promised, or is a lot of this hype – I guess we could get part of that answer from Dannon, who just agreed to a $35 million dollar settlement for its Activia probiotic yogurt because of falsely advertising its benefits.
What Are Probiotics
Probiotics living microorganisms that when consumed in adequate amounts, can be beneficial in helping regulate your digestive system – they are referred to as good bacteria.
There are no natural probiotic foods, they are man-made through a fermentation process and then added to the food, or made into a probiotics supplement.
They definitely can be beneficial, but are they necessary and can they survive without prebiotics is another question. You already have good bacteria in your colon, so if you need more of these through probiotics because they have died off, then there is some problem that needs to be resolved or this new bacteria could be expected to die as well.
An exception to this would be in the case of taking an antibiotic for some bacterial infection, which killed the bad bacteria and the good bacteria. In that situation, taking a probiotics supplement would be a good idea.
Probiotics in foods have no real standards or requirements for which bacteria or how much of it is use – so if you do want to add more of these good bacteria to your system, then it would be best to get probiotics supplements and not have some of the concerns about exactly what is being included.
What Are Prebiotics And Prebiotic Supplements
And then I went to another website and it said, ‘the probiotic myth – prebiotics are proven to offer what probiotics presume to’.
Unlike probiotics, the prebiotics are natural food sources. These are found in the fibers of different plants, including chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, different fruits like kiwi and bananas, and different unrefined grains like wheat, oats, and barley.
The prebiotics are not live bacteria – instead they are the food and nourishment for the good bacteria, while doing nothing for the bad bacteria.
So, you can see why you wouldn’t want to only take probiotics without a prebiotics supplement – without the necessary food that is going to allow that good bacteria to grow and flourish, so they will be able to provide their intended digestive health benefits.
And your prebiotics supplement is so much more, because the food source that is used to make them have different beneficial compounds in them besides the prebiotics; I am especially referring to the phenolics that are found in the parts of the foods that you aren’t going to eat like the skin.
Phenolics actually work with the prebiotics – while the prebiotics are feeding the good bacteria to allow them to grow and flourish, the phenolics are keeping the bad bacteria from being able to reproduce and take over the good bacteria.
And again, you see just how beneficial your prebiotics supplement is to your digestive health, and why you don’t want to take a probiotics supplement alone.