Only by tackling all health and wellness trends will you have a new concept that puts you back in first place. You're probably familiar with probiotics – you're trying to eat the right gut-healthy foods or supplements that contain friendly gut bacteria – but a relatively new product with a similar name can confuse you all.
That & # 39; d be prebiotics. Wait, is that just a mistake from probiotics? Or are prebiotics a kind of wellness snake oil sold by companies that want to ride the tails of legitimate probiotics?
What are probiotics?
To really understand the role of probiotics in your health, let's start with a brief renewal of how you work in your digestive tract. Your large intestine (and to a lesser extent, your small intestine) contains countless bacteria – more than 100 trillion of them.
These trillions of intestinal bugs have a major impact on your wellbeing, as a diverse colony of "good" bacteria promotes digestion, while "bad" strains of bacteria can cause indigestion.
But not only the smooth bathing business makes a thriving colonial colony so desirable. The microbiome (a term for the total number of bacteria that populate your body) has recently become one of the hottest topics in science. In research, healthy gut microbes have been associated with a reduced risk of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer's, heart disease and even depression.
With everything at stake, it is not shocking that the use of probiotics becomes the norm. These positive bacterial strains naturally occur in fermented foods so you can consume them by eating yoghurt, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut or tempeh. They can also be encapsulated in pills that deliver a large dose in one shot – a.k.a. the over-the-counter products that most of us think about when we talk about probiotics.
What are prebiotics?
As researchers gain deeper insights into how probiotics work, they've discovered that we can do more than add good bacteria to our systems via foods or pills.
For probiotics to work most effectively, it is important to provide them with the best possible environment. (Do not you want the little guys in your colon to feel at home?) This is where prebiotics come into play.
Prebiotics are, simply put, food for probiotics. Your good gut bugs need something to nourish themselves while hanging in their lower regions, and something is "prebiotic" fiber. This fiber is hard enough to withstand the first stops of the digestive process (mouth, esophagus, stomach and small intestine) and to reach the end of the line (gut) where probiotics live. Prebiotic fibers are therefore the so-called "non-digestible" varieties: oligosaccharides, inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides.
But you do not have to remember that mouthful of nutritional vocabulary. Instead, remember that plant-based, fiber-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains and roots are good sources of prebiotics. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans and wholegrain bread are some of the best choices.
And what about postbiotics?
And now a word about it the last kind of biotics. Postbiotics, as the name implies, have to do with what happens after digestion. When bacteria "digest" the fibers in your GI tract, this activity produces metabolic compounds. Although postbiotics have historically been considered as waste products, there is an increasing interest in their potential as a drug therapy for inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and enterocolitis.
As research is still in its infancy, I do not see that postbiotics will soon be sold alongside prebiotics and probiotics as a dietary supplement. But in a world where almost everything can be distilled and given in one pill (even droppings!), Post-biotic pills may come on the market.
Which one should you take?
With our biotic terms, the question remains: Which of them should you take and how? If good bacteria are so useful, billions of over-the-counter probiotic supplements may be a natural choice. But as with most health information, it is not so dry and dry. Two recent studies have raised serious questions about whether probiotic pills actually do what they are supposed to do.
In one of the studies, many of the subjects' digestive tracts resisted colonization by probiotic supplements. On the other hand, it proved counterproductive to "hop" probiotics for antibiotics, as intestinal flora took longer to return to the "normal" state.
So, are probiotics a bust? What should we do if we want this important healthy gut? "For a generally healthy person, I would always recommend food first," says Ali Webster, RD, deputy director of nutritional communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation.
"Probiotic supplements have only shown benefits for very specific conditions, such as antibiotic-related diarrhea, C. difficile infection, and necrotizing enterocolitis in infants." There are no evidences for other circumstances. "Webster points out that probiotic-rich foods also Not just in a pill, such as protein and calcium in yoghurt and kefir, or vitamin C in sauerkraut.
As far as prebiotics are concerned, you do not necessarily need a pill Keeping enough of them in your system Prebiotics also have many important nutrients, which is why Webster recommends eating them too, but if your diet does not contain many fruits, vegetables, or whole grains or contains certain macronutrient restrictions (we look at them , Keto), it may be advisable to use a prebiotic erg
Finally, as with any dietary supplement, you should, if possible, talk to a registered nutritionist or another health care professional before you start a pre- or probiotic, especially if you have certain health problems (Webster).