Probiotics and prebiotics work together to perform important roles in our bodies and are a big part of good nutrition.
Probiotics are live bacteria that can be ingested through various foods or food supplements, while prebiotics is substances that you can find in most kinds of carbs that can’t be digested by humans. Prebiotics are most commonly found in fibre and are used as food to feed beneficial bacteria in the gut. These bacteria, known as gut microbiota or gut flora, are essential to having good health and nutrition.
Our bodies need an equal balance of probiotics and prebiotics for optimal nutrition.
How do they work?
Helpful gut bacteria, like probiotics, can protect your digestive tract from dangerous bacteria and fungi as well as send your immune system signals which helps contain and inhibit inflammation.
In addition to this, short-chain fatty acids and vitamin K can be formed from certain gut bacteria. The cells that line the colon are mostly fueled by short-chain fatty acids and keep harmful substances, like negative bacteria and viruses, out.
For these probiotics to do their job properly they need fuel, which is where prebiotics come in. Prebiotics work as fuel for probiotics and helpful bacteria in the gut, allowing it to function properly.
What conditions are they good for?
Probiotics are known to boost digestive health, and can even reduce the risk of certain types of diarrhoea and necrotizing enterocolitis, which is a dangerous and occasionally life-threatening disease.
Probiotics are a helpful ally of those suffering from gastrointestinal conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Some studies have even shown that probiotics may have a positive influence on mental health, reducing the symptoms of depression and improving mood.
They also have a hand in fighting colds, pneumonia, gestational diabetes, yeast infections, and eczema.