Gut Check: The Health Benefits of Prebiotics
What are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are classified as the non-digestible food ingredients that probiotics can feed off. They are used in the gut to increase populations of healthy bacteria, aid digestion and enhance the production of valuable vitamins.
Good bacteria play a significant role in regulating your immune system, inhibiting the growth of pathogens (disease causing bacteria) and digesting food.
Benefits of Prebiotics
Prebiotics are one of the most exciting technologies in gut health! Studies demonstrate that prebiotic supplements can work naturally in the gut, selectively nourishing beneficial ‘good bacteria’, which ferments dietary fiber. Beneficial bacteria, such as Fructooligosaccharide, aid in digestion and help the body to produce the important and useful nutrients that it needs, including short chain fatty acids.
While most kinds of bacteria in the gut have a role to play in the body, many are less useful to us, or benign. Selective fermentation means that prebiotics can promote growth of these beneficial bacteria, without also feeding other types.
Benefits associated with a well-supported gut microbiome include:
- Boosting overall digestive health
- Improving the barrier function of the gut
- Supporting the immune system
- Reducing the inflammation and symptoms associated with a sensitive stomach
- Enhancing the body’s mineral and nutrient uptake
- Contributing positively to your mental health, including stress, anxiety and sleep health
- Increasing absorption of calcium to improve bone density
- Lowering some potential risk factors for cardiovascular disease