The Pro’s of Pre and Pro-Biotics
Probiotics (Good Bacteria) & Prebiotics (fuel for Good Bacteria)
You have most likely heard the term “probiotics” and “prebiotics” thrown around lately but do you really understand what they are and why they can be good for you? Here’s a little background. Your GI tract is full of bacteria. In fact, there are more bacteria cells in your body than body cells. There are strains of bacteria that are bad for you and some that are good for you. The bad bacteria can cause GI upset and possible disease. The good bacteria keep the bad ones in check and keep your digestive system healthy while guarding against GI upset and disease.
Benefits of probiotics include:
- Increasing the amount of beneficial intestinal bacteria
- Promoting the maintenance of a good intestinal environment
- Regulating and helping to maintain a good GI condition
- Helping to balance the intestinal flora
- Reducing harmful bacteria
All of these benefits have been shown to:
- Reduce symptoms from lactose intolerance
- Reduce symptoms of diarrhea
- Increase intestinal immunity
Probiotic supplements are also shown to be safe, when purchased from a reputable manufacturer.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are not bacteria but “food” for the beneficial intestinal bacteria. All prebiotics are a type of fiber but not all fiber is considered prebiotics. The prebiotic fiber must be able to stimulate the growth or activity of the intestinal bacteria associated with health and well-being. Prebiotic fiber is naturally found in certain foods, such as asparagus, leeks, garlic, onions and oats. You can also find probiotic fiber in dietary supplements.
Probiotics and prebiotics are a safe and effective way to repair and maintain GI health. By taking a pre- and probiotic supplement, you will give your intestines a one-two punch of health and vitality while reducing those annoying bowel symptoms.
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*The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.