Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Prebiotics and probiotics - a summary

Prebiotics are short-chain indigestible carbohydrates that support the growth of beneficial microorganisms (eg. bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) in the gastrointestinal tract.

Prebiotics include substances such as inulin, fructooligosaccharides and galactooligosaccharides. Note that a prebiotic can be a fibre but a fibre need not be a prebiotic.

Prebiotics have been reported to play a role in:
  • Regulating bowel movement
  • Improving the absorption of minerals especially calcium
  • Prevention of colon cancer
Most common sources are wheat, onions, banana, garlic, and leeks. Prebiotics are also available commercially in some probiotic preparations and fibre supplements.

So grab some for healthy gut health! Of course it works best when coupled with probiotics (which are the good gut bacteria).

Read more at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/431698_3
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The beneficial microorganisms in our gut is known as probiotics. They may be useful in conditions such as reducing the duration of certain infectious diarrhea, antibiotic-induced diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and also boost our gut's immune system.

For childhood infectious diarrhea, the most convincing evidence for their benefits comes from studies of Lactobacillus GG, Lactobacilllus reuteri, and Saccharomyces boulardii. Combinations of several probiotic organisms may also help treat this type of diarrhea.

Probiotics also appear to help in the prevention of travelers’ diarrhea. The strongest evidence pointed to benefits from S. boulardii, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacteria bifidum.

Reference: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/probiotics-diarrhea?page=1

Some brands of probiotics available commercially in sg:
Optibac, Lacteol Forte (freeze-fried probiotics), Neobiotics, Lacto GG, Biogaia, Kordel Mega acidophillus, VSL, Pearls (Shaklee range)
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