The dynamic duo works to keep you healthy!
The health benefits of probiotics—the beneficial bacteria found in live-culture yogurt, fermented foods, and dietary supplements—are well known. From resolving diarrhea to bolstering immunity, probiotics contribute to health in many ways.
What are Prebiotics?
Not so well-known? Compounds called prebiotics. Prebiotics, dietary fibers that humans can’t digest, serve as food for probiotics. Consuming more prebiotics will contribute to flourishing colonies of good bacteria in your system.
Most prebiotics fall into the category of carbohydrates, with the main prebiotics being inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), and galacto- oligosaccharides (GOS). These prebiotics, when consumed in functional foods or taken in dietary supplement form, contribute to the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines.
Boost Your Immunity with Probiotics
The common cold and similar respiratory viruses back off when faced with the power of probiotics. Immune function tends to dwindle as people age, yet prebiotic supplements (specifically GOS) bolster immunity in older people.
Balance Your Gut Flora for Appetite Regulation
Scientists are learning that dysbiosis—an imbalance of gut flora caused by too few healthy bacteria or an overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast—may negatively affect weight. Probiotics and prebiotics both help the gut return to a more balanced state. Appetite, caloric intake, and body mass index all tend to go down when people take prebiotics.
Focus & Improve Your Mood with Probiotics
A typical Western diet high in saturated fats and sugars can negatively affect the mind. This diet-cognition link is thought to relate (at least in part) to out-of-balance gut bacteria. It may seem surprising that gut health influences mental clarity, but the connection has been well established in research. In fact, when probiotics and prebiotics get added into the diet as supplements, thinking processes can improve. Mood receives an uptick from prebiotics, which are associated with less anxiety, depression, and stress. When healthy volunteers supplement with prebiotics for three weeks, their anxiety—as measured by cortisol levels—goes down.
“Effects of inulin-type fructans on appetite, energy intake, and body weight in children and adults...,” A. Liber and H. Szajewska, Ann Nutr Metab, 7/13
“Eight-day consumption of inulin added to a yogurt breakfast lowers postprandial appetite ratings... ” S. Heap et al., Br J Nutr, 1/16
“Gut to brain dysbiosis: Mechanisms linking Western diet consumption, the microbiome, and cognitive impairment” E.E. Noble et al., Front Behav Neurosci, 1/17
“Gut microbiota: A contributing factor to obesity” S.M. Harakeh et al.. Front Cell Infect Microbiol, 8/16
“Prebiotic intake reduces the waking cortisol response and alters emotional bias in healthy volunteers” K. Schmidt et al., Psychopharmacology, 5/15
“Prebiotic supplementation improves appetite control in children with overweight and obesity...” M.P. Hume et al., Am J Clin Nutr, 2/17
“Probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections” by Q. Hao et al., Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2/3/15