Prebiotics Vs Probiotics: Know What They Are, Their Differences, And Benefits


New Delhi: Prebiotics and probiotics have gained popularity in recent times due to their potential health benefits. The human gut is home to trillions of microorganisms that play a crucial role in regulating digestion and immune function. Studies suggest that prebiotics and probiotics can improve gut health by enhancing the balance of gut microbiota. 

What Are Prebiotics And Probiotics:

Our entire biology is directly impacted by the population of microbes that dwell in our gut, generally referred to as the gut microbiome. It affects the function of our immune system, digestion and nutrition absorption, weight, metabolism, brain chemistry, and more.

An unbalanced ratio of good to bad gut flora can be caused by a variety of factors, including diet, stress, medicine, infections, GMO foods, excessive cleaning, immunisations, toxins, and more. Studies on the gut microbiota and how imbalances may be related to chronic illnesses like obesity, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, and anxiety have increased dramatically in recent years. 

Both probiotics and prebiotics help the body create and maintain a healthy colony of bacteria and other microbes, which nourishes the gut and facilitates digestion. By giving food to microorganisms and providing a conducive environment for their growth, these food ingredients support the growth of beneficial bacteria.

But, what exactly are these prebiotics and probiotics?

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres that selectively promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, while probiotics are live microorganisms that can provide a health benefit when consumed in adequate amounts.

Given the important role the microbiome plays in our health, we must take responsibility for nurturing and protecting it as best we can. In this regard, Monique Jhingon, who is a functional nutrition and lifestyle consultant shared that there are two main ways you can help restore and maintain balance in your gut microbiome: seeding and feeding. 

“Seeding means introducing beneficial bacteria and their beneficial metabolites into your gut by way of eating probiotic-rich foods, while feeding means making sure that you eat a diet rich in foods that feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. These foods are also known as prebiotics.

Difference between prebiotics and probiotics:

Prebiotics and probiotics are two significant sources that can not only maintain but also elevate digestive health. Speaking of how they differ from each other, Kanikka Malhotra, who is a consultant nutritionist, dietician and diabetes educator shared, “Probiotics are live bacteria that one ingests to help the immune system. Because these are temporary bacteria, they must be consumed on a daily basis.”

“On the other hand, prebiotics are nutrients found in food that take the form of fibrous carbohydrates. Fibre that is not digested, remains in the gut, thus, prebiotic-rich foods feed the natural gut bacteria, which improves the gut’s response to food”, she further went on to say.

Additionally, she also shared some food items that are a good source of prebiotics and probiotics saying, “Yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, miso soup, kombucha, picked cucumbers, traditional buttermilk, gouda cheese etc. are high in probiotics, while dandelion greens, garlic, onion, leeks, asparagus, bananas, barley, oats, apple, flaxseeds, wheat bran etc. are high in prebiotics.”

“A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fermented foods allows people to get enough prebiotics and probiotics without taking supplements.”, she further added.

Benefits and Side Effects Of Prebiotics And Probiotics:

The beneficial bacteria of the digestive tract work to keep us safe from dangerous bacteria and fungi. A 2013 study on gut bacteria found that, among other advantages, a diversity of this healthy form of bacteria can support immune system operations, lessen depressive symptoms, and help address obesity. 

Coming to prebiotics and probiotics, they are said to improve gut microbiota. “The beneficial effects of these supplements have been demonstrated in the prevention and management of several diseases such as colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and anxiety. However, it is important to note that the efficacy and safety of prebiotics and probiotics may vary depending on the specific strains and doses used.”, said Ketan Mavinkurve who is the founder and CEO of Alpha Coach

Therefore, more investigation is required to establish the best dosages and strains for various medical diseases. It is also important to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating these supplements into your diet, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.

Check out below Health Tools-
Calculate Your Body Mass Index ( BMI )

Calculate The Age Through Age Calculator


Source link

Leave a Comment