Part 8 – Probiotics and prebiotics
Continuing in our 10-part mini-series looking at the human microbiome and gut health, today Dawn explains the difference between PRObiotics and PREbiotics, and the role of both in your health.
With diet tips and some guidance on supplements, read on to learn what you need to know…
Probiotics are beneficial live microorganisms that we can eat to improve our health. As far as we know, they don’t necessarily take up residence in our gut but can give us benefits as they pass through.
There are two ways to consume probiotics, either from fermented foods or from probiotic supplements. We don’t yet know if probiotics in food (albeit much cheaper) are better than probiotic supplements, or vice versa.
Current objective opinion is that for healthy people, probiotic supplements don’t significantly change the microbiome, but in ill health or disease they can help restore a healthier microbiome.
Summary analyses of hundreds of trials has showed substantial evidence for the benefit of probiotics for treating diarrhoea; constipation; acute upper respiratory tract infections; eczema and dermatitis in children, improving metabolism; lowering cholesterol; reducing infection rates; and lowering markers of inflammation, like C-reactive protein. Promising research is underway regarding benefit for…
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