Probiotics and Prebiotics: Better Together
The Organika Team
What are probiotics and why are they important?
That’s where probiotics come in: they’re food or supplements that contain the types of bacteria you want on your team! Some of the most common ones are called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, but there are many different species and strains of probiotics, with different effects on human health. Some of the more well-researched benefits of taking probiotics include:
- Improving mild gut disorder symptoms
- Relieving gas and bloating
- Promoting balance in the gut microbiome
- Aiding the growth of beneficial bacteria after using antibiotics
What are prebiotics and what do they do?
Yes, you read right: there are prebiotics too. And what a difference does one letter make! Prebiotics are types of fibre that our body isn't able to digest. Instead, they serve as fuel for probiotic bacteria. They boast health benefits such as balancing blood sugar levels and aiding in the absorption of bone-strengthening minerals. Chicory root, garlic, leafy greens, legumes and bananas are all great dietary sources of prebiotics.
Probiotics + prebiotics = ?
Have you done the mental math yet? If so, you may have noticed that it’s a great idea to take probiotics and prebiotics together! Supplements that combine both are known as synbiotics. Combined, probiotics and prebiotics encourage the growth and survival of the probiotic bacteria you’re taking in. This maximizes the health benefits you would receive from taking probiotics or prebiotics alone. Other than the gut health benefits provided by probiotics discussed earlier, taking a synbiotic supplement can help with:
- Immunity: a balanced gut microbiome is an important element in ensuring your immunity is in working order, helping condition the immune system to different types of bacteria. Synbiotics seem to also help reduce intestinal and overall inflammation, according to a few animal studies.
- Heart health: Synbiotics may have an effect on how our body metabolizes fats, with potential benefits in controlling cholesterol levels.