Introduction to Probiotic Supplements
The use of digestive prebiotic and probiotic supplements has become essential around the world. 70 million people throughout the United States experience these types of nutritional ailments (1) and the connection between a nourishing diet and a happy and healthy digestive system is clear- probiotic supplements are the answer.
Probiotic Supplements vs Prebiotic Supplements
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria that are critical to managing gastrointestinal conditions and an overall healthy immune system (2). Probiotics generally live in the colon however they are found in numerous other places around the body such as the mouth, esophagus and within the joints (3). According to an Inkwood Research forecast, the market for dietary probiotic supplements is projected to become the second-largest section of the probiotic market, following the food and beverage section (4). Cleanse supplements can also help improve the digestive system by clearing out the toxins and undigested waste within the colon, increase energy levels, aid with weight loss goals and grow the absorption of vitamins and nutrients. To obtain the full advantages the live bacteria has to offer, some of the top probiotic supplements recommended would include specific strains of bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Verifying which strains of bacteria being used is important if the best probiotic supplement products are desired for maximum results.
What are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are dietary fibers that promote the growth of good bacteria in the intestines and act as a stimulant to the desired microorganisms (5). The suggested consumption amount the body should intake daily of a prebiotic is approximately 25 grams to help fertilize the healthy probiotics, while most serving sizes only contain 1 to 2 grams of prebiotic fiber per UCSF Medical Center (6). Examples of prebiotics are bananas, asparagus, and whole-wheat foods. When prebiotic supplements are consumed, they pass through the intestines undigested and aid the probiotics on their journey through the gastric system so that they are not destroyed by the bodies’ stomach acid and temperature (7). Without prebiotics, the probiotics are more likely to not survive the acidic conditions of the intestines.
Probiotic Food Products
Probiotics can be found in dairy, yogurts, matured cheeses, and other supplements that aid in the recovery of a distressed intestinal system. Additional foods that can be found in any local grocery store that contains natural probiotics are sauerkraut, pickles, miso soup, and tempeh (a substitution for tofu). These products contain live cultures such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which are two of the more popular strains of probiotics on the market (8) and are rich with good bacteria to work with prebiotics in order to balance out the gut’s internal makeup. However, also adding a probiotic supplement to your daily diet such as a Multivitamin Probiotic will help the digestive tract function and improve the immune system.