It’s Global Prebiotics Week, which means Vytaliving is shining a spotlight on our digestive health products, particularly our prebiotics. The concept of prebiotic was introduced in 1995 and has grown in popularity since then. If better gut health is what you strive for then this article is for you.
The difference between prebiotics and probiotics
Prebiotics were discovered in 1995 by Glenn Gibson and Marcel Roberfroid. At the time they defined a prebiotic as a non-digestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, thus improving the health of the host. Examples of this include fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Trans-galacto-oligosaccharides (TOS) and Galactooligosaccharides (GOS).
Whereas a probiotic is defined as live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits when consumed by the body. These typically include strains of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. These can be naturally found in yoghurts and fermented foods or consumed via supplementation.
Research and Health Benefits of Prebiotics
The overriding knowledge that we have regarding prebiotics is their benefits to microbiome growth and diversity as well as digestive system wellbeing. This is supported by a number of studies using them to demonstrate digestive health. When prebiotics enter the system they degrade into short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) which are capable of travelling out of the gut and positively affecting different sites around the body. For example, all GOS have been shown to significantly increase beneficial gut bacteria Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. Not to mention that, the use of daily prebiotics has been associated with many other beneficial factors including improvements to the central nervous, immune and cardiovascular system. Demonstrating reductions in triglycerides, LDL and total cholesterol.
Prebiotics promote benefits by undergoing fermentation. It’s said that for every 100grams or carbohydrates fermented this produces 30 grams of healthy gut bacteria.
According to NHS reviews, over 3 million people in the UK have osteoporosis. For most, this is entirely avoidable via lifestyle methods, such as an improved diet and weight bearing exercise. Most importantly, drawing attention to calcium absorption in this case. It’s the role of the distal intestine to absorb calcium. This is brought about by acid fermentation of dietary fibres. As a result, clinical trials providing (8–40 g/d) have shown significant increases in calcium absorption.
In addition, Prebiotics have been seen to increase specific beneficial immune cells such as natural killer cells (NK), Effector T Cells, C reactive proteins, IL-4, IL-8 and IL-10. Due to this being a new area of study, scientists are yet to understand the mechanism but have noticed the cause and effect relationship between the two.
How to Increase Prebiotics in your diet
As was mentioned earlier in the article, prebiotics are fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Trans-galacto-oligosaccharides (TOS) and Galactooligosaccharides (GOS). Aside from sounding like gobbledygook, these structures can be found in foods such as onions, garlic, artichokes, apples, konjac root, flaxseed, legumes, oats, soybeans and asparagus.
Another common way to get a large dosage of prebiotics is via supplementation. The most common of which include inulin from artichokes and chicory root, and baobab. This can be taken as a daily powder or tablet alongside food. These are typically a more concentrated and purer root of taking prebiotics.
Here are some handy tips for increasing prebiotics in your day-to-day diet.
- Swap your side salad for veggies like asparagus.
- Use garlic and onions as a base for many of your meals
- Add a sprinkle of flaxseeds or chopped apple to your morning porridge
- Introduce an apple as a snack
- Switch your animal-based protein to legumes or soybean-based foods.
- Introduce an inulin or baobab supplement to your day.
Baobab Cleanse Tablets
The Baobab Tablets from Vytaliving are one of our best-selling supplements. The Baobab Cleanse Tablets contain a couple of herbal ingredients to support healthy digestive transit and regular bowel movements. Most importantly, the baobab cleanse tablets contain Baobab fruit powder. Baobab is a fruit popular in Africa. It's a rich natural source of Vitamin C and fibre. Baobab is featured in one study conducted by a prominent Professor looked at how a traditional tribal diet can affect the human microbiota and gut health. The tribal diet heavily featured the Baobab fruit. Before, during and after, stool samples were taken to gain results. After just 3 days on the tribal diet, there was a 20% increase in microbiota diversity in the gut. Following this, consuming a typical westernised diet, this microbiota had reverted. Suggesting that, a regular intake of Baobab alongside a healthy diet may help to maintain a diverse gut environment.
If you would like to find out more about the Baobab Cleanse Tablets from Vytaliving then click below to read more
If including pro- and prebiotics in your diet sounds right to you, then you might like to check out Vytaliving’s digestive health collection below: