Though the words probiotics and prebiotics sound rather similar, they aren’t the same. Probiotics are living microorganisms which are like those healthy organisms that live within the human body. Prebiotics are nonliving and non-digestible substances which act together with naturally existing microorganisms. The function of probiotics and the function of prebiotics will be discussed below.
Function of probiotics
The human body needs helpful bacteria to help with the functions of digestion and to aid the immune system. Foods or dietary supplements which have these beneficial and enzyme-producing bacteria are called probiotics. These good bacteria benefit the human body by keeping the body healthy.
Function of prebiotics
The body obtains prebiotics from the natural sugars founds in honey and fruit. Prebiotics are carbohydrates which become the food for the normal flora that live in the digestive system. Probiotics help the body to absorb calcium and promote the growth of good bacteria.
Natural sources of prebiotics and probiotics
Probiotics and prebiotics are found naturally in many types of foods. They are also added artificially in the manufacturing process. Foods that contain native probiotics include yogurt, buttermilk, yeast, and sauerkraut.
Prebiotics are found in foods such as bananas, grains, honey, asparagus, leeks, artichokes, onions, and garlic. When probiotics and prebiotics are live together in a food item, they live in a symbiotic relationship. The prebiotics are the food that the probiotics live on in the food item and within the human digestive system.
Other sources of prebiotics and probiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics are taken as supplements. You can get them in capsules and also liquids. Supplements of prebiotics and probiotics are usually taken about 30 minutes before eating a meal. Many people, at the first sign of getting colds and flu will reach for the prebiotics and probiotics in the form of supplements. The rationale for this is that most of our sicknesses begin in the gut and then spread out to the rest of the body. Many believe that taking supplements of probiotics and prebiotics that the intestinal tract will be brought back into balance with good bacteria. You might want to consult with your doctor before taking any supplements.
We are constantly exposed to unfriendly microorganisms and other substances that can inadvertently upset the stability of the microflora in the body. Antibiotics, unhealthy foods, sicknesses, and harmful microorganisms, unhealthy habits can damage your bacterial equilibrium. This upset of normal flora can also upset the immune system. There is a growing interest among individuals and the health care community in using prebiotics and probiotics to prevent illness and promote wellbeing.
Probiotics and prebiotics