I want to tell you about prebiotic digestive health supplements, but first I want to explain why this topic is so important.
The 100 trillion or so cells that comprise our bodies require basic nutrients and essential substances to divide, grow and perform their normal activities.
Mostly, these nutrients – water, protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals — are extracted from the food we eat.
Digestion of our food begins in the mouth and continues in the stomach. From there, the food goes to the intestines where 95% of the absorption of nutrients occurs.
In our intestines, there are trillions of bacteria, including about 500 different species.
Some of these bacteria are helpful to digestion, absorption and to overall health, but other bacteria are harmful. It is important to have a balance between good and bad bacteria in the intestines, or in the “gut flora” as it is sometimes called.
I take a digestive health supplement to balance my gut flora because I want the full benefit of the foods I eat and the supplements I take. I want nutrients from the food to be absorbed and carried by my blood stream to the parts of my body where they are needed.
I have chosen to take a PREbiotic digestive health supplement, and I am very pleased with the results.
If you are not familiar with PREbiotics, read on.
What Are Prebiotics?
As I have explained, our digestive systems are host to a wide range of bacteria.
Some of these bacteria are beneficial. They are critical to the healthy development of our immune system and they fight off germs (pathogens and microbes) that would do us harm.
For the sake of simplicity, let’s call the healthy bacteria the “good bacteria” and the bacteria they are fighting the “bad bacteria.”
Prebiotics are food ingredients that stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut and thereby increase resistance to bad bacteria and invading germs.
Prebiotics promote digestive health by feeding the good bacteria that resist the bad bacteria. And a balance between the good and bad bacteria is essential for optimal digestive health.
Benefits of Prebiotics
A report published in the August, 2010, edition of the British Journal of Nutrition listed these multiple health benefits of prebiotics:
- 1. Increased calcium absorption and enhanced bone density and strength.
2. Enhanced immune function in both the gut and body.
3. Stronger and healthier bacterial balance in the gut.
4. Improved bowel regularity, bulking and softness.
5. Leaky Gut and Toxins. Prebiotics strengthened the bowel wall and reduced permeability (leaky gut) with reduced toxin absorption.
6. Appetite suppressant due to increased blood hormones that reduce the sense of hunger.
7. Reduced risk of intestinal infection.
In addition to these 7 health benefits which have been established through research, these 3 additional health benefits are suggested by the evidence, but require further proof:
- 8. Reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
9. Reduced risk and/or improvement in digestive inflammation-Crohns Disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
10. Reduced risk of colon cancer.
Sources of Prebiotics
Prebiotics are natural substances that occur in foods, mainly fruits and vegetables and legumes (lentils and beans).
In addition to these natural sources, prebiotics are now being added to various processed foods.
For those who want to be sure that they get sufficient prebiotics to keep their good and bad bacteria in balance, supplements such as Xtend-Life Natural Products’ Kiwi-Klenz are available. You simply take 1 or 2 vegetarian capsules a day and your prebiotic needs are met. This is the prebiotic digestive health supplement that I take.
Compare Prebiotics and Probiotics
You may be more familiar with PRObiotics so let’s compare and contrast prebiotics and probiotics.
Probiotics and prebiotics come from different sources and are used differently in the digestive tract.
As I have explained, prebiotics feed good bacteria.
Probiotics are a form of good bacteria.
Prebiotics come from non-digestible carbohydrates such as are in fruits and vegetables, from any form of whole grain such as legumes and from supplements.
Probiotics come from fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and yogurt, and from supplements. From whichever source, the most common strains of probiotics are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillis bacteria.
In short, prebiotics are food for probiotics and other good bacteria.
The Best Place To Learn More About Prebiotic Digestive Health Supplements
You can learn much more about prebiotics and prebiotic digestive health supplements at Best-Prebiotic-Supplement.com. (Full disclosure: with the assistance of a team of researchers and writers, I created Best-Prebiotic-Supplement.com because I use a prebiotic supplement myself and I believe in the benefits of prebiotic digestive health supplements.)