Prebiotics are the fuel for our beneficial bacteria. They are a type of fbre that our digestive system cannot break down. While prebiotics are found in vegetables, fruit and wholegrains; not all fibre is considered prebiotic.
To be classified as a prebiotic, it must pass through to the colon undigested, where it is fermented by our gut bacteria. The fermentation process increases the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria particularly associated with health and wellbeing.
Some of the benefits of prebiotics include:
Improved digestive health.
An increase in Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs).
Correction of both constipation and diarrhea.
Improved microbiome balance and diversity.
Blood sugar regulation.
Inhibiting the growth of pathogens.
Reduced inflammatory markers.
Reduction in total cholesterol.
Lower triglyceride levels
Increased HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol).
Improved satiety (feeling full for longer).
Improved absorption of calcium and magnesium.
Choosing the right prebiotic.
All the following are natural prebiotic soluble fibre, derived from plants that offer a variety of health benefits
Acacia Gum (Fibregum) is derived from the stems and branches of the Acacia tree. It produces SCFAs and has a positive effect on the growth of beneficial bacteria, plus FODMAP friendly.
Beta Glucans are found in oats, barley, wheat and rye. They are also found in seaweed, and resini, shitake and maitake mushrooms.
Psyllium comes from the outer coating (husk) of the plantago plant’s seed. It can help keep you regular. Its important to drink enough water when taking psyllium.
Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum (PHGG) Sunfiber is a gentle soluble fibre that has a normalizing effect on bowel function and promotes bowel regularity. It is also safe and effective in children and is FODMAP friendly plus heat stable.
Its good to mix it up and try different prebiotics to increase gut microbiome diversity.
Please get in touch if you’d like help purchasing a good probiotic supplement.
Bulsiewixz.W (MD, MSCI) (2020). 'Fibre Fueled.' Penguin Random House. New York.
Tian. J et al (2020) 'The Role of short-chain fatty acids in health and disease.' National Library of Medicine. Frontiers in Endocrinology.
Casuarina Holistic Health is located on the Tweed Coast between Kingscliff and Cabarita Beach, 10minutes form the Gold Coast. Online Naturopathic consults are available.