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What’s the Difference? Prebiotics v Probiotics
Live bacteria colonize our gut and contribute to a balanced intestinal environment. If all is in check – they contribute to our well being. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are ingested. They are found in certain foods, such as yogurt, some cheeses, and other dairy products. Other fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, miso soup, and sourdough bread, also contain a good source of probiotics. Labels advertising “live active cultures” on these foods are a good indicator that they contain these bacteria. The concept of ingestion of live microorganisms has been attributed to the Nobel Prize laureate Elie Metchnikoff.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are carbohydrates that can nourish bacteria that are already in the gut. Prebiotics might not be so helpful if you need to quickly restore your gut bacteria. They could help your gut bacteria to heal, maintain diversity and replace itself. They could be effective at encouraging the growth of pre-established good bacteria, encouraging their growth. In situations where prebiotics are useful, they have certain advantages over probiotics. For one, probiotics can be killed by heat, time, or stomach acid, whereas prebiotics, which are not alive, work fine under these conditions. For another, while probiotics might not work the same for everyone, as everyone has different make-ups of gut bacteria, prebiotics are more or less universally helpful. Both probiotics and prebiotics are likely beneficial even if you aren’t concerned about losing gut bacteria to antibiotics. Prebiotics are quite beneficial outside of feeding gut bacteria. Studies have suggested that they could improve your metabolism and immunity and impact on the gut-brain axis to benefit mood and stress coping mechanisms. Good bacteria help your body absorb and utilize vitamins and minerals more effectively. Probiotics may help prevent vaginal yeast infections, relieve inflammatory bowel diseases, and potentially even improve allergies and autoimmune diseases. Probiotics have also increased serotonin levels in animals, meaning that they may even be beneficial for mental health. And recent research pointed even to their potential to impact positively on the effectiveness of cancer drugs.
Should you take prebiotic or probiotic supplements? Prebiotics have been becoming more of a buzzword in recent years, and now there are some supplements that contain both. However, as long as you are eating enough prebiotic-rich foods, there’s probably no need to take prebiotics as well.
Scientists at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have identified bacterial genes and compounds that extend the life of and also slow down the progression of tumors and the accumulation of amyloid-beta, a compound associated with Alzheimer’s disease, in the laboratory worm C. elegans. The study appears in the journal Cell.
Microbiota summarises the collection of microorganisms (including bacteria, fungi, viruses) in a defined environment, e.g. inner lining of our body (surface of the digestive tract), or outer lining (skin). Synonymously used for this collection of microorganisms is the term Microbiome: the full genetic landscape of bacteria and other organisms at home on your skin, gums, and teeth, in your genital tract, and especially in your gut.
The ratio of those bacteria which compose us to the rest of the cells which provide our make-up is according to recent research is closer to 1:1. Researchers from Israel and Canada defined that a ‘reference man’ (one who is 70 kilograms, 20–30 years old and 1.7 metres tall) contains on average about 30 trillion human cells and 39 trillion bacteria (Sender, Fuchs, Milo, Plos Biology, 2016).
Relationship between food and our gut bacteria. Ultimately, we are what we eat, and everything in us is part of this. Changes in our gut microbiome can happen incredibly fast—within three to four days of a big shift in what you eat. The bacteria present do respond quickly to the changes in our diet. The study found that bacteria native to our food are surprisingly resilient, and colonise the gut along with species already in our microbiome.
So – this is good and bad news – good as we can do something about this change – bad as we have to look after us as changes can occur quickly. But we can change the latter.view our blog
High Quality Probiotics: SYNBALANCE® Alive contains scientifically backed up probiotic strains which are associated with improvement of the gastro-intestinal microbiota. SynBalance® probiotics are highly selected proprietary strains. Proposed MECHANISM OF ACTION: Adhesion to enteric cells, with GI-tract colonization. Improvement of friendly gut species. Positive modulation of pro-I and anti-I cytokines. SynBalance® probiotics are also valuable producers of vitamin B12 and vitamin B9. Competitive inhibition of pathogens. Proposed INGREDIENT BENEFITS: SynBalance® selected strains are fully characterised with dossiers based on in vitro, in vivo & in situ (human) trials. The SynBalance® strains have been selected due to their capacity to modulate the inflammatory process constantly ongoing in our bodies. SYNBALANCE® Alive contains SYNBALANCE® a trademark of ROELMI HPC SRL
High Quality Botanicals: Botanicals are extracts from plants that are used to treat or prevent disease. Plants have been used in this way throughout history all cultures. The botanical ingredients used in AliveBiome products are classified as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). Apples have always been considered to have a positive impact on our health, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”. SelectSIEVE® Apple PCQ may reduce glucose absorption and fat accumulation. SelectSIEVE® Apple PCQ has been isolated by 100% apple juice and is composed of functional polyphenols. Phlorizin is a glucose inhibitor that may reduce glucose and calorie absorption. Additionally, chlorogenic acid helps control glucose release in the liver. Finally, quercetin is said to inhibit the PPAR gene involved in adipocyte formation, reducing fat accumulation. VIRTIVA® is an extract of G. biloba and phosphatidylserine that have been traditionally used to improve mental functions in young and older adults, following chronic administration. VIRTIVA® has demonstrated acute benefits by clinically improving accuracy of memory and speed of memory task performance over the 6 hours following a single administration in young adults. Virtiva® is a trademark of Indena S.p.A. SELECTAlive contains SELECTSIEVE® Apple PCQ” a trademark of ROELMI HPC SRL.
Water: Water is of major importance to all living things; in some organisms 90% of their body weight stems from water. We are born being nearly 80% and adults are made up of 60% water. Our brain, heart and lungs are nearly 80% water. We might take water for granted – but it is a vital nutrient to the life of every living cell, our bodies can not work without it. A 2% drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing (Are you having trouble reading this? Drink up!). Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue. The impact of being not well hydrated is higher pending the outside temperature, the level of exercise we undertake and our age. Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257694/
Vitamins: The origin of the word vitamin comes from Latin vita “life” and the English word amine as originally it was thought that vitamins contain amino acids. Vitamins are vital nutrients that our body needs in certain amounts and can not be synthesised in sufficient quantities, hence, they must be obtained through diet. Severe vitamin deficiencies are associated with illness such as vitamin C (Scurvy) or vitamin B6 deficiency (anaemia, peripheral neuropathy). Vitamin C and B6 contribute to normal energy-yielding metabolism, to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, the normal functioning of the nervous system and the normal function of the immune system. In addition vitamin B6 has been recognised to contribute to normal protein and glycogen metabolism and normal psychological function. Vitamin C contributes to maintain the normal function of the immune system during and after intense physical exercise.
Natural flavours. We only use natural flavours in our products. Unlike colours, natural extracts are multi-functional as they combine colour with flavour and natural antioxidants to create a well-rounded food enhancing product. Our drinks are infused with either a dark pink to red raspberry powder from dehydrated raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) on carrier or spray-dried concentrated juice of lemon (Citrus limon L.).
VIRTIVA® is a trademark of Indena S.p.A. Indena is the world’s leading company in the identification, development and production of plant-derived active principles for the Pharmaceutical, Health-Food and Personal Care industries. Backed by more than 90 years of botanical experience and more than 30 years in the health food market, Indena is one of the pioneer companies in the sector, among the first to offer the market high-end standardised extracts from edible plants with efficacy that is proven and reproducible over time.
Indena 30® is the name given to the quality system developed by the company and represents top quality research and analitycal method services in the field of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, hygienic and beauty care; it is based on more than 30 checks covering the entire production cycle, from incoming raw materials to the finished product. The system allows Indena to guarantee the safety, consistency and traceability of each batch. Product quality is monitored through all production stages, which comply with the rigorous Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), as well as observing the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP).
For those who want to know more about their gut health. We are proud to collaborate with uBiome – provider of the world’s first sequencing-based clinical microbiome screening test, providing detailed and accurate information to help you understand your gut health. Take part and become a citizen scientist!