Why taking prebiotic is more important than taking probiotics; What is fiber, and why is it important for health?

June 18, 2023 2 min read

Why taking prebiotic is more important than taking probiotics; What is fiber, and why is it important for health?

Taking prebiotics is more important than taking probiotics because prebiotics provide the nourishment that the good bacteria in our gut need to thrive and multiply, while probiotics are just the actual live bacteria. Here are some key points on prebiotics and fiber:

What are prebiotics?

  • Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber that cannot be digested by the human body, but can be fermented by beneficial gut bacteria.
  • They are a food source for the beneficial bacteria in the gut and can promote their growth and activity.
  • Prebiotics are found in many plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

What is fiber?

  • Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the human body cannot digest.
  • It passes through the digestive system relatively intact and provides a range of health benefits.
  • There are two main types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and can be fermented by gut bacteria, while insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and provides bulk to stool.

Why is fiber important for health?

  • Fiber has numerous health benefits, including promoting bowel regularity, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, and aiding in weight management.
  • Fiber can help feed the beneficial gut bacteria, which in turn produce short-chain fatty acids that can provide energy to colon cells and promote a healthy gut lining.
  • Soluble fiber can also help lower cholesterol levels and improve blood sugar control.

Why is taking prebiotics more important than taking probiotics?

  • Prebiotics are a food source for the beneficial gut bacteria and can help support the growth and activity of these bacteria in the gut.
  • Probiotics are live bacteria that can be helpful in some cases, but they do not necessarily provide a lasting benefit since they may not survive in the gut long-term.
  • Prebiotics, on the other hand, can help promote the growth and activity of beneficial gut bacteria in the long-term, which can have lasting health benefits.

References:

  • Slavin J. Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients. 2013 Apr 22;5(4):1417-35. doi: 10.3390/nu5041417. PMID: 23609775; PMCID: PMC3705355.
  • Roberfroid M, Gibson GR, Hoyles L, McCartney AL, Rastall R, Rowland I, Wolvers D, Watzl B, Szajewska H, Stahl B, Guarner F, Respondek F, Whelan K, Coxam V, Davicco MJ, Léotoing L, Wittrant Y, Delzenne NM, Cani PD, Neyrinck AM, Meheust A. Prebiotic effects: metabolic and health benefits. Br J Nutr. 2010 Aug;104 Suppl 2:S1-63. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510003363. PMID: 20920376.
  • Hutkins RW, Krumbeck JA, Bindels LB, Cani PD, Fahey G Jr, Goh YJ, Hamaker B, Martens EC, Mills DA, Rastall RA, Vaughan E, Sanders ME. Prebiotics: why definitions matter. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2016 Apr;37:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2015.09.001. Epub 2015 Oct 8. PMID: 26454189.


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