Probiotics – What’s all the fuss about?

Many people these days are talking about our gut microbiome and the effect it is having on our health. We thought we would take the opportunity to explain a bit about probiotics and prebiotics and where they might help you, and your children with some common illnesses and discomforts.

Probiotics

Probiotics are “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”. (WHO, 2001).

Through an abundance of research, a range of possible health benefits have been found with certain strains of probiotics. These health benefits include:

Certain probiotics may also be able to:

ISAPP (International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics)

Which probiotics have what benefit?

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG)

Saccharomyces boulardii

Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938

Prebiotics

Unlike probiotics, which are live organisms taken as a pill or powder, prebiotics are dietary fibres that selectively feed the good bugs already present in your intestine.

Some of the health benefits of prebiotics include:

Where can I find prebiotics?

For good health, aim to have at least 5g of prebiotics in your diet every day. Including whole grains, fruit, vegetables and other fibre-rich foods in your diet such as legumes, nuts and seeds will help achieve this, but it may also be necessary to take a prebiotic supplement in order to ensure this daily dose.

The word ‘prebiotic’ is rarely written on a label. Some of the ingredient names to look out for include:

So what does all of this mean?

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