What is a Probiotic?
The word Probiotic, according to the WHO (World Health Organization) www.who.int, means:
“Probiotics are living microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”
“Pro” means “For”
Biotic means “Life”
Probiotic means “Pro-Life”
In other words, probiotics are “good bacteria”. Your native intestinal micro flora is your indigenous probiotics. Probiotic supplements provide beneficial living bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobactia, that help to support digestive balance and digestive health.
Many factors may contribute to an imbalance of your native gut flora such as diet, stress, illness, certain medications such as antibiotics, aging and much more. Such an imbalance may contribute to digestive upset and may lead to other issues.
The concept of probiotics was born in the early 20th century when Russian scientist Elie Metchnikoff hypothesized about the use of fermented milk and using them to elicit health benefits for people that consumed the yogurt like fermented milk. He concluded that the fermented milk product helped to “seed” the intestines with friendly beneficial bacteria. By seeding the intestines with these friendly probiotic bacteria he found that it may help suppress the growth of bad bacteria or at the very least keep things in balance. These fermented milks are the best examples of early probiotics.
Modern probiotics have become a great deal more convenient and in many cases possibly more powerful and even more focused.
What is a Prebiotic?
It is food for the probiotics. These prebiotics actually help the probiotics grow and flourish. They are extremely important in supporting the survival of probiotics.
Prebiotics important properties include:
- Healthy bacteria- building potential
- They are actually fiber
- They are indigestible by bad bacteria
- They are food for the probiotics
The three most common prebiotics are Inulin (used in all Probulin® products), oligofructose, and polydextrose. It is key when choosing a probiotic supplement that you look for prebiotic fiber like Inulin.