Do you know what PRE-biotics are?

PrebioticsMost of us now know the importance of PRO-biotics and the beneficial bacteria that strengthen our immune system and ward off numerous foreign invaders that cause bad health and disease.

But the partnership role of PRE-biotics is less well known.

Prebiotics are naturally found in food and help prepare the body for the work of probiotics. Basically, prebiotics are non-digestible carbs (fiber) that are used by bacteria in the colon to produce many health benefits.

Prebiotics are not broken down or absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. Beneficial bacteria use this fiber as a food source in the internal process known as ‘fermentation.’

Yes, fermentation takes place inside our bodies!

Known as ‘functional foods,’ prebiotics serve bodily health in numerous ways—such as improving gut health, inhibiting cancer by protecting against cancerous cell formation by aiding digestion and gut microflora, supporting the immune system and staving off obesity.

A primary cause of today’s obesity is the intake and amounts of inappropriate foods, drinks, medicines and toxins which the body is unable to process or excrete efficiently.

According to many nutritional experts, the royalty court of food prebiotics consists of garlic, chives, onions, shallots, leeks—all the allicin family. But there are many others: asparagus, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichoke, bananas, dandelion and other leafy greens, beans, berries, honey, jicama, sorghum and chicory root.

Prebiotics and probiotics work together to nurture good bacteria required by the digestive tract for optimal health, beginning at the mouth and chewing. Probiotics are live, active cultures, capable of multiplying their numbers, whereas prebiotics serve as the food source for probiotics and do not grow or reproduce.

Prebiotics have been shown in many human trials to reduce symptoms of bowel-related issues, including ulcerative colitis, Crohns’ disease, irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease.

Like a new engine that is not maintained correctly, the finely-tuned live body eventually begins breaking down if it is not maintained with the substances that help it operate efficiently.

Supplementary prebiotics are sometimes called for to control diarrhea or constipation. There are only 2 types of identified and documented prebiotics :inulin and oligosaccharides. They are short chains of carbs (polysaccharides), which act at various places in the colon to promote intestinal health.

Source: Dr. David Jockers, specialist in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care, Exodus Health Center, Kennesaw, Georgia. (


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