What are probiotics and prebiotics? and what are benefits of probiotics and prebiotics?

By | January 25, 2013


Probiotics and prebiotics is a great treat fashion these days. Large number of food industries are spending their time and money on these probiotics and prebiotics. Both sounds similar but are very different in their action in the body.

Probiotics: Probiotics in simple term are the foods which contain live culture of bacteria which are very helpful to the body. The nature and characteristics of theses probiotic bacteria are similar to the microorganism already present in the body.

The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations formally define probiotics as “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.4

These bacteria present in the body are helpful in digestion and absorption of various nutrients and protects the inner lining of the intestine from the harmful bacteria. These bacteria’s are called “friendly bacteria” and cause no harm to the body.

Finding of probiotic is one of the good things that have happened to the humans. It is helpful in preventing so many intestinal diseases and even cancers.  It has a great anti inflammatory effect on the body due to which it gives soothing effect. Probiotics are used to treat chronic diarrhea, cancer and other inflammatory diseases.

Milk, Curds, yoghurts, dark chocolates, Miso (soy preparation), yakult (fermented Milk) etc. Day by day the list of probiotic foods available is increasing because scientist is making their efforts to incorporate probiotics in different food preparation. These probiotics are naturally present in the food or are forcibly fermented to allow those bacteria. During this process of fermentation taste of the food may vary from its original taste.

If you are suffering from any present ailment it is recommended to start probiotic with consultation to your physician.

Prebiotics:Prebiotics are the nonliving indigestible fibres which are required for the action of probiotics. So in short, Prebiotics help probiotics to carry out its function. Prebiotics are food for probiotics.

2Mainly whole grains, fruits and vegetables are included in prebiotics. So without good supply of prebiotics, probiotics are not completely helpful. Many prebiotics are added to the foods and beverages and also available in the form of supplement in the market.

Benefits of prebiotics:

  • Boosts the levels of good bacteria in the body.
  • Increases calcium absorption.
  • Helps to relieve constipation.

So it is very important that you focus your diet with the balance of probiotic and prebiotic to achieve maximum result. It is helpful in cancer, weight management, builds up immunity, Intestine cancer, colon cancer, diverticulitis, urinary tract infection etc

Still many individual are yet not aware of these two foods and their benefits. They help in treating various health problems. So it is very important to spread knowledge and acknowledge people about the beneficial foods available in market so they can also take its benefit. Educating people on this topic is very essential.

As we learn it is very essential to use that lesson in are life. So to have a complete meal of probiotic and prebiotic just include curds and salads in your lunch and dinner to start with.

Advice: People who have problem of severe or chronic constipation take enough of fibrous foods (prebiotics) along with lots of water throughout the day. People who have problem of diarrhea can focus of yoghurts, curds, rice (probiotics) etc till the diarrhea subsides.




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RD Neha Kava

National Registered Dietitian at NutriChoice4u.com
Neha Kava is a National Certified Registered Dietitian in India. She likes to share her knowledge about daily health, nutritition and diet tips. You can contact her on info@nutrichoice4u.com

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