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probiotics and prebiotics

lorna's picture

probiotics and prebiotics (post #57127)

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I've heard a lot lately about the benefits of PROBIOTICS in dairy products such as yogurt,  and I know how good they are for you, but the other day I saw a commercial for bread labeled as being PREBIOTIC.  What are they talking about... any ideas?

Adele's picture

(post #57127, reply #1 of 11)

That was hard, LOL.


Prebiotic (nutrition), food substances intended to promote the growth of certain bacteria in the intestines.  (Wikipedia)


Prebiotics are defined as nondigestible food ingredients that may beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or the activity of a limited number of bacteria in the colon. Thus, to be effective, prebiotics must escape digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract and be used by a limited number of the microorganisms comprising the colonic microflora. Prebiotics are principally oligosaccharides. They mainly stimulate the growth of bifidobacteria, for which reason they are referred to as bifidogenic factors.  (PDR Health)


and many more.........


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

macy's picture

(post #57127, reply #2 of 11)

Prebiotics are substances which are nondigestible to us, but stimulate the growth of benefitial bacteria in the digestive tract (namely bifidobacteria). Keeping these bacteria happy and healthy makes it harder for pathogenic bacteria to grow and helps prevent constipation and diarrhea. Keeps everything working better ;-)  The effect is similar to a probiotic, but instead of ingesting live cultures, you are ingesting something that encourages the good ones already there to grow.


Some strains of sourdough lactobacilli have been found to produce inulin and other fructo-oligosaccharades (small indigestible carbohydrates containing fructose), which have prebiotic properties. These strains may be added to industrial bread doughs to bestow their health benefits naturally. There has been a fair amount of research in this area of sourdough microbiology in the past few years, so you'll probably start seeing more bread manufacturers capitalizing on it. FWIW, whole grain breads have prebiotic substances even without special cultures, as do beans and many other natural "whole" foods---onion, garlic, chicory root, asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, soybean, wheat bran, cow's milk, human milk, . . .


Edited 4/24/2007 9:13 am by macy

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #57127, reply #3 of 11)

If I remember correctly onions are very high in prebiotics.

And FWIW, when it comes to probiotics, it matters what specific kinds you take, there are a lot of them, and a lot of supplements don'tcontain them in large enough numbers to really do you any good.

RuthWells's picture

(post #57127, reply #4 of 11)

Don't know about the new craze in labeling foods "probiotic", but I did manage to avoid a yeast infection by taking probiotic capsules (at the suggestion of the infectious disease doc) along with my 3 back-to-back courses of antibiotics last month. (Sorry if that's too much information!!)

Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

wisekaren's picture

(post #57127, reply #5 of 11)

I take a probiotic every day, and I give one every day to my daughter who has colitis. I also take/give extras whenever anyone in the family is on antibiotics (which kill off all the bacteria in the gut, including the "good guys," which is why many people get yeast infections or diarrhea when they're on antibiotics) or whenever anyone is suffering from diarrhea for any reason.
Karen

Risottogirl's picture

(post #57127, reply #6 of 11)

What kind do you take? SO takes "Pearls" every day and it has really helped him.

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor


Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

wisekaren's picture

(post #57127, reply #7 of 11)

Lately I've been getting the house brand from The Vitamin Shoppe. They seem to have the most different live "critters" -- my very knowledgeable pharmacist BIL says that's the key. I get the one called "Ultimate 10." For Stephanie I get Primadophilus Junior from Nature's Way (available at Whole Foods), so she doesn't have to swallow such a large capsule. If I want to give some to Pete or Julie (who aren't so good with pills yet), I open up a capsule and dump it in their milk or juice.
Karen

RuthWells's picture

(post #57127, reply #8 of 11)

Hmm. Maybe I should suggest them to my SIL who's just been diagnosed with celiac?

Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

wisekaren's picture

(post #57127, reply #9 of 11)

It's worth Googling a bit to see whether there's been any research with probiotics and celiac. When Steph was diagnosed with colitis, I Googled myself silly and came up with probiotics and fish oil. When I mentioned them to her GI (who is AMA all the way), she smiled and looked at me kind of funny. I thought she was going to berate me, but she said, "In fact, I've read some very promising research in both those areas. I don't think you're likely to be giving her enough to make much of a difference, but I don't suppose it could hurt." Triumph! (I of course also give her the prescribed traditional meds, and I'm sure they are most of the reason she's doing so well, but still. You never know.)
Karen

DeannaS's picture

(post #57127, reply #10 of 11)

The last time I had antibiotics, the pharmacist took a look at me and said, "is this your second round?" I nodded and she said, "got a yeast infection yet?" I said, "not yet" and she said, "taking probiotics?" I said, "Yep." She said, "How many?" I said, "1/day." She said, "take 2 or 3. And, use Floragen - it's the best out there." I just had to kind of laugh, because I typically expect "western" medicine folk to look at me strangely about the alternative treatments I try, and here was one encouraging me to do more. Perhaps it's catching on, eh?

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

wisekaren's picture

(post #57127, reply #11 of 11)

I trust most pharamacists more than most doctors in that respect! My BIL is usually my first phone call when I have a medical question.
Karen