I was talking to a friend who is an MD the other day and we were discussing the importance of probiotics. What was interesting was he wasn’t sure of the difference between prebiotics and probiotics or even the different types of probiotics.
Simply put prebiotics are the food that bacteria grow on. The right prebiotics help the right bacteria grow in your gut. Bacteria grow on a variety of sugars but the helpful types of prebiotics are non-digestible polysaccharides most commonly fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) is available as a supplement. When these healthy prebiotics are fermented by healthy bacteria (probiotics) they produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) which improve the guts health.
Inulin is a type of FOS that has been shown to improve bone health by increasing absorption of minerals such as calcium. Inulin stimulates the growth of bifidobacteria without affect blood glucose levels. Inulin is not absorbed into the blood but stays in the guy to ferment and help bifidobacteria grow. Inulin is important to anyone on a low fiber diet. Low fiber diets lack the prebiotics necessary for bacterial growth and inulin supplementation helps the correct bacteria grow.
Oftentimes inulin may be found formulated with probiotics which gives both the bacteria and food for the bacteria to eat in the gut. Products like Jarro-Dophilus + FOS 200 Capsules by Jarrow Formulas contains four different lactobacillus and two bifidobacteria with FOS to help all the bacteria in the formula to grow.
If someone has a low fiber diet taking a FOS or inulin supplement is very important to make sure the bacteria is able to grow and thrive. FOS by itself is able to improve bacterial profiles in the gut and produce a healthier colony of gut bacteria.
If you are looking for an all in one product look at Jarro-Dophilus + FOS by Jarrow Formulas. This gives you all you need in one pill and is a great option for most people.