PREBIOTICS / FOS
More and more we are understanding the importance of 'good bacteria'
in our gut...
A balanced gut flora helps to promote health absorption and
digestion, and significantly improves and regulates our immune
function. What many people do not know is that FOS, or 'prebiotics',
can help to naturally increase our production of 'healthy bacteria',
no live cells required.
The difference between prebiotics and probiotics is that prebiotics
are considered a dietary fibre that promotes the growth of bacteria
having positive effects on the intestinal flora. On the other hand
probiotics are living micro-organisms contained in the food we eat.
They stay intact throughout the digestive process and deliver
healthy bacteria to the large intestine. Having healthy bacteria in
the intestines can provide a number of different health benefits
including healthy digestion and absorption of calcium.
Prebiotics are defined based on 3 criteria;
1) The (food) source must be non-digestible and resistant to gastric
acidity, hydrolysis by intestinal digestive enzymes, and
2) It must be fermentable
3) should, in a selective way, stimulate growth and/or metabolic
activity of intestinal bacteria, which it does at the expense of
Two specific fructooligosaccharides (FOS), inulin and oligofructose,
are considered by Marcel Roberfroid, the man who both discovered and
named prebiotics in 1995, to be the only sources to fully meet his
definition of prebiotics.
Although a food cannot be considered a prebiotic, certain foods can
be a rich source of prebiotic or have higher prebiotic potential.
Foods with a high inulin content, for example include Jerusalem
artichoke, onion, garlic, and chicory root. These foods are said to
selectively increase the production of both the lactic acid
producing bacteria (Lactobacillus species) and the bifidobacterium
species of 'beneficial' bacteria. FOS is a form of fibre, meaning it
also has the added benefit of being able to regulate blood sugar,
applicable not only to individuals with diabetes or prediabetic, but
helpful for those looking to control cravings and weight gain. Fibre
has also been shown to help to lower cholesterol.
A synbiotic diet is one that is high in both prebiotic and probiotic
foods/supplements. Pre and probiotics when taken together enhance
each others' effects. This is why many companies are now including
prebiotic fibre/FOS/inulin in with the live cells of a probiotic.
Prebiotics can be taken this way, in capsule form, or in powder.
Some companies are now combining these rich prebiotic substances
with protein, multi mineral combinations and greens to increased
PREBIOTICS / FOS – QUICK FACTS
· Jerusalem artichoke, onion, garlic, chicory root.
· (GI) Inflammation or other immune imbalance, constipation,
diarrhea, malabsorption, blood sugar imbalance, high cholesterol.
WORKS WELL WITH
· probiotic supplements, other soluble and insoluble fibres, like
· Remember when increasing fibre it is also important to equally
increase water intake.