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Maintain a Healthy Gut Microbiome: Probiotics vs. Prebiotics

on September 14, 2021

Maintain a Healthy Gut Microbiome: Probiotics vs. Prebiotics

 

You’ve probably heard about probiotics, the pills full of “good” bacteria for your gut. Research shows that our gut bacteria are responsible for everything from our immune system to our mental health, so maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is extremely important. You know what they say about good gut bacteria: it helps protect you from diseases like cancer and autoimmune disorders. But there are also bad types of bugs living in your guts, which can cause inflammation or hormone imbalances that lead to chronic illness! So how do we get our good ones back? Here’s some research-backed advice on getting a healthy balance again...

 

                  Probiotics                                                           Prebiotics

To decrease cancer risk from red meat or tobacco

L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. gasseri, L. delbrueckii

For immune system support

L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. delbrueckii, L. rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium species

For antibiotic associated diarrhea or irritable bowel diarrhea:

 

L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, B. bifidum, B. lactis, S. boulardii

If you got diarrhea in a developing country

saccharomyces species, L. acidosphilus, B. bifidum, L. bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus

If you had C. difficile infection

L. rhamnosus, Saccharomyces species

For “leaky gut”

L. rhamnosus, L. plantarum, L. acidophilus, B. longum

 

Scientists are still debating the validity of probiotics, and some even question whether these bacteria can survive digestion to make it to our guts. Fortunately for us though there's a solution: increase your intake with prebiotics!

 

Why Prebiotics Are Better

Prebiotics are foods that our good bacteria feed on, and help them grow and multiply (so we don’t have to take probiotics). The best way to get prebiotics is by eating a whole food plant-based diet and ingesting certain superfoods that actually kill bad bacteria and promote good bacteria. Turmeric and is one such superfood that good bacteria love to feast on, and when they do, they create a byproduct that enhances the anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effect of turmeric. Matcha has a similar beneficial effect on the gut microbiome – especially if you have obesity or consume a high-fat diet. Side note: bad cancer causing bacteria love to feast on red meat, processed foods, and alcohol.

 

 

Sources:

 

Bond T, Derbyshire E. Tea Compounds and the Gut Microbiome: Findings from Trials and Mechanistic Studies. Nutrients. 2019;11(10):2364. Published 2019 Oct 3. doi:10.3390/nu11102364

 

Di Meo F, Margarucci S, Galderisi U, Crispi S, Peluso G. Curcumin, Gut Microbiota, and Neuroprotection. Nutrients. 2019;11(10):2426. Published 2019 Oct 11. doi:10.3390/nu11102426

 

Scazzocchio B, Minghetti L, D'Archivio M. Interaction between Gut Microbiota and Curcumin: A New Key of Understanding for the Health Effects of Curcumin. Nutrients. 2020 Aug 19;12(9):2499. doi: 10.3390/nu12092499. PMID: 32824993; PMCID: PMC7551052.

Zhang Z, Zhang Y, Li J, Fu C, Zhang X. The Neuroprotective Effect of Tea Polyphenols on the Regulation of Intestinal Flora. Molecules. 2021 Jun 17;26(12):3692. doi: 10.3390/molecules26123692. PMID: 34204244; PMCID: PMC8233780.

 

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