Do I Need A Prebiotic Supplement?

Every single part of our body is important and every single function that occurs within the body is important. The gut system of the body is the most buzzing community that is made up of zillions of microorganisms called the gut microbiome. And even to this day, several researches have been conducted to understand the wondrous benefits of this microorganisms community that resides in our digestive tract. Did you know that the micro organism living in our gut is as unique as our fingerprints – it cannot be changed at all. And it is the probiotics and prebiotic that play a very vital role in forming this community and keeping it healthy. Any problem that occurs in the gut system of a body is directly linked with information about the disease and even type two diabetes. We all know about probiotics, don’t we? But what exactly at three biotics and do we really need a prebiotic supplement?


Understanding prebiotics

Three biotics is essentially a variety of fiber that serves as a source of food for the micro organism known as probiotics in our gut system. Three biotics was a concept that was introduced in the year 1995 and it was described as a non-digestible substance of food that helps stimulate the growth of bacteria in our colon.

Here are some examples of pre-biotics:

  • Pectin
  • Resistant starch RS
  • GaLacto oligosaccharides GOS
  • Fructans — Fructo Oligosaccharides FOS and inulin
  • Rhamnose
  • Polydextrose

Most of the pre-biotics and known to be only Ku saccharides are sensually carbohydrates that our body takes a hard time digesting. The prebiotic range of supplements that are found online or at a local health food store might contain one or more of the above mentioned prebiotics but in different forms. For example they might use the chicory root as a source of inulin, even potato starch as a source of resistant starch.

What are the benefits of taking prebiotic supplements?

Fibre rich foods naturally contain prebiotics in them. Adults require 21 to 38 g of fiber per day. And studies prove that the majority of Americans fail to reach their daily fiber intake. Dietary fibre resonates several health benefits like lowering cholesterol and improving bowel movements. Apart from this, it is also a very good source of prebiotic. There is certain evidence that talk about consuming prebiotic supplements will offer health benefits such as alleviating the IBS symptoms or decreasing anxiety. It also helps in early colonisation of the good bacteria in our gut.

Drawbacks of consuming prebiotic supplements

Prebiotic definitely benefit our health. However, do we really need to consider a prebiotic supplement? Before you invest on a free biotic supplement, you might want to read on and understand the drawbacks of consuming such a supplement.

Limited evidence

Dietary supplements to prevent diseases like prebiotic supplements aren’t really beneficial. And this is something that is said by the Academy of dietetics and nutrition. Additionally, most of these three biotic supplements include only one single type of class of prebiotics known as oligosaccharides. There is enough evidence that supports the benefits of fermenting prebiotic fibers and consuming them.

Unpleasant side-effects

One might experience unpleasant gastrointestinal side-effects after consuming prebiotic supplements. Because these prebiotic supplements or nothing but a type of fiber, they can lead to bloating or gas. However, the nature of side-effects may depend on your natural dietary fiber intake and the dosage of the prebiotic supplement that you are consuming.

Lack of regulation

Unlike the drugs, the FDA hasn’t regulated any dietary supplements or asked for the manufacturers to prove that the supplements that they manufacture work optimally before they hit the nearest shelf counters in the stores nearby. This poses a risk of hidden ingredients or harmful ingredients that could negatively create problems with our body.

Not the right fit for your gut

As mentioned earlier, it is the balance of the microorganisms in our gut system that affects our overall health and determines how well a body can tolerate a prebiotic supplement. You must always consider a health care provider about the choices that you need to take when it comes to nutritional supplements before you begin to add them to your daily routine.

A very poor substitute

People look at dietary supplements like insurance. These supplements ensure that a body gets all the required nutrients and functions optimally. However, we need to understand that these supplements are not a match when it comes to actual real nutrients that we can derive from real food.

Consider the below food sources for natural prebiotics

Instead of spending money on a supplement, you might as well study and research as to what are the natural and whole foods that can make up for the required nutrients of vitamins. Here is a list of natural sources of prebiotic that you can add to your diet— asparagus, garlic, onions, watermelon, apples, dandelion greens, peas, chickpeas, oats, cashews, wheat bran, barley.

Foods that are rich in pre-biotics or known to promote healthy nutrients like minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

In case you still decide to opt for a prebiotic supplement, always remember to consult your doctor and consider their feedback on what type of supplement you must look at while buying prebiotic supplement.

And ensure that you always do a trial and not invest into an entire bottle of the prebiotic supplement as prebiotic supplements, in general, or known to cause stomach problems or gas.