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What are Prebiotics?

Pre-biotics are the food source of probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in our intestines.

Pre-biotics are families of various sugar molecules including Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). FOS are found in a wide variety of plants foods where they provide the plants with storage carbohydrates. GOS is a family of sugar molecules found in all milk from mammals.

In humans, as well as feeding our beneficial bacteria, they can also reduce potentially pathogenic microorganisms and increase short chain fatty acid production which supports the healthy intestinal mucus layer.

Clinical trials have shown that improved digestive function as a result of prebiotic use improves immune function, reduces cases of childhood eczema and respiratory tract infection and can increase mineral absorption.

Inulin is the specific pre-biotic found as a soluble fibre in Jerusalem artichoke. It is a useful compound to support type 2 diabetes as it affects glucose homeostasis by decreasing fasting blood sugar levels.

The good news is that it is easy to increase your dietary intake of prebiotics as they are available in many every day foods including: bananas, oats, Jerusalem artichoke, soya beans, onions, garlic and chicory. By increasing our intake of these food, we increase the probiotics available for our beneficial gut bacteria to eat.

Prebiotics are also available in supplement form with many probiotic complexes including a form of pre-biotic, ensuring that the good bacteria come with their own snack!

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