Lets start with the name probiotics. Pro means “for” or “in favour of”, while biotics means “life”. Probiotics are living good bacteria that are, after increasing research, showing positive results in aiding our digestive system by restoring a positive balance of good bacteria by suppressing the bad bacteria in our digestive tract. Our digestive system is considered by most to be the gateway to our body. It is what controls vitamin and mineral absorption whilst playing host to 90 trillion bacteria, a lot considering we are a total of 100 trillion cellsthat we humans are made up of. This is why digestion and diet (we are what we eat right?) are so important and the reason why the benefits of probiotics are gaining a lot of interest.
So what is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?
Prebiotics in the case of nutrition and digestion are natural fibre ingredients that resist digestion but support the growth of probiotics in the intestine. This means that the probiotics can essentially feed and increase in numbers as they pass through our digestive tract. In the case of humans and due to the fact there is 90 trillion good and bad bacteria in our intestines, the number of probiotic cells does play a role in restoring the balance as does the quality of the strains of probiotics used. Prebiotics help by increasing probiotic numbers as it is essentially a battle ground of good bacteria versus bad bacteria. A bigger army of good probiotics helps!