By Amatul Ameen | 10th Feb 2023
Probiotics- Probiotics are supplements which contain live microorganisms. They are gut-friendly and are efficient if consumed in requisite amounts.
Prebiotics- Prebiotics, as the name suggests, are food for organisms already present inside the gut. Prebiotics has become increasingly popular than before.
The gut has a variety of microflora (microorganisms) that are essential for good gut health. The gut microflora is disturbed when exposed to diseases, disorders, and antibiotics.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that restore or replenish the good bacteria in the gut. Probiotics are present in fermented foods which we eat in our daily life. They help in the treatment of diseases and in maintaining a healthy gut.
Prebiotics are a source of nutrition for the gut microflora. Prebiotics helps thrive good bacteria inside the gut by giving them food. They are mainly present in vegetables, cereals, fruits, etc. They help in improving gut health.
There has been a sea change in the type of food consumed in the Indian Diet. A notable shift from traditional food types to fast-food or convenience food types has been observed. People have replaced their diet, including dosa, idly, and yoghurt, with sandwiches, burgers, etc. Apart from this, a sedentary life has contributed to lifestyle-related disorders. The change in diet and lifestyle has led to an imbalance of good and bad bacteria. Therefore, consuming probiotics and prebiotics is necessary to prevent and manage lifestyle changes. Future research is mostly aimed at solving chronic conditions of gut microflora health.
Fermented foods are a great source of probiotics. The bacteria found in these probiotic foods are lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria strains. Many traditional and popular probiotic foods are consumed all over India and foreign countries. These probiotics include:
Some very region-wise, specific probiotic-rich food items are:
|Mor kuzhambu, kallappam,ambali
|Sauerkraut, khalpi, kinema, tungrymbai, gundruk
Traditional probiotics which are popular throughout the world include yoghurts, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha. They are popular in American, European and Asian markets. In India, probiotics are consumed, including ice creams, yoghurts, and drinks.
The prebiotics which is consumed in our daily life includes:
Besides, other prebiotics consumed daily in various foods are onion, ginger, and garlic.
There is a unique trend in Probiotics & prebiotics consumption across age, gender, education, and socio-economic class.
Autoinducer molecules are like chemical signals which help in communication between bacteria; this whole phenomenon is called “quorum sensing”. Quorum sensing helps in controlling the effects of bad bacteria.
Probiotics have been widely studied for their preventive action in diarrhoea. Clostridium difficile is one of the pathogens responsible for diarrhoea. Probiotics have proven helpful in the infections and recurrent infections caused by clostridium difficile. Lactobacillus Rhamnosus is used in the treatment of diarrhoea. They are used in infants for the prevention of rotavirus infections and any diseases which are already present.
Probiotics like L-acidophilus and Lactobacillus Delbrueckii are used for lactose intolerance as they can hydrolyse and enhance lactose absorption.
Irritable and inflammatory bowel syndrome are some gut diseases that can be treated with probiotics. The specific mechanisms of action have been studied in detail to show the action of probiotics on these diseases.
Various species of lactobacillus present in the vagina help maintain good vagina health. Lactobacilli prevent the attack of pathogens in the vagina region, which is very susceptible to infections. Lactobacillus acidophilus produces hydrogen peroxide and hypothiocyanite, which prevents infections by L.albicans.
Imbalance between clostridium and bifidobacterium can lead to allergies. Enzymes created from L. casei degrade amino acids and produce molecules that prevent lymphocyte production, reducing allergies.
Lactulose- it’s a pharmaceutical compound to treat constipation. Lactulose undergoes rapid fermentation to give Short Chain Fatty Acids and hydrogen, which induces peristalsis.
Lactulose is the first line of treatment in hepatic encephalopathy. Due to liver dysfunction, ammonia accumulates in the body and affects the CNS. Lactulose limits ammonia production and absorbs excess ammonia from the intestine lumen.
Prebiotics plays a role in preventing colorectal cancer. Cancer occurs due to the secretion of carcinogens by some harmful bacteria. Prebiotics alter the gut microflora by increasing the number of lactobacilli or bifidobacteria in the colon.
Prebiotics can alter glucose and insulin serum levels well. Fructans, lactulose, and galacto oligosaccharides reduce the available glucose in the bloodstream. Prebiotics also prevent blood glucose elevation in the bloodstream after meals.
Probiotics are widely used worldwide and are gaining more popularity over time. But prebiotics, on the other hand, is less popular. But, both classes of compounds have a long heritage to them. Their benefits are already established. So the current use of probiotics and prebiotics is only a step towards renewing its benefits in more ways. Look for some most popular probiotics on Truemeds to start with. Avail teleconsultation from our expert doctors on our online pharmacy when you place an order for medicines, or you can also download our Truemeds app to do the same. Get branded as well as generic medicines by uploading your prescription on Truemeds. When placing an order for medicines online, you may save more money by selecting alternative or generic medicine advised by Truemed’s expert doctors. And also, save up to 72% on your purchase and get free home delivery pan India.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is good to take both prebiotics and probiotics for the benefits they both offer.
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