Besides digestion, your gastrointestinal (GI) system plays a huge role in your overall health. The health of your gut can affect your immune function, your propensity to chronic illnesses, and even your mental health. The key to good gut health is a diverse microbiome—or the bacteria in your stomach.
Some bacteria can help your body fight inflammation and others promote, so if you aren't feeling well, then you could have an unbalanced microbiome. To fix this problem and improve your overall health, you may want to talk with your doctor about taking prebiotic and probiotic supplements. Read on to learn more about these products.
What are Prebiotics and Probiotics?
Prebiotics are usually made up of carbs your body can't break down easily, and they act as a fertilizer for good bacteria in your gut. Probiotics, on the other hand, contain the live bacteria—like those found in fermented foods, like sauerkraut. While probiotics don't contain nutrients, they can improve digestion and improve nutrient absorption.
Should You Take Both?
Some people only take probiotics, but you may get better results if you take prebiotics along with probiotics. Some probiotics can be flushed out of your system, but you want the good bacteria to stay and colonize in the GI tract, so prebiotics can encourage that action.
What Should You Look for When Shopping for Supplements?
You should look for supplements, like prescript-assist probiotic, that contain pH-resistant ingredients since these can survive the acidic stomach environment. Some probiotics contain easily degradable lactic acid-based microorganisms. While these bacteria strains are similar to the ones you'd find in fermented dairy products, they don't last long in the gut if you stop taking them.
Look for supplements that promote the gut mucosal barrier. This barrier of cells protects the body from harmful foreign antigens and microorganisms; it prevents inflammatory responses and helps the body absorb nutrients. People with "leaky gut syndrome," like those with Celiac or Crohn's disease can benefit from ingredients that stabilize the gut mucosal barrier since they tend to have increased intestinal permeability that can lead to bloating, cramps, food sensitivities, and pain.
Ironically, some supplements can cause bloating, constipation, and gas as side effects, so it's also a good idea to look for a supplement that promotes normal bowel function.
Lastly, look for supplements that have a long shelf-life. Some prebiotics and probiotics will lose all potency and the bacteria will die if they are exposed to warm temperatures; some supplements will only last if they are kept in the fridge. To learn more information, reach out to a company such as Safer Medical of Montana Inc.