PRE­BI­OTICS

Amazing Wellness - - AMAZING NEWS - DR. HOL­LAND:

Pre­bi­otics are close cousins of fiber. Put sim­ply, pre­bi­otics are food for pro­bi­otics, the “good” bac­te­ria that live in our gut. Pre­bi­otics pref­er­en­tially feed these “good guys,” but not the harm­ful bac­te­ria that can also in­vade our gut ecol­ogy. The prob­lem is that few peo­ple eat foods high in pre­bi­otics—raw chicory root, raw Jerusalem ar­ti­chokes, acacia gum (or gum Ara­bic), and raw dan­de­lion greens. You can also get pre­bi­otics from raw gar­lic and raw onions, but you’d have to eat an aw­ful lot (and deal with the un­pleas­ant odor!). En­ter pre­bi­otic sup­ple­ments. Acacia gum and baobab fruit are good sup­ple­ment choices.

—Jonny Bow­den, PhD, CNS

What should we look for in a pro­bi­otic sup­ple­ment?

The de­gree of ben­e­fit that you’ll re­ceive de­pends on the qual­ity of the pro­bi­otic sup­ple­ment. Make cer­tain that your prod­uct guar­an­tees a min­i­mum num­ber of live bac­te­ria per cap­sule (ex­pressed as “colony form­ing units,” or CFU) all the way through the ex­pi­ra­tion date on the bot­tle.

Pro­bi­otics come in sev­eral dif­fer­ent strains, and these strains can pro­vide dif­fer­ent ben­e­fits. The ma­jor ones for in­testi­nal health are Lac­to­bacil­lus aci­dophilus, Bi­fi­dobac­terium bi­fidum, and Lac­to­bacil­lus bul­gar­i­cus. It’s best to take them to­gether, but if you only take one, my top pick is Bi­fi­dobac­terium bi­fidum, as it should be the most pop­u­lous bac­te­ria in our in­testines.

Pro­bi­otics can be taken with or with­out food. But if you have heart­burn or in­di­ges­tion, I rec­om­mend tak­ing a chew­able pro­bi­otic with meals.

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