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Taking Prebiotics: Why and How (Prebiotic Guide)

by Marie Couture ND 05 Jun 2024 0 comments
Prendre des Prébiotiques: Pourquoi et Comment? (Guide du prébiotique) - La Boite à Grains

Before talking to you about prebiotics and our health tips, let's start by reviewing the functions of the intestinal microbiota on our overall health. 

First of all, the intestine is the organ that transforms all our food into vital elements to give us the energy we need to accomplish our mission in life. These ingested nutrients are transported throughout the digestive tract. during digestion and continue until they are absorbed. We are also active witnesses to this whole circuit, as we can occasionally feel a little discomfort. You may be wondering, can prebiotics help?

Our digestive tract, which is often compared to the length of a tennis court, allows nutrients to be assimilated over a considerable surface area. This is a privileged place, as it sorts out the assimilable and non-assimilable elements that will eventually be eliminated in the stool.1, 2, 4 V

Prebiotics: beneficial bacteria for health?

The role of the small intestine is to continue the digestion of food that began in the stomach, where it was mixed with gastric juice, and to absorb nutrients. This absorption is facilitated by the length and size of its surface. It is made up of villi and microvilli resembling small hairs innervated by blood vessels. This flora facilitates the absorption of nutrients by the intestinal mucosa and their passage through this blood microcirculation. The contact surface between nutrients and this intestinal wall enables nutrients to be assimilated.8

Intestinal bacteria: soldiers for our immune system

This microbiota comprises a truly complex ecosystem made up of around 100,000 billion bacteria, and accounts for some 60% of our immune cells. Of course, prebiotics play an essential role here.

The intestine, a second brain

The intestine is a complex organ, and its functions go far beyond simply processing the food we eat. We are now learning that it influences our overall health, including our mood. It's been called our second brain. There is a direct circuit between it and the production of certain neurotransmitters. Called the vagus nerve, it acts as an information highway between the intestine and the brain. It seems that 95% of the neurotransmitter serotonin, or 'happy chemical', is produced in the gut. Not to mention GABA, another neurotransmitter widely used in the brain to promote calm, which is released by certain healthy microbes in the intestinal microbiota.4, 5

These discoveries about the gut completely change our vision of certain diseases, including the one that influences our second brain...

Probiotics: good bacteria to nourish our intestinal flora

Certain bacteria have essential functions for our immunity, so the slightest imbalance in our intestinal flora can lead to a pathological condition that can become serious. Sometimes, this dynamic of discomfort will set in discreetly, at least at first, and become more serious if the source of the problem is not calmed.

Intake of probiotics (not to be confused with natural prebiotics) found in foods or supplements, in sufficiently high doses for some of them to reach the colon, must be delivered daily, to help ensure good intestinal balance. Supplements of probiotic supplements are products containing adequate doses of bacteria that are instigators of intestinal health benefits. In addition, a diet rich in prebiotics is necessary for the development of these natural probiotics.2, 7

Why and how to take prebiotics?

There's a lot of talk about probiotics and their importance to our health, but what are prebiotics? What role does it play in intestinal health?

Prebiotics play an essential role in the proliferation and maintenance of probiotics in our digestive system. Prebiotics enable probiotics to function optimally and grow properly. It's like a symphony in several movements.6

Prebiotics are complex sugars, also known as dietary fibers, which are not absorbed in the digestive tract and which we do not metabolize. These same soluble fibers arrive intact in our colon, and it's the intestinal bacteria present that feast on them and proliferate endlessly for the greater good of our intestinal health.6

Prebiotics in the diet: good for your health?

Prebiotics are found in the fibers of wholefoods (fruit and vegetables, oilseeds), fermented foods in our everyday diet, such as wholegrain cereals, legumes, artichokes, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelions, bitter chicory, garlic, leeks, onions and asparagus.

The most common types of prebiotics

  • inulin
  • fruto-oligosaccharides (FOS)
  • galacto-oligosaccharides
  • breast milk

These prebiotics promote the development and maintenance of probiotic populations in our intestines (but are not food supplements).

Genuine Health prebiotics at your fingertips

The microbes (bacteria) that make up our gut microbiome are like us in one notable way: they need to eat! And the latest findings in nutritional science studies have established that the phytonutrient-rich foods that nourish us play the same role for our gut microbes (which are beneficial bacteria, by the way).

As well as contributing to overall good health, phytonutrients exert synergistic effects on populations of intestinal microflora. One particular group of phytonutrients, called polyphenols, feeds the "good" gut microbes and can help promote a healthy bacterial population.

Certain types of prebiotic fiber are known to cause digestive disturbances. Genuine Health uses an easily tolerated fermented fiber that contributes to the growth of good bacteria.

Fermentation increases nutrient intake, and Genuine Health Organic Fermented Superfoods+ for the Gut promotes the growth of good bacteria! The fermentation process amplifies and concentrates phytonutrients for good intestinal and, above all, overall health.9

Genuine Health prebiotics: a trio of benefits

  • 21 phytonutrient-rich superfoods promote the growth of "good" bacteria and nourish the intestinal wall.
  • Easy-to-tolerate prebiotic fibers that promote the growth of "good" bacteria.
  • Integral fermentation intensifies nutrient potency and promotes the growth of "good" bacteria.9

The product Fermented Organic Superfoods+ for the Gut was chosen for its high polyphenol content. Here's the list: pomegranate, bitter melon, blackcurrant, grape, kale, cinnamon beet, cocoa seed, clove, ginger, sea buckthorn, raspberry, spirulina, sweet potato, blackberry, apricot, carrot, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage.9

This Genuine Health product nourishes your digestive system. It is available in different flavors: Summer Berry and Pomegranateunflavored and unsweetened (stevia-free).9

Taking care of our intestines influences our immune health, our mood and our overall health. So, will you take a prebiotic?

About the author

Marie Couture, Certified Naturopath

Specialized in :

  • Digestive disorders
  •  Inflammation
  • Hormonal problems
  • Stress management

See also: Better intestinal health thanks to probiotics

References:

  1. Gomez Pr Francisca, The intestine, our second brain, Marabout, 2014, 317 pages
  1. Joyeux Pr. Henri, Joyeux Jean, Manger mieux et meilleur de 0 à 100 ans (in French only)éditions du Rocher, 2017, 326 pages
  1. Perlmutter Dr David, Loberg Kristin, The gut to the brain's rescueMarabout, 2015,415 pages
  1. Role and benefits of the microbiota, La Semaine Santé, Thérien Paul
  1. The intestine Our second brain, La semaine santé, Paul Thérien
  1. All about probiotics and prebiotics, La semaine santé, Annie Turcotte
  1. https://www.nicolas-aubineau.com/probiotiques-naturels/
  1. https://sante.lefigaro.fr/sante/organe/intestin-grele/quest-ce-que-cest#:~:text=L'intestin%20gr%C3%AAle%20comprend%20trois,l'angle%20duod%C3%A9no%2Dj%C3%A9junal.
  2. Genuine Health
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