If your gut is not healthy and is off balance, guess what happens?
You get sick.
The microbial ecosystem in your gut needs to be healthy. There are good and bad bacteria and when you don’t have enough good and too much bad, you have a problem.
In my practice as a Functional Medicine Practitioner, I see a lot of patients that come into my office suffering from stomach bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain. This is uncomfortable and at times disabling, and can often be a sign of an underlying cause like inflammation, sibo (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), low stomach acid, increased toxicity, and leaky gut.
This can lead to the development of different conditions like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and autoimmune diseases. Many other diseases are affected by the health of your gut flora – including being overweight and obese, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, allergic diseases like asthma and eczema, depression, ADD and autism. drhyman.com
What are Prebiotics and how do they differ from Probiotics?
Ideally, both are important as both are essential for a healthy gut and diversity of the microbiome in the GI. Probiotic foods are vital for overall well being and gut health and prebiotics help feed the probiotics to make sure your gut health is strong.
However, when you increase your intake of both, you want to make sure that the GI is in an optimal condition that can handle it without experiencing side effects.
I hear a lot of patients complain that the pre and probiotics cause discomfort, meaning that the GI is not ready to handle it, and we need to see what more can be done to reduce inflammation and support the GI membrane first
Probiotics vs. Prebiotics.
Probiotics provide beneficial bacteria that make sure the gut has the right amount and the right kind of bacteria to protect against inflammation, and to also support the immune system and healthy digestive function.
Prebiotics are a form of soluble fiber that helps make sure that the ‘good bacteria’ in your gut get fed. Prebiotics include foods like Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, dandelion greens, jicama and resistant starch. In addition, prebiotics are found in many fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi and kombucha. These natural gut health foods should be included in your diet as much as possible.
Prebiotics, along with probiotics can help treat many digestive problems, including:
- stomach issues after taking antibiotics
- intestinal infections and chronic disorders, such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms
- inflammatory bowel disease
- leaky gut
They promote better gut health and improved digestion, enhanced immune function, lower inflammation, reduced risk of heart disease, protected bone health and a regulated hormone level and better mood.
Some research indicates how pre and probiotics even promote weight loss!
Prebiotic foods promote a feeling of fullness, prevent obesity and initiate weight loss. Their effects on hormone levels are related to appetite regulation, with studies showing that animals given prebiotics produce less ghrelin, which is the hormone responsible for stimulating hunger. (2002 animal study published in the British Journal of Nutrition)
Probiotics seem to influence appetite and energy usage. It's thought that certain probiotics may inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, increasing the amount of fat excreted. Probiotics may also fight obesity in other ways, including releasing appetite-regulating hormones and increasing levels of fat-regulating proteins. Healthline.com
Essential oils may support the detoxification and elimination systems. Additionally, by replacing toxic personal and home products with essential oil-based products, you are reducing the total toxic load entering your body and the extra stress on the detoxification and elimination systems.
Your body organs such as your lungs, skin, kidneys, liver, colon and lymph are important detoxification and elimination systems in your body and each system has probiotics that support it. So by using essential oils and probiotics you are providing extra support to your body to enhance your health.
These are some of the natural antimicrobials that can stop the growth and proliferation of harmful microorganisms in your gut.
Additional prebiotic foods that you can add to your diet include:
- Acacia gum (or gum arabic)
- Raw chicory root
- Raw Jerusalem artichoke
- Raw dandelion greens
- Raw garlic
- Raw leeks
- Raw or cooked onions
- Raw jicama
- Raw asparagus
- Under-ripe bananas
Upping your intake of prebiotics has been linked in studies to powerful benefits, such as:
- lower risk for cardiovascular disease
- healthier cholesterol levels
- better gut health
- improved digestion
- lower stress response
- better hormonal balance
- higher immune function
- lower risk for obesity and weight gain
- lower inflammation
- better managed autoimmune symptoms
In summation, pre and probiotics work together to allow certain changes to take place, both in the activity and the makeup of the gastrointestinal system. They help preserve gut health by maintaining balance and diversity of intestinal bacteria, especially by increasing the presence of “good bacteria,” such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.
The health of the gut is tied to other bodily functions, and therefore prebiotics and probiotics together are important for battling inflammation and lowering overall disease risk.
Supplements and Dosage Recommendations
When choosing supplements, look for a supplement that contains real prebiotics instead of compounds with prebiotic-like effects, and be sure to buy from a reputable company that has high-quality standards.
For further information and to purchase essential oils for gut health, check out our store at Lacuramor.com and contact us with any questions you have.