Posted by: Weetie | 2008/07/30


Hi Doc
Please could you explain the difference between a prebiotic and a probiotic? Also the difference between the probiotics - e.g. no. 1 or 2?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageProbiotics expert

Hi Weetie
Prebiotic: = indigestible carbohydrate, Scientific names include inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides. These are found naturally in your diet and constitute the “food” for probotic bacteria. Hence the idea that if you provide more food for them, you boost growth of probiotic bacteria or so-called normal flora in the gut.
Probiotic: are defined as live microorganisms which when delivered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host. Other names include gut flora, normal flora, good bacteria.
I have underlined key points in the above definition in an attempt to address your 3rd question. Easier said than done, for a consumer, as no regulation currently exists and you will find all sorts out there.
I suggest that you try a probiotic called REUTERI for 3 very important reasons:
Reuteri (or the active ingredient; Lactobacillus reuteri) has been widely researched and tested to validate safety and health benefits and it complies to the definition of a true probiotic.
It is not coated OR encapsulated. This is the case with most probiotics in order to protect them as they pass through the harsh acid medium of the stomach, an on to the small intestine where they start to exert their effect. Reuteri starts working in the mouth, and is active throughout the entire gut as it can withstand transit through the stomach.
Reuteri is a once a day dose.
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