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PRE-biotics feed your PRO-biotics

December 7, 2015

 

What is a PREBIOTIC?

A non-digestible ingredient found in food that benefits your health by selectively feeding the probiotics (“good & friendly” bacteria) in your intestines while being ignored by potentially “bad & harmful” bacteria.1  The gut bacterial environment plays an essential role in digestive and overall health, because it affects the functions and development of the immune system and provides protection against toxic invaders.2

 

The essential functions involving prebiotics:1

  • Support regeneration of the GI tract

  • Increase beneficial bacteria in the colon

  • Reduce potentially harmful gut bacteria

  • Enhanced resistance to intestinal infections

  • Improved health throughout entire body

  • Decrease cancer causing chemicals in gut

  • Enhanced absorption of minerals

  • Decrease circulating blood fats

Prebiotics may be useful in the treatment and prevention of:1,2

  • Irritable bowel disease

  • Inflammatory bowel syndrome

  • Dysbiosis

  • Constipation

  • Hepatic encephalopathy (disease of brain)

  • Elevated cholesterol

  • Urinary tract infections

  • Colon cancer

  • Atopic eczema

  • Mineral deficiency

  • “Leaky-gut” syndrome

  • Autoimmune disorders such as RA

  • Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus

  • Obesity

So, where are these prebiotics? 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

It’s estimated, the average American eats only half of the 25 to 38 grams of daily fiber that is recommended!5  The prebiotic food groups listed in the chart above also happen to be the richest sources of fiber. Dietary fiber also improves many aspects of gut function and helps to maintain a balanced intestinal environment and promotes healthy bacterial growth.2  Low fiber intake is associated with an overgrowth of toxic bacteria in the digestive tract. Different types of fiber are found in each of these food groups therefore eat from all groups for optimal fiber intake.

 

Consult your ND for appropriate prebiotic food recommendations.

 

1. Pizzorno, Joseph E., and Michael T. Murray. "Chapter 117 - Prebiotics." Textbook of Natural Medicine. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2006. 1183-191. Print

2. Hooda, S., B. M. V. Boler, M. C. R. Serao, J. M. Brulc, M. A. Staeger, T. W. Boileau, S. E. Dowd, G. C. Fahey, and K. S. Swanson. "454 Pyrosequencing Reveals a Shift in Fecal Microbiota of Healthy Adult Men Consuming Polydextrose or Soluble Corn Fiber." Journal of Nutrition 142.7 (2012): 1259-265. Web.

3. "Which Foods Are Naturally High in Prebiotics? Table-1." FAQs for the High Fibre, High Prebiotic Diet. MONASH University of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.

4. Slavin, Joanne. "Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits." Nutrients 5.4 (2013): 1417-435.

5. Moshfegh AJ, Friday JE, Goldman JP, Ahuja JK. "Presence of inulin and oligofructose in the diets of Americans". Journal of Nutrition 129 (7 Suppl): 1407S–1411S. 

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