I spoke with a client the other day who had been suffering some GI problems (diarrhea) after a round of strong antibiotics. She had been eating yogurt and taking other probiotics, with little or no effect. She went to see a naturopathic physician, who recommended she start eating ‘prebiotics’, in order to ‘feed’ probiotics. I had only heard prebiotics mentioned once before, so I looked into what these mysterious foods were. It turns out that they are garnering a lot of attention from researchers.
Prebiotics are naturally present in fruits and vegetables, especially berries and bananas, and they are essentially food for bacteria in the gut. As these foods pass through the digestive tract, they’re not absorbed or broken down, but fermented in the colon by the bacteria that live there. The fermentation produces fatty acids that supply fuel and energy to the cells of the gut, and to the good bacteria they need in order to function well. This process also inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria such as e.coli.
There is an excellent article written by Dr. Weil in the January 2009 issue of Self Healing. It’s a good, quick read.
Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.