Weight issues? Bloating? Up your gut bacteria!

Pre- and probiotics explained...


Alison Cullen
Nutritional Practitioner, BA (Hons), DN, DNT (Distinction)
@AVogelUK
Ask Ali


25 October 2017

Good gut bacteria

Firstly, the team talked about the importance of gut bacteria and the impact they can have on different areas of the body, from weight management to bloating. 

Throughout our digestive system we have trillions of bacteria, and these can be broadly split into good and bad types. Surprisingly we need both – but the key is getting them in the correct balance. You see, our friendly bacteria are very important for helping to keep the bad bacteria in check. Without sufficient levels, the bad bacteria can take over and we end up with an imbalance in our numbers which we called dysbiosis. With dysbiosis, it’s very likely that a number of these uncomfortable symptoms crop up.

So what can be done to rectify an imbalance in gut bacteria? This is where prebiotics come in.

What are prebiotics and where can I find them?

The experts on last night’s show described prebiotics as a ‘fertilizer’ for our gut bacteria and this is a great analogy. Prebiotics are substances that basically help support the growth of our good gut bacteria. Interestingly, it seems they can do this in a number of different ways. 

Firstly, we have common dietary prebiotics such as bananas, onions, garlic, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, leeks, and grains including wheat and barley. Now these foods contain specific non-digestible elements such as inulin and FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) which are thought to feed our good bacteria.

But interestingly,  what the programme highlighted nicely, was that by eating these foods we are not only supporting the good bacteria, but we are also eating less foods which the bad bacteria thrive on  such as refined carbohydrates, sugar or alcohol. So, we are essentially starving the bad bacteria and allowing the good bacteria to thrive in numbers!

Bone broth was featured, and results showed that daily consumption for 3 days, helped support the gut no end. This is thought to be down to a few things. Firstly, bones and the connective tissue surrounding them are rich in collagen. Collagen is extremely important for supporting our connective tissues and is fantastic to help repair the gut. So for issues such as leaky gut, often associated with dysbiosis, we can begin to repair any existing damage. Next, the nutrients from the bones, together with the vegetables included in the broth, act as a prebiotics, supporting the growth of our good bacteria whilst staving off the bad. 

Is bone broth my only option?

Now, there are other some other options out there when it comes to prebiotics. Bone broth isn’t the most pleasant thing to make and ready-made options can be a little expensive as was discussed in the episode. But not to worry, we have the food sources as mentioned above, and there are also some other substances that can help support the internal environment of the gut too. 

Many of the healthy bacteria in our gut are called lactic acid producing bacteria (LAB). This lactic acid that they produce is an important ingredient for supporting the pH of the gut, and therefore supporting further growth! So it can be an on-going road to success if you can get the environment right which is just fantastic. 

Made from fermented organic milk, our Molkosan is a fantastic rich source of L+ lactic acid itself. So, just like the bone broth, it helps support the growth of the good bacteria whilst keeping the bad guys at bay. Plus, working out at as little as 23p per day, Molkosan is a cost-effective and easy alternative to supporting the balance of bacteria in your gut. 

Combined with a gut-friendly diet, you too could be on your way to seeing vast improvements in your health in no time at all! As was shown, after just 3 days on the prebiotic based diet, the subject on the programme saw a significant reduction in body weight, a reduction in the bad bacteria in his intestine and of course, an increase in the good gut bacteria – these results are just fantastic and really promising. Let’s get supporting that gut!         

            

Molkosan® Original – A prebiotic for good gut bacteria

200ml

£ 5.99

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Prebiotic whey drink, rich in L+ lactic acid, for good digestion. Also available in 500ml size.
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