Stomach health guide: Prebiotics

Prebiotics are substances that nourish specific microorganisms in the intestine, favoring the growth of populations of beneficial bacteria (generally the prebiotics are polysaccharides and oligosaccharides).

  • They stimulate the increase in the population of bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, responsible for the fermentation process in the colon.
  • They produce a decrease in the stomach pH, managing to control the populations of the most harmful microorganisms.
  • At the blood level, they have various functions such as the reduction of cholesterol, triglyceride and phospholipid levels, the absorption of minerals and the reduction of glucose levels, among others.
  • They improve intestinal defenses against intestinal infections.
  • They reduce the time of intestinal transit and have a laxative effect, which can lead to diarrhea or an upset stomach if the dose is not properly regulated.

We have the following types of prebiotics:

  • Inulin: It is a dietary fiber.
  • Oligofructose: it is obtained by the enzymatic hydrolysis of inulin.
  • Pectic substances
  • Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)
  • Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)

The effectiveness will depend on two factors:

The type of oligosaccharide selected although the average dose to increase the population of bifidobacteria is 15g/day.

The intestinal microbiota of the user, since the number of bifidobacteria prior to the start of treatment is very important, for example in the adult population 3g/day may be sufficient, for this reason an examination of the intestinal microbiota is recommended.

Marco D. Angelo

PhD in biochemistry, specialized in enzymology and metabolic biochemistry with a background in pharmacology, he works in a molecular biology laboratory and in his spare time works as a high-performance trainer in addition to assisting other coaches.