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Synbiotics – professional helpers for a healthy gut flora

The microcosm of our bowels consisting of billions of beneficial bacteria carries out a tremendous amount of work every day. It digests our food, eliminates toxins from our bodies, and prevents pathogens from spreading. But what happens when this world of bacteria is disrupted by a poor diet, stress or medication, for example? In that case, synbiotics can help to restore the balance in our bowels.

The effect of synbiotics

For some years now, there has been a particular focus in scientific research on a combination of probiotics and prebiotics – so-called synbiotics – because of their extensive range of applications. While the probiotic microorganisms have the task of restoring balance to the gut flora, while the prebiotics are substances which provide energy for the bacteria. In combination they support the propagation of essential bacteria in our bowels and promote their activity and chances of survival.

Probiotics

What they are there for:

Pro bios means ‘for life’. Probiotics are primarily known as lactic acid-producing bacteria which support the body’s bowel functions and which use the fibre of the prebiotics – which is soluble in water – as their source of energy.  The best know probiotics are lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. They colonise the mucus membranes of our digestive system and ensure that the natural gut flora can repulse foreign and undesirable pathogens. The more healthy bacteria we have in our digestive system, the stronger our resistance to pathogens and toxins. Probiotics make the bowels into the body’s strongest defence system. In healthy bowels there are three times as many immune cells than in the spleen, bone marrow and the lymph nodes put together. 

How they work:

  • Cleansing the bowels
  • Protecting the sensitive intestinal mucosa (mucus membrane)
  • Producing vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and essential fatty acids
  • Defence against pathogens
  • Promoting the absorption of enzymes from foods
  • Stabilising the immune system
  • Breaking down metabolic toxins

Prebiotics

What they are there for:

Most people know prebiotics as fibre. They provide nutrition for probiotic bacteria and thus promote their growth and activity. Prebiotics are indigestible and can thus reach the large intestine without being broken down beforehand. Specific selected prebiotics are suitable for stimulating digestion in the sensitive digestive tract, whereas rough fibres such as whole grain products can frequently cause unpleasant wind.

How they work:

  • Important for staying slim: fibre swells up in the bowels and thus quickly gives you a long-lasting feeling of being full up.
  • If your bowels are sluggish, the swollen fibre plays an important role by helping it to transport its contents more quickly.
  • Prebiotics are important for haemorrhoids (piles) and diverticulitis, because the stools become softer and can be excreted more easily.
  • Prebiotics are important for your well-being, because the more bacteria there are in the bowels, the more energy is supplied to our cells. That keeps them young and efficient.
Last updated: Monday, 09. October 2017

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