Probiotics and Prebiotics

By | 16 February 2021

Probiotics and Prebiotics

We think that our bodies are ruled only by the brain and heart. However, this idea is not correct. As powerful as the brain and directing our life, our intestines and the bacteria in it are other organs of ours. There are more than 500 types of bacteria in the human digestive system. Many of these microorganisms are well stable and this colonization is acquired in the neonatal period and remains stable throughout life. Therefore, the mode of delivery and diet are important. In healthy people, the beneficial and harmful of these bacteria are in balance.

Probiotic ‘for life’
The human gut contains up to 100 trillion live bacteria, called intestinal flora. In healthy conditions, bacteria that are beneficial and harmful in the intestinal flora are in balance, and living microorganisms that are found in certain numbers in the digestive system and have beneficial effects on the host are called probiotics. The term probiotic is a Greek word and means ‘for life’.

Microorganisms known as probiotics are generally from the Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Bifidobacterium group. Probiotics have effects in the form of reducing the numbers of pathogenic and harmful bacteria, improving the immune system, improving the function of the intestinal wall. Prebiotics found naturally in breast milk, fibrous vegetables and fruits include galactooligosaccharides (GOS), fructooligosaccharides (FOS), and inulin.

Prebiotics are essential for stronger probiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics are confused because of the often confusing name similarity. Undigested carbohydrates, ie fibers, which are called prebiotics, are a source of food and energy for probiotic bacteria that settle in the distal of the small intestine and colon.

The bacteria in our bodies have been seen as criminal for many years. It was thought to cause diseases due to the harmfulness of bacteria. With the probiotic idea put forward by Ilya Metchnikoff in a cholera epidemic in France, it was understood that some of the bacteria are not harmful, on the contrary, they are necessary for health. Especially scientific researches, which is increasing in number today, have proven that these bacteria have an important place in the treatment or prevention of some diseases.

In the period before scientific researches, probiotics and prebiotics gradually decreased with the benefits of modern life. The antibiotics used, getting away from natural life, environmental factors, malnutrition can cause these bacteria to decrease and various diseases to increase.

Cesarean section leads to a decrease in probiotics
When we first come to the world, we encounter trillions of beneficial bacteria as we pass through the birth canal and take some of them into our bodies. Generally, bacteria taken into the body during birth are probiotic bacteria that we will not encounter again for life.

In babies born by cesarean section, since they cannot find probiotic flora, the initial intestinal flora is either in the womb or in the form of the coalescence of microorganisms transmitted from the environment that touches the baby. According to scientists, it is suspected that this difference in colonization between babies born by normal and cesarean section may be behind the high prevalence of allergies and asthma in the later period, but more research is needed.

The age of antibiotics is over, probiotics have taken their place
Unnecessary antibiotics used against diseases cause probiotic bacteria to decrease. Scientific research now shows us that probiotics and prebiotics are very beneficial for our bodies. It is possible to live healthy by regaining the probiotics and prebiotics we have lost for many years.

Probiotics and prebiotics, which are our bodies naturally armored against diseases, have increasingly importance recently. Lactic acid bacteria constitute the most important group of these beneficial bacteria.

Bulgars’ elixir of immortality
Probiotic was not taken very seriously as it was treated as a bacterium within the body for years. Russian biologist Elie Metchnikoff, who received the Nobel Prize for his phagocyte theory in 1903, determined that people living in Bulgaria and the Caucasus who eat yogurt containing lactobacillus in their daily diets are long-lived. Metchnikoff, who found that acid-producing microorganisms neutralize disease-causing microorganisms in the intestine, concluded that Bulgarians lived longer due to the excessive consumption of probiotic-rich foods.

Prevents many diseases from asthma to cancer
Probiotics and prebiotics act together in our body, helping our digestive system to function healthily. Probiotics and prebiotics strengthen immune functions, show anti-tumor properties by binding carcinogens, and reduce blood lipids by preventing lipid absorption.

Changes in intestinal flora and activity are thought to contribute to the development of many diseases. For example, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Atopic Dermatitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis are associated with intestinal microflora. Also, it has been found that problems such as allergies and asthma are frequently seen in people who have a poor diet on probiotics.

Your unhappiness could be due to a lack of probiotics
Today, depression, also known as the plague of the age, should be thoroughly investigated. As with every disease origin, research is being conducted on whether there is a relationship between probiotics and depression. It is said to be ineffective according to some studies, positive according to some studies. Studies on this subject continue.

Homemade yogurt should be enriched with probiotics
Probiotics are found in products containing live bacteria such as breast milk, yogurt. The type and amount of probiotic bacteria in the yeast used are important both in homemade yogurt and ready-made yogurt. On the other hand, there is no label information showing the probiotic bacteria type and amount in the products purchased from the market.

The most natural form of probiotic is hidden in breast milk
The most natural form of probiotics is in breast milk. Breast milk given to the baby after normal birth contains probiotics that support the growth of microorganisms. They provide live bacteria with nourishment and increase the ability of bacteria in your child’s gut to survive and thrive. Therefore, babies should be fed only breast milk for the first six months, and after this month, they should be fed with additional foods such as yogurt and kefir containing probiotics.

High-fiber foods are also a prebiotic storehouse
There is also prebiotics that increases the effect and number of probiotics in the body, and fruits and vegetables such as artichoke, celery, asparagus, leek, onion, and garlic that contain high fiber. These types of fibrous foods cannot be digested by our bodies. However, prebiotics breaks down these fibers to supplement probiotics.