Prebiotics- the Perfect Probiotic Sidekick

 
Prebiotics are defined as “non-digestible substances that when consumed provide a beneficial physiological effect on the host by selectively stimulating the favorable growth or activity of a limited number of indigenous bacteria.”[1]
 
They have been described as the “lunchbox for probiotics”, prebiotics provide great support to probiotics. When probiotics and prebiotics are combined, they work synergistically to support healthy digestive function and work in harmony with prebiotics helping probiotics flourish in your gut. This combination is known as synbiotics.
 
“Combinations of prebiotics with probiotics offer better opportunities for the probiotic bacteria to grow. They can then multiply faster in the gastrointestinal tract as prebiotics selectively feed probiotics.”[2]
 
Prebiotics come from a few food sources including chicory root, agave or the Jerusalem artichoke. They can also be found to naturally occur in leeks, asparagus, garlic and onions as well. The prebiotics found in Attune chocolate probiotic bars and probiotic granola münch are derived from chicory root. According to the ISAPP, “the most tested prebiotics are directed towards bifidobacteria and (to a lesser extent) lactobacilli.”[3]
 
If you’ve seen the ingredient inulin on our ingredient panel, this is the prebiotic featured in our bars. Inulin is an undigestible oligosaccharide and is a good source of insoluble fiber. Used often to replace fat and sugar, there is a growing incidence of inulin claims citing it can be good “for gut health benefits, the fibre can also boost bone strength, help control blood sugar levels and may even reduce cholesterol.”[4]
 
You might find that prebiotics are described as fiber which is a more familiar concept to consumers. What they share in common is that they both are typically fermented by the bacteria in the gut bacteria and are usually carbohydrates that are indigestible. “However, a prebiotic differs from fibre in that it needs to be selectively used in the gut- by only beneficial members of the gut microbial community. Historically, prebiotics are tied more closely to the probiotic concept than the fibre one.”[5]





[1]Gibson GR, Roberfroid MB. Dietary modulation of the human colonic microbiota: introducing the concept of prebiotics. J Nutr. 1995 Jun;125(6):1401-12
[2]Dash, S.K. AConsumer’s Guide to Probiotics.
Freedom Press, 101. 2005.
[3]“Prebiotics: A Consumer Guide for Making Smart Choices.” ISAPP, March 10, 2009: http://www.isapp.net/docs/Consumer_Guidelines-prebiotic.pdf
[4] Patton, D. “Inulin gaining in health benefits.” NutraIngredients, December 2, 2005:
http://www.nutraingredients.com/Industry/Inulin-gaining-in-health-benefits.
[5] “Prebiotics: A Consumer Guide for Making Smart Choices.” ISAPP, March 10, 2009: http://www.isapp.net/docs/Consumer_Guidelines-prebiotic.pdf

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At Attune Foods, we believe what matters most is what's inside. We make our foods from simple ingredients, simply made like Uncle Sam cereal, Erewhon organic cereals and grahams or our attune probiotic chocolate bars. Attune Foods commits to bringing you food that helps you feel good and that you can feel good about eating with your family.