Prebiotics are non-digestible fiber that promote good bacteria in the gut, unlike probiotics, which introduce new bacteria into the system. Some examples of prebiotics are the following: FOS, Galacto-oligosaccharides, Inulin. These non-digestible substances are thought to provide nourishement to the beneficial gut bacterial, enhancing their growth.
In this study, doctors gave 42 overweight or obese children, age 7 to 12, a daily dose of the prebiotic oligofructose-enriched inulin, or a placebo.
After 16 weeks, the kids on prebiotics had lost 3.1 percent of body weight compared to an 0.5 percent gain for placebo, had 2.4 percent less body fat compared to a half-percent gain for placebo, and saw a 3.8 percent decrease in trunk fat-fat around the belly-compared to 0.3 percent less for placebo.
The kids on inulin saw an increase in bifidobacterium, a beneficial probiotic, and lower levels of a bacteria linked to obesity. The inulin group also had 15 percent lower levels of a sign of inflammation (interleukin-6), and a 19 percent decrease in triglyceride levels. Doctors said the findings suggest the placebo group would gain 18 pounds annually compared to a more normal seven pounds for prebiotics.
(Reference: Gastroenterology; June, 2017, Published Online)
The health benefits of prebiotics and probiotics are numerous, and are being increasingly validated through medical research. This is just one exsmple. The pharmacists and nutritionists at Willner Chemists are available to answer your questions about these supplements, and their proper use.