Probiotic... or Prebiotic?

A new study has found that the prebiotic, Bimuno, is more than twice as effective as the leading probiotic yoghurts when it comes to boosting friendly gut bacteria. In the volunteers using Bimuno, good bacteria clearly increased, whereas only one of the three of the brands of yoghurt registered any increase, albeit significantly lower, and the other two had no statistical impact at all.

So what is a prebiotic?

Well, in simple terms, a prebiotic is a food stuff preferred by good bacteria. You take iit through the mouth, and once it reaches the lower gut. it encourages good bacteria to grow very rapidly. Because it doesn't contain live organisms, it is very stable, thus able to reach the lower gut without being if damaged by the digestion system.

Probiotics, on the other hand, are live friendly bacteria, but as a result are very fragile, and sensitive to temperature, which is why you find them in chilled products. Because of this they can have difficulty passing through the stomach and intestines, due to acid and digestive enzymes, so the bacteria struggle to reach the lower gut while still in one piece.

Why do we need good bacteria?

They can reduce the production of gas in the gut, thereby reducing problems such as abdominal pain and bloating. They can also ease constipation and help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Beats stress too?

A new clinical trial conducted by the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford looked at the effect of Bimuno on cortisol levels on the brain. Known as the "stress hormone", elevated cortisol levels can contribute to symptoms of anxiety as well as impacting on learning, memory and lowering immune function. Chronic stress and elevated cortisol levels can also increase the risk of depression, and mental illness.

In the study, Bimuno significantly reduced salivary cortisol levels when compared with placebo in healthy subjects.

This article was originally published on Womans Weekly.