Improving Gut Health

Many people have pets, and if so, they share their living space with one or more critters. Even if a person is not a pet owner, however, he or she still provides a home for trillions of tiny critters. Many microscopic organisms, including approximately 1,000 different bacterial species, live in the human gut. In fact, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute, humans “have about 10 times as many microbial cells as human cells.”

What Is the Microbiome?

This micro-ecosystem that the microscopic creatures create is also referred to as the microbiome. It has the ability to significantly impact an individual’s health, and in turn, people can make choices that promote a healthy microbiome. In order to become better informed, people may want to learn about nutrition Clarkston MI, including the use of prebiotics and probiotics.

What Are Prebiotics?

One way to nourish the gut-dwelling microbes is by using prebiotics. These specialized plant fibers are present in many vegetables and fruits, particularly those containing complex carbohydrates, and they also come in the form of supplements. Prebiotics serve as food for the micro-organisms; just as fertilizer is used to help a garden grow, prebiotics can be used to stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics refer to living bacterial strains that can help to increase the healthy population of bacteria that reside in the human digestive tract. Sources of probiotics include food as well as supplements, and these products are often marketed to target a specific condition. Further research in this area is required, but it is thought that by using probiotics, people can boost the functioning of the immune system, improve symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome, reduce allergies and inflammation, and treat or prevent diarrhea that results from antibiotics and infections. A registered dietician or health care provider can offer advice about using prebiotics as well as probiotics.