Prebiotics are a source of food for probiotics to grow, multiply and survive in the gut.
Prebiotics are fibres which cannot be absorbed or broken down by the body and therefore serve as a great food source for probiotics, in particular the Bifidobacteria genus, to increase in numbers.
Prebiotics by nature do not stimulate the growth of bad bacteria or other pathogens;
Prebiotics occur naturally in our diet and prebiotic fibres can be found in Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, chicory, and onions amongst other things.
Research shows that there are different types of prebiotics, in a similar manner as there are different types of probiotics. With prebiotics, the key differentiating factor is the length of the chemical chain – short chain; medium chain or long chain determines where in the gastrointestinal tract the prebiotic has its effect & how the benefits are felt by the host.
Common prebiotics include: inulin, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), galactooligosaccharides (GOS), lactulose and lafinose.