Digestion

Prebiotics and probiotics improve gut health, reduce gastric pain

What are prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics?

Prebiotics and probiotics promote a healthy environment in the gut—the microbiome—by encouraging beneficial bacteria that increase regularity. Synbiotics combine the two.

Synbiotics for toddlers

Doctors believe that the first three years of life are critical to establish a healthy gut microbiome so the child can grow and develop normally. In this study, 129 healthy children, ages one to three, took a placebo or daily doses of the prebiotics fructo- and galacto-oligosaccharides plus the probiotic bifidobacterium breve.

After 12 weeks, while the placebo group had not changed, children in the synbiotics group saw a 22 percent increase in the proportion of bifidobacterium in the gut, and increases in lactobacillus and enterococcus probiotics. The synbiotics kids also had better acid balance in the gut, which doctors said led to softer stool consistency, and improved regularity.

Discussing the findings, doctors said synbiotics may have a positive effect on young children’s microbiome, increasing beneficial bifidobacterium, improving acid balance, and promoting softer stools.

Probiotics relieve
gastric pain in adults

Many people experience gut discomfort after eating, but medical treatments can be ineffective and inconvenient. In this study, 100 healthy Japanese adults took a placebo or a daily dose of bifidobacterium bifidum in 100 ml of fermented milk.

After four weeks, compared to placebo, the probiotics group reported greater relief in overall gut discomfort after eating, especially in the upper abdominal (epigastric) area of the gut. The probiotics group also reported less diarrhea and flatulence.

Commenting on the results, doctors said that consuming bifidobacterium bifidum daily helps relieve gastro-intestinal discomfort after a meal and reduces upper gastric pain in adults, safely and without side effects.

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