Do Pro-Biotics Work?

September 2nd, 2007 by Paul Johnson

The last few years I’ve seen a lot of health gurus talking about Pro-biotics. To me I never paid much attention to it until recently because it always seemed like pseudo science to me. I decided to do some more digging on the issue for this blog.

What are Pro-biotics?

Pro-biotics are the opposite of anti-biotics. When you take anti-biotics, one common side effect is diarrhea, due to the killing of good bacteria in the digestive tract. Anti-biotics kill both good and bad bacteria in the body because they do not discriminate against against the bacteria they kill. Pro-biotic supplements in contrast, help promote good bacteria growth and digestion.

How do Pro-Biotics work?

According to studies done on pro-biotic supplements, pro-biotics can work by the following mechanisms; competing with harmful bacteria in the digestive tract, increasing the fermentation of fiber, preventing fat in the diet uptake, and by boosting the immune system.

Research on Pro-Biotics:

But what does science really say about it? The British Nutrition Foundation Bulletin recently released a article called Are probiotics beneficial for health? Without repeating the whole article I'll give a summary of the main point of the article. The research currently out shows that pro-biotics have no benefit for people who eat regular whole food nutritious diets. It is shown so far in research to be beneficial for those who have a intestinal microflora imbalance due to bad diet and mineral deficiencies.