Prebiotics and probiotics
The interest in prebiotics and probiotics have made its way to the IBS management world. But what are these two actually? How do they benefit people with IBS?
Prebiotics are the food for the beneficial bacteria living in our gut while probiotics are the living bacteria themselves. These two create a symbiotic relationship that benefits not only the gut but nearby organs too.
The interest in these two grew since studies have shown that there are differences in the quantity or quality of the gut microbiota between healthy and IBS individuals. This could be due to a series of factors like traumas, gastroenteritis and bad dietary habits. Due to this, prebiotics and probiotics have been put to the test to replenish the gut microbiota and create the symbiotic community our gut once had.
Though this sounds like a major problem solver, a few things need to be mindful of.
1. The only way you can get prebiotics is from foods and these foods can cause IBS symptoms. Foods like:
Onions and garlic
2. A recent study found that prebiotics do not help in reducing the IBS symptoms, but the supplemented subjects did have a higher bifidobacteria count in their stools. The increase in bifidobacteria shows a positive correlation with the increase of gut cell permeability and poor gut cell permeability has been seen in people with IBS
3. A systematic review study where it reviewed 11 studies concluded that the effect of probiotics depends on the bacteria strains contained in the supplements used in the research. Thus, there are no final words to confirm that any probiotics especially foods with probiotics like yogurt drinks with cultured bacteria may help with IBS symptoms. Only specific strains of bacteria may benefit.
Even though the studies have done are contradicting with the whole idea, you can still experiment and test it out. But, ensure you are guided by the healthcare professionals.