Probiotics promote health by helping the beneficial bacteria in our guts flourish so that our bodies can fight disease. And preliminary results of studies by scientists worldwide are finding evidence that probiotics may even have the ability to work like antibiotics, targeting and killing bacteria that cause infections.
But probiotics need the help of prebiotics to do their jobs. Soluble fiber from fructooligosaccharides is "probiotic power food" according to an article in The Washington Post. This combination of healthy bacteria in the digestive system and a diet rich in prebiotics is a dream team that seems to play a role in everything from preventing illness to reducing stress and promoting emotional health.
News Drill Down
- An article in the The Wall Street Journal discusses recent results of preliminary research that suggests probiotics might act like antibiotics in killing harmful bacteria. One example, published in research from Italian scientists, is a "probiotic lozenge" that can "reduce the incidence of strep throat."
- Demand for probiotic-containing products is on the rise in the U.S. and China, according to recent articles. FoodBev reports that from 1997 - 2011, published research articles referencing probiotics in the U.S. have risen from just 80 per year to "approximately 1,200 - or 100 publications per month." In China, yogurt as a beverage, known as "the ambient drinking yogurt category," is quickly growing and "is expected to achieve sales of almost €5bn by the end of 2017," according to Dairy Reporter.
- BT.com quotes neuropsychology expert Helene M. Savignac, who explains, "There is a strong link between what happens in the gut and the brain. The bacteria that reside in the gut appear to play an important role and are able to communicate with the central nervous system."
The Wall Street Journal: Can Some Probiotics Have an Antibiotic Effect?
FoodBev: China drinking yogurt sector 'illustrates scale of opportunity globally'
Dairy Reporter: Relevance of probiotics research increasing with US yogurt demand: Dannon
BT.com: How a healthy gut leads to a healthy mind
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