Mim’s Goat Milk Formula Blends – Synbiotics
Synbiotics, the new buzz word in the world of gut health, but what are they? Synbiotics are a combination of probiotics and prebiotics and have been associated with a wide range of health benefits. (1)
What are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics occur naturally in plant foods but can also be added to foods in various forms, e.g. galactooligosaccharides (GOS) and fructooligosaccharides (FOS), to improve their health benefits (1) Prebiotics reach your small intestine practically unaltered, where they ferment and essentially ‘feed’ your good gut bacteria, helping them to multiply. (1) The potential for use of prebiotics in the modification of gut microbiota is significant, as each different prebiotic will promote the growth of a specific strains of gut bacteria. (1) The gut microbiome composition plays a crucial role in the postnatal development of the immune system. (2) Studies have shown that supplementation of a hypoallergenic formula with GOS and FOS increases the abundance of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in the infant microbiome (to resemble a breastfed baby ‘s microbiome), and significantly reduces the incidence of atopic dermatitis in the first 6 months of life. (2) Other studies have shown that infants who were given a GOS supplement, together with their iron supplement, had a significantly increased iron absorption rate. Given that iron deficiency is the most common childhood deficiency, and that this deficiency can cause developmental delays and poor physical performance, this research is promising. (3) Consumption of prebiotics has also been associated with reduced overall disease, lower cholesterol, improved immune system, increased calcium absorption, and can support lactose tolerance for some people. (1)
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics, found in fermented products like kefir and sauerkraut, or as supplements, add more good bacteria to your gut. (1) Probiotics have been confirmed in clinical studies to have positive effects on gastro-intestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disorder, diarrhea, and allergic diseases such as atopic dermatitis. (1) BB-12, one of the most well-researched Bifidobacterium strains, has been shown to have many beneficial health effects, including improved immune system function, an increase in the body’s resistance to common respiratory infections, improved gut barrier function, and an improved tolerance to food allergens. (4) Supplementation with BB-12 has also been shown to increase the abundance of Bifidobacterium in the gut microbiota of very preterm infants and is associated with reducing the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). NEC is a serious condition in newborns where a portion of the bowel dies. (5)
Prebiotics + Probiotics = Synbiotics
Synbiotics have been associated with a number of health benefits beyond those that basic nutrition can provide, from treating skin issues, to digestive disease. (2, 3) In fact, the combination of prebiotics and probiotics is synergistic. That is, their combined effect is greater than the sum of their separate parts. (1) This is because probiotics alone are sensitive to oxygen, temperature, and pH level, and don’t always survive the journey to the gut. The addition of prebiotics to probiotics in synbiotics protects the probiotic, offering the chance for it to thrive
and reproduce, therefore increasing its chances of survival. (2) Studies have shown that the use of synbiotics can result in a reduction in ear-nose-throat, lung, and gastric disorders during winter in children, and overall, a 25%
reduction in all childhood infections. (4) Other known benefits of synbiotic supplementation include treatment of lactose intolerance, prevention of allergic symptoms, the alleviation of diarrhea, and immune system regulation. (2)
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oligosaccharides reduces the incidence of atopic dermatitis during the first six months of age.
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