What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are the non-digestible fibre components of food that stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut. However, not all fibre is prebiotic. To be classified as a prebiotic, the fibre must pass through the gastrointestinal tract undigested and stimulate the growth and/or activity of certain ‘good’ bacteria in the large intestine.
These good bacteria are often referred to as probiotics, which make up the unique gut microbiome. Prebiotics act as food for these bacteria and help them to grow and flourish, which in turn provide beneficial effects in the body. When the good bacteria are dominant in the gut, they help to establish an environment that nourishes the cells that line the gut wall. This is known as the ‘prebiotic effect’.