People do not typically hold bacteria in high regard, but when it comes to your stomach, they’re essential. In the right amounts and places, strains of beneficial bacteria called probiotics, and the prebiotics that feed them, are valuable to both our health and waistlines.
Under normal circumstances, friendly bacteria live in our digestive tract in a healthy balance. However, factors such as medication and poor diet can upset this balance, leading to an array of difficulties.
Differences Between Probiotics And Prebiotics
Probiotics improve the balance of the intestinal microflora. Research has found that these live microorganisms are anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing, and some studies have suggested that they may protect against particular cancers. Probiotics prevent infection and yeast overgrowth by maintaining intestinal pH and by blocking harmful bacteria from attaching to intestinal walls. They improve digestive function and assist with the production of a number of vitamins, including biotin, B5, B12, and K.
Prebiotics are non-digestible, oligosaccharides (several types of sugar molecules linked together) ingredients in our food that are the food sources for probiotics. Consuming prebiotics can often aid the digestion process, because they increase, nourish, and feed probiotic bacteria.
Prebiotics offer benefits beyond the effects on digestive flora. Research suggests that they have a protective quality against early-stage colon cancer. Other studies indicate that prebiotics lower triglycerides, however, the process is unknown. They may also reduce appetite, help regulate blood sugars, increase satiety, and therefore decrease the amount of energy consumed following several weeks of routine use.
Using Antibiotics With Probiotics
Antibiotics must be used carefully and for the right reasons. Though they can be very effective at killing off bad bacteria that causes illness, they also kill off good bacteria required for proper digestion: bifidus and acidophilus – both probiotics. If you have taken antibiotics in the past, or will require them in the future, we will often recommend using probiotic supplements that contain acidiphilus in tandem with your antibiotic prescription. Contact our compounding pharmacist today for more information.
Supplementing your diet with prebiotics and probiotics stimulates immunity through increased activity of cells that consume invading organisms, as well as though increased production of other white blood cells and cytokines – this could lead to stronger resistance to vital and bacterial infections.
Speak With Your Doctor
Speaking with a physician is always recommended before embarking on a new health regimen. Generally speaking, our pharmacists recommend that patients increase their probiotic dosage during antibiotic therapy to help maintain natural flora throughout treatment.
Questions? Concerns? Contact The Compounding Pharmacy of America today for more information with your pre- and pro-biotic regimen and alternative medicine!
Chief Operating Officer, The Compounding Pharmacy of America
Matthew Poteet, Pharm.D. graduated with Honors from Lee University with a Bachelors of Science in Biological Science. After his undergraduate training, he completed the Doctor of Pharmacy program at Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, graduating in 2004. Dr. Poteet has spent much of his pharmacy career on staff at two of the most prestigious academic teaching hospitals in the Southeast; Emory University in Atlanta and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. At these institutions he received extensive experience and training in sterile products compounding.
He returned home to East Tennessee in 2010, where he has held the position of Pharmacy Director at two sterile products pharmacies in Knoxville. Matthew lives in Knoxville with his wife, Chris. Dr. Poteet is Tennessee’s first Board Certified Anti-Aging Pharmacist by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.