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Prebiotics and Probioitcs

Specific Carbohydrate Diet


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Definitions used by the international scientific associations for probiotics and prebiotics

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microbes that can be formulated into many different types of product, including foods, drugs, and dietary supplements. Species of Lactobacillus (Fig. 1) and Bifidobacterium are most commonly used as probiotics, but the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and some E. coli and Bacillus species are also used as probiotics. Lactic acid bacteria, including Lactobacillus species, which have been used for preservation of food by fermentation for thousands of years, can serve a dual function by acting as agents for food fermentation and, in addition, potentially imparting health benefits. Strictly speaking, however, the term “probiotic” should be reserved for live microbes that have been shown in controlled human studies to impart a health benefit. Fermentation of food provides characteristic taste profiles and lowers the pH, which prevents contamination by potential pathogens. Fermentation is globally applied in the preservation of a range of raw agricultural materials (cereals, roots, tubers, fruit and vegetables, milk, meat, fish etc.).

Examples of Prebiotics:

  • Garlic 
  • Bananas 
  • Green, raw bananas and plantains contain another type of prebiotic: resistant starch. 
  • Chicory Root - 
  • Honey - 
  • Asparagus -  
  • Acacia Gum - 
  • Artichokes, (with Jerusalem artichoke the most rich in prebiotic fiber), 
  • Leeks 
  • Onions 
  • Whole Grains - 
  • Legumes - 
  • Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar - vinegar is a great source of fibers if it's raw. 
  • Dandelion Greens - 
  • Dandelion root 
  • Most Coffee Substitutes - coffee substitutes contain roasted chicory root, (rich in inulin), and some contain dandelion root.
  • Cooked and cooled potatoes contain resistant starch, one of the best prebiotics that there is. Baked potatoes are great too. T
  • Cooked and cooled rice. Sushi is a great, delicious way to get some of that resistant starch in your diet.
  • Marine Algae - Spirulina, Chlorella, Nostoc
  • Some mushrooms, like shiitakemaitake, and reishi, contain beta glucans, a novel prebiotic.
  • Brewer's yeast is a prebiotic because of its high content in beta glucans.
  • All vegetables are best uncooked, in order to preserve intact their fiber. Cooking transforms the prebiotic fiber in simple sugars, so when you cook them, you will get a lower fiber content from the same amount of vegetables.

An introduction to Prebiotics and Probiotics: From University of Michiagan

                                                                                  Tips from University of Wisconsin