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What are ‘Synbiotics’?

Based on a technical article written by Cliff Harvey, read the full article here

Synbiotics are foods or supplements that combine probiotics (helpful gut bacteria) and prebiotics (non-digestible fibres that help gut bacteria grow), and sometimes postbiotics. The term synbiotic derives from the synergistic relationship between how these two work together in your digestive tract.

The concept of the synbiotic is that prebiotics help the probiotics survive in your intestines which in turn balances gut bacteria and enhances gut health, metabolism and immune function.

Vita Biosa is a fermented combination of pre-, pro-, and postbiotics, making up an ‘ecosystem’ where there is a fuel substrate (prebiotics) for live organisms (probiotics). This ecosystem produces organic acids and short-chain fatty acids (postbiotics) that benefit the microbiome (gut bacteria).

The General Health Effects of Synbiotics

The general health benefits of synbiotics are far-reaching.

At a glance, these include:

  • Improved nutrient absorption

  • Reduced inflammation

  • Relief for bowel diseases

  • Enhanced immune function

  • A healthy heart

  • Reduced risk of several diseases

  • Boosted weight loss

Synbiotics significantly increase levels of beneficial Bifidobacteria in the gut and reduce inflammation. Their anti-inflammatory effects are even more pronounced in inflammatory bowel diseases, arthritis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Synbiotic supplementation may also increase the total antioxidant capacity of the body and has been clearly demonstrated to increase one of the body’s most important antioxidants; glutathione. Supplementation also significantly reduces the level of gut-derived endotoxins, implicated in cardiovascular and other diseases.

Synbiotic supplementation might also help to maintain a healthy weight and support the cardiovascular system, with studies showing that supplementation can help to reduce body mass, blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol, and increase HDL-cholesterol. These effects are most pronounced when synbiotics are supplemented for more than 8 weeks.

Synbiotics might also have a role in reducing the negative effects of a ‘leaky gut’. While the gut wall is permeable – to allow for the uptake of nutrients – excessive intestinal permeability (‘leaky’ gut) can promote immune issues, allergies, and inflammation. Intestinal permeability is influenced by diet and lifestyle factors such as gluten and dysbiosis (an imbalance in a person's naturally occurring microflora). Synbiotic supplementation reduces the key signal for a leaky gut (zonulin) and might play a role in reducing excessive intestinal permeability.

Research shows that synbiotic supplementation has a range of other health benefits including:

  • Reduced complications of surgery and hospitalisation

  • Improved blood lipids and blood sugar regulation, and reduced inflammation in prediabetes, diabetes, and metabolic syndromes

  • Improved antioxidant capacity and glutathione in diabetes

  • Improved insulin and blood lipids in people with obesity

  • Reduced BMI, body weight, and waist circumference in people with obesity

  • Improved blood pressure

  • Reduced incidence of respiratory infections

  • Reduced asthma risk

  • Possible cancer-protective effects

  • Reductions in pregnancy-related anxiety

  • Improved insulin homeostasis in pregnant women

  • Reduced risk of hyperbilirubinemia (jaundice) in new-borns, and improved birth weight

  • Improved irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms

  • Improved markers of health in people with kidney disease

  • Possible improvements in behavioural symptoms of autism spectrum disorder

  • Reduced inflammation and improved insulin homeostasis in people with autoimmune conditions

  • Improved rates of remission, reduced inflammation, and reduced disease activity in inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis

  • Improved hormone profiles and insulin sensitivity and homeostasis in polycystic ovary disease

For more info and references, check out the full article by Cliff Harvey:

What are Synbiotics?

Technical Article


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