There are trillions of microbes in and on you with huge influence well beyond the gut wall, yet these microbes are vulnerable to disturbances. The illnesses you encounter, particularly as a child, and sometimes their treatments affect this ecosystem. Repeated disturbances can lead to long-term consequences in the diversity of the species within this ecosystem.
Prebiotics are nutritious to beneficial bacteria. It’s important to note though that prebiotics can only feed beneficial bacteria if they are present. Resistant starch is the name given to soluble fibre that essentially passes through the stomach and small intestine undigested. It reaches the colon where it acts as fuel for your beneficial microbes. Some foods high in resistant starch include garlic, onion, asparagus, and artichokes… or try baking with green banana flour.
Probiotics help to re-establish a diverse community of beneficial bacteria, they travel to the colon where they take up residence and multiply.
Beneficial bacteria are vulnerable to acidity and digestive enzymes so not all of the ingested bacteria survive the trip, however specific strains and combinations of species of bacteria can be taken if you are trying to promote the growth of particular bacteria. There is a huge amount of emerging research on the many and varied applications of prebiotics and probiotics on health conditions ranging from tooth decay to allergies and obesity.
Try including fermented food in your diet, and supplement with a multi-strain synbiotic – which includes probiotics with prebiotic support – such as the Akesi range of Probiotic+ powders.