Prebiotic Fiber More Effective in Increasing Intestinal Flora Than Most Probiotics

PHOENIX -- A recent product review conducted by Consumer Lab, a respected, independent laboratory that evaluates nutritional products, revealed startling findings after testing probiotic supplements (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium and others). One-third of the products tested contained less than 1 percent of the active bacteria claimed on the label.

Since consumers use probiotics to add beneficial bacteria to their own intestinal flora, these products should supply a sufficient amount of beneficial bacteria in order to be effective. Some probiotics tested claimed to contain billions of units per serving, yet Consumer Lab tests concluded these products contained 10,000 times less bacteria than was indicated on the label. This not only brings into question the benefits of supplementing one's diet with probiotics, but also the faith that consumers are getting what's stated on the bottle.

A common misconception is that probiotics colonize, but this is not the case. Probiotics are simply temporary support for the body's own intestinal flora. However, consumers can easily achieve the same -- and often better -- results by adding soluble fiber prebiotics to their diet. With diets high in refined foods, most of us lack sufficient dietary fiber, which leads to floral imbalance.

"Floral imbalance (intestinal dysbiosis) can impair gastrointestinal health and may manifest in afflictions such as irritable bowel syndrome," said Aftab Ahmed, PhD, vice president of research and development at Marlyn Nutraceuticals.

Research shows soluble prebiotic fiber, derived from Jerusalem artichoke (inulin), feeds and promotes growth of the body's own beneficial intestinal bacteria. By nourishing the flora native to your intestines, your gastrointestinal system becomes healthier and the body's own floral balance is restored. Inulin provides an additional advantage in that the body is able to use minerals and nutrients more efficiently.