By Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN
Scientific Director, Essential Formulas
Every time you eat, you are feeding 100 trillion guests. Scientists estimate that 100 trillion bacteria inhabit the human gastrointestinal tract. Like all living organisms, your probiotic bacteria require nourishment to thrive, survive and function properly.
The two main types of foods that probiotic bacteria require are dietary fibers and polyphenols. Here is some information that will help readers understand the characteristics of these two food groups. These foods are critical for the health and viability of your probiotic bacteria and for the production of postbiotic metabolites, which regulate many aspects of human health, especially the immune system.
Dietary Fibers are classified as either soluble or insoluble, and both types have essential functions and provide significant health benefits. These nutritional fibers occur primarily in plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole, unprocessed grains.
Fibers are classified according to their solubility and fermentability, which are essentially equivalent. Soluble fibers are readily fermentable by anaerobic probiotic bacteria that reside in the colon, producing important health-regulating postbiotic metabolites. Insoluble fibers are poorly fermentable and, thus, are not a good source of postbiotic metabolites. However, insoluble fibers do increase water absorption and accelerate intestinal transit time.
Polyphenols are a large class of compounds that occur primarily in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, herbs, and spices. Over 8,000 polyphenols have been structurally identified. Sub-categories of polyphenols include flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, and stilbenes. The largest sub-category is flavonoids; there are over 4,000 known flavonoids.
Plant-based foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are the primary sources of both dietary fibers and polyphenols. This emphasizes and explains why it is so critically important to consume a diet that contains a wide variety of plant-based foods. Consuming a diversity of plant-based foods enables your probiotic bacteria to produce a diversity of postbiotic metabolites, which is the foundation of creating and maintaining a healthy microbiome.
Multiple studies have shown that 90-95% of American children and adults DO NOT consume adequate amounts of dietary fiber and polyphenol-rich foods that nourish their probiotic bacteria. This results in a deficiency in the production of postbiotic metabolites, contributing to the development of many health problems.
Dysbiosis is a term that refers to a microbial imbalance, which results in intestinal symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation, pain, and inflammation. Dysbiosis is associated with an increased risk for many diseases ranging from intestinal, cardiovascular, neurological, respiratory, metabolic, cancer, and mental/emotional illnesses.i,ii
Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics is a complete microbiome product that contains probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotic metabolites. No other product is produced in a multi-year fermentation process, resulting in a final product that includes over 500 postbiotic metabolites. Directly delivering postbiotic metabolites explains why Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics has developed a worldwide reputation for fast relief from dysbiosis-related intestinal complaints and maintaining a healthy microbiome. At Essential Formulas, we refer to this as the Dr. Ohhira’s Advantage