MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • General

What is your gut microbiome?

100 trillion microbiomes live in and on every person and make up the human microbiota. 95% of this is located in the gastrointestinal tract, making up the gut microbiome. Bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast are naturally present in the gut microbiome can weigh up to 2kg. 

Some of the gut microbiome functions include helping with the production of some vitamins (B and K), playing an important role in immune system development, digesting fibre that has not been broken down in the stomach or large or small intestines, helping us combat harmful microorganisms and creates a barrier effect in the intestines and ensuring a proper digestive functioning.  


What is gut dysbiosis?

Gut dysbiosis is an imbalance in the gut microbiota which can lead to harmful effects in the gastrointestinal tract. Common symptoms of dysbiosis are diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, bloating, fatigue, anxiety and depression among others.  

Why does gut dysbiosis occur?

An imbalance in your gut microbiome can be caused by a number of factors such asa change in diet, increased alcohol intake (more than two alcoholic beverages a day), new medications such as antibiotics, increased levels of stress and/or anxiety. 

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are, live microorganisms that confer a health benefit when delivered in adequate amounts to the host. This supply of beneficial bacterial cultures can support and balance the gut microbiome.

What is the difference between prebiotics and probiotics? 

Probiotics are related to, but not the same as prebiotics. 


Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres that pass through the gastrointestinal tract to stimulate the growth and activity of non- pathogenic bacteria in the large intestine. 

Which has greater benefit, supplementing with a prebiotic or a probiotic?

Prebiotics on their may have very little benefit, however when used in conjunction with probiotics they can often confer a larger effective. You can find this prebiotic and probiotic combination in some supplements. Furthermore, some foods are natural synbiotics (contain both prebiotics and probiotics) these include cheese and kefir. 

How many strains does a probiotic supplement need to have to be effective? 

Multi-strain probiotic supplements are believed to be the most beneficial for balancing and maintaining the gut microbiome. However, the strains needs to have been tested to ensure they are able to survive together and reach the digestive system alive. Some strains also have specific activity and should be used for certain conditions. For example, Lactobacillus rhamnous GG has been clinically tested to help alleviate symptoms of diarrhoea caused by travelling or antibiotics.   

Is there a risk of becoming dependent on or addicted to probiotics?

There is no known risk of becoming dependent on probiotics and they are seen as safe for long- term use. 

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