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Prebiotics and Butyrate

Prebiotics and  Butyrate What’s the Connection?

Prebiotics and Butyrate diagram

We used to think that the total surface of our digestive tract was about the size of a tennis court. Now, we know better …that’s been corrected. NIH study shows it to be the size of half a badminton court. With that said, it’s curious to note that there’s only one single layer of cells that separates our gut from the rest of our bodily function.

It’s very important to realize that the primary constituents that keep this very important cell layer alive are known as a short-chain fatty acid by the name of butyrate.

Butyrate is what our beneficial flora makes from the soluble fiber we take in.

So what happens, in essence, is that we feed the beneficial flora in our gut, and then the beneficial bacteria, in turn, help to feed us by keeping our digestive tract healthy.

Our good gut bacteria thrive on the soluble fiber or prebiotics that we ingest and the good bacteria provide the vital energy source for the cells that line our gut.

Now, what about bad bacteria?

We have to address the issue that there are bad bacteria all around as well. The more they proliferate, the sicker we become. The challenge we face it to consistently keep lots of the good bacteria around but at the same time get rid of the bad or pathogenic bacteria

The way our good flora tell our immune system that they’re helpful and beneficial bacteria, and not bad bacteria, is by butyrate signals. Clinical rsearch has shown us how butyrate is able to suppresses inflammatory reaction and how butyrate instructs our immune system to calms down.

When butyrate levels are low, our immune system doesn’t know this and is therefore unable to stop their attack on bacteria.

When we don’t fuel the growth of good bacteria with enough fiber, we don’t produce enough butyrate. Hypothetically, we could have lots of good bacteria, however, if we fail to feed them with fiber, they don’t make butyrate.

Unfortunately when our body senses low levels of butyrate, it mistakenly thinks that our gut is filled with bad bacteria and responds accordingly. What happens is that our human body may mistake low fiber intake for having a population of bad bacteria in our gut.

In reality, our human body has evolved over millions of years, all the time getting massive fiber intake. Our body doesn’t recognize modern day, processed foods which sorely lack soluble fiber, the very fuel needed for butyrate production.

For all this time, low butyrate has implied bad bacteria, so that’s the reason our body goes into an inflammatory offensive response.

You can prevent this from happening by making sure that you take an excellent source of prebiotic soluble fiber on a daily basis. It’s critical for butyrate production to support optimal health.

Butyrate: Feeding the Gut and Beyond for Animal Health

Fantastic Facts about Guar Gum Prebiotics

The Fantastic Facts about Guar Gum Prebiotic.

guar gum image

It’s only recently that the amazing benefits of Guar Gum, particularly when it’s partially hydrolyzed and used therapeutically as a prebiotic, have come to our attention. Not only are people talking about it and starting to use it, but the clinical research that has been accumulating over many years now, has been noticed and cited by physicians, scientists, dietitians and practitioners involved in the holistic health community. Here are the fantastic facts about Guar Gum Prebiotics.

The Human Microbiome Project has really shifted gears for us. Now we know that an adult’s microbiome is established in the first 2 years of their life. If that’s the case then it stands to reason that the optimal way to keep the gut healthy is to feed this microbiome. And that’s exactly what Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum does, and in a most efficient way.

To find out the facts, please read on……

What is Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum?

Guar Gum comes from the seeds of the guar plant, an Indian tree. The seeds are harvested, dried, and then screen-processed into a fine powder. This soluble dietary fiber is subjected to hydrolyzation. Hydrolyzation? It’s a controlled natural enzymatic process that breaks the guar gum down into smaller units. This decreases the viscosity dramatically and so the particles dissolve quickly and easily and yet still keep the original fiber content. It’s an extremely versatile powder. It’s easily taken in water, with no after taste, and no odor.

Why is Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum considered a Prebiotic?

Prebiotics are the so-called ‘fertilizers’ for our good bacteria. The soluble fiber goes directly down to the large intestine without being affected by the stomach acid. The body breaks down these complex carbohydrates into a gelatin-like, sticky byproduct. They ferment and this results in the production of gases and acids in the lower gut. This is what promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine. These good bacteria have wide spread benefit to many essential bodily functions as well as to overall health. Did you know that 70% of our serotonin, which influences our mood, resides in our gut?

Why is Guar Gum different from other Prebiotics?

Guar Gum Prebiotic fiber is unique when you compare it to other non galactomannan based fibers, like Inulin and FOS i.e. fructooliogosaccarides. This is why. Generally speaking, prebiotic fiber produces “short chain fatty acids” (SCFA) in the gut through the fermentation process. But it’s actually the rate of the production of SCFA’s that is very significant. If fermentation occurs quickly, which is the case with Inulin and FOS, it causes is an excess of uncomfortable bloating and flatulence. Fortunately, the fermentation process of partially hydrolyzed guar gum is very slow. This means that it leads to in a higher total amount of SCFA’s being produced over a longer period of time. That’s the reason there is significantly less gas, bloating and discomfort.

How does the production of Short Chain Fatty Acids help Digestion?

Basically there are three main types of Short Chain Fatty Acids – SCFAs. They are called Acetates, Propionates, and Butyrates. The acetates and the propionates are beneficial but they tend to transfer through the walls of the intestine and get metabolized in muscle or liver. Its only the Butyrates that remain in the digestive system and act as a food and energy source for our beneficial microflora.

It is true that Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum can help both constipation and diarrhea?

Yes, Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum has a truly regulating effect on the digestive system and helps with both constipation and diarrhea. It can bind excess water, add more bulk to the stool and also return
stool content to a normal healthy state. Most importantly, (and why it is considered a prebiotic) it helps to improve the status of the microflora in the digestive system.

Is the partially hydrolyzed Guar Gum considered a natural product?

Yes, it most certainly is a natural product. It’s minimally processed to obtain a finished product with the desired properties. It begins with a natural material, which is grown in fields that are not treated with any chemicals. Then, no preservatives or additives are used during manufacturing. It’s is also certified Kosher, Halal, and it’s vegetarian and Non-GMO. All raw materials are kept free from GMO and their derivatives throughout the production process. And, yes. our Partially hydrolyzed Guar Gum qualifies as an Organic material.

Is there research to support the benefits of Guar Gum?

Perfect Pass Prebiotic Guar Gum

Perfect Pass Prebiotic PHGG

Yes there’s loads of great research, both human and animal studies.

We know is helps improve beneficial probiotics within the intestinal tract including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus and it helps with the management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum has been shown to help a wide variety of conditions, not only related to digestion.  It’s been given as oral rehydration solution in the treatment of severe cholera in adults, Digestion (2008), to improve in glucose intolerance as well as in lipid metabolism and immune function.

Prebiotics – what are they?

I’ve been reading a lot about prebiotics recently and I wanted to share this information with you. We tend to focus a lot on probiotics. Even the media is going crazy at the moment, talking about how important probiotics are, offering all kinds of yogurts and supplements. However, there is not a word about prebiotics. Prebiotics are just as important, if not more important than probiotics. Let me tell you why.

What are Prebiotics?

Prebiotics are actually soluble fibers that stimulate the growth of the good bacteria i.e. probiotics, that colonize the large intestine. In actual fact, they act as substrate for them.

So they’re the ones that nourish the good bacteria that everyone already has in their gut. They provide a wide range of health benefits to everyone, even healthy people, with a lot of clinical research to support their efficacy.

The additional good news about prebiotics is that they are not affected by heat, cold, acid or time and can definitely be helpful for all sorts of digestive complaints, like IBS, gastritis, and IBD or inflammatory bowel disease. I’ve spoken about probiotics of decades now. I have stressed how important they are for helping the digestive system stay in balance, which is turn plays a very important role in overall health.

We know that the good bacteria found in the intestines strengthen the bowel wall as well as improve mineral absorption and also help in the regulation of hormone production. Now we need to look at prebiotics as well because they are the ones that literally ‘fertilize’ these good bacteria while they crowd out bad, pathogenic bacteria.

Benefits of Prebiotics.

When taking a closer look you will see that probiotics provide many benefits.

  • Prebiotics are regulating fiber in that it not only helps with constipation, but can also help with diarrhea as well as it returns stool content to a normal healthy state.
  • Because its not soluble prebiotics will not cause any diarrhea when used frequently.
  • It’s well tolerated and does not result in any bloating, cramping and gas which often happens when you take other fibers. And …
  • Its 100% Gluten free.

Where to find Prebiotics

Garlic contains prebiotics


The most common type of prebiotic is from the soluble dietary fiber called inulin. Inulin is common in many plants that contain fructan. Many of these plants are often common vegetables that we often eat like asparagus, garlic, leek, onion and artichokes. Here’s a list of the top 10 foods that are high in prebiotics, together with the percentage of prebiotics contained in each food:

  • Raw Chicory root: 64.6% prebiotic fiber by weight
  • Raw Jerusalem artichoke: 31.5% prebiotics by weight Please note that Jerusalem artichokes are not the green artichokes you find at the veggie counter – ask for Jerusalem archichoke specifically.)
  • Raw Dandelion greens: 24.3% prebiotic fiber by weight
  • Raw Garlic: 17.5% prebiotics by weight
  • Raw Leek: 11.7% prebiotic fiber by weight
  • Raw Onion: 8.6% prebiotics by weight
  • Cooked Onion: 5% prebiotic fiber by weight
  • Raw Asparagus: 5% prebiotics by weight
  • Raw Wheat bran: 5% prebiotic fiber by weight
  • Wheat flour, baked: 4.8% prebiotics by weight
  • Raw Banana: 1% prebiotic fiber by weight.

and Guess What? Even Dr Oz suggests a Probiotic Shake.
Here it is:
10 oz almond milk
1/2 cup blueberries
1 medium banana
1 scoop plant-based protein powder (rice or hemp)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!

Here’s a probiotic supplement that contains prebiotics: Spectraprobiotics

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