What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are natural, non-digestible fibres that ‘feed’ the good bacteria already in our gut helping them to grow and flourish.
Consuming prebiotic rich foods can help the good bacteria in your gut grow, improving the good-to-bad bacteria ratio which is essential for good digestive health.
These good bacteria play a large role in the condition of your digestive system and overall health. Learn more about the importance of gut health.
Prebiotics vs. Probiotics
Both prebiotics and probiotics can help digestive health. A probiotic is a preparation of live bacteria found in non-pasteurised yoghurt and dairy, fermented foods such sauerkraut and some supplements. Essentially, while prebiotics work to improve your existing gut microflora, probiotics aim to do this by introducing new, live bacteria into your gut.
Capilano Dietitian, Kate Save, explains that “while there has been plenty of hype about the benefits of probiotics over the years, few are aware of prebiotics which play an equally significant role in our gut health and should be a staple in our diets. If you think of your digestive bacteria as a garden, then consider that prebiotics are the food that your garden needs to flourish."
“Prebiotics are naturally occurring in many foods such as certain honeys, bananas and many vegetables including garlic, onions, leeks and Jerusalem artichokes - making it easy to incorporate them into your daily routine," says Kate.
According to Kate, prebiotics and probiotics can work together in the gut to enhance our digestive health. “So for optimal health and wellness, I'd recommend that people look after their gut bacteria by consuming adequate amounts of prebiotics and probiotics.”
What is prebiotic honey?
While the scientific community has long believed honey to be a good source of prebiotics, until now there has never been any human clinical studies to support this.
A world-first clinical study led by Professor Patricia Conway and subsequent research at The University of New South Wales (UNSW) analysed select Australian honeys to scientifically validate the specifications of a prebiotic honey to deliver consumer certainty around its health and wellness benefits. The results found that certain honeys significantly raised the levels of good bacteria and suppressed harmful bacteria. Furthermore, levels of good bacteria decreased once the participants stopped taking the honey for a period of time.
According to UNSW Professor Patricia Conway, “honey has been used to help normalise digestive balance for many years. The focus of the clinical study was to scientifically validate the specifications of a prebiotic honey to deliver consumers certainty around its potential health and wellness benefits.
“The results of the clinical study found that at a serving size of 14mL, approximately one tablespoon per day, of certain honeys significantly raised the levels of good bacteria and suppressed potentially harmful bacteria in the digestive tract. Furthermore, levels of good bacteria decreased once the participants stopped taking the honey for a period of time.”
However, not all honeys are created equal. Beeotic by Capilano Honey is the only honey on the market that is specifically tested to ensure it offers a beneficial level of prebiotic content. Learn more about the science of Beeotic.
Learn more about prebiotics below from two of our experts!
Professor Conway explains the difference between prebiotics & probiotics