You Have Heard About Probiotics But Do You Know What Prebiotics Are?

When looking at the words prebiotic and probiotic they look very similar, only containing one different letter. They also have similar benefits as their jobs are to improve overall health by starting with digestive health. According to Dr. Shekhar Challa, author of Probiotics for Dummies, and creator of the first Probiotic video game –, probiotics mean “for life.” Probiotics are the good bacteria. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients, like inulin, that stimulate the growth and/or activity of bacteria in the digestive system in ways believed to be beneficial to health and are not consumed by the bad bacteria. Essentially Prebiotics act as food or fuel to Probiotics. Probiotics and Prebiotics worktogether to maintain gut health.

Prebiotic fiber is not affected by heat, cold, acid or time, yet probiotics can be killed by heat, acid or passage of time. Prebiotics nourish the thousands of good bacterial species already living in the colon. Probiotics contain species of bacteria which are added to the colon when ingested.

Probiotics are the beneficial organisms, prebiotics help probiotic bacteria grow and flourish. Prebiotics and probiotics working together are called synbiotics. Now we can understand that prebiotics are the support team to probiotics which maintain our gut health. When Prebiotics and Probiotics are available in the same product it is called a synbiotic. Probulin is a classic example of a synbiotic.


Probiotics & Autism

Do you know someone with autism?  You probably answered yes to this question because the number of children with autism in the United States continues to rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1 in 88 American children has autism, when a decade ago the estimate was about 1 in every 150 children.  This is a 78% increase over 10 years.


Moises Valsquez-Monoff, author of a recent editorial in the New York Times says it all has to do with inflammation and the immune system during pregnancy. While the woman is pregnant, inflammatory antibodies which are designed to fight off invading organisms, seem to damage the babies’ brain development in a way that leads to behavioral problems that are consistent with autism.

In today’s world, our immune systems have come unhinged, which has given rise to high rates of autoimmune diseases and allergies that are linked to autism. There has been growing interest in the use of probiotics as a natural way to restore the balance of good bacteria in the gut. Studies have shown parents of autistic children reporting vast improvements in behavior with the use of probiotic supplements. Adding probiotics to their diet improves their digestion which then may improve behavior. 

For more information about Probiotics & Autism visit:


Note: contact your pediatrician or family physician before giving your child probiotic supplements.


Always Go With Your Gut,

The Probulin Team

Human Microbiome Project: Studying Microbial Cells (Don’t worry, all the science-y talk is in the headline!)

Researching probiotics brought me to an interesting website recently. The Human Microbiome Project is an initiative of the National Institutes of Health to study the microbial cells in the human body, which outnumber human cells 10 to one.

It’s only recently that we’ve had the technology to study those microbial cells so that we can better understand the impact they have on our development, physiology, immunity and nutrition. The project is focusing on microbes found in the nasal, oral, skin, gastrointestinal and urogenital areas.

I’m interested in these studies because the impact probiotics have in your body has to do with the impact on the microbial environment. As technology and scientists isolate the information, we’ll learn more about strains of probiotics that will help us the most, particularly in treating disease states.

While the project isn’t focused on probiotics, any understanding of the microbial environment in our bodies will advance the science that we use to bring you the best probiotics possible. It’s exciting to see glimmers of the future potential – aside from the amazing things good bacteria already do!

To read more about what the Human Microbiome Project is doing, click here:


Go with your Gut,

The Probulin Team

This article was originally posted on by Dr. Shekhar Challa on Feb 13, 2012. With permission by the author we have reposted it on

Selecting and Using Probiotic Supplements

Even though probiotic-rich foods should be an important part of your life, you probably need probiotic supplements to ingest enough bacteria to make a difference. Supplements are especially important if you’re treating a specific illness, such as inflammatory bowel disease or other health issues.

Even people in the medical profession would be lost in the supplements aisle of the grocery store shopping for probiotics. Because the research is still in its infancy, specific recommendations about how much good bacteria you should take (or, in some cases, which strain will help particular diseases) just aren’t available.

However, here are some points to keep in mind:

What goes in your mouth does not necessarily reach your colon.

Good  bacteria can’t help you if they don’t survive your stomach acid. Look for products labeled “encapsulated” or some other indication that they use technology to help the good bacteria reach your colon.

More strains of bacteria are better than one.

Make sure your supplement includes Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains. Also check for prebiotic ingredients like inulin; prebiotics make the probiotic bacteria more effective. (Probulin is a good example of this kindof supplement.)

Always check the expiration date and storage information.

Some supplements need to be chilled; even those that don’t require refrigeration should be stored away from heat. Heat destroys probiotic bacteria, so don’t drink coffee, hot tea, or other hot beverages for an hour after you take probiotics in any form — either as a supplement or in foods.

✓ Good probiotic supplements include prebiotics.

The good probiotic supplements include fiber (prebiotics) which serves as “food” for the probiotic bacteria. Including insoluble fiber ensures probiotic have enough food for energy and growth once they reach the gut.

So next time you head to the store or go online for your supply of probiotic supplements, be sure to check the supplement facts on the bottle.

Go with your health,

Probiotic Team

Face the World with Probiotics

It’s like Mom use to say: True beauty comes from within. And guess what! What lives in our guts may show in our faces. Some research suggests that an imbalance in gut flora can be linked to the production of blemishes. The toxins from bad bacteria actually seem to promote breakouts.

Traditional treatments, such as antibiotics, kill off the good as well as bad bacteria, further throwing your system’s balance out of whack. A steady regimen of Probulin may help to maintain a healthy ratio of good bacteria and reduce breakouts. In fact, this was first written about in the 1960s when Dr. R.H. Siver was doing a study with patients with gastrointestinal problems and treating them with probiotics. He noticed one side effect was that their skin cleared up… So while there’s not a lot of definitive research, it’s hard to ignore the connection between what bacteria is doing in your gut and your skin health!

When it’s time to let your inner beauty shine out, research sure is suggesting that probiotics may be valuable in helping you put your best face forward.

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team

Guess what – probiotics are good for your breath too!

The more we read about probiotics, the more we’re tempted to call them the “general, all-purpose help out your body and make your life better” bacteria! It’s exciting to see the beneficial bacteria in probiotics getting a lot of attention in the medical world and then we find out all these good things.

In Spain, a recent study found that probiotics can help oral health, fighting off gingivitis, bad breath and the development of cavities. These findings were reported in the Archives of Oral Biology Journal, and a dentist (not in the study) even said they’ve seen that probiotics applied directly to the gums help fight gum disease.
Our ProfreshMints product is a great way to make sure the probiotics are affecting your oral health, and also your gut, where they do tons of good. With multiple strains of bacteria, this gum is designed to make you feel better!

What a nice thing to do for yourself – and all the people who have to smell your breath! 🙂

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team

Ulcers: Probiotic research in its early stages

Ulcers are open sores that are pretty commonly found in the stomach or first part of the small intestine. In most people, they’re caused by theHelicobacter pylori bacteria, although they can occur because of other reasons.

While probiotic research is in its infancy on this subject, studies have shown that probiotics decrease the number of H. pylori bacteria in the stomach. The usual treatment for ulcers is antibiotics and other studies found that if probiotics are taken along with antibiotics, the chance of getting rid of the H. pylori are higher.

Researchers in Spain successfully tested various strains of Bifidobacteria in treating H. pylori. You can read about that HERE

This is why it’s so exciting about the probiotics medical field! Every day new research comes out showing how this good bacteria affects our bodies and helps many health problems. The potential is tremendous! And what’s terrific is that you can be proactive while you’re waiting on the evidence-based research to solidify. Most of us (and be sure to check with your doctor if you have a medical condition) can take probiotics now and start getting the good effects, even as the medical world continues to discover MORE good effects.

Talk about a win-win. Certainly a better gamble than the stock market these days. . .


Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team

Living Long – How the Probiotic Revolution Began

Elie Metchnikoff 1845-1916

Early in the 20th century, a Russian scientist Elie Metchnikoff wondered about the long, healthy lives of Bulgarian pheasants. When Metchnikoff (who won a Noble Prize for other scientific work he did) explored the diet of these rural communities, he found they ate a lot of fermented foods, dairy products in particular.

From there, Metchnikoff explored what in the foods might be affecting the Bulgarian’s health, deciding that lactic-acid producing bacteria in the gut had some impact on health. Although he didn’t call them probiotics (that term wasn’t coined until decades later) he was the first person to examine the effects of bacteria on our health.

Metchnikoff wasn’t alone in his work. A French scientist, Henry Tissier, noticed bacterial differences in children suffering from diarrhea. He identified bifid bacteria and recommended that children suffering from diarrhea might benefit from taking that bacteria.

On the shoulders of these two men – and many other insightful medical researchers – is built an industry that today may hold the key to many health issues we face. From bacterial changes in children with autism to probiotics that help fight off antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the exciting world of probiotics and probiotics is finally getting the attention it deserves!

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team

The Brain-Gut Connection

A terrific article in Scientific American recently highlighted the strong connection scientists are finding between the bacteria in your gut and brain development. What they’re discovering is that varying problems with gut flora can cause brain and neurological issues. They’re even finding connections between what bacteria are in your gut and autoimmune issues.

The article said, “In autism and other pervasive developmental disorders, there are reports that the specific bacterial species present in the gust are altered and that gastrointestinal problems exacerbate behavioral symptoms. A newly developed biochemical test for autism is based, in part, upon the end products of bacterial metabolism.”

It’s exciting to see the advances being made as we begin to understand how the bacteria in our body affects us. Be sure to check out the entire article at Scientific American!

Go with your gut,

The Probulin Team