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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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What are probiotics and prebiotics?

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Dr. Ramesh Kumar

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1986

Answered : 2165 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 17 Feb 2017 in Abdominal Pain
Question: Hello Doctor,
Can you share you're professional opinion on Probiotis & Prebiotics in regards to myself. I will explain.
I am a 63 yr. old female with hx. of Colonic Inertia. I am Iyr. s/p Total colectomy with Anastomosis to Rectum. In addition I have had Open Abdominal Surgery for Small Bowel Obstruction & Strangulated Hernia as wee as Post Op Adhesions. I will see my GI MD in two weeks. I was told i need to follow low-fiber diet, but still continue with this constant diarrhea. I would appreciate you're thought's. Thank You,Sincerely, XXXXXXX Madola
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Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar 51 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Prebiotic stimulate the growth of gut flora probiotic containsthat flora!

Detailed Answer:

According to NCBI-
Gut flora is the complex community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts of humans. The intestinal microflora is a complex ecosystem containing over 400 bacterial species. Anaerobes outnumber facultative anaerobes. The flora is sparse in the stomach and upper intestine, but luxuriant in the lower bowel.Surgery involving intestines destroys this flora(as part of the intestine is removed where this microflora exists) of gut and lead to various problems with digestive system including belching, bloating and increased gas formation loose motion.Probiotic mechanisms of action include enhancement of the epithelial barrier, increased adhesion to intestinal mucosa, and concomitant inhibition of pathogen adhesion production of anti-microorganism substances and modulation of the immune system.In LAY MANS language it contain a lot of bacteria's which forms a part of normal gut flora,Hence it substitutes the flora lost during surgery and improve digestion.In the same way Prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth of a limited number of bacteria in the colon, thus improving digestion.Again the work is same to stimulate the growth of the bacteria's in gut flora.Hence overall both of them help restoring the lost gut flora due to intestine resection and helps in digestion.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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