Prebotics: Are They Important?



    Kulani Mahikoa
    Executive Vice President
    Kirkman Group, Inc.



Some health experts argue that prebiotics rival probiotics in their importance to gastrointestinal and immune system health.

Probiotics are good bacteria that live in the large intestine.  When they are sufficiently present, they crowd out bad bacteria that can cause health problems and create healthy microflora to support digestion, immune function and bestow other important health benefits.  Probiotics can be sourced from foods such as yogurt or sauerkraut or dietary supplements.

Prebiotics, come from fibrous plants like chicory root (inulin), raw asparagus, artichokes, raw onions and dietary supplements.  When ingested they provide food for probiotics to help the good bacteria grow and multiply.  

Unlike probiotics, prebiotics aren’t degraded by body heat or stomach acid as they move through the gastrointestinal tract.  They stay intact until they reach the colon where about 80% of the body’s bacteria reside. There, they act as “fertilizer” or “food” to only the good bacteria and can cause their rapid growth.

Think of it this way – probiotics add good bacteria to the gut while prebiotics make good bacteria grow and repopulate the gut.  Both are beneficial to get rid of unwanted or bad microorganisms that can cause illness.  The reason you may want to use both is that probiotics and prebiotics have a symbiotic relationship, which means that when they are taken together they can be mutually beneficial to each other. 

Kirkman® uses inulin, from chicory root and acacia gum prebiotics in some of its probiotic blends. These prebiotics provide probiotics with significant substrate to attach to the intestinal tract resulting in improved colonization.

Kirkman’s probiotic products with prebiotics in their formulations include:

0341-120 Pro-Culture Gold™ – Hypoallergenic

Kirkman’s Pro-Culture Gold™ features the Lactobacillus rhamnosus (L. rhamnosus) probiotic strain. This species is recognized as one of the primary friendly lactic acid bacteria that resides in a healthy GI tract. Research over the past decade has shown that L. rhamnosus provides a number of important health benefits including:

  • ability to adhere to the GI mucosa and colonize the GI tract;
  • support for the body’s immune system;
  • help for alleviating occasional diarrhea or constipation.

0345-060 Super Pro-Bio™ 75 billion – Bio-Max Series – Hypoallergenic

Super Pro-Bio™ 75 Billion is Kirkman’s powerful broad-spectrum probiotic formulation containing seven strains of probiotic organisms that colonize and adhere to the gastrointestinal tract, thereby helping support GI health, good intestinal flora and immune system response. This formulation contains excess of 75 billion organisms, which makes it one of the most potent probiotic formulations available to the increasing number of physicians who use probiotic products to aid in gastrointestinal support.

0463-090 Pro-Bio Defense™

Pro-Bio Defense™ contains the most important “resident” and “transient” microorganisms that contribute to maintaining and promoting a healthy GI tract. It offers the six probiotic strains in Kirkman’s popular Pro-Bio Gold™ with added Saccharomyces boulardii (S. boulardii), a special strain of yeast that has probiotic capabilities.

0485-060 Multi-Flora Spectrum – Hypoallergenic™

Kirkman’s Multi-Flora Spectrum™ is one of the most broad spectrum and potent probiotic formulations available in the marketplace. The strains used in this formulation have been the subjects of extensive clinical studies. These studies documented their ability to adhere to and colonize the gastrointestinal tract, resist gastric acid and bile salts, improve lactose digestion and support immune system response. 

8813-005 Culturelle® with Lactobacillus GG

Culturelle® with LGG has been widely studied and documented to have the following characteristics and benefits:

  • adheres and colonizes the gastrointestinal tract;
  • assists intestinal functioning;
  • supports the body’s natural defenses;helps alleviate occasional diarrhea;
  • has high tolerance to survive stomach acids;
  • assists with lactose metabolism.

0508-008 Acidophilus Probiotic Powder

Kirkman’s Acidophilus Probiotic Powder includes six strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotics. This reformulated product includes the addition of a significant amount of inulin from chicory root.

2503-060 P2i Baby™ Probiotic Gastrointestinal Support – Hypoallergenic

A probiotic for men and women specially formulated to use from preconception through pregnancy.  Healthy intestinal flora for prospective parents is extremely important because flora is involved in immune system response, proper digestion and overall gastrointestinal health. P2i Baby™ Probiotic Gastrointestinal Support is the perfect maintenance probiotic to ensure a healthy gut flora on a continuing basis.

About Kulani Mahikoa

Kulani Mahikoa is Vice President and Marketing Director of Kirkman Group, Inc. She has had successful careers both as a journalist and as an entrepreneur.
This entry was posted in All, Gastrointestinal Health, P2i, Probiotics. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>