Eastern traditions have proclaimed it for centuries – All disease begins in the gut.
A recent study has suggested that the answer to correcting poor sleep may lie in ensuring we are consistently ‘feeding’ our beneficial gut flora – another win for the importance of gut health!
“These data are the first to show that a diet rich in prebiotics can modulate the sleep-wake cycle both before and after stress and induce stress-protective effects in diurnal physiology and the gut microbiota”
It’s important not confuse the more commonly known probiotics with Prebiotics:
Pro-biotics = ‘beneficial’ live micro-organisms – bacteria, yeast or fungi – found in certain foods & supplements, which are essential for maintaining good health and vitality
Pre-biotics = non-digestible fibres that selectively stimulate the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria
Probiotics are fantastic for boosting and modulating our immune function & gastrointestinal health, but it is a common misconception that probiotics stimulate the growth of our gut flora and colonise the gut.
Probiotics are transient and do not colonise in the gut. This is why it is important to consistently consume prebiotics as they fuel the growth of “good”bacteria, and hence are a key treatment strategy in treating conditions where chronic gut dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) needs to be addressed:
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Anxiety & Depression
Dietary & Supplemental Prebiotics
Bimuno Daily – was the supplement used in the study and contains the prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS).
GOS is also extremely useful for taking 2 weeks prior and during overseas travel to prevent traveller’s diarrhoea and gastrointestinal infection, during and post-antibiotics and for boosting immune health (especially in children). Sensitive people with IBS and SIBO may react to GOS as it is gas-producing, so caution may be needed
Partially Hydrolized Guar Gum (PHGG) – this prebiotic is non-gas forming, and can be safely and easily taken by anyone including those with IBS and SIBO
PHGG is non-FODMAP, and is an extremely useful tool in healing chronic gut symptoms. It is a key treatment strategy for SIBO, IBS, & chronic gut dysbiosis
Dietary sources of prebiotic and prebiotic-like foods:
- Green Tea
- Brown Rice
- Raw potato starch
- Cooked and then cooled potatoes
- Raw Cashews
- Raw oats
- Raw chicory root
Quality sleep is so important for overall health and wellbeing, and up to 1/3 people experience insomnia
Whilst prebiotics are not a stand-alone treatment, it’s definetely proving to be a worthy addition for insomnia treatment. Majority of the clients I see at clinic in Surry Hills (Sydney) benefit from targeting their gut health for improving sleep, energy and mental health
Talk with your naturopath today!