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Gastroenterologist Dr Nutan Desai Explains The Benefits Of Postbiotics For People With Digestion Problems

1. What are postbiotics, prebiotics and probiotics?

The members of the biotic family include the following: 1. Prebiotics: Substrates, often fibres, selectively utilized by host microorganisms that offer health benefits. 2. Probiotics: Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate quantities confer a health benefit to the host. 3. Paraprobiotics: Inactivated or non-viable probiotic strains which when given in sufficient amount, confer health benefits to host. 4. Postbiotics: It is a group of metabolites produced in the fermentation process of dietary components.

2. How exactly are postbiotics different from prebiotics and probiotics?

Unlike probiotics, postbiotics are not alive, are more stable, and have a longer shelf life. They don’t require strict production and storage conditions, thus making them more suitable for places with inconsistent access to refrigeration and processing. They can be used in immunocompromised and critically ill patients as well.

3. What are the benefits of postbiotics?

Potential health benefits of postbiotics include: – Anti-inflammatory – Immunomodulating effects – Antiobesogenic – Antihypertensive – Hypocholesterolemic – Antiproliferative – Antioxidant effects

4. What is the impact of postbiotics on host-microbiota interactions?

– Induce cellular immune and anti-inflammatory responses by inhibiting IL-8 secretion in intestinal epithelial cells by inducing secretion of microbial soluble anti-inflammatory peptides – It can exert immunomodulation activity by increasing levels of Th1-associated cytokines and reducing Th2-associated cytokines – Prolong dendritic cell survival and maturation, and induced high IL-10 production through TLR-2, suggesting an immune regulatory function – It improves epithelial barrier function – Exopolysaccharides exhibit cardioprotective, antiulcer, antioxidant, and cholesterol-lowering effects as well as inhibiting the proliferation of certain types of tumour cells

5. How do postbiotics affect skin & hair? Are there any potential risks of taking postbiotics?

By restoring healthy skin microbiome, postbiotics may find application in various skin and hair disorders. Lactosporin, a postbiotic, may have potential benefits in the treatment of acne and inflammatory skin conditions, as well as antiageing effect though data is still emerging. Postbiotics are also investigated for efficacy in the treatment of dandruff, itchy scalp, and immune-mediated scalp disorders.

6. What are some precautionary tips for introducing postbiotics to the body?

– Postbiotic supplementation alone is unlikely to work unless combined with lifestyle modifications, therefore modify the lifestyle – The data on efficacy and applications of postbiotics is still in its infancy and evolving, though the inclusion of foods like yoghurt, buttermilk, soft cheese, sourdough bread, pickles which are rich in postbiotics in your diet regimen in moderate quantities is safe and helpful – Before starting a commercial postbiotic supplement on your own, it would always be advisable to talk to your health provider first

7. Which postbiotics foods would you recommend?

The source of postbiotics are: – Buttermilk – Curd (dahi) – Yoghurt – Pickles – Soft cheese – Sourdough bread

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