Do Prebiotics Cause Side Effects
Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients which are added to diets to increase the growth of good gut bacteria and reduce fat absorption in our intestines which benefits our gastrointestinal systems. Prebiotic foods have shown their health benefits, but there is a lack of comprehensive research on the universality of prebiotics.
In the past few years, adding prebiotics to existing diets has become increasingly common to promote gastrointestinal health and other benefits. However, there is still doubt in medical research on whether prebiotics significantly benefits their users or not. We have also mentioned some side effects of too much probiotics. So, without delays, let’s get started:
What Are Prebiotics, And How Does It Work?
Simply put, prebiotics is non-digestible fibre which promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which are essential in our digestive system. These bacteria help in maintaining the digestive system. They also affect colon production, which increases our gastrointestinal health, thus also helping in weight management and lessening bloating.
Prebiotic foods also promote gut bacteria which produce fatty acids required to perform metabolic functions while fighting off harmful bacteria and fungi in our body. Prebiotics let the friendly bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids, the major nutrient source for colon production. Prebiotics can also help you lose weight and keep harmful bacteria out of your body.
Side Effects Of Prebiotics
Due to their increasing importance in mainstream health channels, many people doubt their side effects. Prebiotics are mostly safe to consume with little to no side effects. Still, people with IBS(Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or other gastrointestinal conditions should consult their gastroenterologist before adding prebiotics to their diet.
Gas is the most common side effect of consuming prebiotics, and you can suffer from this if prebiotic foods are suddenly introduced into your diet. Due to the increase in gut bacteria from consuming prebiotics, the gas problem will arise in your digestive system.
Gas forms in our large intestine when these gut bacteria ferment carbohydrates which aren’t already digested by the small intestine. Since prebiotics is most active in the large intestine, their consumption causes increased activity in gut bacteria leading to gas.
Bloating stomach and intestinal area can occur due to the accumulation of gas in your digestive system. Due to this, you will feel tight, full or even painful in the abdominal area, and it is a simple case of indigestion and gas. Bloating is mostly caused when the gut bacteria present in the colon are hyper-active and fermenting carbohydrates which weren’t naturally digested earlier in the small intestine.
Normally, you should feel at ease from bloating in a couple of hours or days and in most cases, there is no need for medical intervention.
Normally, prebiotics is used as a cure for constipation in patients as they regulate bowel movements and result in improved stool consistency and the recurrence of bowel movements. However, if you are sensitive or suffering from a gastrointestinal condition, in patients with irritable bowel syndrome, prebiotics can worsen the condition by causing constipation.
● Thirst And Nausea
If you intake too many prebiotics, it can lead to instability in the intestine and cause symptoms of nausea and pain(in worse cases) in the intestine. Due to the increased activity of gut bacteria, people consuming prebiotics will also feel thirsty and have to increase their water intake to balance the increased fibre intake from prebiotics.
These were some of the common side effects of consuming prebiotics. Still, due to their rare occurrence in most patients, prebiotics is considered safe for most people. In any case, you should consult your dietician before introducing prebiotic foods to your general diet. You should be extra careful in introducing prebiotics if you suffer from IBS or any other gastrointestinal condition.
Dosage And Preparation
You can start consuming prebiotics after setting a target of daily fibre consumption. An average adult should consume between 25 to 38 grams of fibre per day, and prebiotic supplements help provide around four to five grams of fibre per day. You should try to start consuming prebiotic supplements once per day and see for any side effects. Reduce your dose if you suffer from bloating or gas in the next few days.
You can also start by introducing prebiotic foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables rich in fibre without consuming any prebiotic supplements. The key here is to meet the daily requirements of fibre intake for your body. Many people combine prebiotics with probiotics for increased advantage by maintaining the level of bacteria activity caused by probiotics using prebiotics.
You should take special care of your probiotic consumption as they can lead to some side effects.
Prebiotic foods are quite helpful in increasing the activity of gut bacteria, thus benefitting our gastrointestinal system. However, some side effects are caused by their consumption, like bloating, gas, nausea etc. This article mentioned the lesser-known side effects of otherwise safe prebiotic foods.
The benefits of consuming prebiotics far outweigh their side effects, but you should be careful in their consumption if you suffer from IBS or have any other intestinal condition.