By Julita E. Baker, Ph.D.
Welcome back! In Part 1 we began a dissection of a great gut health snack called Tandem, and we discussed the first part of that gut health benefit from soluble and insoluble fiber. We delved into the physiological aspects of what these fibers do once we consume them, what the end products of the microbial fermentation are, and why this is important to health.
This symbiotic “microbiome-human” relationship is not only benefited from fiber though. Other sources, such as prebiotics, also have a positive effect on our gut microbes. Today we’ll examine this second gut health term.
The main prebiotic compounds found in Tandem Bars are chicory root flour, and chia seeds (other sources outside of Tandem are: artichokes, garlic, onion, asparagus, flax seeds, leeks, and under-ripe bananas).
The high fiber, prebiotics, and resistant starch are all fantastic for our gut microbes and satiety to keep us full.
Let’s take a look at what the term prebiotic means, how it benefits our gut health, and how Tandem Bars have utilized prebiotics.
What is a Prebiotic?
A prebiotic is a non-digestible fiber that passes through the upper GI tract and into our colon (it is not broken down by our gastric acid nor our digestive enzymes), where it is further broken down by our gut bacteria. These foods as referred to as “Prebiotic” because they benefit health by inducing the growth of beneficial bacteria (1) (4).
These prebiotic inducing benefits have been shown to: (for a great review, see: Roberfroid, et al., 2010 (2)):
- Flourish healthy strains of bacteria, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
- Possibly reduce the growth of pathogenic bacteria, such as Salmonella and Clostridia (and hence reduce the possibility of an infection).
- Benefit the immune system, by modulating immunological markers and contributing to pro- or anti- inflammatory systems, and boosting resistance against infection.
- Improve infant gut microbiota when breastfeeding.
- Improve IBD & IBS symptoms.
- Improve mineral absorption (especially Calcium & Magnesium).
- Improve energy homeostasis, satiety, and body weight regulation- decreasing fat mass (even without an effect on body weight), decreasing food intake, and increasing satiety. For example, consuming a prebiotic-rich food in the evening gives more pronounced satiety effects in the morning at breakfast, AND a lower glucose response after that meal! (Called “the second meal effect” coined by David Jenkins) (3).
Recommended ranges for prebiotics have not fully been established, but typically range from 4-8g/day, and raw forms give us an even more pronounced prebiotic effect (5).
Tandem Bars contain over 5g of prebiotics. Doesn’t that just make you want to go grab some of that prebiotic goodness in Tandem Bars to help your microbiota thrive?!
Tandem bars are organic, plant-based, gluten-free, with no artificial ingredients and additives.
In our next post, we’ll examine the last of the 3 microbiome-benefiting aspects in Tandem Bars- resistant starches. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know below!
If you’d like to learn more about Tandem Bars, please head here.
For nutrition professionals, go here.
Julita from Science of Food Choice
This post is sponsored by Tandem Natural Foods
1) Davani-Davari, D., Negahdaripour, M., Karimzadeh, I., Seifan, M., Mohkam, M., Masoumi, S. J., … Ghasemi, Y. (2019). Prebiotics: Definition, Types, Sources, Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications. Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 8(3), 92. doi:10.3390/foods8030092
2) Roberfroid, M., Gibson, G., Hoyles, L., McCartney, A., Rastall, R., Rowland, I., Meheust, A. (2010). Prebiotic effects: Metabolic and health benefits. British Journal of Nutrition, 104(S2), S1-S63. doi:10.1017/S0007114510003363
3) T M Wolever, D J Jenkins, A M Ocana, V A Rao, G R Collier, Second-meal effect: low-glycemic-index foods eaten at dinner improve subsequent breakfast glycemic response, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 48, Issue 4, October 1988, Pages 1041–1047.
4) Slavin J. (2013). Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients, 5(4), 1417–1435. doi:10.3390/nu5041417
5) Moshfegh AJ, Friday JE, Goldman JP, Ahuja JK (July 1999). "Presence of inulin and oligofructose in the diets of Americans". Journal of Nutrition. 129 (7 Suppl): 1407S–1411S. doi:10.1093/jn/129.7.1407S