You’re likely aware that good gut bacteria play an important role in digestion, but you may be surprised with just how important these microbes are when it comes to nutrient synthesis and absorption.
In fact, probiotics are so effective at improving bioavailability of vitamins and minerals that they’ve been recommended as a treatment for malnutrition - a condition affecting more than two billion people worldwide.
Probiotics’ Influence on Vitamin and Mineral Availability
While there’s much to learn about the exact mechanisms through which the gut microbiome operates, one thing is clear - it contributes significantly to overall health.
One of the most important ways it does so is by helping to ‘unlock’ beneficial substances in the food we eat. A number of scientific studies have confirmed its efficacy in this, including 2018’s Gut microbiota functions: metabolism of nutrients and other food components, which stated: “...the gut microbiota is a key factor in shaping the biochemical profile of the diet and, therefore, its impact on host health and disease.”
Given the above, and our understanding of good bacteria’s role in maintaining a balanced microbiome, it stands to reason that probiotic supplementation improves availability of nutrients. Researchers confirmed this hypothesis in a 2021 review, stating: “the intake of certain probiotics in healthy subjects was associated with a positive impact on the status of certain micronutrients”.
A 2014 paper in the journal Gut Microbes corroborates this conclusion, even suggesting that probiotic supplementation could be used as means of supporting the health of malnourished children, the elderly, and those with higher nutrient needs such as pregnant women.
What Nutrients do Probiotics Promote?
Calcium - Widely known for its bone-building properties, adequate calcium levels are essential for avoiding damage during weight bearing and impact loading pursuits such as sports. Gut microbiota can increase calcium ion absorption and modulate the production of gut serotonin, which is believed to interact with bone cells and regulate bone metabolism.
Magnesium - Magnesium helps with maintaining nerve and muscle function, heart rhythm, and various other important biological processes. Studies have observed higher bioaccessibility of magnesium when foods rich in the mineral were taken in combination with probiotics.
Zinc - Zinc is an essential trace metal with crucial roles in growth, development, and the maintenance of immune function. It’s believed that commensal bacteria likely increase the bioavailability of zinc in healthy individuals, though the metal can fuel pathogenic bacteria under conditions of inflammation.
Iron - Indispensable for oxygen transport and energy metabolism, iron is especially crucial to athletes. Increasing the absorption of iron via bacteria-containing fermented cereals may serve as an alternative to dietary supplements among these and other groups. Healthy gut flora likely increase iron extraction from vegetables.
Postbiotics are helpful metabolites produced by probiotics upon feeding on prebiotic fibre. These include the likes of vitamins B and K, amino acids, antimicrobial peptides, and short-chain fatty acids that allow healthy bacteria to flourish.
How Can We Improve Gut Health?
The best way to promote gut health is to not only ingest probiotics, but to do so in conjunction with prebiotic fibre. This acts as a source of fuel for the good bacteria, allowing to rebalance the gut and produce valuable postbiotics.
With over 1 billion colony forming units of Bacillus subtilis probiotic, and prebiotic in the form of chicory root, Biotica Water allows you to nourish your gut and maintain the microbiome balance needed to live healthily.
The unique ingredients in our Bio-Az formula work synergistically to impart maximum benefit. The good bacteria found in each bottle pass through the harsh environment of the stomach unharmed, while the soluble fibre allows them to multiply once they reach the gut.
All Biotica Water products are entirely plant-based, gluten free, allergen free, and sugar free. They’re available in four delicious, all-natural flavours, including Plain, Lemon Myrtle and Yuzu, Cucumber and Mint, and Pomegranate. Can’t decide? Try all four in our new mixed pack!