According to Trust Me, I’m A Doctor, it indeed is!
“Trust Me, I’m A Doctor set up an experiment in Inverness with the help of NHS Highland and 30 volunteers and scientists around the country. We split our volunteers into three groups and over four weeks asked each group to try a different approach that, it’s claimed, can boost gut bacteria for the better.
Our first group tried an off-the-shelf probiotic drink of the type found in most supermarkets. These drinks usually contain one or two species of bacteria that can survive the journey through our powerful stomach acid to set up home in our intestines.
Our second group tried a traditional fermented drink called kefir which contains an array of bacteria and yeast.
Our third group was asked to eat foods rich in a prebiotic fibre called inulin. Prebiotics are substances that feed the good bacteria already living in our guts, and inulin can be found in Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root, onions, garlic and leeks”.
The results were quiet fascinating:
“The group consuming the probiotic drink saw a small change in one bacteria type known to be good for weight management, bacteria called Lachnospiraceae. However this change wasn’t statistically significant.
But our other two groups did see significant changes. The group eating foods rich in prebiotic fibre saw a rise in a type of bacteria known to be good for general gut health – something that is in line with other studies.
Our biggest change, however, was in the kefir group.
These volunteers saw a rise in a family of bacteria called Lactobacillales. We know that some of these bacteria are good for our overall gut health and that they can help conditions such as traveller’s diarrhoea and lactose intolerance”.
They also noticed that home made probiotic foods and drinks contained a wide range of bacteria, while some commercial products contained barely any. Hence, the recommendation was to either make your own probiotic foods, or buy traditionally fermented ones from a reliable source.
You can read the full article on BBC website here.