Many of you have heard of probiotics, a term for the friendly bacteria that are ingested through some fermented foods such as in yoghurt. Probiotics are also sold as dietary supplements. The term prebiotic refers to food ingredients, mostly complex carbohydrates that are not digested, that stimulate the growth or activity of certain bacteria in the colon. In a recent study healthy volunteers consumed 10 grams daily of very inulin prebiotic derived from globe artichoke for three weeks. Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli friendly bacterial counts were significantly higher in the inulin group compared to the placebo group. Previous studies have shown that prebiotics can lower cholesterol levels, reduce problems with constipation, and perhaps reduce the risk for colon cancer. See and also