Great Gut Blog

Why I Love Prebiotics

Posted by Brad Dennis, Ph.D. on

Why I Love Prebiotics

I have had weight issues most of my life, and as I left my youth and approached middle age, I started suffering from other ailments: joint inflammation, brain fogginess and cognitive decline, and some pretty severe anxiety issues. I began to investigate these health issues and solutions to them. In the end, it was a chance email that led me on the path to discovering how to finally solve my health problems. It all started when I received a random email from Rob Knight’s American Gut project soliciting participants for their microbiome study. I sent off a stool sample and pretty much forgotten had about it, until about a year later when they sent me my results. What I found in their report was my gut bacteria were way out of balance.

That led me into a deep dive into the world of our microbiome.

The logical place to start was with probiotics. I dug into the research and stumbled across an old paper from a few decades ago that contained an epiphany: probiotics don’t recolonize your gut. There are verified benefits from probiotics while you take them, but they don’t stick to the lining of our gut and end up passing out in our stools. Once you stop taking them, any benefits will eventually dissipate. So if probiotics weren’t the solution, what was? How could I change the bacteria in my gut? While investigating, I read that mother’s breast milk contains a special ingredient that is a superfood for gut bacteria: Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs). Oligosaccharides are a special kind of complex carbohydrate/sugar that are resistant to digestion. They make it past the stomach and into the rest of our digestive tract and are fermented by the bacteria that live there. They were PREbiotic. It dawned on me that this must be nature’s solution to how to nourish and cultivate healthy and balanced microbiota. This was the “AHA” moment.

I dove into the research on prebiotics and found something astonishing, yet being ignored by the "big guys". Different prebiotics effect our bacteria differently! I began mixing up blends of various prebiotic fibers and tested them on myself. I eventually found the perfect blend of polyphenols, oligosaccharides, and resistant starch. I worked up to taking 90g of prebiotic fiber a day. With my diet, that put me at the same amount of fiber our paleo ancestors consumed! I had 2-3 perfect stools a day, and my health problems diminished. Even my anxieties were fading.

I find a lot of personal fulfillment and reward in helping others. Even my doctoral dissertation in software engineering was on techniques to help others overcome the problems I suffered as a practicing software engineer, and to help students succeed is why I am a teacher now. I am compelled to serve others. My fiber formulas are best in class and based upon the most recent and best research into the microbiome. You can trust me with your gut health.

If you would like a special preview of my whitepaper on Prebiotic Diversity, send me an email to and I will send you a copy.


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