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Numerous studies have shown combining probiotics with prebiotics greatly improves the survival rate and level of metabolic activity of probiotics in vivo. Apple ProPectin™ meets all three characteristics of a true prebiotic. Apple pectin and apple fiber are stable in both acidic and alkaline conditions so they are not subject to degradation during the digestive process. Both are easily fermented by new bacteria as well as those already colonizing the gastrointestinal tract. The metabolic fuel provided through this natural fermentation process promotes the increased growth and activity of intestinal microflora which helps the body achieve and maintain optimum health.[10,11]
Research has shown the pectin in Apple ProPectin™ can be used by a wide array of colonic bacteria for growth and metabolic function. Specifically, it is used by the microflora of the colon to produce short chain fatty acids, primarily acetate and butyrate. Acetate protects the intestinal tract from pathogenic gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli. Butyrate has many health benefits which include helping to maintain normal activity of the epithelial cells in the colon and the metabolism of energy and cholesterol systemically.[14,15] Pectin has also been shown to aid in the absorption of major minerals as well as bind with and facilitate the elimination of heavy metals and chemical toxins from the intestinal tract. As an additional benefit, pectin has the potential to lower the diffusion rate of cholesterol-containing micelles from the intestinal tract helping to maintain normal blood cholesterol levels. A recent study further supports pectin’s prebiotic capabilities as the results indicate the fermentation of pectin encourages an increase in the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin 10, by the intestinal microflora.