This topic is one of the most compelling in my field of gastroenterology. The research evidence is now so strong. Being overweight is a huge national problem. Along with obesity comes type 2 diabetes and a fatty, inflamed liver. Coronary heart disease is not too far behind. Think of this entire problem in 3 parts.
1. Good colon bacteria
These are often called the Bifido group (Bifidobacter). These are the very best bacteria to have in the gut. A high prebiotic fiber diet or one with prebiotics added stimulate the Bifido bacteria group. A high saturated fat diet prevents this from happening. Bad bacteria move in and these bad ones are much better at creating more calories within the colon. Bad bacteria means more weight gain. It is simple as that.
2. Appetite regulation
There is a hormone made in your stomach that makes you hungry. When the stomach is empty, this hormone is produced, it goes into the blood and hits the brain. Hunger! When food hits your lower intestine, other hormones there tell you that you are full. Non-caloric prebiotic fibers shift these hormones in the desirable way even when you are not eating. Use them to help control your appetite.
3. Blood glucose and lipids
Prebiotics lead to better blood glucose and blood lipid control. It is that simple. Used regularly prebiotics can help to normalize blood sugar. It is probably best to use them early in the am and mid afternoon to get the best effect.
So that is the bottom line. Prebiotics can be helpful in weight management and may be helpful in glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. The following link is to a recent medical report.
Frank W Jackson MD
Jackson GI Medical