Meet our expert Professor Glenn Gibson

Professor Glenn Gibson is a Professor of Food Microbiology at the University of Reading. Glenn is responsible for leading a multi-disciplinary research programme in gut microbiome studies, primarily related to the bacteriology of human health and disease. Glenn specialises in gut microbiology, probiotics, prebiotics and has published over 400 research papers and 8 books.

He is a member of five professional societies and has run well over 100 research projects. Glenn is President of International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics.

5 quick questions

  1. 01 Do I get enough probiotics by having them once or twice a week?

    Prof Gibson says "When used regularly probiotics help to increase the bacteria already found within the body and balance the natural gut flora."

  2. 02 It’s best to have probiotics at the start of the day?

    Prof Gibson says "Many people take their probiotics in the morning which is absolutely fine. However people should make sure to leave at least 30mins after consuming a hot drink such as tea/coffee as hot liquids will destroy the beneficial bacteria."

  3. 03 Should I look for the greatest number of probiotic cultures when selecting a probiotic?

    Prof Gibson says "This is an important factor, however there are a number of other factors to consider such as the number of probiotic strains and how many probiotic cultures will be reduced in the stomach environment. Some probiotic supplements have a protective coating which helps to ensure the bacteria reaches the right places."

  4. 04 How long should I take probiotics for?

    Prof Gibson says "They should be taken on a continual basis, ideally for at least three months. Probiotics can be taken everyday."

  5. 05 Can probiotics help restore the gut flora after a course of antibiotics?

    Prof Gibson says "Antibiotics kill bacteria but aren’t smart enough to only target the harmful bacteria that are causing the illness. Antibiotics kill all bacteria, disturbing the gut flora, allowing potentially dangerous bacteria to overgrow. After treatment with antibiotics you may wish to replenish the bacteria in the gut flora by taking probiotics."

Glenn on...

The power of probiotics

Probiotics play an important role in promoting the natural balance of the gut flora.

The digestive system

The function of the digestive system is to transform food into small nutrients that can easily be absorbed by the body. If the digestive process is not operating as it should be and breaking food down into nutrients then this can have an effect on the whole body, its functioning and overall wellbeing.

Intestinal microflora

The intestinal microflora is involved in the chemical digestion of various substances. The process of the substances being broken down by the intestinal microflora is important because nutrients such as vitamin C and B vitamins, released by digestion, are then used by the body for energy and immune support.

Healthy bacteria populations

In human beings the intestinal microflora contains about 100,000 billion bacteria belonging to 400 different species. Microflora is involved in a number of digestive processes and can be stimulated by micro-organisms such as probiotics.

Professor Glenn Gibsons's Key Statistics

    83% of people are unaware that stomach acid can reduce the number of probiotics.

    54% of people do not think that probiotics should be taken every day.

    46% would consider taking a probiotic supplement.

    Only 21% of people currently take probiotics.

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