What Makes Prebiotics And Probiotics Different:
- Prebiotics dietary substances, typically fibers, that serve as food for the bacteria in your gut without gut bacteria, you wouldnt be able to digest prebiotic fibers.
- Probiotics in dietary or supplement form, probiotics refer to the live bacteria found in certain foods and gut healthy supplements.
Essentially, probiotics are the bacteria in your gut and prebiotics feed the bacteria in your gut.
Below, well further explain the differences between prebiotics and probiotics, including why prebiotics are generally the superior supplement to take.
However, lets first take a brief glance at the Best Prebiotic Supplement for Daily Gut Support…
How To Choose The Best Probiotic For Your Gut
Probiotics have started popping up everywhereâ as you walk through the aisle in a store, in the news, all over the web. More and more options are springing up, and you feel a probiotic could help you. The question now: How do I choose a good probiotic for my gut?
As the conversation around gut health grows, so do the number of ways you can help support your gut.* You can eat foods with live cultures like yogurt. You could take a probiotic supplement. You might also hear that you should take prebiotics.
With so much information out there and so many choices, you need to make sense of it all to do whatâs best for your gut. The good news is that Align, the pro in probiotics, is here to help you navigate choosing the best probiotic for you.
Probiotic Pro Tip: One of the best ways to guarantee you get probiotics in your gut without changing your diet is by taking a supplement.
How To Store Probiotics
Remember to store your probiotic according to how it says on the package. Make sure the product has a sell-by or expiration date. Probiotics are living organisms.
Even if they are dried and dormant, like in a powder or capsule, they must be stored the right way, or they will not be helpful.
Some require refrigeration, but others do not.
They also have a shelf-life, so make sure you use them before the expiration date on the package.
Also Check: Prebiotics And Probiotics For Gut Health
Importance Of Microorganisms For Your Gut
The complex community of microorganisms in your gut is called the gut flora, gut microbiota, or gut microbiome .
The gut microbiota includes bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea, and helminths with bacteria comprising the vast majority. Your gut is home to a complex eco-system of 300500 bacterial species .
Most of the gut flora is found in your colon, or large intestine, which is the last part of your digestive tract.
Surprisingly, the metabolic activities of your gut flora resemble those of an organ. For this reason, some scientists refer to the gut flora as the forgotten organ .
Your gut flora performs many important health functions. It manufactures vitamins, including vitamin K and some of the B vitamins .
It also turns fibers into short-chain fats like butyrate, propionate, and acetate, which feed your gut wall and perform many metabolic functions (
Probiotics and prebiotic fibers can help correct this balance, ensuring that your forgotten organ is functioning optimally .
Your gut flora consists of hundreds of types of microorganisms. These microorganisms perform numerous important bodily functions.
Probiotics are widely researched for their effects on digestive health .
Evidence suggests that probiotic supplements can help cure antibiotic-associated diarrhea .
When people take antibiotics, especially for long periods of time, they often experience diarrhea even long after the infection has been eradicated.
These unknowns include :
How To Get Started With Probiotics
Think you want to give probiotics a shot? Here are Dr. Crescis take-aways to help you navigate them:
Probiotics are generally recognized as safe, but theyre typically not recommended if you have a compromised immune system. Ask your physician if probiotics are right for you.
It may take some trial and error to find the probiotic that works for you. If you notice no benefits from one product after a few weeks, try a different one with a different strain of bacteria.
Probiotics may cause bloating and gas, as well as changes in your stool patterns all indications that the product is working, Dr. Cresci says.
Prebiotic foods help your good bacteria flourish. Include beans, asparagus, onions, green bananas and other fermentable fiber sources in your diet.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Mens Health Advisor.
Also Check: Custom Probiotics Acidophilus And Bifidus
What Are The Most Common Types Of Probiotic Bacteria
Though there are many types of bacteria that can be considered probiotics, there are two specific types of bacteria that are common probiotics found in stores. These include:
Probiotics are also made up of good yeast. The most common type of yeast found in probiotics is:
- Saccharomyces boulardii.
Your Mood And Energy Levels Are Down
A microbiota overpopulated with unhealthy bacteria can have serious negative consequences for your brain. This can lead to a chronic decline in energy levels and poor mood.
You May Like: What Is The Best Probiotic For Toddlers
How To Choose The Best Probiotic For You
While more research is necessary to fully understand the benefits of different probiotic strains, we do know that not all probiotics are created equal. The Lactobacilli, for instance, live in our digestive, urinary, and genital systems and can be found in some fermented foods like yogurt. Bifidobacteria normally live in the intestines as lactic acid bacteria, and are also found in fermented foods.
According to registered dietitian Alex Caspero, MA, RD, For certain conditions, you want to ensure youre taking the strand that is most likely to benefit you. Heres a simple breakdown to help you determine the best probiotic for you.
Is There A Downside To Probiotics
Probiotics are safe for the majority of the population, but side effects can occur. The most common side effects are a temporary increase in gas, bloating, constipation and thirst. Some people can also react poorly to ingredients used in probiotic supplements or to naturally occurring amines in probiotic foods.
Recommended Reading: Equate Probiotic Digestive System Support
Probiotics For Gut Health
Probiotics can also be useful to help support a persons gut health and relieve gut issues.
The guts lining can sometimes become damaged, which may lead to intestinal permeability, or leaky gut. This can allow molecules to get through into the bloodstream and cause inflammation or immune reactions.
Antibiotics can kill both bad and good bacteria. Sometimes, this can cause a person to experience symptoms of diarrhea when taking them. Taking probiotics at the same time, however, can help repopulate a persons gut with beneficial bacteria and ease any symptoms of diarrhea.
In particular, the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii has been effective in the prevention and treatment of diarrhea that occurs when taking antibiotics or following infection. The yeast may also be effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, but more research is needed to confirm this.
Research indicates that probiotics may reduce gut transit time that is, the time it takes for food to pass as a bowel movement by 12.4 hours and increase bowel movements by 1.3 per week.
The Bifidobacterium lactis strain seems most efficient in improving gut transit time, stool frequency and consistency, and flatulence. The researchers advise caution when interpreting these results, however, as there may be bias in some of the studies.
2016 review suggests that probiotic strains can help combat mood and neurotransmitter conditions.
Youre Experiencing Less Digestive Discomfort
The state of your microbiota seriously affects your ability to digest the food you eat. As a result, if your gut bacteria are out of whack, your ability to digest food becomes limited.
This can lead to a host of digestive issues, including:
- stomach cramps
Fortunately, taking probiotics can improve your ability to break down and digest food and ease many of these symptoms.
So, if you have been taking a probiotic for a while and youre noticing less digestive discomfort after you eat, you can be pretty sure that your supplements are starting to work.
What Are Prebiotics And Why Do They Matter
The term “prebiotics” is often thrown around when probiotics are mentioned, and they’re related to probiotics in a sense. According to Angelone, prebiotics are complex sugars that we don’t digest but that are used as fuel by bacteria â including probiotics â that’s already in your gut. Registered dietitian-nutritionist Beth Warren, founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Living a Real Life with Real Food, explains that you can think of prebiotics as food for probiotics. You can get prebiotics from foods including asparagus, bananas, garlic, and onions, she says.
Conditions Related To Allergy
- A review of 23 studies in which probiotics were tested for treating allergic rhinitis found some evidence that they may be helpful for improving symptoms and quality of life. However, because the studies tested different probiotics and measured different effects, no recommendations about the use of probiotics could be made. Few side effects of probiotics were reported in these studies.
- A review of 11 studies of probiotics for asthma in children had inconclusive results.
- Atopic dermatitis is an itchy chronic skin disorder thatâs associated with allergies but not caused by them. Itâs most common in infants and may start as early as age 2 to 6 months. Many people outgrow it by early adulthood. Atopic dermatitis is one of several types of eczema.
- A 2017 review of 13 studies of probiotics for the treatment of atopic dermatitis in infants and children did not find consistent evidence of a beneficial effect. A review of 9 studies in adults provided preliminary evidence that some strains of probiotics might be beneficial for symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
Prevention of Allergies
Don’t Miss: Do Probiotics Help You Lose Weight
What To Look For In Sauerkraut
In order to know what to look for in sauerkraut to get the most probiotics out of each serving lets look at how these bacteria actually proliferate through the cabbage. Once we know the factors that are most conducive to the forming of probiotics we can rank different sauerkrauts by their likely probiotics content.
The two main factors that determine the growth rate of probiotic bacteria are time and temperature. Generally, the longer the sauerkraut is left to ferment, the more Lactobacilli will be able to form. The colder the room temperature, the longer it takes for the fermentation to occur.
The above graph shows the function of time and temperature in the growth of good bacteria in cabbage. As we can see, the sweet spot is around 16-18 days with a consistent temperature of 18 degrees Celsius.
Does Type Of Strain Matter
Just like no two Homo sapiens are exactly alike, no two strains from the same bacterial species are exactly alike. Consequently, the probiotic capacities and mechanisms of individual strains are subject to variability. For example, while some strains may be especially resistant to acid and bile, others may boast impressive adhesion capabilities. And importantly, research finds that certain strains are effective for managing specific health conditions, and that specific strain combinations can provide synergistic benefits beyond the effects of each probiotic alone.21
Basically, your ability to benefit from a probiotic supplement will depend on the survivability and probiotic mechanisms of the strains it contains. This means that simply picking the probiotic with the highest CFU or the best price point isnt the best approach. Instead, look for a probiotic containing strains with evidence-based benefits for the outcome you are seeking.
Regardless of your purpose for taking probioticsdaily support, help with specific gastrointestinal symptoms, help with a specific health conditionspeaking with a health professional about strains that have proven efficacious in human clinical trials is highly recommended.21
The following table provides the names of evidence-based probiotic species and species combinationand importantly, the level of scientific evidence supporting their benefits for various bodily systems.
Also Check: Best Probiotic For Toddlers With Constipation
Kombucha Kimchi And Other Fermented Foods
Fermented drinks, such as kombucha and foods such as miso, kimchi and sauerkraut, are associated with positive digestive health, but the evidence for this is somewhat limited.
A lack of evidence doesn’t necessarily mean these foods arent beneficial, but not enough studies have been done to prove their effects. The microbes in fermented food are different in every batch, which makes it difficult to standardise and replicate results in studies.
It Seems Like Most Health Experts Are Calling Probiotics The Panacea For Every Ailment That Miracle Supplement That Helps With Just About Everything
And actuallyits kind of true.
While nothing will magically fix everything, our gut bacteria are the first line of defense for many of our body systems. Therefore, theyre connected to a surprisingly high number of health concerns.
I believe the root of our health is our digestive system. Its where the building blocks for every cell in our body are created by digesting and absorbing the nutrients in our food.
When our gut bacteria are in balance, they play a huge role in helping us with our digestion. Probiotics don’t just boost gut bacteria in general, they promote a healthy balance by reintroducing a healthy mix of bacteria needed for healthy digestion.
They also play an important role in our immune system. They deliver the messages this is okay and this is a problem. Our small intestine is the main entry into our body, and we need a guard system to make sure only nutrients are absorbed. No bad bacteria or viruses, please!
You may still be asking, How do I know if I need probiotics? Here are five signs you just might.
1. Digestive irregularity
Ninety percent of the bacteria in our body live in our colon, so it makes sense that they may influence our colons activity. In fact, half of our poop is made up of live and dead bacteria.
2. Your sugar cravings are out of control
Recommended Reading: Should Probiotics Be Taken On An Empty Stomach
Best Probiotic For: Skin Support
This probiotic displays antibacterial activity against harmful intestinal microbes, indicating a possibility to prevent diseases. A study on S. thermophilus in combination with L. casei and L. bulgaricus found reduced incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea with supplementation.
There is also promising research on this species for supporting skin. Ceramides are natural lipids that make up the surface of the skin structure. Depleted ceramide levels are clinically linked with dry and damaged skin. S. thermophilus was shown to have a beneficial effect on the level of ceramides in the barrier of the skin, which protects underlying tissue from infection, dehydration and chemicals. These skin-supporting microbes also act as antioxidants in the body, trapping reactive forms of oxygen that dry, damage and age the skin .
Consider The Science And Clinical Studies
Not all probiotics are created equal. In fact, there are vast quality differences in the research, development, and manufacturing process between brands. This starts out with the research that goes into understanding each strain. Each strain included in a product should be thoroughly analyzed to determine its strength.
As a next step, the bacterial strains should then be carefully combined with an intended outcome in mind.
Lastly, the combination of strains should be tested in laboratory studies and in human clinical studies for efficacy. This is especially important because some bacterial strains work well together, whereas others dont. Just because there is one clinical study with one strain saying it does one specific activity, this may no longer be true when combined with another strain.
Omni-Biotic probiotics follow this stringent research and development process. Every Omni-Biotic strain is identified and extensively analyzed to determine its strengths and suitability for specific indication-focused probiotic formulations. The final products are tested for gastric survival, intestinal viability, metabolic activity, and extended real-time shelf stability.
Also Check: Which Is The Best Probiotic To Take
Additional Conditions Eased Through Probiotics
Constipation and irritable bowel syndrome aren’t the only conditions that can be helped by probiotics. With each ailment, you’ll need to make sure you’re taking the proper dosage, for the right duration, to experience the benefits.
There’s more evidence that lactobacillus is effective for:
- Hayfever. Probiotics can improve the quality of life of those with these types of allergies by 18 percent.
- Diarrhea caused by antibiotics. When you get sick and take antibiotics, you strip your gut of essential bacteria that helps to keep you healthy. So, when you’re taking antibiotics and experience diarrhea due to the change in balance, taking a probiotic can improve these symptoms.
- Eczema. It is improved in children and infants through the administration of probiotics. Giving these supplements to children can prevent them from ever getting eczema in the first place.
- Bacterial vaginosis. Lactobacillus suppositories may be the solution to this, but talk to a doctor first.
- Constipation. It won’t stop right away, but with four to eight weeks of regular dosages, you may find relief from lactobacillus.
- Diabetes. Probiotics have also been found to help reduce the chances of the onset of diabetes during pregnancy.
- Heart disease. This particular strain can be used to reduce your cholesterol levels.
- Ulcerative colitis. Lactobacillus can effect a remission in this condition of the bowels.
Taking Prebiotics For Weight Loss
Both human and animal research suggests of the importance of prebiotics and certain probiotic strains on the physical, biochemical, and metabolic parameters of weight control. Inulin-FOS, in particular, benefits weight loss by:
- Absorbing water in the gut to satiate hunger
- Mitigating calorie content of any food item
- Reducing triglycerides
- Promoting ghrelin for better appetite control
- Slowing food transit time in gut to flatten blood sugar spikes
As a soluble fiber, inulin-FOS provides the well-known soluble fiber benefits for gut health, regular movements, and appetite control. All in all, inulin-FOS is a great supplement to take to improve your relationship to your diet.
Also Check: Azo Complete Feminine Balance Daily Probiotic