What Is The Difference Between Probiotics And Prebiotics
Probiotics and prebiotics can sometimes be conflated.
However, there is a big and easy to understand difference between prebiotics and probiotics.
The easiest way to understand the difference between prebiotics and probiotics is this: probiotics deliver outside bacteria to the body, whereas prebiotics feed our existing gut bacteria.
Probiotics contain exogenous bacteria strains. Probiotic foods typically contain many of the strains that are most beneficial to gut health. Probiotic supplements can contain a diverse array of bacteria strains.
Prebiotics are soluble fibers which pass into the colon undigested. These fibers then act as a source of food for your gut bacteria. The best prebiotic fibers will selectively feed only the most healthful gut bacteria strains .
Challenge For Probiotic Formulations
Inappropriate use of the term probiotic and failure to recognize the importance of the strain specificity and dose specificity is a concern today. Probiotics when produced as nutritional supplements, not drugs, undergo less regulatory scrutiny as it is not mandatory for the manufacturer to substantiate claims of efficacy or safety of foods and nutraceutical supplements. This is a main reason for poor to non-existent efficacy and safety information on most commercial products.
The challenge for experts working on the medical aspect of functional foods and probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics and novel foods is to apply the new knowledge generated by basic scientists in the field of intestinal flora. Peña has suggested that probiotic research stands today at the intersection of gastroenterology, immunology and microbiology and is highly dynamic in both the basic and the clinical field. Further understanding of the complex molecular mechanisms leading to the effectiveness of probiotics will also spur the development of more successful probiotic formulations.
The Difference Between Probiotics And Prebiotics
There are trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms residing in the lining of the digestive tract which play a key role in our health.
Probiotics are one of the most well-known parts of this complex system. “Probiotics are the ‘good’ bacteria that live in our guts and promote healthy digestion and also give our immune systems a boost. Although your digestive tract naturally produces probiotics, it is beneficial to also consume foods naturally rich in probiotics to increase your levels and the variety of strains of good bacteria,” Ditkoff explains. Probiotics have been shown to help balance the microorganisms in the digestive tract and help repopulate the beneficial bacteria after, say, taking a round of antibiotics.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are types of carbohydrates found in fiber-rich fruits and vegetables that are non-digestible by the body. Instead, they pass through your gut and provide a food source for those healthy bacteria and allow them to thrive. “It’s important to note that all prebiotics are fiber, but not all fiber is prebiotic,” Ditkoff says.
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Increase Your Intake Of Pre
Because postbiotics are produced when probiotics break down prebiotics, you can naturally increase your bodys postbiotics by increasing your pre- and probiotics. Whats more, increasing your bodys pre- and probiotics may give you all of the potential health benefits associated with those things, too.25
Can Diet Meet Your Pre
Simply put: yes! Nutrition experts widely agree theres truth to the statement eat the rainbow when it comes to your gut health and the family of pre-, pro- and postbiotics.
Kelsey Lorencz, RD Plant-Based Registered Dietitian, Wong, and Berger all recommend eating a wide variety of plant-based foods to fill your body with a wonderful balance of pre-, pro- and postbiotics. And, truthfully, many foods contain all three of these gut health powerhouses so you can certainly do so without taking a supplement in many cases.
To ensure youre building your plate with all three in mind here is a quick refresher on foods to focus on to get all three.
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Prebiotics Benefits: What Do Prebiotics Do
Prebiotics nourish your gut microbiome, boost the growth of beneficial bacteria, and promote the production of health-promoting substances.
You probably already consume prebiotics without even realising it because they naturally occur in plant foods, and milk too. The most stable sources of prebiotics are specific types of dietary fibre because they are less sensitive to heat and age, compared to say, polyphenols, which are plant nutrients that can be affected by cooking.
However, just because many fibers are prebiotics doesnt mean that all fibre is prebiotic. Some insoluble fibers cant be broken down by gut microbes. Thats okay because they give mass and bulk to your stools, like psyllium husk and hemicellulose. They help you to have regular bowel movements, thus preventing constipation and abdominal discomfort.
Choose The Right Kinds Of Probiotic Strains
Probiotic bacteria come in different varieties. For example, the bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been shown to work well for people with IBS, while Lactobacillus delbrueki works better for people with lactose intolerance. When you speak to your medical specialist, be sure to ask whether one particular strain or combination of strains would be better for the condition you want to treat or the benefits you hope to gain.
In general, a good tip is to look for a product with bacterial diversity, meaning it contains multiple strains of well-known and well-studied bacteria. Probiotic supplements often contain mixtures of well-tested bacteria and yeasts and both probiotics and prebiotics. This mixture can result in a synergy between the different strains, which provides a broader range of beneficial effects than using a product containing only one or two strains.
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What Foods Is L Acidophilus In
Lactobacillus is the name of a large family of lactic acid producing bacteria and acidophilus is one of the most important members of that family. See Whats the difference between Acidophilus And Lactobacillus if you get these two muddled up.
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Prebiotics Vs Probiotics: Whats The Difference
Probiotics are live microorganisms or good bacteria found in foods and supplements. According to Theresa Gentile, registered dietitian and national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics , when consumed in adequate amounts, they have the ability to restore your gut microbiome and improve microbial balance.
Theresa Gentile, MS, RDN, CDN, is a National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the coordinator of the home enteral nutrition program at Maimonides Medical Center. Her areas of expertise include cardiovascular nutrition, enteral nutrition, family nutrition, metabolism, and weight management.
Prebiotics, meanwhile, are non-digestible fiber that act as fuel for the good bacteria, and they are also found in foods and supplements.
They are the healthy plant fibers that are a source of food for the good bacteria in your gut, says Gentile. Prebiotics also support the growth and activity of probiotics and help them thrive.
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First Came Probiotics Then Prebiotics And Now The Newest Member Of The Biotics Family Is Postbiotics What Are They And Why Are They Good For You Here’s What You Need To Know
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Biotics are very trendy in this day and age. With the focus on immunity as people seek to improve their health through dietary means, gut-friendly foods and supplements are receiving more widespread attention to help individuals achieve these goals. The big question that remains though is: What are the differences between all these biotics and do you really need to supplement? Lets dive into this a bit further.
Are Probiotics The Key To A Well
Whether your diet is out of whack or you live with a chronicdisease, a probiotic supplement has the potential to help restore your gut tooptimum health. There are supplements commercially available that deliver bothLactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, as well as other probiotic species.
For most people, taking a probiotic is safe, says Dr.Cresci. I recommend people living with a chronic disease or who have asuppressed immune system discuss with their doctor about adding more probioticsto their diet to make sure that taking a probiotic is something they shouldconsider doing.
Since probiotic supplements can be hard on your wallet, Dr. Cresci recommends other ways to build your gut army, such as eating fermented foods like:
- Yogurt that contains added Lactobacillus andBifidobacterium strains.
- Kombucha, a fermented tea.
- Sauerkraut, fermented cabbage.
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They May Help With Weight Loss
If youre struggling to lose weight, your stomach could be the reason in more ways than one.
Previous research has found thin people have different gut bacteria to those who are obese.
This may be because a high-fat-low-fibre diet encourages the growth of bad bacteria in the digestive system.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found taking probiotics could help women lose weight and keep it off!
The researchers concluded that rebalancing gut bacteria may strengthen the intestinal wall, making it harder to absorb large fat molecules.
How To Take Prebiotics
Aim to get 30g of fiber per day from plant foods, including prebiotics, to support your gut health and microbiome balance. If you want to increase the stakes, try to eat the rainbow and get 30 plant foods of different colours into your diet per week.
Considering prebiotic supplements? Remember that they dont come with all these added benefits. They are not a silver bullet, no matter what the packet says, because a diverse and balanced diet has been shown time and time again to be effective at promoting general health, healthy body weight, and preventing disease.
TIPYou can find out the best prebiotics for you and get personalised food recommendations by taking an Atlas Microbiome Test.
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Why Is Gut Bacteria Beneficial
Gut bacteria in the digestive tract play a role in protecting the body from potentially harmful bacteria and fungi. A 2013 study confirmed the wide variety of good bacteria can aid in immune function and address obesity concerns, among wider benefits. Alongside this, some gut bacteria works to form vitamin K and short-chain fatty acids, the main nutrient source of cells lining the colon. These promote strong gut barrier, helping keep harmful viruses and bacteria at bay.
Prebiotic Vs Probiotic: Which Is Better
Prebiotics feed the microbes living in your gut, while probiotics actively add more of those healthy microbes to your gut ecosystem so which is better?
Prebiotics are mostly plant fibers that means they can be found in all sorts of vegetables. Probiotics come mostly from fermented products where living microbes are left in the food. Both are essential to a healthy gut one is not more vital than the other. It is important to have a balance of both prebiotics and probiotics in your diet.
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Prebiotics Vs Probiotics Vs Postbiotics
Your digestive tract contains microbiota. These are potentially good and harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. To be as healthy as possible, you need a balance between the two kinds of microbiota. Probiotics generally refer to consumable cultured foods and drinks that contain good bacteria. Prebiotics are dietary materials these bacteria feed on. Postbiotics are healthy byproducts naturally produced by probiotics as part of their life processes.
These bacteria communities are essential to the human body. They perform many jobs in the digestive system and regulate your immune system, protect your gut from harmful bacteria, and improve digestion.
Should Healthy People Take Probiotics
You may have heard that all people should take a probiotic supplement. However, research suggests that generally healthy people do not attain a benefit from probiotic supplements. A few specific supplements are clinically recommended for a few specific medical conditions, but you can otherwise obtain the most benefits from nourishing the microbes already in your gut, says Finkel.
She uses the analogy of a garden. Imagine you have a beautiful garden with a wide variety of plants that are not getting enough water and sunlight. Rather than uprooting and replacing every plant in your garden, why not take better care of the garden you have? Finkel recommends ânourishing the gardenâ of your microbiome by eating fiber-rich foods that will feed your microbiome, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
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Can What You Eat Create Better Gut Health
Research shows that plant-based, fiber-rich diets boost the diversity of microorganisms in the gut. Ultimately, the greater the diversity of the bacteria, the greater the beneficial outcomes.
The good news is, bacteria can be altered by diet alone. That means you do not need to purchase over-the-counter high-dose probiotic supplements.
The benefits of eating for better gut health may occur rapidly, too. Research into the effects of food on the microbiome found that bacteria can shift in a short time span, as little as five days. A small study published in Nature in 2014 found that people who ate a plant-based diet had altered gut bacteria compared to people who ate an animal-based diet. This study found that the shift in the guts of the plant eaters happened rapidly, and despite these dramatic shifts, the clusters of healthy bacteria remained stable and thriving. These short-term studies are important, as other studies have emphasized that the long-term dietary pattern actually has the most impact on the microbiome.
The same study in Nature also found an increase in a specific type of bacteria that has been linked to the development of inflammatory bowel disease in the people who ate the animal-based, high-fat diet. Alternately, research shows that a high-fiber diet can produce variations in bacteria that lead to beneficial outcomes such as reducing inflammation. More research is needed to duplicate and understand these findings.
How Dietary Fiber Affects Gut Microbiota
Gut microbiota performs several important tasks once the bacterial mix has been favorably resolved by consuming beneficial dietary fibers. Following ingestion, the body breaks down the dietary fiber found in certain complex carbohydrates in the large intestine via fermentation in fact, the large intestine contains more bacteria than any other place on or in the human body. Fermentation produces gasses and acids that help beneficial bacteria multiply while stifling the production of bad, disease-causing microorganisms. When these good bacteria multiply, they strengthen the walls of the lower gut. Because the lower gut produces a variety of hormones that help the body regulate optimum health conditions, it stands to reason that making adequate dietary fiber a part of your everyday diet is essential for better overall wellness.
The lower guts forgotten organ appears to regulate a wide range of potentially disease-causing bacteria. Recent research indicates that proper bacterial mix helps people fight obesity. A strong colon wall helps people absorb the minerals calcium and magnesium. Eating fermentable fiber reduces bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which fights hardened arteries and heart disease. There is now considerable evidence that a bad bacteria mix, called dysbiosis, is part of many, indeed most, chronic intestinal disorders. Prebiotics may well help reverse this bad mix of bacteria.
What Are Probiotics And Prebiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics are both important for overall human health, yet have different roles to play. These differences include:
- Probiotics: Live bacteria found in certain foods and supplements, providing abundant health benefits
- Prebiotics: Substances attained from carbohydrates which humans cant digest. The good bacteria in our gut eat the fibre.
Our gut bacteria, known as the gut flora or gut microbiota, performs multiple functions in the body, like promoting overall health and wellbeing. Thus, it is imperative to consume balanced amounts of probiotics and prebiotics to ensure bacteria is balanced and your microbiota is happy.
What Is Lactospore Probiotic
One example of a Probiotic is LactoSpore .
Lactospore Probiotic is a natural remedy that has been shown in research to help reduce bloating and abdominal pain while improving stool frequency. LactoSpores®, sourced from this probiotic, is said to fight inflammation around the body by producing short-chain fatty acids .
Probiotics have been found to help with diarrhoea. They can reduce its severity or stop it altogether, and replenish good bacteria that antibiotics kill off.
The gut flora is essential to our health because it forms a protective barrier that prevents us from getting sick. Probiotics have been shown in studies as being able to help enhance natural antibodies and strengthen immune cells, which are what protect the body against foreign invaders like bacteria or viruses!
At Nourished we have found that producing vitamins in a gummy format increases the absorption rates of our ingredients, which means ingredients such as LactoSpore can begin having a positive impact on your gut faster than if it was in an isolated tablet.
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Which Is Better A Probiotic Or Prebiotic
If youre buying probiotics, chances are it was easy to makea leftover from brewing, or from making yogurt. These can be useful and do some good going through your system, but they’re not going to colonize your gut because they’re not meant for the gut. That’s not where they came from, that’s not where they’re going.
In the meantime, probiotics can have some good effects on you, and your mileage may vary. Everybody needs to try them first to see if there’s something that’s going to work and some people swear by them.
But it just wasn’t really working for me.
So I moved on to prebioticsthese complex sugars that feed the bacteria. I went through several but didn’t get any comfort, until I finally hit upon galactooligosaccharides. This chain of indigestible sugars changed my life overnight.
And so, you need to try lots of different things because everybody’s different and take notes, it’s gonna take a while to decide whether taking a prebiotic or probiotic, or both, is most beneficial for you.