What Are Prebiotics and Probiotics and Should I Take Them

Everyone seems to be talking about gut health these days, and with good cause. In a recent study of 71,812 persons in the United States, 61% stated they had at least one gastrointestinal, or gut, problem in the previous week. Many of these problems, according to research, are caused by gut dysbiosis, or an imbalance of “good” bacteria in the gut. probiotic and prebiotic supplements

We’ll go through how supplementing with probiotics and prebiotics can help you optimize your gut bacteria. What they are, how they differ, and why they matter will all be discussed.

What is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics, and what role do they play in gut health?

Probiotics are living strains of beneficial bacteria that have been shown to provide a variety of health advantages. Prebiotics are carbohydrate-derived compounds (mainly fiber) that nourish the healthy bacteria in your stomach. probiotic and prebiotic supplements

In the stomach, how do they collaborate?

Prebiotics increase the amount of probiotics multiply and maintain a healthy balance in the gut, which protects against potentially hazardous bacteria. Adding probiotics and prebiotics to your diet and supplementing with them can assist add the extra forces needed to support the internal warriors in fight every day, ensuring your system is operating at its best. probiotic and prebiotic supplements

What are some prebiotic examples?

Many common prebiotics can be found in or derived from the foods we eat. Many prebiotics are kinds of fiber, which is the unsung hero of a healthy diet and digestive system.

The following foods are high in prebiotics:

Beans, peas, and chickpeas are examples of legumes.

Whole grains and cereals: Oats, bran, barley, and rye are all examples of cereal grains.

Bananas, berries, grapefruit, and olives (+ extra-virgin olive oil) are examples of fruits.

Vegetables: Onions, garlic, and leeks

Flaxseeds, pistachios, and almonds are examples of nuts and seeds.

When looking at the labels of supplements containing prebiotics, you may notice that they do not specify the foods from which they are derived, but rather their scientific names, such as:

Fiber prebiotics:


Oligosaccharides: Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), xylo-oligosaccharide (XOS), and isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMO)



Non-fiber prebiotics:



Polyunsaturated fatty acids

What are some probiotic examples?

Fermented foods are among the most popular sources of probiotics. This implies they use living cultures, or beneficial bacteria strains, that either exist naturally or are added during the manufacturing process. probiotic and prebiotic supplements

Here are a few examples:

Yogurt, kefir, and some cheeses are dairy products (gouda, Swiss, parmesan, cheddar)

Non-dairy (before buying, check the packaging for additional bacteria): Kefir, yogurt

Sauerkraut, kimchi, and other pickled vegetables are examples of vegetables.

Tempeh, miso, and natto are examples of soy products.

Fermented drinks, such as kombucha, are popular.

Some of these foods are synbiotic, meaning they contain microorganisms that are both prebiotic and probiotic. Certain dairy and non-dairy yogurts and kefir, as well as certain pickled vegetables, fall into this category. probiotic and prebiotic supplements

When glancing at the labels of probiotic supplements, you may notice that the scientific names of the strains are listed instead of the foods from which they came. The following are some of the most common examples: probiotic and prebiotic supplements

Bifidobacteria (often abbreviated with B.):

B. animalis

B. breve

B. lactis

B. longum

Lactobacillus (often abbreviated with L.):

L. acidophilus

L. reuteri

Typically, they will consist of one letter followed by a second word. On a probiotic label, for example, you could see “B. acidophilus.” Remember that different probiotic strains may provide different health advantages, and we don’t yet know which ones are optimal for specific diseases.

Is it necessary for me to take prebiotic and probiotic supplements?

The gut microbiome is a unique collection of bacteria that is unique to each individual. From our birth to what we are exposed to in our environment, this evolves with time.

Even if we eat a range of nutrient-dense foods, supplementing with probiotics and prebiotics can occasionally be beneficial to our gut health. probiotic and prebiotic supplements

Before taking a pre or probiotic supplement, consult your healthcare professional if you are on antibiotics, immunocompromised, have inflammatory bowel disease, or any other serious medical condition. probiotic and prebiotic supplements

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