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Prebiotics, Probiotics, And Postbiotics: What are they and how do they work?

  • 4 min read

Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Postbiotics: these words may look and sound similar, but all of these elements have an effect on your microbiome, which is a group of bacteria and other microorganisms that live inside you. According to research, a thriving microbiome is essential for a robust immune system. 

The microbes living in your gut - known as the microbiome - are crucially important to your health. One study has revealed that even identical twins have significantly distinct gut microbiomes, with unrelated people sharing 30% and twins sharing 34% of the same gut bacteria. Therefore, the gut microbiome may differ from person to person. 

So, how do these numerous‚Äúbiotics‚ÄĚoperate to maintain a healthy gut flora? Is it essential to have all three? Yes, they are all helpful to our overall health and promote a healthy immune system and digestive system. So let‚Äôs dig deeper and find out more about these‚Äúbiotics‚ÄĚ and how they work in our bodies.

 

Different pills forming the word Prebiotic

Prebiotics - Acts like Fuel

What are they? 

Prebiotics are nutrients found in food that stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria. They are the nutrients that our own stomach cannot digest such as dietary fibers found naturally in high-fiber foods. As our body cannot break down these digestive fibers, they remain in your lower intestines and feed the growth of beneficial bacteria and other microbes.

 

With the right amount of food and nutrients that these microbes need to consume, like putting fuel into a car to function, consuming prebiotics may help to increase the quantity and variety of organisms in our microbiome.

 

Where can we get Prebiotics? 

The majority of prebiotic molecules are plant fibers; therefore, eating various plants is usually an excellent place to start! Here are some of the most common prebiotic molecules and where you can find them:

  • Inulin¬†‚Äď asparagus, onions, leeks, garlic, bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root
  • Beta-glucan¬†‚Äď some mushrooms, barley, oats, rye, and other whole grains¬†
  • Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)¬†‚Äď asparagus, onions, leeks, garlic, bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root
  • Galactooligosaccharides (GOS)¬†‚Äď legumes like chickpeas and lentils

 

Written words in a book with a pink highlight to the word Probiotics

Probiotics - The Living Gut Bugs

What are they? 

‚ÄúProbiotics‚ÄĚ are defined by the World Health Organization as‚Äúlive microorganisms that, when provided in suitable proportions, impose a health benefit on the host.‚ÄĚ In other words, they are living bacteria in food that make it to your gut and ideally set up camp, delivering some form of benefit.

Eating probiotics may help increase the amount and diversity of bacteria in our gut, which can help reduce the growth of harmful germs, assist digestion, raise the suitable compounds that our gut bacteria create (more on that below), and stimulate our immune system.

Where can we get Probiotics?

We can get more good bacteria into our gut through natural sources such as fermented foods, including yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut. Dietary supplements are also an option.

There is no suggested daily consumption for Probiotics; therefore, there is no way to determine which fermented foods to eat or how much to consume. As a result, the general rule is to incorporate as many fermented foods into your regular diet as feasible.

 

 

Blue colored goog bacteria image with the text Postbiotic

 

Postbiotics - The Microbe's (good) Waste

What are they? 

Postbiotics are byproducts of the fermentation process carried out by probiotics in the intestine. In other words, as probiotics feed on Prebiotics, Postbiotics are produced. They are basically the‚Äúwaste‚ÄĚ of probiotics.

We may think that this ‚Äúwaste‚ÄĚ is terrible for us, but this waste may be considered helpful to our bodies. Scientists have recognized hundreds of postbiotic compounds produced in the microbiome which may help support your overall health. These includes:¬†

  • Helps the production of Vitamin B and Vitamin K to our body¬†
  • Antimicrobial compounds that help reduce pathogenic microorganisms
  • Bacterial fragments and cells may help your immune system prepare to battle illnesses.
  • Short-chain fatty acids that aid in maintaining the gut lining, function as signals to the body and brain, support metabolism, and have anti-inflammatory properties.

 

In a nutshell,Prebiotics are the food,Probiotics are the bacteria, andPostbiotics are the byproducts of Probiotics. This allows us to have a better understanding of the symbiotic link between gut microbes and our health.

So, do you need to include prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics in your diet to keep your microbiome and immune system healthy?

Ideally, we may want to consume meals rich in everything, but sometimes, the nutrients from our meal intake may not be enough. So another choice could be to take multivitamins to help support nutritional bases and a supplement containing a probiotic component for an extra boost.

 

Nature’s Branch 60 Billion Probiotic is made with 60 billion CFU (live cultures) and 10 scientifically researched strains for a premium probiotic experience. Our probiotic also include digestive enzymes and help promote natural balance, digestion, and mood.

 

Our probiotics come in delayed-release capsules which means that the capsules penetrate deep into the gut and gastrointestinal tract for optimum efficiency. Moreover, our probiotics include prebiotics for extra added support.  

 

Want to find out more? Just click the image below and see if our 60 Billion Probiotics are right for you!

 

Nature's Branch 60 Billion Probiotic Supplement with a customer feedback text, Product Badges and a shop now button

 

References 

 

  1. Harvard Health. (2020, August 24).How to get more probiotics.https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-get-more-probiotics#:%7E:text=The%20most%20common%20fermented%20foods,sourdough%20bread%20and%20some%20cheeses.

  2. What are Prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics and how do they work? (n.d.). ZOE. https://joinzoe.com/post/prebiotics-probiotics-postbiotics

  3. (2019, April 1). What are Postbiotics? 5 Health Benefits. Meridian Chiropractic Health Center.https://www.chiropractor-schaumburg.com/what-are-postbiotics-5-health-benefits/#:%7E:text=Postbiotics%20are%20byproducts%20of%20the,the%20%E2%80%9Cwaste%E2%80%9D%20of%20probiotics.&text=Some%20examples%20of%20postbiotics%20include,bacteriocins%2C%20carbonic%20substances%20and%20enzymes.

 

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