Prebiotics vs. Probiotics
Written by Georga Holt
Naturopath at George.nat
Prebiotics are plant fibres that help the healthy bacteria grow in our gut. They are one of the main fuel sources to keep our good-gut-bugs fighting healthy & fit. So, if we have Prebiotics, then do we really need Probiotics? Yes - both work better when they are together.
Difference between Pre & Probiotics
Prebiotics are defined as non or partially digestible dietary ingredients that we consume for the beneficial impacts on our microbiome. This is because Prebiotics support the growth &/or activity of bacteria in our digestive tract.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that when consumed, contribute to stimulating the growth of other microorganisms.
Role of Prebiotics
Prebiotics not only help feed our microbiome but contain many other benefits for the body. Prebiotics assist with promoting better stool motions by helping retain water in the bowel, reducing the occurrence of diarrhoea or constipation. However, be wary that too much of a good thing can also go the other way, so as always everything in moderation.
Role of Probiotics
Probiotics' main role in the human body is improving the microbiome and ensuring there is a proper balance between the good guys and bad guys (pathogens). They can also be beneficial at restoring the microbiome after antibiotics, food poisoning, candida overgrowth or parasites. Probiotics can help the body combat allergies and help produce digestive enzymes for the initial stage of digestion.
So, do we want prebiotics or probiotics for our health?
We want both!! Probiotics work better with prebiotics and vice versa.
When prebiotics and probiotics are consumed together, they work synergistically. Both prebiotics and probiotics work together to improve the health of the microbiome as well as inhibition of potential pathogens, reduce allergies, improve digestive capacity, regulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, and improve liver function.
Food sources of prebiotics
But can also be found in natural products such as:
- Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)
- Derivatives of galactose and B-glucans
A single serve of Happy Flora helps you maintain healthy digestive function with the added benefit of prebiotic to promote healthy intestinal bacteria balance. Click to Shop our Products to find out more about each product in the Happy Flora range.
Floch M. H. (2014). Probiotics and Prebiotics. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 10(10), 680–681.
Markowiak, P., & Śliżewska, K. (2017). Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Human Health. Nutrients, 9(9), 1021. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9091021