A guide to Prebiotics, Probiotics and Postbiotics

Prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics - if you're asking “What’s the difference?" then we have the guide for you! 

The easiest way to think about the biotics is to think of them as an important part of your gut to flourish. They each have a job to do. 

  • Prebiotics are the fuel
  • Probiotics are the bacteria factory workers
  • Postbiotics are produced by the factory workers - the goods

Probiotics prebiotics postbiotics

Let's dig a little deeper in our guide on the difference between prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics.

Prebiotics: What Are They and How Do They Work?

Prebiotics are the fuel for Probiotics.

They're typically found in foods such as bananas, oats, citrus fruits, garlic, onions and artichokes.

Sometimes labeled as resistant starch, prebiotics are non-digestible plant fibres that feed beneficial bacteria in your body. 

Research suggests that these good-for-you gut bugs have an immune-boosting effect on our bodies; plus they can produce important nutrients like vitamins B1 (thiamine) through B9 (folate).

The more prebiotics you eat, the healthier your gut becomes—and that’s especially good news if you suffer from digestive issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Probiotics: What Are They and How Do They Work?

Probiotic bacteria are the factory workers that consume the prebiotics to make the postbiotics (the goods). 

The scientific definition of a probiotic is a live microorganism which when eaten or taken in adequate amounts delivers a health benefit. 

In other words, probiotics are helpful bacteria that positively affect your body by improving digestion or promoting healthy immune function.

These living organisms (often found in fermented foods like yogurt) can also help with things like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhoea, skin conditions and respiratory illnesses.

Postbiotics: What Are They and How Do They Work?

Postbiotics are produced by healthy bacteria in your gut to help your digest your food. 

The science of probiotics is growing by leaps and bounds. Every day scientists are discovering new ways that they benefit our bodies. Here’s what you need to know about these remarkable substances.

Postbiotics are made by the probiotic bacteria factory workers in your gut. 

Postbiotics have been found to do lots of beneficial things in your gut -

  1. May help lower blood sugar and prevent associated issues 
  2. Supports probiotics to work more effectively 
  3. Treats diarrhoea
  4. Antimicrobial properties - postbiotics can help populate the gut with an ecosystem that is great for good bacteria
  5. May be more suitable for those with immune deficiencies than the live cultures of probiotics 
  6. Reduce Inflammation and bloating

Emerging science about postbiotics 

Until recently, very little research has been done on postbiotics. But as scientists start to investigate how gut bacteria may impact human health beyond probiotics (like prebiotics), we are learning more about postbiotics. 

In fact, it appears that certain postbiotics can stimulate microbes in your colon (intestine) to produce enzymes capable of breaking down tough-to-digest compounds so postbiotics are great for digestion and overall wellbeing. 

Gut Health Supplements - know your stuff

At first glance, it may seem like postbiotics do similar to what prebiotics and probiotics do. But to really create the right environment in your gut - you should only ever choose a supplement or dietary changes based on what your gut is telling you. 

 

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