Probiotics versus Prebiotics:
The Benefits and Differences
The human body is home to trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, collectively known as the microbiome. While the thought of having so many microorganisms living within us may seem unsettling, the truth is, many of these microorganisms contribute positively to our overall health and well-being.
Among these beneficial microorganisms are probiotics, also known as friendly bacteria or intestinal flora. Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when consumed in adequate amounts, confer health benefits to the host. These beneficial bacteria can be found in many fermented foods, including yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, as well as in dietary probiotic supplements.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are a type of dietary fiber that feed the beneficial bacteria living in our gut. Prebiotics are found naturally in many foods, including onions, garlic, bananas, and asparagus, and can also be obtained through dietary prebiotic supplements.
So, what are the differences between probiotics and prebiotics, and what are the benefits of each?
As mentioned, probiotics are live microorganisms that confer health benefits to the host when consumed in adequate amounts. These beneficial bacteria are primarily found in the digestive tract, where they aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, synthesize vitamins, and play a crucial role in supporting a healthy immune system.
Research has shown that probiotics can be helpful in promoting relief from a variety of conditions, including diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Probiotics may also help promote the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, promote weight loss, and help lower the severity of allergies and eczema.
Probiotic supplements typically contain a combination of different strains of beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus salivarius, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium longum, and Bifidobacterium infantis.
While probiotics are live microorganisms, prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that feed the beneficial bacteria living in our gut. Prebiotics can be found naturally in many foods, including onions, garlic, bananas, and asparagus, and can also be obtained through dietary supplements.
Prebiotics have several health benefits, including improving digestion, promoting regularity, and increasing the absorption of calcium and other minerals. In addition, prebiotics may help boost the immune system and promote reduced inflammation.
One type of prebiotic fiber that has gained popularity in recent years is inulin. Inulin is a soluble fiber found naturally in many plants, including chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, and dandelion greens. Inulin is commonly added to foods as a prebiotic fiber supplement.
Which one should you choose?
Both probiotics and prebiotics are important for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome and overall health. While probiotics provide live microorganisms that confer health benefits to the host, prebiotics provide the food that these beneficial bacteria need to survive and thrive.
If you are looking to improve your gut health, consider incorporating both probiotics and prebiotics
Probiotics+™, contains 40 billion active microorganisms per serving, including all of the above-mentioned strains. In addition, this supplement provides prebiotic support with organic inulin and FOS (fructooligosaccharides) for probiotic growth and colonization in the intestinal tract.
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Health Hispanica® is a Hispanic-American health store specializing in supplements from Hispanic-American-owned brands such as Natura-Genics® and Yerba Farma®. We strive to provide quality and innovative supplements at fair prices and educate our clients and community on healthy living.
The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.