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Pre, Pro and Postbiotics – What’s the difference?

Pre, Pro and Postbiotics – What’s the difference?

Go with your gut. It’s a phrase we often hear, yet what can we take from it? Whatever you’re putting into your body, it should be benefitting it, and we all hear that taking pre, post and probiotics can help improve your gut health.


Go with your gut. It’s a phrase we often hear, yet what can we take from it? Whatever you’re putting into your body, it should be benefitting it, and we all hear that taking pre, post and probiotics can help improve your gut health.

The endless benefits of good gut health include, a stronger immune system, increased heart health, mood boosting and enhanced brain function.

So pre, pro and post - what exactly are these? And what’s the difference?

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that help the growth of microorganisms in your intestines. More specifically, they are specialised plant fibres that act like fertilisers and help to stimulate healthy bacteria in the gut. They stimulate growth among pre-existing good bacteria1. As they are naturally occurring, you can find them in such foods as greens, bananas, whole grains, onions and garlic, to name a few, or you can increase your intake of prebiotics through supplements. Essentially, they are a source of food for your gut’s healthy bacteria, helping to build a healthy digestive system!

Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are known for having various health benefits. Essentially, they are a microorganism that are introduced to the body to help keep your body healthy and fighting fit. Helping to build up good bacteria, it can fight nasty bacteria when you’re not feeling your best, and they are different in the sense that they contain live organisms. They help to build up your defences – adding people to your team, whilst prebiotics feed them. You can get additional probiotics through taking supplements (helping to boost that good bacteria even further), and they can also be found in naturally fermented foods as yoghurt, kimchi, pickles, miso, tempeh and kefir.

Postbiotics

Postbiotics are often thought of as waste products, but they can offer health benefits similar to prebiotics. Less known than pre or probiotics, they have recently been shown to seriously improve gut health. They are bioactive compounds that probiotic bacteria produce when they consume prebiotics, such as fibre.2 The benefits of taking postbiotics, or eating more postbiotic foods, include boosting your immune system, helping to reduce digestive symptoms and potentially helping and preventing gut issues such as diarrhoea. They may also help to lower blood sugar and prevent obesity and reduce inflammation. The direct source of postbiotics is probiotics3 and the foods that can help build up postbiotics in your gut are similar to those of probiotics listed above.

So here we have it! The main differences and benefits of pre, pro and postbiotics. Whilst all of these can be found naturally in certain foods, taking more in the forms of supplements can benefit your gut (and overall) health. With Nourished, you can select pre-made life stacks that already include these gut boosting benefits (such as HT-BPL1), or in our Build Your Own lab, you can select the vitamins you feel that will benefit you. Just remember, always listen to your gut!

References

  1. https://www.sclhealth.org/blog/2019/07/difference-between-probiotics-and-prebiotics/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/postbiotics
  3. https://www.chiropractor-schaumburg.com/what-are-postbiotics-5-health-benefits/

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