Prebiotics vs Probiotics: Benefits, Side Effects, & DifferencesAllen Hicks
Table of Contents
- 1 Prebiotics vs Probiotics: Let’s Begin Intro
- 2 How are Gut Bacteria Beneficial?
- 3 The Benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics
- 4 Prebiotics vs Probiotics: Best Food Sources
- 5 Probiotics vs Prebiotics: Should You Use their Supplements?
- 6 Prebiotics vs Probiotics: Side Effects of Supplement
- 7 Prebiotic vs Probiotic: FAQs
- 8 Final Word
Your gut health contains a plethora of bacteria.
Prebiotics and probiotics are two types of microbes making a home in your stomach.
Though tiny creatures, they have a major role in your digestive process. They determine the smooth functioning of food digestion.
Probiotics are live strains of microorganisms. In contrast, prebiotics are food responsible for feeding them. They determine their population and quality.
Certain foods directly interfere with your gut microbiome by affecting the number of prebiotics and probiotics.
You need to be picky in adding prebiotics and probiotics foods to your diet.
It isn’t just about digestion, but immunity, nutrition, and overall health.
Prebiotics vs Probiotics—what should be your focus?
Before getting to the answer, you need to understand the two in detail. Let’s begin the discussion.
Prebiotics vs Probiotics: Let’s Begin Intro
As said, both are essential parts of your gut microbiome.
The right consistency of the two microorganisms ensures smooth digestive problems and overall health.
They have immense health benefits. Thus, people add prebiotics and probiotics supplements to their routine.
However, it can have severe consequences if you don’t know the basic info.
Let’s find out what probiotics and prebiotics are in the first place.
What are Probiotics?
These are strains of living microbes in your stomach.
In general, they are present in your intestine, but they are also present in your mouth, lungs, vagina, urinary tract, and on your skin. There are different types of probiotics. They live in different parts of your body.
The most common microbes present in your body are bacterias bifidobacterium and lactobacillus and the yeast saccharomyces boulardii.
To a great extent, probiotics determine your intestinal microbiome health.
These living organisms, good or bad, are present in your body organs.
The good bacteria and yeasts bear the name probiotics. They help fight off the harsh microbes disturbing the normal function of your digestive system.
What are Prebiotics?
These are food to probiotics, you read about.
In general, these are non-digestible parts of plant food. The microbes feed on them. Thus, in a way, prebiotics determines the population of probiotics.
The human body doesn’t encompass the enzyme capable of digesting the mentioned plant parts.
However, microbes break them down for digestion. They use the energy for reproduction and creating by-products. Eventually, this results in many health benefits.
The most common prebiotics are:
- Resistant starch
- Oligofructose (fructose)
- Galactooligosaccharides (GOS)
- Fructans (inulin and fructooligosaccharides)
These even go through the fermentation process. Eventually, the process creates short-chain-fatty acids with beneficial effects.
Fructans, Inulin, and oligofructose, are highly beneficial probiotics.
The section provides a brief detail on the two major components of gut health.
Next, in Prebiotics vs Probiotics discussion, let’s understand the importance of gut bacteria.
How are Gut Bacteria Beneficial?
Your stomach bacteria is essential for your overall health in many ways.
Firstly, they constitute your whole digestive system and determine the digestive process.
A study investigated germ-free animals. They are more likely to develop malformed intestines. Moreover, their bacterial by-products are likely to result in lymphoid organ development.
Stomach microbes develop barriers on the gut walls and maintain them. This helps the entire gut process. They also determine your whole immune response against dangerous viruses, pathogens, bacteria, and fungi.
Good bacteria interact with your immune system. They even direct their function to defend your body against body issues.Some good microbes even benefit your T-helper cells. This translates into a low-grade inflammatory response. Also, this prepares your immunity to fight against pathogens.
It even helps maintain the processes of cytoprotective genes. They develop the proteins necessary to destroy environmental toxins.
Indeed, your gut bacteria are responsible for a plethora of body processes. While probiotics determine your health, prebiotics regulates the probiotic population.
Apart from having major health benefits, the bacterium delivers many other advantages.
Let’s understand them in the next section of Prebiotics vs Probiotics.
The Benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics
The general Prebiotic and probiotic uses differ.
One is responsible for digestive processes, while one regulates another’s consistency.
Moreover, gut bacteria interact with your system in many ways. This directly or indirectly advances your overall health.
Let’s find out the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics.
Benefits of Probiotics
To a certain extent, probiotics determine your intestinal microbiome.
They also govern the nutrition absorbed by your intestine. Meanwhile, they also regulate the risks of some ailments and infections.
As mentioned, good bacteria maintain immunity, apart from your, digestive processes.
Moreover, studies have found probiotics supplementation effective in treating a wide range of stomach problems.
- irritable bowel syndrome,
- bacterial infections, and
- other digestive issues.
It even benefits in case of lactose intolerance. Furthermore, probiotics food works effectively in the treatment of atopic dermatitis.
More studies are investigating the benefits of microbes in cancer prevention as well as applicable treatment.
Benefits of Prebiotics
Prebiotics advance your health in myriads of ways.
Mainly it functions as food for good gut bacteria. Thus, it contributes to maintaining an effective gut microbiome. The prebiotics takes them to ferment in your stomach.
This strengthens your immune system to battle against pathogens.
They even stimulate the absorption of different minerals. This includes calcium and other minerals.
Meanwhile, it reduces the risk of different allergies while stimulating your metabolic process.
A study found daily supplementation of 12 grams of inulin monthly lessens the blood level of the low density of lipoprotein (VDL). In general, the name applied to it is bad cholesterol
However, no study provides a general recommendation. For instance, what quantity of probiotic or prebiotic foods should you intake daily.
Still, you should ensure your diet includes different sources of prebiotic and probiotic foods.
Prebiotic benefits your health by improving the consistency of gut microbes. Likewise, probiotics advance different determinants of your health.
To make most of the best prebiotic and probiotic combinations, try some of their finest sources.
Read about them in the Prebiotics vs Probiotics further.
Prebiotics vs Probiotics: Best Food Sources
Adding prebiotics and probiotics can advance your health.
It would only be possible if you add their best sources to your diet.
Let’s discuss them right here.
The Best Prebiotics Foods To Add to Your diet
In general, people prefer buying costly prebiotic pills.
You need to understand these nutrients are directly available through normal foods.
These are simple types of fiber available in fruits, veggies, and legumes. However, you can’t digest these fibers. Only your good gut microbes can break down these plant fibers.
Some best food sources of prebiotics are:
- dandelion greens
- Jerusalem artichokes
- beans, legumes, and peas
The good gut microbes convert prebiotics into short-chain fatty acids.
Without proper ingestion of prebiotic fire, it is impossible to maintain the proper functioning of the stomach.
It even ensures healthy digestive processes as well as strengthens your immunity.
The Best Probiotic Foods to Add to Your diet
Many foods contain good gut bacteria. They help create a healthy gut microbiome for properly functioning digestion.
In general, fermented foods are good source of probiotics. They encompass good bacteria benefiting your gut microbiome.
Some fermented foods containing probiotics are:
- kombucha tea
- pickles (unpasteurized)
- pickled veggies (unpasteurized)
Fermented food benefits your gut microbiome by adding additional probiotics. However, when adding these foods to your diet ensure they are unpasteurized.
The process destroys the good bacteria in the food. Including them in your diet would have no impact on your gut microbiome.
These food sources contain good bacteria naturally. You can buy them from the market. Instead, prepare them in your home using some ingredients.
You already know the Probiotics and prebiotics difference.
One is a microbe, while another one is its food.
To improve your gut microbiome, it is necessary to include both food sources in your diet. So, prepare your meal place consisting of the two types of food sources.
In Prebiotics vs Probiotics comparison, let’s learn the importance of their supplementation.
Probiotics vs Prebiotics: Should You Use their Supplements?
In recent days, the craze for Probiotics and Prebiotics supplementation have gone up.
It improves your gut microbiome while reducing the risk of digestive issues.
Also, they are an easily accessible way to meet your daily prebiotics and probiotics requirements.
Probiotic Supplements: Which One to Pick?
Probiotic pills are a wide range of bacteria. They are measured in colony-forming units (CFU).
It can go on from 1 to 50 billion or more. However, a higher CFU isn’t the epitome of quality or efficacy.
Instead of counting on CFU, look for estimated live cultures.
In general, there are 7 times of bacterial strains present in probiotic pills. They include:
When buying probiotic supplementation, consider the bacteria strain. They may be from the above option available.
Prebiotic Supplements: Which One to Select?
Prebiotics are indigestible plant fire.
The most common prebiotics include chicory root fiber, potato starch, and pectin. However, studies have mixed opinions on prebiotic supplementation.
If it benefits the good bacteria population or with stomach issues. Still, some studies showcase a positive impact in terms of protection against colorectal cancer.
Usually, probiotics and prebiotics supplements are safe. There is no regulation related to its supplementation by U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In other words, there is no assurance of safety.
At times, people have reported probiotics and prebiotics side effects.They result in many gastrointestinal issues including bloating, gas, and other problems. Moreover, taking them with antibiotics can result in diarrhea.
Prebiotics vs Probiotics: Side Effects of Supplement
The promising benefits of prebiotics and probiotics supplements are impressive.
This is a half-truth.
Their regular ingestion can cause many side effects. Indeed, they can interfere with your gastrointestinal possible.
Let’s discuss prebiotic and probiotic capsules’ side effects.
Prebiotics Side Effects: Possible Downsides
Prebiotics has an osmotic effect on your intestinal lumen. Meanwhile, they ferment in your colon.
This way they can trigger gaseousness and bloat. Moreover, they can cause problems like abdominal pain and diarrhea when their dosages increase.
An additional side effect of prebiotics related to large dosages is gastroesophageal reflux.
Probiotic Supplementation: Possible Shortcomings
The good gut bacteria you consume from your food and supplements are present in your body already. So, they are safe to consume. Still, they can trigger a wide range of allergic effects.
They can also trigger problems like diarrhea, slight stomach upset, flatulence, and bloating. You can face these problems during initial uses.
Though prebiotics and probiotics supplements should benefit your gut health, they cause gastrointestinal issues.
The first thing you can do to avoid it in the first place is to take low dosages.
It is time to take some common questions related to prebiotics and probiotics usages. Let’s begin.
Prebiotic vs Probiotic: FAQs
People have many doubts about their supplementation. Should they take them or not? Should they take them together or not?
Here, you will find answers to all such common doubts.
#1: Is it better to take a prebiotic or probiotic?
Prebiotics benefits the population of probiotics. This way it enhances the effectiveness of the good gut bacteria.
Moreover, it supports your gut health while reducing digestive problems. It even often offers other advantages. Still, you should consult your doctor about which one to take or not.
#2: Do you need both prebiotics and probiotics?
Prebiotics function as food to probiotics. Their usage in combination is called microbiome therapy.
Indeed, you don’t need prebiotic supplementation for probiotics to function. Still, taking them together increases the effectiveness of probiotics.
#3: Can you take prebiotics and probiotics together?
Yes, you can take prebiotics and probiotics supplementation together.
Prebiotics function as food to your gut bacteria. Moreover, it enhances the effectiveness of your gut microbiome.
Studies have found their combination effective in improving gut health.
The article on prebiotics and probiotics ends here. At last, let’s grab an overview of the two essential components of gut health.
Probiotics and prebiotics are present in your good. They are an essential part of a healthy digestive process and the gut microbiome. They even strengthen your immune system.
To increase their quantity, you can add different food sources mentioned above. Or, you can go ahead with Probiotics and prebiotics supplements.
Sill, we recommend consulting with a healthcare provider to avoid problems beforehand. As the side effects are undeniable.