Prebiotics vs. Probiotics—What’s the Difference?
You’ve heard of probiotics…and the remarkable benefits they can offer for digestion and beyond.
But what about pre-biotics? Kind of sounds like yet another step you need to take to keep your heath on track.
Don’t worry though—prebiotics are a real thing…and they can be just as important as probiotics when it comes to gut health. In fact, you’re probably already getting some prebiotic nutrients in your diet, if you eat certain prebiotic-rich foods.
What Are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are very different from probiotics—but for optimal health, you need to give your body a good supply of both.
Prebiotics are special carbohydrate fibers that nourish and power the beneficial probiotic bacteria in your gut.
Prebiotic fibers are not digestible, so they pass through your stomach and small intestines, and reach your lower GI tract. Here, they go to work providing the ideal food source for beneficial bacteria in your gut to flourish...with far-reaching benefits for long-term health. Probiotic bacteria are nourished by prebiotic nutrients, allowing them to better colonize your gut and crowd out harmful bacteria (which thrive on different food sources like simple sugars and processed carbohydrates).
Probiotic bacteria also transform prebiotic fibers into different nutrients, like short chain fatty acids, that your body needs for optimal health and performance. So while prebiotics nourish good bacteria, they also allow good bacteria to better nourish us—A true win-win situation. But, just like any source of nourishment, we have to keep giving our friendly microbes a steady supply.
For this, we can rely on prebiotic-rich foods and prebiotic supplements.
What are Prebiotic Foods?
Prebiotic foods are plant-based foods including certain vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, spices and herbs, that contain an abundance of prebiotic fibers that good bacteria thrive on.
Research shows that people who eat lots of prebiotic-rich fruits and vegetables, have a healthier and more diverse population of good bacteria within their gut microbiome. This translates into numerous health benefits—from better digestive health, to neurological benefits, improved mood and sleep, and much more.
Some of the top prebiotic-rich foods include:
- Chicory root
The prebiotic compounds in these foods may vary, and fall under names like:
One class of prebiotic that’s getting more attention for its benefits in GI health, microbiome diversity, and overall health, is pectic oligosaccharides (POS). POS are derived from plant pectins, and act as powerful nourishment and fuel for beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Prebiotics and Probiotics = Greater Digestive Health
Prebiotic nutrients give the ultimate upgrade to probiotic supplements. But most probiotic formulas don’t include them. And you can see it in their results.
Or rather, lack thereof.
The unfortunate truth is that many probiotic supplements don’t do anything to support beneficial bacteria in the gut—because the probiotic bacteria are not activated and strengthened by prebiotics. In fact, clinical research shows that up to 40% of people taking typical probiotic supplements don’t receive any noticeable benefits from them.
Our advanced, certified organic pre + probiotic formula is changing that. ecoProbiotic delivers the ultimate synergy in pre + probiotics, to provide support for optimal digestive function and long-term wellness.*
This concentrated, fermented formula provides fast-acting, digestive and microbiome support, in a highly bioavailable liquid form.*
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