All About Prebiotic, Probiotic, and Postbiotic
Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres in food, when eaten, it would pass through our digestive system and get fermented in our large intestine. This fermentation process is able to feed bacterias in our gut and create an environment best for our gut microbiota. Some of the most common prebiotics include beta glucans (found in oats, barley, wheat and rye), psyllium, acacia powder, and wheat dextrin.
On the other hand, Probiotics are live beneficial bacterias that promote a healthy balance of helpful gut bacteria in your digestive system. These good bacteria help keep your body strong and healthy by improving the digestive system, gut health, and increase immune system. They can be found naturally through food, such as miso, kimchi, yoghurt, and also found as supplemental forms such as YourGutt Instant Probiotics.
There are different types of probiotic strains in the market. Each strain is said to have different and unique functions, but they all have one common function, which is to improve gut health and gut immunity.
Example of common probiotic strains:
- Lactobacillus: Common probiotic found in fermented dairy products. It can help in diarrhea, indigestion, and help in breaking down lactose for lactose intolerant people.
- Bifidobacterium: Commonly found in dairy products as well, can be found in supplemental form as well. Helps in alleviating IBS and ulcerative colitis symptoms, and help in improving moods.
After live beneficial bacterias feed on the fermented fibres in the intestine, compounds called postbiotics. Postbiotics not only are products produced by bacteria (probiotics), it is also components of dead bacterias such as cell wall, cell components, and debris of undigested prebiotics. Recent researches found that these byproducts are able to provide health benefits to hosts, similar to live probiotics.
Postbiotics compounds produced by probiotics are often lactic acid, acetate, short-chain fatty acids, and folate. Aside from lactic acid, postbiotics compounds are able to provide various benefits to host; aid in providing energy and metabolism, antioxidant activity, and contribute to folic acid (helps in the nervous system) respectively.
Prebiotics + Probiotics = Postbiotics
Is it really necessary to consume prebiotics for probiotics to work? Well, yes, probiotics requires prebiotics to further survive and function in the gut as it serves as food for the bacterias and produces postbiotics.
All these can be further enhanced by consuming fibres from foods. Example of prebiotic rich foods are:
- Chicory roots
- Oatmeal or oats
- Wheat bran based products (eg: wheat bread)
- Apple with skin
- Guava with skin
Why take supplements when consuming high fibre foods and fermented food is enough?
It is highly encouraged to consume your nutrients, fibres, and probiotics through food instead of supplements as it adds further benefits when consuming foods (eg: vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins etc). However, there are also reasons/circumstances why it is also beneficial to consider supplements, such as:
- There is no one size fits all prebiotic for probiotics, some prebiotic are more effective as fuel for probiotics.
- It is a hassle to match and prepare food that compliments each other well for best results.
- Probiotics found in food may not be as controlled or be enough cfu count to confer benefits.
- Some strains of probiotics or type of prebiotics are not found in food, expensive,
or hard to get.
- Time management – reduce food preparation time as well as consumption time.
- Provide convenience with sufficient nutrients, prebiotic, and probiotic.
- Most of them are allergen free and safe for food sensitivity (eg: vegan, vegetarian
friendly, gluten free etc).
Hence, YourGutt™ strive to formulated health products that’s the best for your gut with a team of health professionals because we believe that the key to greater health lies in your gut. Read more about YourGutt™ here