Prebiotic vs Probiotic: Difference, Synbiotic And Foods


Prebiotics refer to specialized types of fiber that serve as a food source for probiotics, promoting their survival and growth in the gut. Probiotics, on the other hand, refer to live bacteria that provide various health benefits when consumed, supporting gut health, immune function, and overall well-being as defined by National Institutes of Health (NIH).

When choosing prebiotics or probiotics, the primary difference between them lies in their function: prebiotics are specialized fiber that nourishes probiotics, while probiotics are live bacteria that provide health benefits when consumed.

Is It Better To Take A Prebiotic Or Probiotic?

According to experts, it's best to take prebiotics and probiotics together at the same time. By combining the two, they can work synergistically to enhance the overall health of your gut. Taking both prebiotics and probiotics simultaneously maximizes their effectiveness and ensures that they can support the growth of beneficial bacteria and promote a balanced gut microbiome.

How Do Prebiotics And Probiotics Work Together?

Prebiotics and probiotics work together as synbiotics, enhancing the survival and function of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Synbiotics refer to products or combinations that contain both prebiotics and probiotics, working synergistically to enhance the survival and activity of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

When you take prebiotics and probiotics together, the prebiotics provide nourishment for the probiotics, enhancing their survival and promoting their beneficial effects in the gut. To avoid potential interactions and bloating, it is recommended to take prebiotics and probiotics about 10 to 15 minutes apart, with the probiotic being taken first on an empty stomach.

what are prebiotic benefits?

Research has shown prebiotics improve gut wall health, promoting regular bowel function, and assisting in weight loss. By nourishing probiotic bacteria, prebiotics help maintain a healthy gut environment, improve the integrity of the intestinal barrier, regulate bowel movements, and metabolism.

What Are Probiotic Benefits?

Probiotics help restore and maintain a healthy gut microbiome providing immune system support, mood, weight loss, and protection against pathogens. Probiotics improve the immune system by promoting the production of immune cells and regulating immune responses, leading to improved defense against infections and pathogens.

What Foods Are High In Prebiotic?

9 Foods high in prebiotic include: Asparagus, Bananas, Chicory Rooy, Dandelion Greens, Garlic, Leafy Greens, Legume, Onions and Artichokes.

  • Asparagus: Asparagus is a green, spring vegetable with tender spears that is known for its distinct flavor and high nutritional value.
  • Bananas: Bananas are a popular fruit known for their yellow color, sweet taste, and soft texture. They are a good source of potassium, fiber, and essential nutrients.
  • Chicory Root: Chicory root refers to the taproot of the chicory plant, which is commonly used as a coffee substitute or additive. It has a bitter taste and is often roasted, ground, and brewed to create
  • Dandelion Greens: Dandelion greens are the leafy and slightly bitter greens derived from the dandelion plant, known for their nutrient density and potential health benefits.
  • Garlic: Garlic is a pungent bulbous plant known for its distinct flavor and aroma, commonly used as a culinary ingredient to enhance the taste of various dishes.
  • Leafy Greens: Leafy greens such as spinach are abundant in fiber, which makes them an ideal prebiotic food.
  • Legumes: Legumes are a family of plants that include beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas, known for their high protein and fiber content, and commonly used as a nutritious food source and ingredient in various cuisines.
  • Onions: Onions are edible bulbs with layers of papery skin and a pungent flavor, widely used as a versatile ingredient in cooking to add flavor and aroma to dishes.
  • Artichoke: Artichoke refers to a thistle-like vegetable with a unique shape and a tender heart surrounded by fleshy leaves, commonly enjoyed for its delicate flavor and used in various culinary preparations.

What Food Are High In Probiotics?

9 Foods high in probiotic include: Kefir, Yogurt, Pickled Vegetables, Tempeh, Natto and Sauerkraut.

  • Kefir: Kefir is a fermented dairy product with a tangy taste and a creamy texture, known for its probiotic properties and commonly consumed for its potential health benefits.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt is a creamy dairy product created through the fermentation of milk by live bacterial cultures, often enjoyed for its smooth texture and tangy flavor, and known for its probiotic content and potential health benefits.
  • Pickled Vegetables: Pickled vegetables are vegetables that have been preserved by fermentation or immersion in a brine or vinegar solution, resulting in a tangy and flavorful condiment commonly enjoyed as a side dish or ingredient in various culinary preparations.
  • Tempeh: Tempeh is a fermented soybean product with a firm texture and nutty flavor, commonly used as a plant-based protein source and popular in vegetarian and vegan cuisine.
  • Natto: Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans, known for its sticky texture, strong aroma, and unique flavor, often enjoyed as a breakfast dish or ingredient in various Japanese recipes.
  • Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish, characterized by its tangy flavor and crunchy texture, commonly used as a condiment or side dish in various cuisines and known for its probiotic benefits.

prebiotics vs probiotics for IBS?

IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder characterized by recurring abdominal pain, discomfort, and changes in bowel habits without any structural abnormalities.

A 2021 study authored by A Chlebicz-Wójcik, found that probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics hold promise as safe and effective alternatives for relieving symptoms of IBS. While further investigation and standardization are needed, these microbiota-based therapies show potential in managing IBS and can be considered as alternatives to traditional medications.

More research is required to determine the optimal strains, dosages, and treatment durations, as well as to whether prebiotics or probiotics are better for IBS.

Prebiotics Vs Probiotics For Constipation

Constipation refers to a condition characterized by infrequent bowel movements, difficulty passing stools, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation.

A 2022 study authored by MM Araújo, found that prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics show potential in alleviating constipation symptoms. They can decrease colonic transit time, increase fecal number and water content, and improve stool consistency.

In particular, inulin as a prebiotic and B. lactis and L. casei Shirota as probiotics were found to be effective in increasing defecation frequency and improving constipation symptoms. 

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