Probiotics vs Prebiotics

Probiotics vs Prebiotics

Probiotics vs Prebiotics

With gut health trending, discussions surrounding the topic probiotic and prebiotics always seemingly follows closely behindDespite their similar sounding names both play an extremely different role within the health of your gut. 

What are probiotics and prebiotics? 

Probiotics: are the live beneficial bacteria that live within your gut. These can be found within certain foods or found in supplements. Foods include: Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Miso, Kefir (dairy and non-dairy), pickled vegetables, Tempeh, Fermented Foods. (Note: These products must be unpasteurised in order to have the probiotics) 

Prebiotics are foods that feed the bacteria. Coming from different plant fibres, stimulating the growth of the good bacteria Foods include: Onions, Garlic, Bananas, Berries, Beans, Legumes, Oats, Leeks, Apple (skins), Chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, Asparagus. 

Should you take a probiotic supplement 

A big misconception is that one probiotic pill a day is going to magically improve the health of your gut. There are many different types of probiotics which have different quantities of different strains of bacteria and there is most certainly a time and place when using supplements can potentially be beneficial to support your health (especially following antibiotic therapy). The type of bacteria, quantity and quality vary across different brands. To ensure you are getting the right supplement for yourself it is important to research and find the right bacteria strain that will help address the health issues you are wanting to improveNICE guidelines states the use of a probiotic supplement for a 4-week period. They should be used to help support your diet and not in place of the pro/prebiotic food sources. Iin doubt talk to your health care provider. Note: Make sure you keep your probiotics cool (preferably in a refrigerator) as heat will kill the living bacteria.  

References 

  1. Harding, D. (2014). Probiotics and Prebiotics. About Probiotics and Prebiotics. Retrieved 15 March 2021, from https://patient.info/doctor/probiotics-and-prebiotics 
  2. Madden, J., Plummer, S., Tang, J., Garaiova, I., Plummer, N., & Herbison, M. et al. (2005). Effect of probiotics on preventing disruption of the intestinal microflora following antibiotic therapy: A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. International Immunopharmacology5(6), 1091-1097. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2005.02.006 
  3. Should You Take a Probiotic Every Day?. (2016). Retrieved 15 March 2021, from https://www.cspinet.org/tip/should-you-take-probiotic-every-day 
  4. Start a probiotic cycle. (2021). Retrieved 15 March 2021, from https://furthermore.equinox.com/articles/2019/01/swap-your-probiotic 
  5. Homepage. (2021). Retrieved 15 March 2021, from https://www.axahealth.co.uk/health-information/diet-and-nutrition/how-long-should-i-be-taking-probiotics/#:~:text=NICE%20guidance%20suggests%20people%20who,named%20bacteria%20or%20probiotic%20products. 
  6. Khalesi, S., Bellissimo, N., Vandelanotte, C., Williams, S., Stanley, D., & Irwin, C. (2018). A review of probiotic supplementation in healthy adults: helpful or hype?. European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition73(1), 24-37. doi: 10.1038/s41430-018-0135-9