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What Is The Difference Between Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Postbiotics?

We've outlined the key similarities and differences, as well as how they relate to each other.

The vitamin and supplement industry is a particularly confusing one to navigate, to be quite honest. With so many different choices recommended to you, it’s difficult to gauge which ones you might actually need. What do you need to watch out for when you’re finding out these things? There’s a lot of misinformation out there. Something that has been proven to work for health is the family of prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics. What are the key differences between the three? What are the similarities? We’ve decided to go ahead and outline the differences for you. Keep reading for more on this family of important supplements!

postbiotics
Image: Nastya Dulhiier via Unsplash

What Are Postbiotics?

Postbiotics, according to Chiropractor Schaumburg, are “byproducts of the fermentation process carried out by probiotics in the intestine”. Probiotics feed on prebiotics. When this happens, postbiotics are produced. They are essentially the waste of probiotics. While they don’t sound too important or of use to your health, they actually are. Postbiotics can actually produce important health-boosting functions in our gut. These include organic acids, bacteriocins, carbonic substances, and enzymes. They occur naturally when you have both probiotics and prebiotics in place for your health.

How Do They Relate To Each Other?

While this is a lot of information, here are the definitions of each. Prebiotics are nutrients that change the composition of gut microbiota by providing food that promotes good bacteria growth. They are mainly comprised of different fibers. Probiotics are the actual gut microbes. They are the health-promoting aspects of the microbe ecosystem, including strengthening the barrier against infection. They also help against bacteria, immune-boosting goodness. Probiotics also help against anti-inflammatory aspects. You can find these in foods like yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. Postbiotics encompass this process. They are the result of both. Fermentation, for example, is the process of postbiotics.

postbiotics
Image: Daily Nouri via Unsplash

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