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  • Writer's pictureDr. Dooreck with Zoeya Gordon

Prebiotics versus Probiotics



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Do prebiotics and probiotics matter?

Prebiotics and probiotics are both beneficial for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, but they work in slightly different ways.


What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that serve as food for beneficial gut bacteria. Prebiotics help promote the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the gut and can improve digestion, strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation.


Prebiotics help promote the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the gut and can improve digestion, strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation.

IBD, Crohn's, UC, gas bloating, health, microbiome, gastrointestinal gi system, see your gastroenterology doctor or gastroenterologist

What foods contain prebiotics?

They are found in certain foods such as chicory root, garlic, onion, and asparagus.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics, on the other hand, are live microorganisms that when consumed in adequate amounts, offer a wide range of health benefits. Probiotics help to replenish the beneficial bacteria in the gut and can improve digestion, boost immunity, and reduce inflammation.


Probiotics help to replenish the beneficial bacteria in the gut and can improve digestion, boost immunity, and reduce inflammation.

What foods contain probiotics?

They can be found in foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha.

Different strains of bacteria in probiotics

Probiotic supplements contain different strains of beneficial bacteria, each with its unique benefits. These strains include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces, among others.


An article from Mayo Clinic shares the importance of choosing a probiotic that meets one's specific health needs. It is important to note that different probiotic strains have varying contributions to gut health.

Prebiotics versus Probiotics

Overall, both prebiotics and probiotics play a crucial role in supporting a healthy gut microbiome, but they work differently. Prebiotics nourish and support the growth of beneficial bacteria, while probiotics introduce live bacteria into the gut to promote optimal balance and health.


According to Mayo Clinic, prebiotics serve as food for human microorganisms. Probiotics possess live microorganisms that improve the normal microflora in the body.

It's recommended to consume a combination of pre-and probiotic-rich foods for optimal gut health.

Foods that contain probiotics

  • Yogurt

  • Tempeh

  • Pickles

  • Miso

  • Sauerkraut

  • Kimchi

  • Kombucha

Foods that contain prebiotics

  • Garlic

  • Bananas

  • Soybeans

  • Artichokes

  • Greens

  • Onions

  • Chicory root

  • Whole grains



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Below is an educational video on prebiotics and probiotics from Osmosis from Elsevier.



Fun Facts

1. The human gut contains trillions of bacteria, with up to 1,000 different species.

2. Probiotics may be more effective when taken with prebiotics, as prebiotics can increase the effectiveness of probiotic supplements.

3. Researchers are discovering new benefits of prebiotics and probiotics, including their potential to improve mental health, skin health, and even sports performance.

4. Probiotics can be found in foods we wouldn't normally consider fermented, such as pickles, olives, and sourdough bread.

Statistics

According to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), roughly 4 million American adults had used probiotics or prebiotics in the previous 30 days. After vitamins and minerals, probiotics or prebiotics were the third most commonly used dietary supplement among adults.

Summary

Adding these prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods to the diet can help to create a healthy gut microbiome which in turn can improve digestion, immune function, and overall health.

Balance. Portion control. Keep nutrition simple. Eat Smart. Eat Healthily. 🌱 🌾 🌿


Personally


I eat a high-fiber, mostly plant-based 🌱 diet, no red meat, drink 4 liters of water a day, exercise, and am focused on keeping nutrition simple. I am sharing what works for me and what I routinely recommend to my patients.


"Balance. Portion control. Keep nutrition simple. Eat Smart. Eat Healthy. 🌱 🌾 🌿"

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