29 June 2022
What is the difference between prebiotics and probiotics?
Below I use a single sentence to describe a number of terms used when discussing gut health.
Microbes are also known as micro-organisms. Examples include bacteria, fungi, archaea, viruses, and protists.
Probiotics are live microbes that have been demonstrated to be good for you.
Prebiotics are food for your beneficial microbes.
Synbiotics are a mixture of probiotics + prebiotics.
Postbiotics are inanimate (not live) microbes or parts of microbes that have been shown to be beneficial.
Metabolites are substances that microbes form. Examples of beneficial metabolites include short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, acetate and propionate. When you undertake microbiome testing they are looking for microbes and their metabolites.
Fermented foods are made with the growth of live microbes. Examples include sourdough bread, yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
Many Australians are taking probiotics, it is a multi-million dollar industry. However, many of my clients and acquaintances are not sure which one is best for them. Just like nutrition advice, probiotics should be tailored to your needs.
In my practice, I recommend different strains to help with different conditions. An Accredited Practising Dietitian is trained to look at the evidence for each probiotic strain to benefit those with specific conditions.
What you eat and the probiotics you take can make a difference in your quality of life.
If you would like to know more about your digestive health, get in touch to have an obligation-free quick chat.