Prebiotics, probiotics and your health

Prebiotics, probiotics and your health

Learn the difference between a probiotic and a prebiotic — and why you need them both .By Mayo Clinic Staff
You are what you eat. Or more accurately, you are what you feed the trillions of little critters that live in your gut.

The liner of your intestine, like every surface of your body, is covered in microscopic creatures, largely bacteria. These organism create a micro-ecosystem called the microbiome. And though we do n’t in truth notice it ‘s there, it plays an outsize role in your health and can evening affect your mood and demeanor .
not surprisingly, what you feed your microbiome may have the biggest shock on its health. And the healthier it is, the healthy you are. The key to a healthy microbiome is nourishing a balance among the about 1,000 different species of bacteria in your gut .
There are two ways to maintain this libra — helping the microbes already there to grow by giving them the foods they like ( prebiotic ) and adding living microbes directly to your system ( probiotic ) .


Prebiotics are specialized plant fibers. They act like fertilizers that stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut .
Prebiotics are found in many fruits and vegetables, specially those that contain complex carbohydrates, such as fiber and immune starch. These carbs are n’t digestible by your body, so they pass through the digestive system to become food for the bacteria and early microbes .
The list of prebiotic foods is long, from asparagus to yams. A immediate internet search will yield dozens of examples, as will a consultation with a file dietician .
Nowadays, the number of prebiotic supplements might be tied longer, but they normally contain a complex carbohydrate such as fiber. addendum companies market products to particular conditions, such as bone health and burden management, claiming that their ingredients enhance the emergence of specific kinds of bacteria .


Probiotics are different in that they contain live organisms, normally particular strains of bacteria that directly add to the population of goodly microbes in your gut .
Like prebiotics, you can take probiotics through both food and supplements. credibly the most common probiotic food is yogurt .
yogurt is made by fermenting milk with different bacteria, which are left in the final product. other bacteria-fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi, are besides good sources of probiotics .
probiotic supplements besides contain exist organisms. A single dose may include a particular stress of microbe or blend of microbes. Like with prebiotic supplements, probiotic supplement companies grocery store products to specific conditions, such as excitable intestine syndrome .
A registered dietician can help you sort through the food sources of prebiotics and probiotics.

Keep in mind

One thing to understand about supplements is that there are many, many kinds. For example, one type of bacteria normally used is lactobacillus. But there are more than 120 species of lactobacillus, and at least a twelve of them are used as probiotics .
What ‘s more, there are respective other types of bacteria, each with dozens of species, making for a dizzy kind of available probiotics. And even when you select a kind of bacteria, the amount in the addendum can vary between brands .
When taking a probiotic, research the condition you wish to address and select the probiotic based on that condition. besides, keep in mind that while a probiotic may show promise in treating a condition, it ‘s likely that the research is silent in early on stages .
While the supplement may have improved a condition for a few people in a very circumscribed circumstance, it may not work deoxyadenosine monophosphate well in real-world settings. As always, when considering taking a append, talk to your doctor first gear .

There is a problem with information submitted for this request. Review/update the data highlighted below and resubmit the imprint .

Get the latest health information from Mayo Clinic’s experts.

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and stream health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertness on managing health .
ErrorEmail field is required
ErrorInclude a valid e-mail address
To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your electronic mail and web site custom information with early data we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protect health information. If we combine this information with your protected health data, we will treat all of that information as protected health data and will lone use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of electronic mail communications at any meter by clicking on the unsubscribe yoke in the electronic mail .

Thank you for subscribing

Our Housecall e-newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest health information .

Sorry something went wrong with your subscription

Please, attempt again in a couple of minutes

  1. Lyte M, et al. Resistant starch alters the microbiota-gut brain axis: Implications for dietary modulation of behavior. PLOS One. 2016;11:1.
  2. Quigley EM. Basic definitions and concepts: Organization of the gut microbiome. Gastroenterology Clinics of North America. 2017;9:2.
  3. Salonen A, et al. Impact of diet and individual variation on intestinal microbiota composition and fermentation products in obese men. ISME Journal. 2014;8:2218.
  4. Yatsunenko T, et al. Human gut microbiome viewed across age and geography. Nature. 2012;486:222.
  5. Rountree R. The human microbiome — Humans as super-organisms. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 2011;17:70.
  6. Lynch SV, et al. Targeting gut flora to treat and prevent disease. The Journal of Family Practice. 2016;65:2369.
source :
Category : Healthy