Probiotics have been extraordinarily popular supplements for some time now. Recently though, prebiotic supplements have started to become just as widely-used as probiotics.
This raises an interesting question: can you take probiotics and prebiotics together?
After all, prebiotics and probiotics promote a healthier, more efficient gut. But they do work differently to one another.
Can you take probiotics and prebiotics at the same time?
Not only can you take probiotics and prebiotics at the same time, but many would say that YOU SHOULD take probiotics and prebiotics together!
Probiotic and prebiotic supplements can work extremely well together.
To understand why, we need to briefly explain what probiotics do and what prebiotics do.
How do prebiotics work?
Prebiotics are water soluble fibers which selectively feed your healthy gut bacteria.
The bacteria in your gut do not consume food the same way you do; rather, they ferment fiber to release nutrients.
Prebiotic fibers are those fibers which pass through the digestive tract relatively untouched. They arrive in the colon more or less intact, where they act as “feed” for your gut bacteria. The best prebiotic fibers are those which selectively feed healthy gut bacteria, promoting their growth and proliferation.
How do probiotics work?
Whereas prebiotics FEED your gut bacteria, probiotics actually ARE gut bacteria.
Specifically, probiotics are bacteria strains which we know to be conducive to a healthy, properly-functioning gut microbiome.
These might be bacteria species endogenous to the gut. By introducing more of these bacteria to the gut, you can help rebalance the microbiome, with the healthiest bacteria rightly present in the largest numbers.
Probiotics might also be species not normally found in high concentrations in the gut, but which compete with harmful bacteria, or which seem to promote the growth of other, healthy bacteria strains. Again, the idea is to tip the balance of bacteria in the gut in favor of the healthiest strains and species.
Using probiotics and prebiotics together
Clearly, probiotics and prebiotics are two different supplements types which will work very well together in most cirucmstances.
By combining a high quality probiotic with the best prebiotic supplements, you can drastically improve the results you get from your prebiotic (as the balance of healthy bacteria will start to shift much more quickly).
Similarly, using a high-quality prebiotic alongside a probiotic will allow you to enjoy the benefits of a probiotic for far longer than you would otherwise be able to (probiotics not being suitable for long-term use).
The use of prebiotics and probiotics together is extremely common. Using these two supplement types together is actually called microbiome therapy. If you are having digestive problems, then your doctor might even recommend using a prebiotic and a probiotic together. You don’t need to take a prebiotic for probiotics to work, but taking them might make your probiotics more effective. The same goes for prebiotics; probiotics can make them more effective in the short-term.
Learn more about gut health supplements: