Are prebiotics better than probiotics for gut health? What’s the difference? Let’s find out!
Probiotics are currently the hot topic in the supplement industry.
Few people knew what probiotics were a decade ago. Even among health-conscious people, the word “probiotic” was only ever used in relation to certain foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt and kimchi. We have all been told to eat more of these probiotic foods to maximize gut health.
Today though, probiotics are seemingly everywhere.
While foods like yogurt and kimchi have been around for a very long time, probiotic supplements have not. These are brand new supplements, but already they’re becoming widely-used. Thousands of people turn to the internet to find the best probiotic supplements every single month. Sales of probiotics are already in the billions worldwide, and as health practitioners start recommending them to patients, those numbers are only heading in one direct – UP!
But for some reason, prebiotics are not getting the same kind of attention as probiotics.
This is really strange, particularly as prebiotics can actually be far more beneficial to most people than probiotics.
The best prebiotics on the market today can dramatically improve your gut health for good!
In our opinion, prebiotics are vastly superior to probiotics for the vast majority of people. If your main concern is optimizing gut health over the long-term, then prebiotics are better than probiotics; no doubt about it!
Let’s have a look at the differences between prebiotics and probiotics to find out why!
What is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?
Probiotics and prebiotics can sometimes be conflated.
However, there is a big and easy to understand difference between prebiotics and probiotics.
The easiest way to understand the difference between prebiotics and probiotics is this: probiotics deliver outside bacteria to the body, whereas prebiotics feed our existing gut bacteria.
Probiotics contain exogenous bacteria strains. Probiotic foods typically contain many of the strains that are most beneficial to gut health. Probiotic supplements can contain a diverse array of bacteria strains.
Prebiotics are soluble fibers which pass into the colon undigested. These fibers then act as a source of food for your gut bacteria. The best prebiotic fibers will selectively feed only the most healthful gut bacteria strains (like Bifidobacterium).
Prebiotics vs. Probiotics – Which is better for gut health?
We have very strong opinions on this one.
In our opinion, prebiotics represent the best way to maximize gut health. Prebiotics are far better than probiotics for optimizing gut microbiome health. The benefits of using prebiotics are far more predictable and long-lasting than the benefits of probiotics. Prebiotics are also typically safer and less prone to causing side effects than probiotics.