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Prebiotics and Probiotics explained in an easy to understand way.

Here it is, the simplified difference between prebiotics and probiotics…

Prebiotics. These substances come from types of carbs (mostly fiber) that humans can’t digest. The beneficial bacteria in your gut eat this fiber.

Probiotics. These are live bacteria found in certain foods or supplements. They can provide numerous health benefits.

So that is the bare bones look. Read on for  a little more information surrounding the benefits of prebiotics and probiotics.

Healthcare professionals have used probiotics for many reasons for years. Evidence suggests that they may be beneficial in the following areas:

Digestive health

Numerous studies have found that probiotics may improve digestive health in some people.

A 2017 Cochrane review found that taking probiotics while using antibiotics reduced the risk of antibiotic-related diarreha by 60%

A 2014 analysis of 24 trials found that probiotics could help prevent the life-threatening disease necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants.

Mental health

A smaller body of research suggests that probiotics may improve mental health.

About 5 or 6 years ago a review found that probiotics may alleviate the symptoms of depression, but from what I remember the study was a bit questionable. Although it did highlight a potential avenue to be explored. It is possible that probiotics have this effect because there is a link between gut and brain health.  I have not run into studies on the subject since that one, but I bet they are out there.

Gastrointestinal health

The results of studies generally suggest that people with disorders affecting the stomach and intestines may see improvements with probiotics.

For example, a systemic review of trials in people with irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) found that probiotics seem to improve the symptoms of this condition. However, this theory leaves us unclear on how significant the benefit may be or which strain of probiotic is most effective.

General health

The authors of a 2017 review of 17 Cochrane reviews considered the evidence supporting the potential benefits of probiotics.

They found that probiotics may decrease:

  • the need for antibiotics
  • school absences from colds
  • the incidence of ventilator-assisted pneumonia
  • gestational diabetes
  • vaginal infections, such as yeast infections
  • eczema

Prebiotics are a component of some foods that the body cannot digest. They serve as food for bacteria and other beneficial organisms in the gut.

The benefits of prebiotics have links to the benefits of probiotics. Prebiotics may support a healthy gut, offering better digestive health, fewer antibiotic-related health problems, and other benefits.

There is less research on prebiotics than on probiotics.  As a result, the extent to which prebiotics improve health is unclear. Although we do know that prebiotics provide a wonderful, nutritious environment for all those millions of good bacteria in your gut.

If you have any digestive medical issues or have been diagnosed with bowel issues please consult a physician or nutritionist to determine if the use of prebiotics and  probiotics are right for you.

Stay Healthy & Stay Legit.


Strictly opinion and not medical advice. Consult your doctor, pharmacist and/or nutritionist before starting/stopping any supplement or exercise program


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