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Prebiotics and probiotics have gained a lot of attention for improving gut health. Recently, postbiotics have emerged as another group of beneficial compounds that can help improve your health. They have been linked to a number of health benefits for the gut, the immune system, and various other aspects of health.
Alternatively, you can increase the number of postbiotics in your body by eating more prebiotic foods and probiotics, since postbiotics are their end products. Postbiotics are bioactive compounds made when the healthy bacteria in your gut ferment fiber. There are various types of postbiotics, and they offer health benefits similar to those of probiotics.
By the end of the study, the postbiotic supplement was shown to be more effective at treating diarrhea than the probiotic (). Further, a 4-week study in 297 adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) found that supplementing with a postbiotic significantly reduced bowel motion frequency, bloating, and pain and improved their overall quality of life ().
Some test-tube and animal studies suggest postbiotics may have qualities that help suppress the growth and spread of some cancer cells, including colon and stomach cancer cells (, , ). When you consume probiotics, you increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your body. However, some people may not tolerate probiotics well, so postbiotics may be a more suitable alternative ().
In general, postbiotics are safe and well-tolerated. However, due to potential health concerns, certain groups of people may want to avoid increasing their production of postbiotics through eating probiotic foods. Postbiotics aren’t as widely available as prebiotics and probiotics. However, you can buy them from select health food stores and online.
If you have somewhat kept up with health news over the past several years, it is likely you have heard of prebiotics and probiotics. Both of these components have to do with keeping your digestive system healthy and regular, among several other health benefits. Postbiotics are much less widely known than both prebiotics and probiotics, but recent research suggest that they have an equally important role, if not more important, in maintaining and improving our health.
Postbiotics are byproducts of the fermentation process carried out by probiotics in the intestine. In other words, as probiotics feed on prebiotics, postbiotics are produced. They are basically the “waste” of probiotics. Waste products don’t sound like they would be of much use to us. Interestingly enough, they are, indeed, responsible for multiple important health-boosting functions in our gut - Butyrate Supplements.
Decades ago, several groups of independent researchers found that it is possible to repopulate gut microflora with the diet. This is where probiotics and prebiotics were originally identified, and now where postbiotics are known to play an important role. Butyrate Supplements. While the names are all very similar, they are different elements that are, nonetheless, related.
Postbiotics are the metabolites of probiotics, or the components that result from probiotic activity in the gut, like fermentation (4). As intestinal microbes consume prebiotic fiber, the result of that fermentation or consumption is what is known as postbiotics. Recent research presents evidence that most of the positive effects we used to attribute to probiotics are actually due to postbiotics (4).
To put it simply, prebotics proceed probiotics, which proceed postbiotics. Postbiotics, in turn, promote the use of prebiotics. Prebiotics are like the “food”, probiotics are the microorganisms themselves, and postbiotics are the results of probiotics consuming that “food”. Postbiotics, while being a sort of probiotic waste, are what may be exerting many of the health effects on humans.
It has been long known that probiotic foods and supplements are effective in treating diarrhea. With a closer observation it is noted that the effect is not due to a direct interaction between the “good” bacteria and the intestinal lining, but rather to the metabolic products released by probiotics (12).
While more studies need to be carried out, it was found that postbiotics, together with prebiotics, are potential alternatives, or complements to, probiotics (8). In fact, people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may not benefit from probiotics, and in fact may be detrimental to inflammation. In fact, postbiotics, when administrated, may protect against inflammation caused by some infections including salmonella (5).
Some disruptive events may lead to overgrowth of these not-so-good microbes, resulting in yeast infections and conditions like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). (Our bodies also have microbiomes outside of the gut: We have communities of microbes just about everywhere, like on the skin, in the mouth, and in the vagina.) PROBIOTICS While they often consist of types of bacteria similar to those naturally present in the microbiome, probiotics are live and active cultures grown in a facility for the specific purpose of modulating the body’s natural microbiome.
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