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  • Writer's pictureKatie Bailey, MS, RD, LD, FNC

Pre vs Probiotics: What is the difference?

Video Transcript:

Hi, everyone. Welcome back to our channel.

Navigating the world of dietary supplements can be overwhelming at times due to the various products that are claiming to be essential for your health.

Among these prebiotic and probiotic supplements are a hot topic because of their benefits for digestive health, despite their similar sounding names, they actually play quite different roles in the body, so what exactly are they?

How do they work, and why are they important?

These are some of the questions that I'm going to be answering today, as well as some other common questions that individuals have regarding these supplements.

Hi, I'm Katie Bailey. I'm a registered dietician at Flusso Nutrients where we provide supplement education and professional quality supplement options for you to make the world of nutrition supplements a little bit easier to navigate.

As always, make sure to check with your main nutrition literate healthcare provider before starting anything new. As we can't know your full medical history to make a personalized recommendation. Without further ado, let's jump into today's topic.

Difference Between Probiotics And Prebiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are often referred to as good or beneficial bacteria because they help to maintain a healthy microbial balance in the gut.

The primary benefit of probiotics is their ability to restore and maintain this balance, especially after they've been disrupted by things like antibiotics and stress and a poor diet.

They've been linked to improved digestion, enhanced immune function, as well as a reduced risk in chronic diseases.

Probiotics are also involved in functions outside the gut.

They have been good for influencing your mood and your skin health as well as allergies, and by supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria, probiotic supplements can be beneficial in your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

Prebiotics, on the other hand, are substances that feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut, so they are the nourishment that your gut bacteria need to thrive, and unlike probiotics, prebiotics are not live organisms.

They're typically non-digestible fibers that help stimulate the growth of that beneficial bacteria in the lower part of the GI tract.

They're beneficial because they help support the growth of the probiotics improving our overall gut health.

Pre vs Probiotics

So what are some of the key differences?

Well, probiotics are the live bacteria that add to the population of the good bacteria in the gut.

Well, the prebiotics are the food for these microorganisms to thrive and populate.

Another key difference is there's stability, so probiotics, because they're alive, bacteria are more sensitive to harsh conditions like excessive heat and stomach acid.

While prebiotics are more stable and less susceptible to external factors, we know important gut health is to our overall health, and this is where prebiotic and probiotic supplements play their most critical roles.

They contribute to the maintenance of a healthy digestive tract, so that's essential for absorption of nutrients and elimination of waste.

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Probiotics maintain a healthy gut balanced gut microbiome, which can protect against harmful substances and enhance our immune function.

They also contribute to synthesizing vitamins like vitamin K and certain B vitamins, and then prebiotics help to enhance our gut barrier function and decrease our risk for GI issues by promoting the growth of these beneficial bacteria.

One of the common questions we get is,

Can you take prebiotic and probiotics together?

The answer is yes.

Taking prebiotics and probiotics together is a concept known as symbiotics, and this refers to supplements that can contain both prebiotic fibers as well as probiotic organisms.

Taking them together can ensure that the probiotics that you do ingest have the nutrients they need to thrive and multiply, and by taking them together, you can maximize the environment that this good bacteria can grow in and enhance the benefits of each supplement.

I did want to mention that even though you can take them together, this may not be suitable for everyone depending on any conditions that they may have already, and so if you're not sure, it's best to work with a practitioner that can help figure out what's the best option for you.

Are Probiotics Enzymes?

Another common question is are probiotics enzymes, and the answer to that is no.

Probiotics are not enzymes.

Enzymes are proteins that initiate different biochemical reactions in the body like breaking down our food.

Probiotics and enzymes both play a critical role in digestion, but they operate in different ways.

So enzymes are helping to break down our food that we eat while probiotics are helping to create a healthy, balanced microbiome in the gut.

Probiotics and Prebiotics Supplements

While probiotic and prebiotic supplements have many benefits, it's also important to be aware of any side effects.

Like with any dietary supplement, it may not be suitable for everyone. It's important to discuss with your healthcare provider before starting anything new, especially if you have any health conditions or are on any medications that it may interfere with.

Some individuals start to experience gas and bloating or discomfort when first starting these supplements as their gut microbiome adjusts to the changes.

Usually, this is mild and temporary, but remember to always start at a low dose and gradually increase as tolerated.

Also, while supplements are beneficial, it should not be a substitute for a healthy diet rich and naturally occurring prebiotic and probiotic foods like fermented foods and fruits and vegetables.

To wrap up our topic for today, prebiotic and probiotic supplements have unique roles and benefits that contribute to a healthy digestive system.

Probiotics provide that beneficial bacteria to the gut. While prebiotics provide the fuel for these bacteria to thrive together, they form a powerful duo to help you improve your gut health.

If you're interested in trying any of these supplements, I will link a few quality supplements below.

If you like this video, please hit the like button and subscribe for more nutrition videos.

If you're interested in working with our clinic, you can click here to schedule an appointment.

We do take insurance and you can find more information about that on our website.

Thanks for watching. I'll see you next time. Bye.

Supplement options discussed above and in video:

3) Poly-Prebiotic by Pure Encapsulations: create an account here, then search the name "Poly-Prebiotic by Pure Encapsulations" -



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