The difference between prebiotics and postbiotics
Share this post:
Prebiotics are the fiber you get from vegetables and postbiotics are the bioactive compounds or byproducts that come from the good bacteria in your gut, “feeding” on the prebiotics.
The difference between prebiotics and postbiotics goes a lot deeper than that. Maybe an oversimplification, but the basics are as follows:
1. You eat fibrous plants, you get fiber.
2. The digestive system goes to work, producing butyrate.
3. This fermentation process in your microbiome creates the byproduct, extra, or waste – still extremely useful for gut balance!
4. The waste is what makes up the postbiotics.
This specific “waste” is an important, less-talked about part of the process and many would argue even more useful than pre- and pro-biotics.
In this article, we’ll explain the difference between prebiotics and postbiotics in a way that is easy for you to, uh, digest.
Want to get to a scholarly article on this topic? Learn More.
First, we have to talk about butyrate. Our gut digests fiber from plants and turns it all into short-chain-fatty-acids or SFCAs if you’re in-the-know. One specific type of SCFAs are Butyrate. These are important because they give our cells what they need for protection of our gut lining.
The gut lining is super important because it supports our immune system. Maintaining the integrity here with gut homeostasis is vital to overall health.
Our immune system is super important because it protects us from diseases and so much more.
Takeaway here: Pre-, pro- and postbiotics are important for the production of butyrate in the body. The more prebiotics via natural plant fiber we get, the more we can consistently benefit from our body’s postbiotics. Note: not everyone produces enough postbiotics which is why supplementation with Corebiome® is key.
Are Postbiotics important?
Yes, postbiotics are important. Think of the best things with three legs. Tripod. Tricycle. Some kind of yoga pose. Stools. Ah, stools. Let’s remember that when it comes to attaining gut microbiome harmony, it’s never just a two-legged race. We need all three to truly reap the benefits of optimal gut health.
Postbiotics are not an after-thought or something to casually consider in one’s quest for real gut harmony. In fact, we believe that the benefits are of primary importance even though the benefits quite literally come out in the end.
The Difference between prebiotics and postbiotics
The difference between prebiotics and postbiotics is that, simply put, prebiotics are the fibrous nutrients that we consume. They kickstart the butyrate production process in the digestive system and microbiome. Postbiotics are the exhaust or byproducts of the entire process. Butyrate produced from this process have proven benefits for our overall health which is why it is important to remember that postbiotics are just as crucial to the gut health journey as prebiotics.
What are Prebiotics?:
Prebiotics are mainly dietary fibers. The consumed fibers from fruits and vegetables provide nutrients that contribute to the ever-changing gut microbiota, providing good bacteria growth. Because the numbers of our good and bad gut bacteria fluctuate, we never know exactly where we are in our prebiotic and probiotic journey. This means it is a crap shoot when we grab a kombucha for prebiotics. So the real work happens when the butyrate are evened out in the end. This is why the postbiotics are so important.
What are Postbiotics?:
Postbiotics are metabolites of probiotics. When the body breaks down the prebiotics, this is the fermentation process. The intestine consumes the prebiotic fiber and the results of this process are postbiotics. The healthy processing of prebiotics and maintaining a healthy prebiotic population in the gut can be attributed to postbiotics.
While being a sort of “waste” of pre- and probiotics, postbiotics are what may be doing the most work at truly getting the maximum benefits for the our health.
Where can you find postbiotics?
Nothing is better than real, whole foods. Fibrous vegetables and fruits are where we should all be getting fiber (to be used as prebiotics) from. The reality is that 95% of Americans are not getting enough fiber. If we’re not getting enough fiber, we do not have enough pre- or probiotics to process and create the postbiotics we have been talking about. This is where supplements come in. You can find Corebiome® in a variety of functional supplements on the market now.
So, while eating a balanced diet consisting of fibrous vegetables is where you should always start, you can also integrate postbiotic supplements that have been proven to work.
Read this if you want to learn more about gut health and why postbiotics matter.
Want to formulate for postbiotics and have questions? Contact us!