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. Scientists are not yet entirely sure that they can strengthen the purported benefits of probiotics.
Some research suggests that prebiotics may benefit the body by:
improving calcium absorption
changing how quickly the body can process carbohydrates
supporting the probiotic growth of gut bacteria, potentially enhancing digestion and metabolism.
Prebiotics occur naturally in many foods, so there is no need for people to take prebiotic supplements. There is currently no evidence that taking prebiotics and probiotics together is harmful. However, people who have chronic diseases or serious illnesses should avoid probiotic or prebiotic supplements unless a doctor advises otherwise.
Research on the side effects of prebiotics is also in its infancy and requires further investigation.
PROBIOTICS - Gastrointestinal health
Prebiotics serve as food for probiotics, so probiotics need access to prebiotics to work effectively.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you, especially your digestive system. We usually think of these as germs that cause diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.
You can find probiotics in supplements and some foods, like yogurt. Doctors often suggest them to help with digestive problems.
How Do They Work?
When you lose "good" bacteria in your body, for example after you take antibiotics, probiotics can help replace them.
They can help balance your "good" and "bad" bacteria to keep your body working the way it should.