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Probiotics vs Prebiotics: What's the difference?

Probiotics vs Prebiotics: What's the difference?
24 September 2021
2-minute read

Probiotics are live microbes that have a health benefit. Sons Gut Health Supplements contain a live microbe called LP299v™ which has been scientifically-proven to improve gut symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating. However, prebiotics can also play an important role in good gut health. So what’s the difference between probiotics and prebiotics? 

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microbes that have specific health benefits. Probiotics are usually bacteria, but certain yeasts can also be probiotics. Unlike the nasty bacteria that cause infections and illness, probiotics can be very beneficial to the gut. Probiotics are mostly provided in capsule formats but they can also be added to foods and drinks. .

Importantly, not all probiotics are the same. There are thousands of different species of bacteria and other microbes that live in the human gut, each with different functions for your body. For instance, while one strain might assist your digestion, another could help improve your immune function. 

What are the benefits of probiotics?

The health benefits of various probiotics have been well researched in a variety of studies, in particular focussing on gut health. One study in 2020 found that a handful of specific probiotics were key to improving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including bloating and gas. Probiotic supplementation has also been shown to improve certain markers of health, including immune responses, in people classified as healthy. The heavily researched LP299v™ is the live bacterial strain used in our Gut Harmony supplements that is scientifically-proven to improve symptoms of poor gut health.. 

What are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are the specific nutrients used by your gut microbes to provide a health benefit. Prebiotics are usually fibres found in a variety of plant-based foods, including bananas, oats and asparagus. After consuming, they are able to resist digestion when flowing through the small intestine, before reaching the large intestine. In the large intestine, prebiotics are digested by beneficial microbes in the gut microbiome. Not only does this help the growth of these healthy bacteria but it also creates a number of healthy compounds that can support your gut health and immune health.

What are the benefits of prebiotics?

To fully understand the role of prebiotics, it’s best to think of the gut as a garden. If we imagine that the probiotics are the flowers, then prebiotics are the fertiliser providing the plants with the crucial nutrients they need to flourish. Regular consumption of these fibres will promote the effects of your probiotic supplements and help your gut microbiome thrive.

To put it simply, probiotics and prebiotics both help to support a  well-functioning, healthy gut. Alongside eating foods high in prebiotics, consumption of our live bacterial supplement Sons LP299v™ is the perfect way to plant the seeds of a healthy gut microbiome. 

All of our blog articles are reviewed by our Medical Director before publication.