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It’s Time to Learn the REAL Distinction Between Probiotics and Synbiotics

Most people are aware that certain foods like kombucha, yogurt, and kimchi come packed with numerous gut-healthy probiotics. On the other hand, other foods like asparagus, bananas, and artichokes are said to pack a mean punch of prebiotics.

Probiotics are the microorganisms that add good-for-you microbes in the gut to aid the digestive process. Prebiotics are essentially nondigestible carbohydrates that feed on the gut bacteria

Synbiotics refers to the term given to supplements containing probiotic strains in addition to prebiotics. Researchers are increasingly reading from the same script, they now say that probiotics can encounter “survival difficulties” while going through the intestinal tract. Effectively, this means that probiotics do not actually find their way all through to the gut.

The general idea behind synbiotics is that the addition of prebiotics with probiotic supplements help ensure that digestion-friendly microorganisms get to the gut fully intact. The belief is that these supplements are quite useful for people with conditions like bowel disorders, IBS, and diabetes.


While it’s true that something that aids the digestive process isn’t bad, we should take caution when picking them up from the supplement aisles. This is because most aren’t fully studied. As Cynthia Sass, a health nutrition editor explains, they currently don’t have a lot of data showing that synbiotics are actually more effective than activities like taking probiotics and the partaking of diets rich in prebiotics.

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At the same time, it is important to note that nutritional supplements are generally not well regulated. Sass shared that her primary concern at the moment is the fact that there is a lack of regulation when it comes to ensuring that purchased products are actually synbiotic and effective

While it’s obviously apparent that probiotics and prebiotics are important for health, Sass shares that the focus should not simply be on the taking the products but in understanding that prebiotics do so much more than feeding probiotics, they actually help increase nutrient absorption and in the support of regular bowel movements.

Therefore, people shouldn’t assume that taking synbiotics means they don’t have to pay attention to their diet. Sass believes that the overall eating pattern has a great impact on one’s health condition or risk.

Piqued Interest

The best way forward for eager enthusiasts is to consider sticking to probiotic supplements or probiotic-rich foods paired up with some prebiotic foods. They should ideally do this until comprehensive research is conducted on the everything synbiotics related

Sass gives the recommendation that when one is in pursuit of a gut-healthy meal packing both prebiotics and probiotics, suggestions like the kefir breakfast bowl coupled with a slightly green banana, srir-fry made with asparagus and kimchi, and veggie burgers topped with onion and sauerkraut, are fantastic choices.

When going probiotic shopping, the process can get a tad bit complicated because there are numerous varied products in the market. Two probiotic makers can greatly vary from one another in terms of the types of bacteria contained therein, the quantities and in the various formulations of pills or food.  This means that if a group of scientists discovers that a specific brand of yogurt reduced constipation, that does not necessarily mean that any yogurts grabbed at the store will have the same effect in the end.

Google Trends analysis shows that there has been a rapid 200% increase in popularly searched food phrases such as “best foods for bloating” and a 350% increment in search results for “best foods for gut health” between 2012 and 2017 in America. The current public interest in gut health is not only hype but also mounts scientific evidence that goes to show the gut microbiome plays a key role in obesity, inflammation and a myriad of other health challenges.

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