We receive a lot of questions regarding both probiotics and prebiotics:
- What’s the difference between the two?
- Are they safe to take together?
- What do they do?
We’re here to answer these commonly asked questions and explain why these two play a major role in achieving better digestion, improved immune response, and a host of other health benefits.
What are probiotics?
Your body has both good and bad bacteria, and a healthy gut is well balanced between the two. If you experience gut issues, one cause might be that your gut bacteria is imbalanced. Queue probiotics!
Probiotics are good bacteria that live in your body and help:
- Break down and digest food
- Support the immune system
- Improve gut health
When you consume probiotics, this good bacterium gets added to the population of healthy microbes in your gut.
Probiotics can be taken through both food sources and supplements. Most fermented foods contain probiotics which include sauerkraut, yogurt, kombucha, miso, pickles and kimchi.
Every probiotic is different because of the variation in bacterial strains. For example, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two common strains known to improve digestion and support gut health. In the Lactobacillus strain alone, there are over 120 species!
Dr Tobias Health Tip: When buying probiotic supplements, it’s important to note the strains it contains. We recommend a multi-strain probiotic that targets your specific gut health concerns. Each Dr Tobias probiotic contains a multi-strain formula with both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains.
What are prebiotics?
Unlike probiotics, prebiotics don’t contain any bacteria. They’re a type of dietary fiber that helps feed and grow good bacteria in your gut. We like to think of them as fertilizer for good bacteria.
Like probiotics, they can be found in food sources and supplements. The fiber inulin is a prebiotic that can be found in foods such as bananas and asparagus. This fiber isn’t digestible by your body, so it passes through the digestive system and becomes food for bacteria and other microbes.
Foods that contain both prebiotics and probiotics are called synbiotics. These include cheese, kefir, and some varieties of yogurt.
Are they safe to take together?
The short and simple answer is YES!
They might sound similar, but they both play different (and complementary) roles in improving your gut and digestive health.