Health Benefits Of Prebiotics
Prebiotic foods promote a healthy digestive system by stimulating the growth of good bacteria. Your beneficial gut bacteria turn prebiotic fiber into short-chain fatty acids essential for gut and metabolic health.
Besides giving you a healthy gut, prebiotic foods help your immune function, appetite, blood sugar control, and energy outflow. Studies have shown that prebiotics consumed in specific amounts may improve health in many ways, including:
- Improving certain gut-related conditions, such as constipation.
- Enhancing some aspects of metabolic health, like cholesterol and blood sugar.
- Reduction of inflammation, appetite, and body fat.
However, this isnt an exhaustive list as several other benefits of prebiotics are yet to be proven.
Prebiotics For General Health
Ongoing research has shown that prebiotics may provide health benefits to the general population. These benefits include improved calcium absorption, decreases in allergy risk, improved immune system defense, and other positive effects on metabolism.
Research is ongoing to understand the full effects of these foods on gut health, metabolism, and certain diseases. But not all nutrition experts are able to confirm that consuming functional foods or prebiotics will necessarily boost specific health outcomes.
What Is The Best Time To Take Prebiotics
Prebiotics help feed the good bacteria in your stomach. That means that you should take them with food. So, the best time to take prebiotics powder is at mealtime and not on an empty stomach.
I find that its easiest to take them at the same time every day so I develop a routine. That way, I dont forget to take them.
How long do prebiotics take to work?
Of course, this will really depend on each individual person. I noticed a change in the first few days of taking it. Some people may need to take a prebiotic supplement for a longer period.
How do you take a prebiotic?
There are generally two ways to take a prebiotic. So, if youre wondering about the best time to take a prebiotic it really depends on the type you want to take. Remember, you want to take it with food. So, if you are using a prebiotic powder like the Prebio Complete, I find its easiest to take with breakfast. I just add a scoop to my overnight oats or my smoothie. It would work just as easily with yogurt.
But, if you prefer to take a prebiotic supplement in pill form, you can take it with any meal. Or, take it with your bedtime snack. Check out my no cook overnight oatmeal for a healthy breakfast you can use your prebiotic powder in.
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Does Taking Prebiotics And Probiotics Have Side Effects
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , it is safe for most people to take prebiotics and probiotics.4 However, probiotic supplements are not regulated as drugs, which means they are not subject to strict safety evaluations. They also contain live bacteria. Cheap probiotics produced in unsafe conditions may be contaminated with bacteria other than the intended strain or may even contain entirely different bacteria to the one on the label.
There are usually only mild side effects for safely produced probiotics, and these often clear up after a week or two of adopting a new probiotic regimen. These commonly include:
- Acid reflux
- Loss of appetite
The only potentially dangerous side effect is an allergic reaction. If you are allergic to the bacteria being ingested, you could experience painful stomach cramps or break out in hives.
Additionally, suppose you are experiencing bacterial overgrowth for safely produced probiotics here, such as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. In that case, you should consult your doctor on whether you should take prebiotics and which to take.
What Are Digestive Enzymes And Why Do I Need Them
Your body makes enzymes in the digestive system. These go-getters help break down carbs, fats, and proteins from food. This allows the absorption of nutrients, helping you maintain optimal health. Without enzymes, all those beneficial nutrients in your food go to waste. The catch is that there is some scientific evidence that enzyme production decreases as we age. This deficit may be associated with lactose intolerance and symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Enzyme supplementation generally works best prior to eating. Without digestive enzymes, certain foods can trigger gut upsets, food intolerances, or nutritional deficiencies. If youre in doubt about the proper dosage and timing check the product label and/or consult with a trusted healthcare professional.
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What Is The Best Prebiotic To Take
You can get some prebiotics from the foods you eat. But, to ensure that you get them every day, you really need to take a prebiotic powder or supplement. So, while I know that dandelion greens contain prebiotics, I am not eating them every day. A prebiotic powder is something I can add to my morning smoothie or overnight oats.
I have been using KarmaMD PreBio Complete which is a unique pre and probiotic supplement. And, it comes in a delicious banana flavor that makes it perfect for my morning breakfast routine. To boost my immune system, I take it with Total Immunity which is a cellular and respiratory health supplement that supports multi-system immune defense.
One of the reasons that I love KaraMD is that they offer a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. You cannot go wrong.
These products are both made in the USA from non-GMO ingredients. And, they are vegan and gluten-free. The prebiotic powder dissolves well in my smoothie and overnight oats and the banana taste is easy to use in a bunch of different ways. All it takes is a quick shake to dissolve it in milk.
So, here are a few healthy gut options you can try:
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Take Prebiotics And Probiotics Together
Probiotics cant survive without prebiotics, so its good to take the two supplements together. Or, simply opt for a good quality probiotic that contains both like Gut Feelings Probiotics.
This innovative prebiotic and probiotic formula supports gut bacterias entire life cycle to promote immunity and healthy gut function.
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Prebiotic Supplement For Daily Gut Support: Performance Lab Prebiotic
Formulated for daily, long-term gut health support, Performance Lab® Prebiotic is the cleanest and most effective inulin+FOS prebiotic formula for improving your digestive health, regularity, immunity, fat loss, and nutritional status.
Powered by Orafti® Synergy1 Inulin-FOS, Prebiotic primarily improves Bifidobacterium, the superior probiotic for overall gut microflora.
Lets take a deeper look at the formula.
Should I Take Probiotics On An Empty Stomach
The concern here is that bacteria are delicate by nature, and that they may not survive stomach acid. Taking probiotics at a certain time of day could help you to ensure the highest survival rates of your probiotic. Confusingly though, different healthcare professionals and probiotic manufacturers, have different guidelines about when is best to take these supplements! So let’s try to clarify a few things.
First of all, let’s look at the logic behind having probiotics on an empty stomach, advocated by some. Seeing as acid is stimulated by consumption of food, it is thought that taking probiotics on an empty stomach is better because there is less residual acid in the stomach. However, its also important to note that there is a lag time between when food is eaten and when acid is released into the stomach. As a nutritionist, I like to recommend that clients take their supplements with a meal, as the food helps to buffer the effects of stomach acid it may also help to facilitate the passage of the probiotics through the stomach, and ensures that they are well mixed with the stomach contents as they pass into the small intestines.
We often get asked if you can take a probiotic before bed, well, some probiotic supplements that contain prebiotics could lead to initial bloating and gas, so these products might be best taken before bed. To learn more about prebiotics, read our article: What are prebiotics?
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Wait Are Enzymes Necessary If Im Already Taking Probiotics And Prebiotics
Lots of folks support their gut health with a probiotic/prebiotic supplement, which can be great for maintaining healthy gut flora. But, as effective as this duo is, it may not be giving you all the digestive support you need and may be best paired with digestive enzymes. That way youll reap not only the potential gut health benefits of probiotics/prebiotics but also the power of enzymes that will help break down food, absorb nutrition for energy, and reduce digestive woes, such as gas, bloating and irregularity. There are common foods, such as meat, fried foods, dairy, and raw veggies, that may be tough to digest, and thats where an enzyme supplement could help.
Should I Take A Probiotic Every Day
The short answer: Yes, you should aim to take a probiotic every single day if possible. “It’s best to take probiotics at least once daily with water or milk,” Dr. Asike says. There are many different forms of probiotics you can purchase in the wellness aisle from powders to capsules, tablets to liquid suspensions, but a regular dose on an even basis should be a goal regardless of which strain of probiotic you take.
If you’re wondering what may be the best option for a daily probiotic, Dr. Asike recommends looking for multi-species or multi-strain products before single-strain supplements, as they may provide more benefits overall. Saccharomyces boulardii, as well as Lactobaccilus rhamnosus,are popular options that may provide more relief to those experiencing irritable bowel syndrome, he adds. “There isn’t one over-the-counter brand that’s better than another when it comes to strains I advise looking for multi-species or multi-strain , and to grab a store brand if that’s what’s available.”
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What To Do With This Information
Before taking a probiotic, talk to your doctor about which specific products would be best for you. Your ideal probiotic will depend on your digestive health, which diseases you do or dont have, your diet and lifestyle, and many other factors. For example, the bacterial strains that work well for someone with constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome are likely different than the ones that help someone with Crohns disease. For most people, eating fermented foods and prebiotics can help improve digestive health. Just make sure to take it slowly when adding in these foods by starting small and adding more as you can tolerate, and follow our tips for being a good microbe host.
How Do They Make Me Healthier
When prebiotics are fermented, they produce short-chain fatty acids like butyrate that help keep the colon healthy, maintain blood sugar balance, and even affect brain neuroplasticity, says Dr. Pedre. In other words, prebiotics are the fuel that probiotics use to regulate a well-functioning gut. As a dietary fiber, they help the microorganisms in our intestines grow, and theyre often taken to maximize a probiotics benefits. You don’t need to take a prebiotic for probiotics to work, but it can give the live bacteria a boost.
Prebiotics can also help with common digestive issues like bloating and constipation, increase mineral bioavailability, and even promote satiety and weight loss. Some studies even posit that prebiotics can be beneficial for stress-related behaviors. The benefits of prebiotics arent limited to humanstheyre also given to calves, poultry, and even farmed fish to increase growth and reduce the rate of respiratory and gut disease.
Wooden Spoon’s prebiotic powder uses herbs like burdock and elecampane.
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Future Emerging Areas Of Research
Is It Possible To Get Too Many Prebiotics
Actually, yes. This is one example where too much of a good thing may actually be too much, says Dr. Pedre. If you take too many prebiotics in the form of supplements , then you will very likely get bloated, gassy, and uncomfortable with abdominal pain. So, when incorporating prebiotics as a supplement, start low and go slow. While prebiotics and probiotics are generally safe to consume, its best to speak with a medical professional, especially if you plan to take prebiotic supplements on their own.
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When Should I Take My Prebiotics And Probiotics
You can take your prebiotic around the same time that you take your probiotic, but youll want to space them out around 10 to 15 minutes. Otherwise, the two could interact too early, before they reach the large intestine which may lead to bloating. Its best to take your probiotic first, on an empty stomach.
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When To Take Prebiotics
Most people in Europe dont hit the daily recommended allowance of fiber, which means that people are simply not getting enough plant-based foods. By doing so, they are also depriving their gut microbiomes of sustenance from prebiotics.
Increasing your prebiotic intake is really simple: eat prebiotic foods. This is particularly important for individuals who do not currently consume enough fibre in their diet, like those who eat lots of fat, processed meat, and refined sugars, as well as people who follow fad or restrictive diets.
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Prebiotics Benefits: What Do Prebiotics Do
Prebiotics nourish your gut microbiome, boost the growth of beneficial bacteria, and promote the production of health-promoting substances.
You probably already consume prebiotics without even realising it because they naturally occur in plant foods, and milk too. The most stable sources of prebiotics are specific types of dietary fibre because they are less sensitive to heat and age, compared to say, polyphenols, which are plant nutrients that can be affected by cooking.
However, just because many fibers are prebiotics doesnt mean that all fibre is prebiotic. Some insoluble fibers cant be broken down by gut microbes. Thats okay because they give mass and bulk to your stools, like psyllium husk and hemicellulose. They help you to have regular bowel movements, thus preventing constipation and abdominal discomfort.
Where You Get Your Probiotics From Also Matters
Aside from when you take your probiotic, its quality will also affect how much good bacteria makes it to your large intestine. High-quality producers will put higher amounts of probiotics in their capsules to guarantee that the amount of CFUs advertised on the bottle is in each tablet for the length of its shelf life, Dr. Wallman says. And higher-quality strains also have a longer shelf life, she adds.
If youre using probiotics for a specific health condition, talk to your doctor about finding the right probiotic supplement for you.
Otherwise, find a high-quality broad spectrum probiotic supplement. Unlike spore-based probiotics, broad spectrum probiotics are usually made up of at least three different kinds of bacteria . Your gut microbiome is diverse, so its a good idea for your probiotic to be as well when using it for general health and wellbeing, Dr. Wallman says.
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Should You Take Prebiotics At A Certain Time Of Day
In general, its okay to take prebiotics when you wake up or before you go to bed. Or really, any time of day that works for you. The most important thing is to take them daily. Here are some things that may factor into the best timing for you:
Stomach Acid: Our digestive systems lack the enzymes to break down prebiotic fiber, which means stomach acid doesnt break them down or decrease absorption. Therefore, unlike probiotics, there is no need to time your prebiotics based on when your stomach is empty or full.
Medications: Since prebiotics pass through the digestive system without being absorbed, they could decrease absorption of certain medications. To be safe, its best to take prebiotics at least 2 hours before or after medications.
Digestive conditions: If you have a digestive condition like IBS, SIBO or FODMAP, you might prefer to take prebiotics before bed. Since the gut is at rest while you sleep, this helps to avoid any mild side effects like gas or diarrhea. Starting with a small dose helps as well.
Are There Any Supplements That Are Similar To Probiotics
Probiotics that are the same or very similar to the ones that your body makes can be taken to supplement healthy digestion. In recent years, a new class of supplements called prebiotics has been advertised as a companion to a probiotic regimen. Prebiotics are made up of carbohydrates that your body cant digest.
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Help With Weight Loss
The gut microbiota plays an important role in how the body extracts energy from food, so the gut may be an essential factor for weight loss. Some research shows that probiotic supplementation can result in weight loss.
There are likely a handful of factors at play, including the specific strain of probiotics, how long supplementation is done, plus age, gender, and baseline weight. More research is needed to understand what role probiotics play in weight loss.
Tips To Maximize The Health Benefits Of Probiotics
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