Which prebiotics are best?
Many people think of probiotics when they think about health supplements for the gut since probiotics contain plenty of beneficial and gut-friendly bacteria, which are live organisms that populate the flora of your digestive tract. But prebiotic supplements help feed those microorganisms. Prebiotic supplements are a type of non-digestible fiber from foods like raw garlic and under-ripe bananas. For a top pick, consider the BioSchwartz Advanced Prebiotic.
What to know before you buy a prebiotic
How prebiotics work
Prebiotics help fuel the beneficial bacteria in your gut, including lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. The prebiotics found in supplements and food are an indigestible fiber that passes through your digestive tract until reaching your colon. Once they’re in your colon, gut-friendly microorganisms ferment the prebiotic fiber and turn it into a source of food, which helps benefit the body in several different ways.
Benefits of prebiotics
Prebiotics have a number of different benefits, including improving your digestion, improving your immunity, helping with weight loss, helping you absorb nutrients and keeping your bowel movements more regular.
Different kinds of prebiotics
Prebiotic supplements come in a wide variety of different forms, including powders, gummies, capsules, pearls and synbiotics. Powders are usually tasteless, but many powders come flavored. Prebiotic gummy supplements are great for children, as well as people who can’t swallow pills or don’t like taking vitamins.
Capsules are the most common type of prebiotic supplement since they don’t need to be refrigerated. The dose is usually just one capsule per day. Pearls are fairly easy to swallow and do away with the outer coating of gelatin or cellulose capsules. Synbiotics combine both prebiotics and probiotics in one simple capsule. They are fairly cost-effective and convenient since they maximize the benefits of both prebiotics and postbiotics.
What to look for in a quality prebiotic
It’s important to look for top-quality prebiotic supplements with organic ingredients. Most plant-based prebiotic supplements have organic ingredients, and they are well worth the price tag.
You should also look for prebiotic supplements that contain inulin, which is a plant fiber usually derived from chicory root, a natural food source that is rich in prebiotics.
Added vitamins and herbs
You should also find prebiotic supplements that have added vitamins and herbs. B vitamins can help offer an extra boost of energy, while C and E vitamins can help improve the appearance of your skin. Added herbs like turmeric and ginger can help with your digestion and reduce any bloat. Goji berries and maca can also help offer you a natural boost of energy. These added herbs are usually found in the more high-end prebiotic supplements.
How much you can expect to spend on a prebiotic
Prebiotic supplements range in price from about $12-$70. Gummy prebiotic vitamins go for $12-$15, while basic containers of prebiotic powders, synbiotics, pearls and capsules cost $17-$21. Midrange prebiotic supplements cost $22-$40, and high-end prebiotics go for $50-$70.
What are postbiotics, and how are they related to prebiotics?
A. Postbiotics refer to the byproduct or waste product of the probiotic fermentation process. When good bacteria metabolize prebiotic compounds, they produce short-chain fatty acids, which have health benefits. For instance, butyric acid can help support the intestinal lining, while other short-chain fatty acids can help regulate electrolyte levels and support the regularity of your bowel movements.
Can you take prebiotics at the same time as you take your probiotics?
A. Yes, many manufacturers actually combine prebiotics and probiotics into one convenient pill. If you are taking antibiotics, you should make sure to take them apart from synbiotics since antibiotics indiscriminately kill all bacteria, whether it’s good or bad. A window of two to three hours usually works well, but you should speak to your doctor or healthcare provider about it.
Should you take prebiotics with food or on an empty stomach?
A. It doesn’t matter whether you take prebiotics with food or on an empty stomach. Some people prefer taking prebiotics in the morning, and many take them in the evening as well if they are taking more than one prebiotic capsule. Prebiotic powders can be taken on an empty stomach and are best mixed with non-water beverages for improved taste.
What’s the best prebiotic to buy?
What you need to know: This fiber-based prebiotic from BioSchwartz will create a beneficial microbiome by feeding only the good bacteria in your gut.
What you’ll love: This vegan and non-GMO prebiotic supplement helps balance your natural flora and includes PreforPro and Preticx Xylooligosaccharide, which only feed the good bacteria in your gut. It is also third-party tested for efficacy and safety.
What you should consider: It’s important to consider that these prebiotic pills are on the larger side.
Top prebiotic for the money
What you need to know: This plant-centric enzyme blend from Zenwise will give you plenty of bang for your buck while supporting your gut health.
What you’ll love: This budget-friendly prebiotic supplement helps with the digestion of fiber, fats and other nutrients and improves your digestive flora. It is also designed to boost your motility and digestion.
What you should consider: Keep in mind that while this prebiotic is gluten-free, it’s not safe for those with celiac disease to consume.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This bacteriophage virus-based prebiotic from Dr. Tobias feeds you with good bacteria while targeting any bad bacteria.
What you’ll love: This fast-acting prebiotic can help you improve any digestive problems and other autoimmune issues. The prebiotic contains no carbs or GMOs and is specifically formulated to work with probiotics.
What you should consider: Some customers say that they had negative gastrointestinal effects after taking the prebiotic, including nausea and gas pain.
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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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