What’s the Difference?
We get asked constantly… What is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?
The reason for confusion is pretty obvious. Not only do the words differ by only one letter, but they target similar benefits: improving overall health by improving digestive health through nourishing a healthy colon.
We’ll summarize the similarities and differences between prebiotics and probiotics here, then we’ll discuss each item in a bit more detail:
|Prebiotics are a very special form of dietary fiber.||Probiotics are living bacteria intended to benefit colon health.|
|Prebiotic Fiber is not affected by heat, cold, acid or time.||Probiotics must be kept alive to create health benefits. They can be killed by heat, acid or simply the passage of time.|
|Prebiotics nourish the thousands of good bacterial species already living in the colon.||Probiotics contain from one to a few species of bacteria which are added to the colon when they are ingested (eaten).|
|Prebiotic Fiber is a naturally-occurring substance, found in thousands of plant species (though mostly in very small amounts).||Probiotics occur naturally in fermented foods like yogurt or sauerkraut. Some companies have also engineered “proprietary” bacteria which they have patented and promote.|
|Prebiotics foster an environment in the colon which is hostile to bad bacteria.||Probiotics may impact bad bacteria by crowding them out.|
|The benefits of prebiotics are supported by extensive research||The benefits of probiotics are supported by extensive research|
|Both Prebiotics and Probiotics must be ingested in sufficient quantity to have an impact, and dietarily speaking both should not carry an excessive “load” of sugar, calories, carbs, etc. out of proportion to their benefit.|