Difference Between Prebiotic and Probiotic (With Table)

Probiotics and prebiotics are both hot subjects in nutrition right now. Despite their similarity in sound, the two perform distinct functions in your health. Prebiotics are the bacteria’s nourishment, while probiotics are the helpful bacteria.  Most of us are likely to mix up probiotics and prebiotics on a regular basis. However, it’s critical to note that they both have different effects on our gut health. These gut microbes are only a few of the trillions that promote digestion, absorb nutrition, and enhance immunity.

Prebiotic vs Probiotic

The difference between prebiotic and probiotic is that prebiotic contains a complex carbohydrate that is called fiber whereas probiotics include actual live organisms.

Prebiotics are plant fibers that have been genetically modified. They work as fertilizers, encouraging the development of beneficial microorganisms in the stomach. They can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, particularly those high in complex carbs like fiber and resistant starch. Because these carbohydrates cannot be digested by our system, they move through the digestive system by becoming food for bacteria and other germs.

Probiotics vary from other supplements in that they include living organisms, generally particular varieties of bacteria that directly contribute to the abundance of healthy germs in our gut. The bacteria must have established pro-health benefits in order to be designated as a probiotic. The effectiveness of probiotic health benefits is affected by the kind, dosage, and mode of administration.

Comparison Table Between Prebiotic And Probiotic

Parameters of comparisonPrebioticProbiotic
MeaningSpecialized plant fiber that acts as food for beneficial microorganismsReal bacteria strains that alter the population of healthy bacteria
Health AdvantageReduction of cancer risk, enhance absorption of calcium, etc.,Lowering the risk or advancement of chronic diseases, reducing allergies, etc.,
CompoundsMade up of a complex carbohydrate- fiberMade up of actual organisms
ConsumptionOur digestive system is incapable of breaking down prebioticsProbiotics sustain in the gut
Found inBarley, asparagus, beansKombucha, yogurt, miso

What is Prebiotic?

Prebiotics are dietary ingredients that stimulate the development or activity of helpful microbes such as bacteria and fungus. Prebiotics are not actual organisms and are not impacted by circumstances in your stomach such as heat, rot, cold, or acidity. Blueberries, for example, are a delightful form of prebiotic fiber that retains their efficacy even when frozen.

Prebiotics are found in foods that our system cannot process. They provide nourishment for bacteria and other helpful organisms in the gastrointestinal tract.

The advantages of prebiotics are related to the advantages of probiotics. Prebiotics provide several health advantages, including lower cancer risk, lower LDL cholesterol, enhanced immunity, higher calcium absorption, relief from peptic ulcers, maintaining gut pH, and lowering triglycerides.

 People do not need to take prebiotic supplements because they are naturally present in many foods a lot of times. Carbohydrates and natural compounds are the primary sources. These nutrients may be tough for the body to absorb, but the healthy bacteria in the stomach use them as nourishment. They pass from the small intestine into the colon unprocessed. Probiotics decompose it and use it for energy.

People may guarantee that they get a range of prebiotics that may fuel diverse strains of bacteria by adding a variety of meals to their diet. Prebiotics may be found in a wide variety of high-fiber meals, such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

What is Probiotic?

Probiotics are “healthy” bacteria (also known as living cultures) that you may get through meals or supplementation. They are the same microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. Probiotics can assist to regulate the population numbers of species of bacteria in your gut, which supports gut health.

Several fermented foods include probiotics. Fermentation is a phenomenon that occurs naturally when bacteria transform sugars and other carbohydrates in meals into acids. For several individuals, fermented dairy products like yogurt, kefir, and some aged cheeses are the most prevalent source of probiotics. Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is present in yogurt, is one of the most prevalent kinds of probiotic bacteria that live in our intestines.

Probiotics should be able to sustain from the time they are produced till they enter our small intestine in order to deliver health advantages. Certain strains are more heat sensitive and will perish soon if exposed to extreme heat. Other strains, such as those in the Bacillus genus, are more resistant to severe environmental influences and are regarded as more stable.

Furthermore, many probiotic-containing foods, especially dairy products, might deteriorate if not refrigerated at suitable temperatures. Some shelf-stable probiotics, on the other hand, are freeze-dried and packaged in warm and moisture-resistant containers, so they may not need to be refrigerated.

Main Differences Between Prebiotic And Probiotic

  1. Prebiotics are specialized plant fiber that serves as nourishment for healthy bacteria, they promote the development of the beneficial bacteria that already exist whereas probiotics are actual bacteria varieties that change the demographics of healthy bacteria in our digestive tract.
  2. Prebiotics provide health advantages such as reduction of cancer risk, reduction of LDL cholesterol, strengthening the body’s immune system, enhancing absorption of calcium, and so on, whereas probiotics benefits by lowering the risk or advancement of chronic diseases, managing gastrointestinal disorders, reducing allergies, among others.
  3. Prebiotic supplements are often made up of complex carbohydrates, such as fiber. Probiotic supplements, on the other hand, include actual organisms. A single dosage may contain a single strain of microbe or a combination of microorganisms.
  4. Our digestive system is incapable of breaking down prebiotics, they withstand the passage forward through the digestive system. Meanwhile, when we consume probiotics, they sustain in the gut and give us the same advantages that our natural bacteria provide.
  5. Prebiotic foods include barley, asparagus, beans, apples, and bananas etc., whereas probiotic foods include kombucha, yogurt, miso, kefir, and kimchi etc.,

Conclusion

Thus, prebiotics provides the soldiers with the necessary support while probiotic foods and supplementation contribute soldiers to your army. When they are consumed together, they may lower the risk of medical conditions, enhance immunity, and regulate bowel function when used together and as part of a healthy diet.

Most healthy people do not require prebiotic or probiotic supplements. However, for people who do not have impaired resistance to infection or underlying disorders, the danger of doing so is typically small. A diet rich in fruits, greens, whole grains, and fermented foods allows people to get enough prebiotics and probiotics while not depending on supplementation.

References

  1. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/71/6/1682S/4729644
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S154235651831019X
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