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Difference between prebiotic and probiotic

Understanding the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics


Prebiotics and probiotics play an essential yet different role in maintaining your gut health and your digestive system's smooth functioning. Probiotics are live strains of bacteria, while prebiotics are plant fibres that feed the live bacteria and support their populations. In other words, probiotics are good bacteria, while prebiotics are food for the good bacteria.

Both prebiotics and probiotics are necessary for maintaining your immune system, digestive system functioning, and nutrient uptake. Both can be consumed either through food or additional supplements.

What are prebiotic foods?

If you're a woman working towards weight loss, start by choosing a highly Prebiotics are the parts of plant food that humans cannot digest due to a lack of necessary enzymes. These are broken down by the good bacteria present in your gut. This breakdown produces energy, stimulates reproduction and produces other beneficial by-products.

Some of the best prebiotic food items are as follows:

  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Legumes, peas and beans
  • Bananas
  • Oats
  • Garlic
  • Dandelion greens
  • Berries
  • Asparagus
  • Jerusalem artichokes

What are probiotic foods?

Probiotics are the strains of live yeast and bacteria that live in different areas of your body. The most common places where these can be found are your intestines, urinary tract, mouth, vagina, skin and lungs.

Probiotic bacteria generally refers to two families of bacteria - strains of Bifidobacterium and strains of Lactobacillus. Another common probiotic is the yeast saccharomyces boulardii. These probiotics protect and cleanse your body from harmful yeasts and bacteria, so that your digestive system continues to function correctly.

Some of the best probiotics sources are:

  • Yoghurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh
  • Kimchi
  • Miso
  • Kombucha
  • Pickles
  • Buttermilk
  • Natto
  • Some types of cheese

Benefits of prebiotic foods

Prebiotics are food for the good bacteria and yeast in your stomach. Their fermentation helps the immune system fight pathogens that may threaten the body.

A prebiotic also increases the absorption of some essential minerals like calcium, help metabolic functions and lowers the risk of allergies. Some other benefits of prebiotic foods are as follows:

#1. Improve Gut Health

Prebiotics increase the growth of good bacteria. As a result, they are beneficial for those who have gut-related issues like constipation. For example, a 2020 study noted that insulin, a prebiotic, may improve the consistency and frequency of stool and the time it takes to move through the digestive tract. However, the best prebiotic formulation for constipation and irritable bowel syndrome is still unclear.

#2. Improve Metabolic Health

It has been found that eating a prebiotic-rich diet benefits some aspects of metabolic health, such as triglyceride levels, blood sugar and cholesterol. For example, a 2019 study recommended people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes consume 10 grams of Inulin-type fructans, a prebiotic, for six weeks. ITF was found to reduce fasting blood sugar, fasting insulin levels and a blood sugar control marker called glycosylated haemoglobin. With this being said, it is essential to note that more research needs to be conducted to confirm these benefits fully.

#3. Reduce Markers of Inflammation

Short-term fatty acids may help maintain the health of the intestinal lining and stop the flow of inflammatory molecules across the gut, thereby helping reduce inflammation.

#4. Reduce Cravings and Aid Weight Loss

Studies have found that consuming additional prebiotic supplements may reduce cravings and appetite for specific, sugary food items. The ACV Gummies by Setu are an excellent example. This prebiotic supplement helps keep one satiated for long, thus reducing frequent hunger pangs and the desire to binge eat. As a result, it also aids weight management goals, besides keeping the stomach pH levels regular.

Benefits of probiotic foods

#1. Help Balance Good Bacteria

Probiotics can restore the balance of gut bacteria. An imbalance may occur due to medication, illness or a poor diet and may lead to allergies, mental health problems, obesity and various digestive issues.

#2. Improve Certain Mental Health Conditions

Many studies now link mental health and mood to gut health. For example, a study recently found that consuming supplements of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus for two months can improve memory, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and anxiety.

Another study found that individuals who consumed 100 grams of yoghurt per day faced more minor instances of depression, stress and anxiety.

#3. Reduces Severity of Allergies and Eczema

A study noted that infants fed probiotic-rich milk were less likely to develop symptoms of eczema than those who weren’t. Another study found that children whose mothers consumed probiotics during pregnancy were less likely to have eczema during the first two years.

Prebiotic and Probiotic Supplements

When you aren't getting enough prebiotics and probiotics from food, you may require prebiotic or probiotic supplements to help obtain adequate amounts to achieve a healthy gut balance.

One additional benefit of probiotics is observed when you have been prescribed antibiotics — the good bacteria help with the side effects of the medication and keep your digestive system functioning normally despite the antibiotics.

Probiotic Supplements

Probiotic supplements, such as the Tummy Probiotic by Setu, usually contain strains of multiple bacterias. These are measured in colony-forming units or CFUs. A CFU can range from 1 to 50 billion, or more than that. Probiotic supplements usually contain seven or a combination of these seven bacterial strains, which include:

  • Bacillus
  • Lactobacillus
  • Saccharomyces
  • Streptococcus
  • Escherichia
  • Bifidobacterium
  • Enterococcus

You can use these probiotic supplements to aid digestive health, build and restore your gut flora, and also to regularize bowel movements.

Prebiotic Supplements

Prebiotic supplements can be found in various forms, such aspotato starch, pectin, apple cider vinegar and chicory root fibre. Research suggests that supplementation can help with IBS, Crohn’s disease, and colorectal cancer and its progression. If you feel the need for prebiotic supplements, opt for a reliable brand like Setu. They have some delicious ACV Gummies that are an effective prebiotic supplement to aid gut health.

It should be noted that although prebiotic and probiotic supplements are recognised as safe, they may have certain rare side effects, such as gastrointestinal issues and bloating.


It is essential to have naturally balanced gut bacteria to ensure good health. Prebiotics and probiotics contribute to a healthy gut microbiome. These are naturally available in certain foods – and improve digestion and boost immunity. Eating fermented food and plant-based products rich in prebiotic fibre is essential to avail these benefits.

If you feel that you are not getting adequate prebiotics and probiotics from food, contact a healthcare provider and understand the kind of supplementation you might need. You will find some of the most high-quality products for your gut health on Setu.in. These products are well-researched, backed by science, and contain top quality ingredients for effective results.

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