When I talk about Miracle Noodle, which acts as a prebiotic, one of the most common questions I get asked is “What’s the difference between a prebiotic and a probiotic?” Now there’s a postbiotic, too.
What’s exciting here is we are just in the beginning of understanding how important the organisms that live in our gut are.
Prebiotic vs. Probiotic
Prebiotics are a type of fiber that the beneficial bacteria in your gut can digest and use as fuel for probiotics. You can think of prebiotics as fuel for probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in your gut.
Each time you ingest probiotics, the gut bacteria acts on these and this process creates beneficial chemicals and compounds that can be used by the body in different ways. As an example, when you eat Miracle Noodles or when you're having resistant starch, your gut bacteria can create something called short chain fatty acids, which not only have an effect outside of the gut, but also inside it.
In other words, probiotics can act as fuel for the colonocytes or the cells lining the colon. You ingest the fiber, whether it's a resistant starch or otherwise, and then it creates short chain fatty acids. That's the postbiotic, the chemicals and compounds released in the process that can have all these health benefits.
Another example is when you eat flax seeds, there is a chemical that's released from the bacteria that are acting on the flax. This has mild estrogenic effects. That's why some people think that if you eat too much flax, you’re also getting too much estrogen. If you're just consuming two tablespoons of flax per day, you don't have to worry. In fact, you're probably going to receive beneficial hormonal effects if you only consume around this amount of flax daily.
Each type of food we eat has the potential to release chemicals because they've been digested. When the fiber gets digested, it releases various chemicals. The benefits associated with probiotics are not solely related to the bacteria itself, but to what the bacteria actually releases.
We can look forward to more amazing and interesting discoveries related to what these beneficial bacteria release and how to get that directly instead of having to go through the usual process.
- Prebiotics are the fiber or the food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
- Probiotics are actual good bacteria that can live in your gut.
- Postbiotics are the chemicals released from the bacteria that live in your gut when these feed on fiber molecules.
- The real benefits of probiotics lie on the chemicals released when they go through a metabolic process.
TIP: If you're adding fiber to your diet, then you can choose resistant starch like a green banana flour, because these are going to release short-chain fatty acids and help regulate blood sugar. When the bacteria is processing the resistant starch, it releases these chemicals that have beneficial effects not just in the gut, but also in your entire body. I think all of these are little things that we can add to our diet that have a natural history. As an example, green banana flour has actually been a staple in the Caribbean for a long time, so we know it's safe.
I hope this article helps you understand the difference between prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics. If you have any questions, you can get in touch with me by joining our Weight Loss Awakening Friendship Group on Facebook.