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What Do Adults Need More Probiotics or Prebiotics?

Probiotics or Prebiotics both support the body in building and maintaining a healthy colony of bacteria and other microorganisms, which supports the gut and aids digestion, especially in adults.

Certain food components help promote good bacteria by providing food and creating an environment where microorganisms can flourish. Prebiotics are present in fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Probiotics occur in many fermented foods, including yogurt, sauerkraut, and tempeh.

Healthy adults may not need to take supplements. Conversely, the risk of doing so is usually minimal for those who do not have weakened immune systems or underlying illnesses. A diet that consists of a variety of vegetables, fruits, fermented foods, and whole grains makes it possible for people to consume enough prebiotics and probiotics without relying on supplements. Adults should consult a doctor or dietitian if they feel that they need specific advice on the right diet for their needs.


How Are Probiotics Good For Adults?

Probiotics lower the number of bad bacteria in your gut that can cause illness or inflammation. They also replace those problem germs with good or helpful bacteria. Probiotics may help adults with:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)
  • Diarrhea

Probiotics are also being studied for many other conditions. Some people say that probiotics have helped them with:

  • Lactose intolerance
  • Skin conditions such as eczema
  • Preventing and treating urinary tract infections
  • Preventing and treating yeast infections
  • Decreasing inflammation, such as from rheumatoid arthritis
  • Treating certain stomach and respiratory infections, especially in children
  • Treating allergies and asthma


How Are Prebiotics Good For Adults?

Prebiotics are a component of some foods that the body cannot digest. They serve as food for bacteria and other beneficial organisms in the gut. Some research suggests that prebiotics may benefit the body by:

  • Supporting the probiotic growth of gut bacteria, potentially enhancing digestion and metabolism
  • Improving calcium absorption
  • Changing how quickly the body can process carbohydrates


Benefits of Combining Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotic bacteria require prebiotics to survive. This is why some probiotic supplements also contain added prebiotics, usually in relatively small amounts. The idea behind this is that healthy bacteria encounter prebiotic food sources as soon as the probiotics reach the intestines. This helps feed the bacteria and allows them to reproduce so that they can fight off harmful bacteria in the gut microbiome.

For optimal gut support, you can also combine probiotics with a prebiotic supplement. This approach has two primary benefits:

  • Supporting the good anaerobic bacteria, which cannot be made into dietary supplements
  • Helping probiotic bacteria survive the journey to the gut and colonize the intestines

On the other hand, not all prebiotic fibers provide the same quality of support. For best results, the added prebiotic food must be specially selected for the probiotic bacterial strains in the formulation.

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