The term ‘biotic’ can be easily defined as a word that relates to or consists of living things. When we hear someone talking about biotics, we should be thinking about life, biology, and the processes that keep our bodies functioning each and every day. You probably often hear the terms ‘probiotics’ and ‘prebiotics’ frequently mentioned, whether in conversation with your doctor or even during a commercial on TV. Probiotics are living microorganisms, consisting of bacteria, yeast or a combination of the two, that exist naturally in the body. These biotics increase the good bacteria in your gut, helping fight off bad bacteria that causes illness and infection. Prebiotics are food for probiotics, which work together to promote a healthy and balanced internal environment, allowing good bacteria to thrive.
So, we know what probiotics and prebiotics are, but what are postbiotics?
Postbiotics are a byproduct of probiotics.
Prebiotics feed probiotics which then produce postbiotics through fermentation. In essence, if your body contains enough of pre- and postbiotics, it will produce an adequate amount of postbiotics. Although postbiotics are non-living compounds, they are functional and bioactive and are believed to play a crucial role in supporting a healthy gastrointestinal tract.
There are many health benefits associated with postbiotics.
Research suggests that the relationship between pre-, pro-, and postbiotics promotes gut health, which is a key component in maintaining general health. Experts have also noticed that the health benefits of postbiotics may even extend beyond a balanced gut environment. Enhanced immune system functioning, Type 2 diabetes prevention, and symptom relief from certain diseases have also been associated with postbiotics. In addition, postbiotics may also promote one’s general health by supporting increased potency of other microorganisms in the body.
Eating prebiotic-rich foods is a helpful way to increase the postbiotics in your body.
Probiotics need to feed on prebiotics in order to produce postbiotics (try saying that three times fast!). So, eating foods rich in prebiotics may boost the amount of postbiotics in your system. Such foods you can add to your diet include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables such as garlic, bananas, and oats.
For further information about incorporating pre- and probiotics into your diet or if you are seeking medical advice, speak with your primary care physician or a registered nutritionist.