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Prebiotics vs. Probiotics…Why You Need Both

December 8th, 2022

Balance is an important word when it comes to your health. Particularly as it relates to your digestive tract (a.k.a. your “gut”).

There are two important ingredients your gut needs for proper balance: prebiotics and probiotics.

Keep reading to learn why gut health is so important, and the role prebiotics and probiotics play in preserving your gut health.

Why Gut Health is Important

Your gut is made up of your small and large intestines.

After the acids in your stomach break down the food you’ve eaten, it first passes through your small intestine. This is where the bulk of nutrients are removed from your food. Then, waste passes into the large intestine where fluid is extracted.

The key to a healthy gut is your gut biome…a collection of up to 500 different kinds of “good” bacteria. These bacteria perform a number of vital functions, including:

  • Helping your body to absorb and digest food.
  • Supporting a healthy immune system.
  • Fighting inflammation.
  • Fighting “bad” bacteria when you’re sick.

A healthy gut biome can also reduce your risk for developing illnesses like type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.

What Happens When Your Good Gut Biome Goes Bad

An unhealthy gut biome can cause a number of health issues, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain
  • Gastric reflux
  • Joint pain
  • Depression
  • Sudden weight gain or loss

You may be wondering how a healthy gut can become an unhealthy gut. In short, your good bacteria can be thrown out of balance by stress, a poor diet, a lack of sleep, and antibiotics that are taken for infections.

This is why you may need to take prebiotics and probiotics to restore your gut’s equilibrium.

What Are Prebiotics and Probiotics?

Prebiotics and probiotics are often talked about synonymously. The truth is they are two very different things, but they work together to keep your gut healthy.

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that are found in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and legumes. While they don’t provide nutrition for your body, prebiotics are a food source for the good bacteria that make up your gut biome.

Probiotics, on the other hand, are actual living microorganisms, and they are very similar to the good bacteria that make up your natural gut biome. Because probiotics are so similar to your natural gut microbes, probiotics can help to restore your gut biome to good health when it has been thrown off by a poor diet, high stress, or the use of antibiotics.

Good natural sources of probiotics are fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

But prebiotics and probiotics are also available in supplement form, and they are often included within the same supplement.

Does Your Gut Need Prebiotics or Probiotics?

The microbes that make up your gut biome are crucial for supporting your overall health and well-being.

Both prebiotics and probiotics can help to restore gut health if your natural gut biome is out of balance. And in most cases, they don’t cause any side effects.

Want to learn more about how prebiotics and probiotics can help to support your health? Call Renew Youth at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to set up your free 30-minute consultation.


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