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What Are Postbiotics (& Why We Want Them)


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Many people mothers wrestle with digestive points. We’re busy, we’re consuming on the run, and there’s barely even time to run to the toilet on an excellent day! The tough half is incorporating good consuming habits whereas juggling all of the issues household life throws at us. It may be a circus typically! 

Whereas maintaining a healthy diet and specializing in entire meals is crucial, dietary supplements also can assist you to help your microbiome to digest all these wholesome meals. That’s the place prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics are available. 

Haven’t heard of POSTbiotics? Nicely, to not fear as we are going to dive into them on this article.

What Are Postbiotics? 

Postbiotics are the product of your intestine micro organism digesting a prebiotic. They’re technically a waste product of the micro organism. They embody a number of metabolites, together with:

  • Quick-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Exopolysaccharides
  • Enzymes
  • Cell wall fragments
  • Bacterial lysates (combination of bacterial items)
  • Cell-free supernatants (combination of compounds made by micro organism and yeast)
  • Amino acids, nutritional vitamins, antimicrobial peptides, and extra

These are identified for his or her health-promoting results, notably for the digestive and immune methods.

They could be a shortcut for optimizing your digestive well being. In case your physician agrees, you may deliberately embody meals that promote postbiotics in your weight loss program or take into account including a postbiotic complement. 

Postbiotics vs. Prebiotics 

The distinction between postbiotics and prebiotics is that we make postbiotics from prebiotics. Prebiotics are the fibers and starches which are naturally current in meals. 

The intestine micro organism digest these fibers and starches and produce postbiotics, SCFAs, and different compounds. “Bacterial metabolites” is one other identify for them. 

The frequent SCFAs embody butyrate, acetate, propionate, pentanoic, and hexanoic acid. Butyrate is a very powerful of the SCFAs. Analysis has proven this postbiotics can enhance many elements of intestine well being, which we’ll cowl beneath. 

Postbiotics vs. Probiotics

The distinction between postbiotics and probiotics is that probiotics are the precise dwell micro organism you may soak up dietary supplements (just like the lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species). When taken as dietary supplements, these dwelling microorganisms produce useful results within the host (you).

Probiotics could also be mixed with prebiotics in a complement to extend the manufacturing of those vital compounds. We name these combos “synbiotics,” as they work synergistically.

Taking synbiotics could assist in the manufacturing of postbiotics. It’s simply that particular processes should happen to provide them. If circumstances aren’t optimum within the digestive system, these processes could not work as effectively. 

For that motive, it could be useful to leap straight to the top product of probiotics digesting prebiotics, which is: postbiotic dietary supplements. 

Well being Advantages of Postbiotics 

Postbiotics are good to your total well being and wellbeing. Nonetheless, some particular documented well being advantages, particularly the SCFA butyrate, embody:

  • Decreasing irritation – Butyrate suppresses irritation within the colon by decreasing the inflammation-promoting cells and proteins. 
  • Repairing leaky intestine A type of butyrate known as tributyrin helps the formation of tight junctions within the intestine lining to fight leaky intestine.
  • Supporting the mucus layers of the intestine – The physique wants SCFAs to provide mucus within the intestines. Additionally they have an effect on the blood circulate to the mucus layers of the colon, which helps digestive well being. With out sufficient SCFAs, the mucus layers can not preserve their thickness. 
  • Growing the variety of useful micro organism within the intestine – Supplementation with SCFAs was proven to promote bacteroidetes in animal research, which helps preserve a wholesome weight.
  • Eliminating pathogens – Postbiotics have proven promise in defending kids towards infectious ailments by enhancing the stability of the intestine microbiome. 
  • Bettering immune perform – Some postbiotics, like butyrate, assist to rein in an overactive immune response, whereas others assist to extend the immune response. 
  • Decreasing autoimmunity – In stopping a very aggressive immune response, postbiotics could enhance signs of autoimmune illness.
  • Bettering allergic reactions – Kids with meals allergic reactions are inclined to have a deficiency in butyrate. Based mostly on animal analysis, postbiotics, like SCFAs, could also be a useful remedy for meals allergic reactions
  • Defending towards most cancers – Early analysis suggests postbiotics might suppress the expansion of most cancers cells, notably within the intestine. 

With out sufficient postbiotic compounds like butyrate within the physique, an individual could also be extra more likely to develop immune or gut-related issues. 

Situations which are related to low butyrate ranges embody the next: 

  • Inflammatory bowel illnessCrohn’s and ulcerative colitis, each autoimmune ailments
  • Irritable bowel syndromeIBS – each constipation-dominant and diarrhea-dominant
  • Colon most cancers – preliminary research counsel postbiotics could even assist in the remedy
  • Kind 1 diabetes – diets excessive in acetate or butyrate supplied a excessive diploma of safety from diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritisan autoimmune illness – rheumatoid arthritis (RA) sufferers and animal fashions of RA have decrease ranges of SCFAs in comparison with wholesome controls
  • Weight problems – as a result of an imbalance within the intestine microbiota
  • Parkinson’s illness – the gut-brain connection
  • Allergy symptoms in kids – pores and skin allergic reactions, bronchial asthma, meals allergic reactions, and seasonal/environmental allergic reactions

These circumstances are extra possible as a result of the SCFAs stability the immune system and defend towards irritation and injury to the tissues. 

So, how will we enhance low butyrate ranges? We will do it via meals and supplementation.

Postbiotic Meals

As you might know from earlier weblog posts, I attempt to get as a lot diet from meals as attainable—earlier than including dietary supplements. So, earlier than you take into account including a postbiotic complement, check out these dietary sources:

Resistant Starches 

Resistant starches are those who “resist” digestion and supply a meals supply for our intestine micro organism:

  • Leftovers! – cooked and cooled potatoes, candy potatoes, rice, oats, pasta (doesn’t need to be wheat), beans, legumes, different grains
  • Inexperienced (unripe) bananas – greater in starches and decrease in sugars
  • Flours/meals: inexperienced banana flour, potato starch, Hello-Maize starch

These will be very easy to include by making potato salad with cooled potatoes, including cooked candy potatoes to a salad, making gluten-free baked items with potato starch, and simply reheating leftovers. 


Pectin is a sort of fiber that’s naturally current in sure vegetables and fruit, together with:

  • Apples 
  • Oranges 
  • Lemons
  • Apricots
  • Carrots

Pectin has naturally gelling capabilities, which is why we use it to make jams and jellies. Most individuals tolerate it effectively, and, not like the subsequent couple of meals elements, it isn’t excessive in FODMAPs, or fibers that may irritate IBS and different signs. 


Inulin is a sort of fiber known as a polysaccharide. It’s in a class of non-digestible carbohydrates known as fructans. Watch out with inulin if in case you have points with FODMAPs. Listed here are some meals containing inulin:

  • Artichokes 
  • Onions 
  • Garlic 
  • Asparagus 
  • Chicory root 

One other postbiotic-promoting meals element is fructooligosaccharides, shortened to FOS. 

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) 

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) is a sort of polysaccharide. They’re made up of fructose chains strung collectively. Once more, watch out with meals excessive in FOS if in case you have points with FODMAPs:

  • Onions
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Asparagus

Meals wealthy in inulin and FOS are straightforward to incorporate in soups. Listed here are a number of concepts:

You may even make your personal French Onion Soup Combine


Nut consumption will increase the manufacturing of butyrate-producing micro organism within the intestine.

Fermented Meals

Fermented meals comprise probiotic micro organism that secrete postbiotics.

  • Miso – A fermented soybean paste made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji (a fungus, Aspergillus oryzae). Some add different components, like seaweed, grains (rice or barley), and seeds. Cooks will use miso in soups, sauces, and seasonings. 
  • Tempeh – A fermented soybean cake that’s part of conventional Indonesian delicacies. They ferment it with the Rhizopus species of fungus, Rhizopus oligosporus or Rhizopus oryzae. It’s typically marinated in brine or spices after which fried. It tastes nice in soups, stir-frys, sandwiches, or alone with a chili paste.
  • Sauerkraut – Not only for Germans! Fermented cabbage is a conventional fermented meals from a number of nations, together with Poland, Russia, and Hungary.
  • Kimchi – A fermented cabbage dish from Korea. It takes conventional sauerkraut to the subsequent degree with different greens like radishes, spring onions, and spices like pink pepper, garlic, and ginger. 
  • Kefir – A fermented milk made with kefir grains, together with conventional dairy kefir, coconut milk kefir, or water kefir soda.
  • Kombucha This fermented tea drink originated in China and unfold via Russia and Jap Europe. The unique model is fabricated from black tea and sugar and fermented with a starter known as a SCOBY – an acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Micro organism and Yeast.

Conventional cultures have used these postbiotic meals for hundreds of years world wide. (Be taught extra on this put up concerning the significance of conventional meals). Nonetheless, some individuals have points tolerating these meals. Some are on the excessive FODMAP checklist, and others are high-histamine meals.

Potential Facet Results

Getting postbiotics from meals sources could trigger some unwanted effects. Examples embody:

That’s the place a complement will be supportive. These dietary supplements are usually a lot simpler to tolerate than dietary fiber if in case you have compromised intestine well being.

Postbiotic Dietary supplements

Postbiotic dietary supplements are an effective way to bypass the digestive processes wanted to create these vital compounds. In case you’ve been coping with compromised digestion for some time, a postbiotic complement could also be a great way to calm irritation. It could possibly additionally assist stability your immune system.

My favourite approach so as to add postbiotics into my well being routine is to rotate on this postbiotic from Simply Thrive. Not solely does it comprise postbiotics, but it surely additionally contains different immune-supporting components, like zinc, selenium, and echinacea.

It’s additionally gluten-free and lactose-free, and it doesn’t have any fillers, stearates, or circulate brokers like silicon dioxide. The veggie caps are straightforward to swallow.

This text was medically reviewed by Madiha Saeed, MD, a board licensed household doctor. As all the time, this isn’t private medical recommendation and we suggest that you simply speak along with your physician.

Have you ever tried a postbiotic complement, notably if in case you have points with FODMAP meals? What was your expertise? Share with us beneath!


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