Prebiotic vs. Probiotic: What Is the Difference?

Prebiotics and probiotics may seem similar at first, but there are many notable differences between the two. Those who understand what is the difference between prebiotics and probiotics can choose the right products based on their individual dietary needs.

A prebiotic is a fiber that cannot be digested by human enzymes. It is naturally found in bananas, onions, garlic, and other plants. Or, a prebiotic may be added to breads, cereals, health drinks, yogurts, and other foods and beverages.

Prebiotics travel through the small intestine and are fermented when they reach the colon. At this point, prebiotics feed beneficial bacteria colonies, stimulating the growth and development of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Comparatively, probiotics refer to beneficial bacteria that are created via the fermentation process. They are found in yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and other foods and have been shown to help repopulate beneficial bacteria in the colon. Additionally, probiotics may help individuals combat the gastrointestinal (GI) side effects of various medications and limit the risk of bacterial growth that otherwise causes yeast infections, particularly after a course of oral antibiotics.

Prebiotics and Probiotics: Stomach Armor for Gut Health

Prebiotic and probiotic foods and beverages contain powerful nutrients that support healthy digestion and immune function. They provide safe, effective, and proven gut protection against parasites, toxins, and other foreign invaders.

Beneficial bacteria in the gut can digest prebiotics. Upon digestion, the bacteria transform a prebiotic into butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory effects in the colon. Also, studies have shown prebiotics help beneficial bacteria in the gut simultaneously halt the growth of cancerous cells and stimulate healthy cell development.

Research indicates probiotics promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria. Plus, probiotics have been shown to help prevent and treat diarrhea, minimize the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders, protect the body against infections, accelerate weight loss, and deliver other health benefits.

Why Are Gut Bacteria Beneficial?

Gut bacteria help protect the digestive tract against harmful bacteria and fungi. They also provide vital nutrients to the cells that line the digestive tract, thereby reducing the risk of gut inflammation and cancer.

How Bovine Colostrum Can Support Gut Health and Healthy Gut Bacteria

Bovine colostrum helps optimize the balance of good bacteria and bad bacteria in the gut. If this delicate balance is compromised, an individual may experience gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and other health problems. Colostrum contains immunoglobulins that help good gut bacteria colonize. As a result, colostrum's immunoglobulins help restore a healthy ratio of beneficial bacteria to harmful bacteria in the gut.

The growth factors in bovine colostrum support gut lining repair, which is essential to maintaining gut wall integrity. Colostrum's growth factors help restore the "tight junctions" between the cells that line the bowel wall. They also help prevent toxins, parasites, infectious bacteria, and foreign materials from moving into the bloodstream. After a leaky gut is healed, colostrum's growth factors help probiotics colonize and thrive, too.

Sovereign Laboratories offers Colostrum-LD® and GastroDefense® Daily Therapy, which together can help accelerate the colonization of good bacteria in the gut, thereby optimizing gut and immune health.