Wondering what are the best prebiotics of 2020? Wonder no longer. We’ve done the research and produced a full guide for you to find your way through the top prebiotics for the year.
Here you’ll learn the difference between prebiotics and probiotics, can you take them together, the benefits of using them, and what you should look for in a prebiotic – and what you shouldn’t.
But first: what is a prebiotic?
The term prebiotics was first coined in 1995 and described them as non-digestible food ingredients that were beneficial to the host through their selective stimulation of specific bacteria within the colon. In short, a prebiotic is a food that feeds only the beneficial bacteria in your stomach.
Prebiotics are far different from what you get with probiotics, which are essentially foreign bacteria that you introduce into your system to support your gut health, whereas a prebiotic is purely specialist fiber.
Prebiotics are typically high-fiber foods and supplements which your body can use to feed these healthy bacterium. Below, we’ll be talking more about the best prebiotic fiber and best prebiotic supplements that you can incorporate into your diet.
- 1 Prebiotics VS Probiotics: What are the differences?
- 2 What makes the best prebiotics?
- 3 The Best Prebiotic Supplements
- 4 The Top 4 Benefits of Prebiotics
- 5 Prebiotics Side Effects: Are they safe to use?
- 6 What are Prebiotic Foods?
- 7 Who are Prebiotics for?
- 8 Bad Prebiotic Supplements: What to avoid?
- 9 Prebiotic Supplements: Are they worth it?
Prebiotics VS Probiotics: What are the differences?
People often confuse prebiotics with probiotics, and sometimes even think they are they are one and the same. This is not the case, prebiotics are dramatically different to probiotics.
Your over-the-counter probiotic is typically found in foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and more. Probiotics are live organisms that you ingest that can help increase the numbers of healthy bacteria in your gut.
Prebiotics on the other hand are not living organisms, they are fuel for the good bacteria that is already in your gut, they’re a prebiotic fiber. Prebiotics are typically more reliable as they do not have the risk of being dead-on-arrival to your gut after being ingested, plus they grow the bacteria that you already have into your system, rather than introducing new and strange strains.
Your digestive system is more likely to benefit from you using Prebiotics instead of Probiotics due to them being more reliable and that they grow the bacteria that your body is already familiar with. That said, both probiotics and prebiotics have their advantages when they are working correctly.
Can you take a Probiotic with a Prebiotic?
Yes, you can take probiotics and prebiotics together if you so choose. They both have different functions, so they wouldn’t interfere with one another too much.
However, it’s not that necessary to take a probiotic with a prebiotic. One or the other usually does the trick in these situations. One of the more interesting options that you should be aware of are synbiotic supplements, which are a mix of probiotics and prebiotics – although they may sound ideal, they usually contain a smaller amount of each which ruins their overall effectiveness.
In our experience, we see the best results when taking one or other – with prebiotics being the most reliable.
What makes the best prebiotics?
When looking for the best prebiotic supplements on the market we had a few standards that had to be met when it comes to standards.
The first was a prebiotic that had the cleanliness. By this we mean we had to make to sure whatever prebiotic we deemed number one had to be as clean and as friendly to your gut as possible.
Therefore, we were picking out prebiotic supplements that are:
- Vegan Friendly
- GMP Certified
- Synthetic / Additive Free
- Soy Free
- Gluten Free
- Allergen Free
- Banned Substance Tested
- Non Irradiated
And more. The prebiotic just needed to be as clean and as pure as possible.
We also wanted to make sure that it wasn’t any of these synbiotic fusions which are partly probiotic, partly prebiotic. Most of the time these don’t have enough of either to yield effective results unlike the best prebiotics.
Ideally, what we were looking for was something that contains a good source of prebiotic fiber that could be taken on a daily basis that supports the gut and selectively promotes only the effective bacteria in your stomach such as Bifidobacterium.
The Best Prebiotic Supplements
Below is our choice for the best prebiotics. This is what we found as the best options when it comes to improving gut health.
This was the best prebiotic supplement that definitely met our standards, that didn’t have any links to causing side effects and is as natural as you can get it.
There are plenty of other prebiotics out there on the market that we feel didn’t meet the mark. Either the dosage was too low, or they were using gelatin capsules, or there synthetic additives with not enough prebiotic fiber.
There was a lot of concerns, but now we think we’ve finally found the best prebiotic supplement.
If you’re looking for a good option when it comes to improving your digestion health, this is the prebiotic supplement that we believe carries the most weight as the best prebiotics.
Our Best Prebiotics choice:
Performance Lab Prebiotic
Performance Lab Prebiotic is our best prebiotic supplement choice. In contains 2000 mg of prebiotic fiber in the form of Inulin-FOS (which is a prebiotic fiber sourced from chicory root).
The Inulin-FOS (from the chicory root) is a combination of two soluble fibers, one of which is long-chain, and the other being short-chain. The benefit of this is that it can make it’s way safely to your gut without being digest, making it the ideal prebiotic supplement to feed the beneficial bacteria to your gut health: Bifidobacterium.
It’s effective for daily use, it can help:
- Promote bone health – Better overall calcium absorption.
- More heart support – Regulates the absorption of bad cholesterol.
- Vegan and Completely Natural – Prebiotic capsules made from fermented tapioca.
Not only that, it’s an effective choice if you’re looking for the best prebiotic.
Performance Lab Prebiotic can help with a healthy gut by promoting:
- Digestive regularity
- Support to your body’s immune defenses.
- Nourishing your gut’s microbiome.
- Potentially faster fat loss by controlling your appetite and reducing your caloric intake.
It’s a top choice for gut health. Especially as Performance Lab Prebiotic supplement specifically as it targets Bifidobacterium as it has links to some really cool stuff.
Bifidobacterium can help reinforce your intestinal lining, as well as helping metabolic performance in a way that other bacteria strains can’t in your gut. It also helps that this is promoting the growth of bacteria that is already in your gut, rather than introducing something new – which can definitely help with your stomach’s overall comfort and efficiency during this process – and a prebiotic supplement can help achieve this.
If you want to know more about why we chose Performance Lab Prebiotic, you can either read our full review below, or go directly to the Performance Lab website.
Visit Their Website:
Best standalone prebiotic!
$1.30 a day
Performance Lab also do a range of other products that also stack well with their prebiotic. We’ve seen great results from taking it with their multivitamin supplement.
They all have the same “clean” status of being vegan friendly, NON GMO, additive-free etc. They’re just effective supplements that can help bring up good results when used properly.
The Top 4 Benefits of Prebiotics
There are numerous benefits you can experience from working with the best prebiotics for both you and your gut bacteria.
Below, we’re looking at the 4 biggest reasons that you should be taking the best prebiotic supplements for the results.
The main benefits of prebiotics are:
- Digestive Health
- Metabolism and Weight Loss
- Brainpower and Cognition
- General Immune System Support
Let’s look at them in more detail below:
1. Prebiotics and Your Digestive Health
This is the main reason people take prebiotics: digestive health. By feeding the healthy bacteria in your guy, you can help restore any imbalances as well as fix any problems you may be having with dysbiosis.
What is dysbiosis? This is when your body doesn’t have enough of the good bacteria in your digestive tract. The gut bacteria that we’re talking about includes Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria which are usually in the large intestine and offer huge benefit to your system.
When you’re experiencing insufficiency dysbiosis, you may suffer from issues such as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity and other issues. You don’t necessarily have an overgrown level of bad gut bacteria in your system, you just have few low levels of the healthy bacteria.
Taking a one of the best prebiotic supplements, you can help feed the smaller numbers of effective gut bacteria and help recover their numbers to help pull you out of dysbiosis. It can also help with issues such as bloating, IBS and even in some cases lactose intolerance.
Likewise, if you have any general imbalances of good and bad bacteria, taking prebiotic supplements could help you there. If you have more neutral or bad gut bacteria than the beneficial gut bacteria in your gut, it might start causing negative effects in your body if it’s not taken care of.
Supplementing a prebiotic can help to re-balance the numbers to give you a healthier microbiome.
2. Prebiotics and Your Metabolism
Prebiotic supplements can also help with your metabolsim and general weight management. This can go either way depending what shape your microbiome is in.
When you’re in a state of dysbiosis from an imbalanced microbiome, you can get a myriad of metabolic problems. Mainly you can get low-grade inflammation (metabolic endotoxemia) wherein toxic molecules in your system such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS) get into your bloodstream from your gut.
This can lead to you getting issues such as obesity and diabetes, which you can fight with the best prebiotics.
So how do prebiotic supplements help all this? When you’re using prebiotic supplements you can experience an improvement in satiety and fullness which can reduce your overall calorie intake. This can help give you a better metabolic set up for more positive health results.
Prebiotics can also help your body’s fasting blood sugar which can also help inflammation and other metabolic factors.
3. Prebiotics and Your Brain & Cognition
Your brain and your gut have a strong connection. By treating your gut right, you can potentially be treating your mind right, and the best prebiotics can help.
You may not realize this, but there is a large connection between your gut and your brain. It actually contains more neurons than you may find in animal brains. This really puts into perspective the term “gut feeling”.
Your brain and gut are connected to one another through what’s known as the vagus nerve. This means that your brain can influence your stomach and your stomach can influence your brain.
This makes sense as keeping your stomach satisfied is the key to keeping you fully fueled and alive – it definitely deserves having a hotline to your brain whenever needed.
By taking prebiotics, you can take another step closer to improving how your stomach feels. Research has shown that taking prebiotics can help reduce waking cortisol response in adults – which essentially means it can reduce your body’s levels of stress hormones.
Not only that, in animal studies, prebiotics have been seen to help as an antidepressant and even reduce anxiety. There’s a lot that prebiotic supplements can do for you when used correctly, both mentally and physically.
4. Prebiotics and Your Immune System
It goes without saying that you immune system hinges heavily on your digestive tract, and prebiotics can help out a lot in that process.
Over 70% of your body’s immune system is in your gut, and considering it encounters everything you digest, no wonder. Prebiotics are great for helping out your immunity. Taking prebiotic supplements can help to increase your body’s production of short chain fatty acids which can help increase your levels of T regulatory cells and other immune cells.
These T regulatory cells help balance your immune setup, by helping to discourage autoimmunity. By using prebiotics for this purpose, you can help combat diseases such as asthma and eczema.
This can help improve your overall health, and keep your stomach strong.
Prebiotics Side Effects: Are they safe to use?
In our experience, and from what we’ve researched online, the side effects from high-quality prebiotic supplements is minimal. Personally, we haven’t experienced any side effects from using prebiotics, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t occur.
Some of the reports that we have read online have noted that in their prebiotic supplements stacks, they sometimes notice that they get mild bloating when increasing their prebiotic fiber dosage.
If you’re the type of person who bloats easily, and you’re looking to increase your overall intake of prebiotics – make sure that you increase it in smaller dosages and work your way up to your ideal intake to avoid risk of bloating.
What are Prebiotic Foods?
What is prebiotic foods that you can eat outside of supplements?
There are plenty of fiber options out there that you can easily purchase in the grocery store to help increase your overall intake of prebiotics for your gut health.
Here are some quick food with prebiotics that you can find either in store or online for that good fiber:
- Jerusalem Artichoke
- Dark Chocolate
- Dandelion Greens
- Konjac Root
As you can see, there are plenty of options out there to take on top of the best prebiotic supplements to get the good fiber.
Who are Prebiotics for?
Practically anyone can benefit from taking the best prebiotic supplements. If you’re looking to feed your body’s natural microflora for better digestive health – prebiotics are the way to go.
Being fibrous, they can offer numerous health benefits such as helping with your weight management, heart health, immune system and other aspects that we’ve already mentioned in this article.
In our opinion, they’re far safer than using probiotic supplements as you’re not introducing any new or unfamiliar gut bacteria in your digestive tract. You’re feeding what your body is already benefiting from to give you much more support.
Bad Prebiotic Supplements: What to avoid?
Not all prebiotic supplements are created equal. Some of them aren’t even prebiotics. The typical angle here is that these companies bring out a fiber supplement and claim that has prebiotic properties.
When first learning about prebiotics, you could be forgiven for thinking that all fiber has some kind of prebiotic properties – this however, is not the case, and some companies prey on this mindset.
It all depends on what kind of bacteria the fiber feeds. If the fiber selectively feeds good bacteria in your digestive system like Bifidobacterium it’s an effective prebiotic supplement, whereas if it’s also feeding non-beneficial bacteria – it’s not going to have the same effects.
Don’t get us wrong, fiber is good for you – it’s just not ALL good to be used as a prebiotic.
Also as we’ve mentioned before, you want to try and avoid supplements that label themselves as synbiotics. This type of supplement typically contains lower doses than most probiotic supplements and prebiotic supplements with the end result of you not getting enough of either.
Always make sure you’re getting a decent amount of each in your supplement to get the results you’re looking for if you’re going in that direction.
Prebiotic Supplements: Are they worth it?
In our opinion, yes, prebiotics are indeed worth it for the health of your stomach. They are good for you gut, which by extension, is good for you. There are numerous options available on the market, but if we had to pick Performance Lab Prebiotic seems to deliver the best results.
Fueling your microbiome with the right health fiber it needs can help you both mentally and physically, and a supplement that are prebiotics seem to be the safest way to do that without causing any unwanted side effects.
There are of course also several prebiotic foods that you could use as well to help you get and maintain a healthy gut. For example, bananas, onion and garlic would all be good options for health fiber.
Finally be wary of fiber supplements that claim to prebiotic but do not serve bacteria like your Bifidobacterium, also try to avoid synbiotics due to their lower dosages.
If you need any further information, you can read my review of the Performance Lab Prebiotic below, or you can visit the Performance Lab website.
Or you can read our review:
Performance Lab Prebiotic Review