Pre, Pro and Postbiotics : The Dynamic Trio of Digestive Health by Natalie Meriwether, BSN ( Garden of Life )

Pre, Pro and Postbiotics : The Dynamic Trio of Digestive Health by Natalie Meriwether, BSN  ( Garden of Life )

Digestion is a central part of our daily life and greatly contributes to our overall health and wellbeing. From nutrient absorption to immune health, a healthy digestive system should be a top health priority. Many factors play into our digestive health including diet, stress, physical activity, and even sleep. In this article, we will explore the world of prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics, and how they support a healthy gut, promote digestion, and contribute to overall wellbeing.




If you’ve ever investigated support for your digestive health, you’ve probably heard of probiotics. Our digestive tract is naturally full of bacteria which can be both harmful and beneficial, sometimes referred to as “good” and “bad” bacteria. The balance of these bacteria is important for maintaining healthy digestion and can be affected by factors like diet, age, stress, and environmental factors.

Probiotics are live bacteria that support the growth of the “good” bacteria, promoting digestive balance, regularity, and immune system health.  Along with their promotion of digestive health, it’s been suggested that probiotics could even improve the absorption of certain nutrients.  Common strands of probiotics include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bifidobacterium lactis.

While often taken as a dietary supplement, food sources of probiotics include Greek yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and cottage cheese.

Garden of Life Probiotics 




Prebiotic dietary fibers are a type of dietary ingredient that are unable to be digested by our bodies but help feed and nourish the beneficial bacteria in our gut. By promoting the growth and activity of probiotics, prebiotics play a role in maintaining a healthy gut environment. 2 In the colon, prebiotics are fermented by our gut bacteria and can produce postbiotics as a byproduct.

The most common types of prebiotics include inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), and trans-galacto-oligosaccharides. 2

Food sources of prebiotics include flaxseeds, oats, bananas, garlic, and leeks. While prebiotics can be consumed through the diet, they are commonly sourced from dietary supplements. 




Postbiotics are the byproducts of probiotic bacteria during fermentation. Unlike probiotics, postbiotics are non-viable. Postbiotics can be produced as multiple types of compounds. Nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin K, and folate or other compounds like amino acids, beneficial short-chain fatty acids, and enzymes can all be types of postbiotics.3 

It’s important to note that research on postbiotics is still developing and their mechanism of action is still being explored. However, their potential in benefiting and supporting gut and overall health is clearly promising.


Other ways to support your digestive health daily include:


·       Eat a balanced diet rich in whole foods including fruits, vegetables, whole    grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats

·       Drink plenty of water

·       Participate in daily physical activity

·       Prioritize quality sleep and stress management

·       Avoid drinking excessive alcohol

·       Limit fried, acidic, and highly processed foods

·       Consider dietary supplements when necessary