You've Heard Of Prebiotics, But What Are Postbiotics?

When the health world discovered the importance of gut health, prebiotics and probiotics exploded on the market. Health gurus everywhere quickly began discussing the importance of incorporating them, and foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt started advertising them on their labels. If you're well-versed in supplements, you probably already know their importance and have some stocked in your pantry. But do you know about postbiotics?

Scientists are still learning the magic behind the lesser-known bacteria, but according to doctors Toni Golen and Hope Ricciotti at Harvard Women's Health Watch, postbiotics are the byproduct of pre and probiotics which work together to fight dangerous bacteria. By balancing microorganisms within the gut, the trio is able to fight inflammation and thus contribute to better overall health. Incorporating them into your diet can lead to transformational health that prioritizes a high-functioning immune system and a healthy gut. Here's everything you need to know about postbiotics and how they operate.

Postbiotics come from pre and probiotics

Essentially postbiotics are the biological aftermath of pre and probiotics. Research is still being conducted to understand the mysterious bacteria breakdown process, but we do know that probiotics improve the body's immune response and come directly from the two bacteria. To understand the difference between the trifecta: know that probiotics are the superheroes of bacteria and balance the microbiome by zapping dangerous bacteria (via WebMD). They feed on and digest prebiotics and, in turn, create postbiotics. The three form a bad bacteria-busting microorganism family.

Postbiotics themselves contain a host of healthy nutrients, including vitamins, amino acids, and antimicrobial properties, all of which help create a positive environment for good bacteria in the gut (via Harvard Women's Health Watch). Upon learning their enormous benefits for the body's immune system, the Cleveland Clinic explains that scientists are starting to create postbiotics by mixing bacteria and placing the compounds in pills or other supplement forms. Their ability to improve the body's immune system, reduce inflammation, and prevent infections make them nature's perfect medicine that is available for everyday consumption.

They are not as available as probiotics, but you can still consume them

Because researchers are still studying the science behind postbiotics, they are not as readily available in isolation form as prebiotics and probiotics. That does not mean, however, that you cannot harness their power and still experience their benefits. Because postbiotics are naturally created from pre and probiotics, you can increase your intake of them by eating fermented foods like pickles, miso, yogurt, kimchi, cottage cheese, and high-fiber foods like oats, flaxseed, and garlic (via WebMD).

The bacteria these foods hold have immense advantages to the body, especially for those battling obesity, diabetes, and other autoimmune diseases. An imbalance of bacteria in the gut has been proven to lead to such illnesses, and postbiotics have been proven to relieve glucose intolerance by improving insulin sensitivity (via Bright Life Clinic). It can also reduce inflammation and the progress of infection-causing bacteria in the body. Though more research is needed to understand the magic behind postbiotics, we're sure that more will be revealed about the mysterious agent with hopes that it will soon become readily available on the market.