When you’re trying to get in shape, or stay in shape, paying attention to your diet is just as important as exercising. But if you’re eating well and working out, what’s missing?
The answer is prebiotics! Prebiotics can’t be generated by the body itself, so you need a special diet to make sure your body has enough of them. Or you need the help of supplements. But today’s market is saturated with supplements – each with hundreds of five-star reviews and you can get confused.
Luckily, you’ve landed in the right place. We spent nights researching different supplements and brands and spent days trying out different products to see which prebiotic supplements in the market are the best. In this article, we’ve highlighted our top three choices to help you stay happy and healthy!
Best Prebiotic Supplements 2020
An imbalance in prebiotic consumption can hinder with gut health, which is why it is important that you enrich yourself with enough soluble dietary fiber every day.
While there are many prebiotic supplements on the market, not all of them are worth considering. To make things easier for you, we have made a shortlist of the best prebiotic supplements. Each of these products has its own unique benefits, which are highlighted below.
#1. Prebiotic by Performance Lab
About the Brand
Performance Lab is a well-known healthcare company based in the United Kingdom. Their products are in line with all applicable quality standards and are available to tackle a range of challenges, including sports-related nutrition, sleep therapy, and gut health.
- This product contains both probiotics and soluble fiber, making it the perfect blend for you to use your gut health with.
- On the purchase of one bottle of these supplements, you will receive 90 dietary supplement capsules.
- One serving of this product consists of 3 capsules. This allows for one bottle to provide 30 days’ worth of prebiotics. These bottles can be purchased monthly, along with your regular groceries.
- These capsules are free from gluten, allergens, and soy. What’s more is that they do not contain synthetic additives, which means they are both vegan and organic. These tablets are non-GMO derivatives and do not contain banned substances, like harmful steroids or toxic food colorings.
- Food colorings are typically made from azo dyes, which are a class of chemicals that promote gene mutation and cancer. They are classified as carcinogenic compounds and can have serious negative health effects. Luckily, this product is free from them and is hence a much healthier alternative to prebiotic supplements that contain dyes.
- This product’s vegan formula means that it can be consumed by people of all faiths, particularly those with dietary reservations. This product is both halal and kosher, as well as being entirely meat-free with no poultry derivatives.
- It is suitable for consumption by both vegans and vegetarians, too.
- There is no gluten or lactose in this product, and those who are intolerant to either can enjoy these tablets without having to worry.
- The only possible drawback is the large amount of fiber contained by this product. Some people are naturally unable to process large doses of soluble dietary fiber. This is not a product flaw, but instead a result of a unique individual’s dietary reservations.
- This product is GMP certified and contains the company’s signature, Prebiotic Nutricaps, which is a form of superior capsule packing. This packaging helps ensure that the probiotics contained inside the capsule stay alive and fresh. Many companies sell capsules that contain probiotics that are dead on arrival, hence rendering them useless.
- Every capsule I this bottle is designed to contain just the right number of probiotics and soluble fiber. Overdosing on gut nutrition supplements is just as bad as having a serious lack of them, which is why it’s important that supplement consumers purchase their capsules from a well-reputed company that makes capsules with just the right amount of supplement material inside of them.
- This product is known to boost one’s immunity, encourage fat loss, and help with digestion. It can improve your metabolism and help bring relief to individuals suffering from various digestion-related troubles, including an inflamed colon or IBS.
- It can aid in fat loss by regulating your food cravings. Often, people who are not consuming healthy foods or lack a balanced diet face extreme craving for certain types of food. This may lead to excessive consumption and larger meal proportions in order to satisfy the gut bacteria, which are experiencing a lack of nutrients.
- People who have a healthy gut environment are less likely to have such cravings and overeat. In order to maintain a healthy gut environment, you must consume enough prebiotics to keep your gut’s natural flora nourished, or else they will send signals to your brain, indicating that you need to eat more food, especially fiber, which can lead to overeating if not moderated. It does so through the body’s gut-brain axis.
- The capsules enclosed within this package include both probiotics and dietary fiber (prebiotics), which means that this product will give you the best of both worlds. The ingredients of this capsule are designed to nourish the existing gut microbiome rather than introducing new probiotic strains, which would take time for your gut to adapt to.
- Supports healthy digestion
- Improves gut comfort and eliminates persisting gut diseases
- Nourishes existing gut microbiome
- Aids in fat loss by controlling cravings and reducing the food calorie density
- Contains Inulin-FOS from chicory root, which is a natural, vegan source
- Supports heart health by regulating bad cholesterol absorption
- Uses NurtiCaps which are made from 100% natural, prebiotic-infused pullulan (fermented tapioca)
- Suitable for vegans
- Does not contain soy, shellfish, dairy, peanut, gluten, caffeine, preservatives, banned substances, or allergens
- Large serving size of 3 capsules, which depletes the capsule supply very fast
- The product can only be bought from the official website and has a fixed, non-negotiable price
- May lead to gas and bloating in people who are sensitive to fiber, though this is a rare occurrence
Customers have a lot to say about this product. Luckily, most of the reviews concerning it are positive. The only major complaint people had was about developing gas and bloating after the ongoing consumption of the tablets, though this was rare and only noted in people who were allergic to fiber.
Many users reported being able to pass stool more conveniently and felt better about their overall health. This is because one serving of these capsules is powerful enough to enrich you with the same amount of fiber that eating five apples would give you.
About the Brand
PrebioMD is a product of 1MD, which is an esteemed and well-reputed company that aims to improve its customers’ health by providing them with solutions that are based on natural ingredients like dietary fiber and curcumin, amongst others.
- This product has a 4.8/5 star user rating on their website and is a groundbreaking formula that aids with gut nourishment, cultivation of healthy probiotics, and digestive health.
- This product builds upon the already existent bacterial strains found within your gut’s microbiota, hence replenishing your gut’s natural microorganism density. The effects of this product are often seen after seven days of starting regular consumption.
- This formula is known to increase calcium and magnesium absorption, hence enhancing your bone and heart health, respectively. These tablets are excellent for people who suffer from weak bones and diseases like osteoporosis.
- In addition to all this, PrebioMD can also combat the chronic oxidative damage caused by toxins that “leak” out of a digestive tract that is too permeable. This formula can correct the leaking mechanism, and deal with the oxidative damage caused by prior leakages.
- Your immunity is also bound to improve with the help of this formula. Prebiotics can alter the way cytokines express themselves within your body. As a result, your immunity may be improved with regular consumption of this product.
- This product can also aid in weight loss by reducing your cravings. The human body is designed to start craving fatty foods when it comes to stress or experiences sadness. High levels of stress and low moods are caused by a lack of neurotransmitters in the body, particularly serotonin, of which 90 percent is synthesized in the gut, as previously noted. By correcting the gut’s probiotic concentrations, this problem can be overcome.
These cravings are typically shut down when your body has a healthy gut environment, which can only be nurtured through the efficient use of prebiotics. If you are not getting enough prebiotics from your meals, using prebiotic supplements is the perfect solution.
Once these sudden food cravings are gone, your tendency to overeat will also decline. As a result, your weight will be easier to manage and regulate. Your appetite will also improve, but your body may begin to crave less sugary and oily food, and rather urge you to consume healthier options. Interestingly, this information is relayed directly from your gut to the brain through the gut-brain axis. Hence, fixing your gut health can fix your overall appetite, weight, and diet patterns.
People who are in a better mood and state of mind and less likely to crave fatty foods and unnecessary snacks throughout the day and prebiotics can help you achieve this state of mind. Hence, consuming this product can help you reduce your fatty food consumption and hence aid in weight control and fat loss.
- All claims are backed by qualified physicians, including the esteemed Dr. David Kahana, MD; this means that the products you are consuming are from a well-reputed manufacturer with fact-checked pros
- Reduces the concentration of harmful bacteria, like E.coli, in the gut
- A great immunity-booster
- Improves heart health and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Improves bone functioning and may aid in overcoming bone conditions like osteoporosis; however, this product is a dietary supplement and not a cure for bone conditions, and should not be taken as such
- Reduces oxidative damage caused by “leaking toxins.”
- The product does not need to be refrigerated and can be carried around when traveling
- Has a 2-year long shelf life when stored at room temperature
- Aids in weight-loss
- Ideal for vegans
- Gluten-free, soy-free
- Does not contain preservatives
- May cause excessive flatulence in people with sensitive digestive systems that typically cannot withstand high doses of fiber
Most customers agree that this product is ideal for them. While those with particularly sensitive stomachs may not agree, the truth is that their systems are not designed to cope with large amounts of soluble dietary fiber and will hence experience bloating. However, the product cannot be blamed for this as it works just fine for people who do not have sensitive GI tracts.
This is an excellent option for all those who are considering starting prebiotic supplements or are looking to switch to a better, more reliable brand. The manufacturers of this product have made many claims, but these claims are backed by physicians and can hence be considered true and valid.
#3. Hyperbiotics Organic Prebiotic Powder
About the Brand
Hyperbiotics is a popular healthcare brand that believes in promoting holistic lifestyles. While the statements on their website are not evaluated by the FDA, many people still choose to use their products because they feel like they have benefitted from them in the past.
- This product contains 54 servings per bottle. Every capsule contained within it is tailored to help your gut health flourish.
- These capsules are 100% food-based and organic; they are also vegan and do not use dairy products. In addition to this, there is neither soy nor gluten contained within this product, and it is safe for people with related allergies to consume freely.
- This product is also enriched with multivitamins, which help support your gut barrier by encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria. These multivitamins, coupled with prebiotics, can boost mental clarity and immune function.
- These capsules can aid in weight control by helping you control sudden food cravings, which occur due to an imbalance in gut probiotics. Often, a lack of prebiotics tampers with the way your gut bacteria grows. In turn, your mood and appetite are affected, are you are left craving more food than your body needs. Consuming excessive food is bound to lead to weight gain. However, these tablets contain all you need to ensure that these cravings are eliminated and that your gut’s microbial surroundings are regulated.
- Regularly consuming these capsules can boost your energy levels and help you stay alert. Your mental clarity is likely to improve, too. Hence, these supplements can improve both physical health and mental wellbeing.
- This blend claims to have been designed with the needs of sensitive stomachs in mind. However, there are no FDA-approved statements that support this. It is simply a claim made by the company itself.
Regardless, Hyperbiotics believes that this prebiotic blend contains digestive enzymes, inulin, FOS, and resistant starch, all of which are generally better suited to sensitive stomachs than some other brands.
- Contains multivitamins
- Contains digestive enzymes
- Dairy-free and vegan
- No soy
- GMO-free, fully organic
- Encourages growth of healthy gut bacteria by nourishing them with prebiotics
- Can be blended into smoothies and soft foods
- Mild taste
- Claims have not been tested nor approved by the FDA
- Despite the claim that it is good for sensitive stomachs, many users report having excessive flatulence and bloating after first consuming this product, although this is likely to subside over time
- Does not blend with water easily; insoluble
While most customers seem to be pleased with this product, there are many who have had average or unpleasant experiences with it. Apart from increasing the occurrence of flatulence in some people, this blend can take longer to work than other options available in the market.
The price point of this product is also lower than that of others, which is a clear indication of its compromised quality. What’s more, is that the claims made on the official website are not approved by the FDA, and hence hold negligible validity.
Many users also claimed that their version of the product was insoluble and did not mix with water, juice, or milk. Some also claimed that the taste was unappealing, and that consumption of this product led to long periods in the bathroom.
Many would not recommend buying this product, as it did not work for them.
Prebiotics Vs. Probiotics: What’s the Difference?
Before purchasing a prebiotic formula, it is important to understand the difference between prebiotics and probiotics. These two terms may sound remarkably similar, but in fact, represent two different concepts.
Probiotics are live microorganisms, bacteria, and yeasts, that are important for gut health. They keep us healthy by decreasing the concentration of “bad” bacteria and restoring the balance of gut microbiota. Probiotics are found mainly in fermented foods and yogurts, but also available in the supplement form. There are different types of probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
On the other hand, prebiotics is substances that come from types of carbohydrates, mainly fiber, that humans are unable to digest. Good bacteria in the gut eat this fiber. A common misconception is that all fiber is prebiotic, but that’s not how things work. For example, the primary example of prebiotics is fructooligosaccharide, but non-starch polysaccharides, pectins, and plant wall polysaccharides and some other carbs aren’t necessarily prebiotics although they’re considered as dietary fiber. Basically, all prebiotics are not fiber, just like all fiber is not prebiotic. Fiber and prebiotics have one thing in common, though – enzymes in your digestive tract can’t break them down. In other words, prebiotics are specific types of fiber that improve your gut health.
Since their names are incredibly similar, it’s easy to assume that prebiotics and probiotics are either the same thing or that they are two peas in the same pod. While they do have a similar role – an improvement of gut health, probiotics and prebiotics have important differences.
The primary point of difference is their form and source, of course. As seen above, probiotics are live microorganisms, years, and bacteria, whereas prebiotics are a type of fiber. While probiotics are mainly found in yogurt, kefir, and fermented foods, prebiotics are primarily found in fruits, vegetables, and legumes (See the list of probiotic/prebiotic sources below).
Yet another major difference between probiotics and prebiotics is the delivery or “production” of good bacteria. You see, when consuming supplements or probiotic-rich foods, you consume live microorganisms directly, i.e., those good bacteria are introduced directly to your body or gut. On the other hand, prebiotics are specific fibers that only stimulate the growth of good bacteria that are already present in your gut. In other words, you take probiotics to introduce good bacteria to your gut, but prebiotics are taken to support the growth of good bacteria that are in your digestive systems, i.e., those live microorganisms aren’t taken directly.
What Are the Benefits of Prebiotics?
Prebiotics guarantee a thriving microbiota, which goes hand-in-hand with gut health. They have many benefits, including the ability to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, combat type 2 diabetes, and contribute to insulin-signaling as well as the maintenance of blood cholesterol levels.
Here is an in-depth list of the various benefits of prebiotics:
- Lower cardiovascular disease risk: According to popular research, prebiotics may be able to improve your heart health. They can improve blood composition, which, in turn, affects your heart’s functioning.
- Stronger immune system: Prebiotics can successfully stimulate the immune system to work better. They are able to change the expression of cytokines, hence altering the way your immune system works.
- Lower inflammation: Probiotics have also been noted to reduce the effects of chronic intestinal inflammation.
- Improved hormonal balance: In line with the action of the gut-brain access, we see that lack of prebiotics can tamper with one’s hormonal balance. This includes the levels of fertility hormones, like LH and FSH.
- Better digestion: This one goes without saying; prebiotics can aid in digestion and ultimately improve bowel movements and reduce inflammation.
- Weight management: The consumption of prebiotics can help with weight management. This is because prebiotics corrects your gut health, which in turn leads to reduces cravings, especially for fatty foods. In addition to this, prebiotics can help you regulate your overall appetite and boost your metabolism, hence helping your body burn away fat faster.
Natural Sources Of Prebiotics
Prebiotics are generally easier to obtain from food than probiotics, but one can also take them in the supplement form. In order to get more prebiotics, you just need to increase the intake of some fruits and vegetables, which is ideal for a healthy, well-balanced diet required for gut health. The best sources of prebiotics include:
- Chicory root
- Dandelion greens
- Konjac root
- Burdock root
Many people turn to supplements when they feel like the food they are eating isn’t enough to help them maintain a healthy gut diet. While, in most cases, a balanced diet should be enough, there is always a chance of you missing out on vital prebiotics.
Lack of these prebiotics can lead to mood imbalances, physical health challenges, and trouble with digestion. As a result, many people choose to take supplements to be safe and stay healthy.
Prebiotic Side Effects
Prebiotics can have some unwanted side effects if consumed by people who are intolerant towards fiber. This is generally not the product’s fault, but instead is a result of the consumer having a unique body that cannot accept or process high levels of soluble dietary fiber. Such people may produce plenty of flatulence and experience bloating, which can sometimes lead to cramps.
The best solution in such cases is for people to reduce the number of prebiotics they are consuming or spread the quantity across the day. So, instead of consuming a healthy dose of the product in one go, it may be better to break the doses apart and take them at different times throughout the day.
Luckily, most consumers do not have these problems and can safely consume prebiotic supplements whenever they like as long as they stay in line with the recommended dosage.
People often have many questions concerning the use of prebiotics. To clarify these concerns, we have compiled a list of commonly asked questions alongside their answers:
What are prebiotics (summary)?
Prebiotics are a form of soluble dietary fiber. While not all fibers qualify as prebiotics, all prebiotics do qualify as dietary fiber.
Prebiotics induce the growth or general activity of probiotics, which are microorganisms typically found in the gut. These probiotics contribute to your body’s overall health and have a direct or indirect effect upon the brain, heart, blood, digestion, and more.
Prebiotics affect the types of probiotics found in your gut. This is because probiotics “feed” off of prebiotics. Hence, a lack of prebiotics would lead to a lack of probiotics.
What are prebiotics good for?
Prebiotics aid with the following:
- Bulking and laxation; they help with smooth bowel movement and hassle-free digestion.
- Stimulate selective growth of certain healthy gut bacteria
- Slow down the rate of absorption of food substances from the small intestine
- Lower the glycemic and insulinemic response time in the gut
How can I increase my prebiotic consumption?
You can either maintain a high fiber diet or choose to take prebiotic supplements. Supplements are generally easier to handle, which is why many people opt for them.
What foods are rich in prebiotics?
Here is a list of prebiotic-rich foods:
- Fruit: Custard apples, nectarines, white peaches, persimmon, tamarillo, watermelon, rambutan, grapefruit, dried fruits, pomegranate.
- Vegetables: Artichokes, chicory, garlic, onion, leek, shallots, spring onion, asparagus, beetroot, a fennel bulb, green peas, snow peas, sweetcorn, savoy cabbage.
- Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, bakes beans, soybeans.
- Nuts: Cashews and pistachios.
- Bread, cereals, and others: Bread, rye bread, oats, wheat bread, couscous, wheat bran, pasta, gnocchi, rye crackers.
Human breast milk is also rich in prebiotics and can enrich newborns with all the prebiotics they need, unlike formula milk, which often lacks adequate amounts of soluble dietary fiber.
How much fiber do I need to eat in a day?
Women should aim for 25 grams of soluble dietary fiber a day, and men should eat at least 30 grams.
How can I increase my fiber intake?
Here is a list of pointers to help ensure you get enough fiber every day:
- Opt for a high-fiber cereal for breakfast
- Try adding dried fruits and nuts to your meals
- Eat vegetables and fruits with the skin on
- Eat fruit instead of drinking fruit juice or soft drinks
- Eat lentil-based dishes more often than meat-based ones
- Read food labels and choose varieties that are higher in fiber
- Eat wholegrain bread
Conclusion: Which Prebiotic Supplements are good for you?
As you can see, prebiotics and probiotics go hand in hand. Both of these are extremely important to consume, or else your body will fall deficient in them. These substances and microorganisms cannot be created by the body itself, especially prebiotics. Probiotics may be bred inside the gut but need prebiotics to help them flourish. Hence, it is important that you maintain a healthy diet and enrich your meals with prebiotics and probiotics. Lack of either one could affect the other, as they are dependent on one another.
Many people do not get enough prebiotics through their meals. This is often due to excessive consumption of unhealthy fast foods, most of which are deep-fried until the majority of their probiotics are destroyed, and the prebiotics are tarnished.
It would be largely beneficial if people began to return to a more traditional lifestyle concerning food and chose to eat homemade meals instead of fast food. However, many people cannot afford to have home-cooked meals, often due to time restraints. Such people should try and take dietary prebiotic supplements to ensure that they get enough prebiotics into their diets, or else their general health may suffer, and they are more likely to develop digestion issues as well as other related diseases.