Synbiotics: What are they? Do You Need Them?

Synbiotics: What are they? Do You Need Them?

“If I buy the most expensive probiotics, won’t they work?”
“Or I thought all probiotics are the same…
Well, not really.”
And today I will answer what you can do today to improve your probiotic survival rates even if you do not know what kind of probiotic you have.
When more research was done in 2008 and we noticed the need of prebiotics for the probiotics to survive in the GI tract, Dr. Gibson termed something called the Synbiotics. Synbiotic product beneficially affect the host, like you and me by improving the environment for the probiotic and so the probiotic can implant and survive in the intestines. And it is doing so by selectively stimulating the growth and/or improving metabolism of health-improving bacteria.
Since the word “symbiotic” really means synergism, this term is used for combination products that have both probiotics and prebiotics.
Just going to remind you what prebiotics are:
Prebiotics like FOS, GOS, XOS, Inulin; fructans are the most used fibers which when used together with probiotics are termed synbiotics and can improve the viability of probiotics.
Synbiotics were created to improve probiotics survival rate. Original probiotics were mostly refrigerated and most of the product did not even make pass upper intestinal tract.
So now with the use of symbiotics, we have the stimulating effects of probiotics and better implantation in the colon.
Yes, there are other factors besides prebiotics that can affect the viability of probiotics. Those include pH, organic acids, moisture, stress, oxygen, and more. Those are tougher to control. That is why prebiotics are the first choice for controlling and improving probiotic implantation.
We have many probiotic strains in different synbiotic formulations like:
  • Bifidobacteria spp
  • B. coagulans
  • Lacbobacilli
  • S. boulardii
While most prebiotics used are from natural sources like:
  • fructooligosaccharide (FOS)
  • GOS and xylooligosaccharides (XOS)
  • Insulin
  • prebiotics from natural sources like chicory and yacon roots, and others
When we use symbiotic formulas by humans, we improve a few things compared to just probiotics (and this is evidence-based information):
  • 1. Increased levels of lactobacilli and bifidobacterial (those are the good guys) and balanced gut microbiota
  • 2. Improvement of liver function in cirrhotic patients
  • 3. Improvement of immunomodulating ability
  • 4. Decreases incidences of severe infections in surgical patients, and so much more
What you can today to improve your probiotic survival rates even if you do not know what kind of probiotic you have is….
Eat some prebiotic foods: Go grab a kiwi, go, and get some asparagus or garlic. This way you will get some food to help your probiotics implant themselves into your gastrointestinal lining.
References: Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Human Health, 2017, Paulina MarkowiakKatarzyna Śliżewska
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Sending LOVE,

Dr. Inna

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