What Are Postbiotics (& Why We Need Them)


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Many people mothers wrestle with digestive issues. We’re busy, we’re consuming on the run, and there’s barely even time to run to the toilet on day! The difficult half is incorporating good consuming habits whereas juggling all the things household life throws at us. It may be a circus typically! 

Whereas maintaining a healthy diet and specializing in complete meals is important, supplements may also assist you to help your microbiome to digest all these wholesome meals. That’s the place prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics are available in. 

Haven’t heard of POSTbiotics? Properly, to not fear as we are going to dive into them on this article.

What Are Postbiotics? 

Postbiotics are the product of your intestine micro organism digesting a prebiotic. They’re technically a waste product of the micro organism. They embody a variety of metabolites, together with:

  • Brief-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Exopolysaccharides
  • Enzymes
  • Cell wall fragments
  • Bacterial lysates (combination of bacterial items)
  • Cell-free supernatants (combination of compounds made by micro organism and yeast)
  • Amino acids, nutritional vitamins, antimicrobial peptides, and extra

These are recognized for his or her health-promoting results, notably for the digestive and immune techniques.

They could be a shortcut for optimizing your digestive well being. In case your physician agrees, you possibly can deliberately embody meals that promote postbiotics in your weight loss plan or contemplate including a postbiotic complement. 

Postbiotics vs. Prebiotics 

The distinction between postbiotics and prebiotics is that we make postbiotics from prebiotics. Prebiotics are the fibers and starches which can be naturally current in meals. 

The intestine micro organism digest these fibers and starches and produce postbiotics, SCFAs, and different compounds. “Bacterial metabolites” is one other title for them. 

The widespread SCFAs embody butyrate, acetate, propionate, pentanoic, and hexanoic acid. Butyrate is crucial of the SCFAs. Analysis has proven this postbiotics can enhance many points of intestine well being, which we’ll cowl beneath. 

Postbiotics vs. Probiotics

The distinction between postbiotics and probiotics is that probiotics are the precise dwell micro organism you possibly can absorb dietary supplements (just like the lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species). When taken as dietary supplements, these residing microorganisms produce beneficial effects within the host (you).

Probiotics could also be mixed with prebiotics in a complement to extend the manufacturing of those essential compounds. We name these mixtures “synbiotics,” as they work synergistically.

Taking synbiotics could assist in the manufacturing of postbiotics. It’s simply that particular processes should happen to provide them. If circumstances aren’t optimum within the digestive system, these processes could not work as effectively. 

For that cause, it might be useful to leap straight to the top product of probiotics digesting prebiotics, which is: postbiotic dietary supplements. 

Well being Advantages of Postbiotics 

Postbiotics are good in your general well being and wellbeing. Nonetheless, some particular documented well being advantages, particularly the SCFA butyrate, embody:

  • Decreasing irritation – Butyrate suppresses inflammation within the colon by decreasing the inflammation-promoting cells and proteins. 
  • Repairing leaky intestine A form of butyrate called tributyrin helps the formation of tight junctions within the intestine lining to fight leaky intestine.
  • Supporting the mucus layers of the intestine – The physique wants SCFAs to provide mucus in the intestines. In addition they have an effect on the blood stream to the mucus layers of the colon, which helps digestive well being. With out sufficient SCFAs, the mucus layers can not preserve their thickness. 
  • Growing the variety of helpful micro organism within the intestine – Supplementation with SCFAs was proven to promote bacteroidetes in animal research, which helps preserve a wholesome weight.
  • Eliminating pathogens – Postbiotics have proven promise in defending youngsters towards infectious diseases by bettering the steadiness of the intestine microbiome. 
  • Bettering immune operate – Some postbiotics, like butyrate, assist to rein in an overactive immune response, whereas others assist to extend the immune response. 
  • Decreasing autoimmunity – In stopping an excessively aggressive immune response, postbiotics could enhance signs of autoimmune illness.
  • Bettering allergic reactions – Kids with meals allergic reactions are likely to have a deficiency in butyrate. Primarily based on animal analysis, postbiotics, like SCFAs, could also be a helpful treatment for food allergies
  • Defending towards most cancers – Early analysis suggests postbiotics may suppress the expansion of cancer cells, notably within the intestine. 

With out sufficient postbiotic compounds like butyrate within the physique, an individual could also be extra prone to develop immune or gut-related issues. 

Circumstances which can be related to low butyrate ranges embody the next: 

  • Inflammatory bowel illnessCrohn’s and ulcerative colitis, each autoimmune illnesses
  • Irritable bowel syndromeIBS – each constipation-dominant and diarrhea-dominant
  • Colon most cancers – preliminary research recommend postbiotics could even assist in the treatment
  • Sort 1 diabetes – diets excessive in acetate or butyrate offered a excessive diploma of safety from diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritisan autoimmune disease – rheumatoid arthritis (RA) sufferers and animal fashions of RA have decrease ranges of SCFAs in comparison with wholesome controls
  • Weight problems – as a consequence of an imbalance in the gut microbiota
  • Parkinson’s illness – the gut-brain connection
  • Allergic reactions in youngsters – skin allergies, bronchial asthma, meals allergic reactions, and seasonal/environmental allergic reactions

These circumstances are extra seemingly as a result of the SCFAs steadiness the immune system and shield towards irritation and harm to the tissues. 

So, how can we enhance low butyrate ranges? We are able to do it by means of meals and supplementation.

Postbiotic Meals

As it’s possible you’ll know from earlier weblog posts, I attempt to get as a lot nutrition from food as potential—earlier than including dietary supplements. So, earlier than you contemplate including a postbiotic complement, check out these dietary sources:

Resistant Starches 

Resistant starches are those who “resist” digestion and supply a meals supply for our intestine micro organism:

  • Leftovers! – cooked and cooled potatoes, candy potatoes, rice, oats, pasta (doesn’t need to be wheat), beans, legumes, different grains
  • Inexperienced (unripe) bananas – increased in starches and decrease in sugars
  • Flours/meals: inexperienced banana flour, potato starch, Hello-Maize starch

These will be very easy to include by making potato salad with cooled potatoes, including cooked candy potatoes to a salad, making gluten-free baked items with potato starch, and simply reheating leftovers. 


Pectin is a sort of fiber that’s naturally current in sure vegatables and fruits, together with:

  • Apples 
  • Oranges 
  • Lemons
  • Apricots
  • Carrots

Pectin has naturally gelling capabilities, which is why we use it to make jams and jellies. Most individuals tolerate it nicely, and, not like the subsequent couple of meals parts, it isn’t excessive in FODMAPs, or fibers that may worsen IBS and different signs. 


Inulin is a sort of fiber referred to as a polysaccharide. It’s in a class of non-digestible carbohydrates referred to as fructans. Watch out with inulin you probably have points with FODMAPs. Listed here are some meals containing inulin:

  • Artichokes 
  • Onions 
  • Garlic 
  • Asparagus 
  • Chicory root 

One other postbiotic-promoting meals part is fructooligosaccharides, shortened to FOS. 

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) 

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) is a sort of polysaccharide. They’re made up of fructose chains strung collectively. Once more, watch out with meals excessive in FOS you probably have points with FODMAPs:

  • Onions
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Asparagus

Meals wealthy in inulin and FOS are simple to incorporate in soups. Listed here are a number of concepts:

You’ll be able to even make your individual French Onion Soup Mix


Nut consumption will increase the manufacturing of butyrate-producing micro organism within the intestine.

Fermented Meals

Fermented meals include probiotic micro organism that secrete postbiotics.

  • Miso – A fermented soybean paste made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji (a fungus, Aspergillus oryzae). Some add different components, like seaweed, grains (rice or barley), and seeds. Cooks will use miso in soups, sauces, and seasonings. 
  • Tempeh – A fermented soybean cake that’s part of conventional Indonesian delicacies. They ferment it with the Rhizopus species of fungus, Rhizopus oligosporus or Rhizopus oryzae. It’s typically marinated in brine or spices after which fried. It tastes nice in soups, stir-frys, sandwiches, or alone with a chili paste.
  • Sauerkraut – Not only for Germans! Fermented cabbage is a conventional fermented meals from a number of international locations, together with Poland, Russia, and Hungary.
  • Kimchi – A fermented cabbage dish from Korea. It takes conventional sauerkraut to the subsequent stage with different greens like radishes, spring onions, and spices like purple pepper, garlic, and ginger. 
  • Kefir – A fermented milk made with kefir grains, together with conventional dairy kefir, coconut milk kefir, or water kefir soda.
  • Kombucha This fermented tea drink originated in China and unfold by means of Russia and Jap Europe. The unique model is manufactured from black tea and sugar and fermented with a starter referred to as a SCOBY – an acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Micro organism and Yeast.

Conventional cultures have used these postbiotic meals for hundreds of years world wide. (Study extra on this submit concerning the importance of traditional foods). Nonetheless, some individuals have points tolerating these meals. Some are on the excessive FODMAP record, and others are high-histamine meals.

Potential Aspect Results

Getting postbiotics from meals sources could trigger some unintended effects. Examples embody:

That’s the place a complement will be supportive. These dietary supplements are usually a lot simpler to tolerate than dietary fiber you probably have compromised intestine well being.

Postbiotic Dietary supplements

Postbiotic dietary supplements are an effective way to bypass the digestive processes wanted to create these essential compounds. Should you’ve been coping with compromised digestion for some time, a postbiotic complement could also be a great way to calm irritation. It might probably additionally assist steadiness your immune system.

My favourite approach so as to add postbiotics into my well being routine is to rotate on this postbiotic from Just Thrive. Not solely does it include postbiotics, but it surely additionally consists of different immune-supporting components, like zinc, selenium, and echinacea.

It’s additionally gluten-free and lactose-free, and it doesn’t have any fillers, stearates, or stream brokers like silicon dioxide. The veggie caps are simple to swallow.

This text was medically reviewed by Madiha Saeed, MD, a board licensed household doctor. As at all times, this isn’t private medical recommendation and we advocate that you just discuss together with your physician.

Have you ever tried a postbiotic complement, notably you probably have points with FODMAP meals? What was your expertise? Share with us beneath!


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