What Are Postbiotics?
From virtual fitness and mindful eating to breathwork and sleep hygiene, the world has seen a number of buzzy wellness trends over the years. Arguably the most popular of them all, however, is none other than gut health.
We know, we know — the digestive system isn’t exactly a sexy topic, but according to recent research, a healthy and happy gut just might be the key to good health and overall well-being.
With that in mind, you’ve likely heard a thing or two about prebiotics and probiotics. You may have even heard of synbiotics — a powerful combo of the two. But the newest players in the digestive health game are postbiotics. In fact, these “biotics” are so new that the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics (or ISAPP for short) just came to an agreement on their definition in 2021.
So, what are postbiotics? This guide will provide you with everything you need to know.
Why Is Gut Health Important?
Believe it or not, the health of your gut is the underlying foundation of the health of your entire body — hence why it’s often referred to as the body’s “second brain.” In other words, when you take care of your gut, your gut will take care of you.
That said, the “gut” refers to your gastrointestinal (GI) tract (AKA digestive tract) and contains trillions of itty-bitty microbes — namely bacteria, fungi, yeast, and archaea. Collectively known as the gut microbiome, these essential microorganisms help digest the food you eat so that your body can absorb it.
When the gut is healthy, it’s chock full of “good” bacteria that work together to keep harmful pathogens and illness at bay. When your gut health is lacking, however, the “bad” bacteria can wreak havoc on your digestive system, which could then manifest into a number of uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- Abdominal cramps
- Excessive gas
Things like stress, antibiotics, and highly processed foods are a few of the primary culprits that can contribute to poor gut health.
Fortunately, a good postbiotics supplement may help keep the bacterial peace by slowing down the growth of bad bacteria to prevent these less-than-favorable symptoms.
What Exactly Are Postbiotics?
According to ISAPP, the technical definition of postbiotics is a preparation of inanimate microbes and/or their components that confers a health benefit. If you’re a little confused, don’t worry — we’ll break it down.
You see, unlike probiotics, which are the actual gut microbes, postbiotics are not live microorganisms. Instead, these are the byproducts of probiotic bacteria and are most commonly produced by fermentation — which means fermented foods tend to be rich in probiotics.
Some examples of postbiotics include:
- Organic acids
- Carbonic substances
- Short-chain fatty acids
While you can take a postbiotic supplement, you can find these healthy microbes in a number of foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, kimchi, kefir, and tempeh.
What Are the Benefits of Postbiotics?
Although these tiny bioactive compounds are waste products of the good bacteria that live in your gut, they offer a ton of incredible health benefits to the body — here are some of them:
Benefit #1: Blood Sugar Control
Did you know that a lack of healthy gut bacteria can contribute to insulin resistance? While more research is needed, some experts believe that a postbiotic bacterial component known as muramyl dipeptide is able to relieve glucose issues by increasing insulin sensitivity.
This suggests that a postbiotic supplement won’t only help keep blood sugar levels in check but also help to support healthy body composition.
Benefit #2: Probiotic Support
Since all three of the “biotics” are related, it’s not surprising that they support one another.
Prebiotics precede probiotics, which precede postbiotics. Postbiotics, in turn, promote the use of prebiotics.
Think of prebiotics as food for beneficial bacteria — probiotics are the beneficial microbes themselves, and postbiotics are the result of these microbes eating that “food” — aka prebiotics.
In other words, there’s not one “biotic” that’s better than the other, as they are all beneficial and needed to support a healthy gut. With this in mind, we recommend our Probiotics Kits — a powerful gut-lovin’ trio that contains pre-, pro-, and postbiotics to support digestion and boost immunity.*
Benefit #3: Antimicrobial Properties
Both probiotics and postbiotics work to boost the population of healthy bacteria in the gut, which as a result, less the production of more harmful, infectious types. This creates an antimicrobial effect that can help to keep you healthy — even through flu season!
Benefit #4: Immunity Booster
Taking a high-quality postbiotic supplement is extra assurance that your body will get the metabolites it needs to support immune and digestive health. Seventy percent of the immune system is located in the gut, so it makes sense how a bacterial imbalance can leave you feeling less than wonderful.
To maintain a healthy, happy, and balanced gut flora, we recommend Gut Feelings Probiotics. This pre-, pro-, and postbiotic formula works to improve the gut lining, resulting in immunity support. Balance and optimize a calm digestive system with one capsule a day.*
So, what are postbiotics, you ask?
Simply put, postbiotics are the bioactive compounds that are left behind when the probiotic bacteria (intestinal microbes) consume prebiotics (fiber). In other words, they are the result of probiotic activity in the gut — like fermentation.
Research on postbiotics is still pretty new, but many experts point to postbiotic supplements being beneficial — especially when taken with prebiotics and probiotics.
Not sure where to find a good quality supplement that contains all three “biotics?” Check out Gut Feelings Probiotics — your immune system’s first line of defense.*
At Love Wellness, we believe in self-care that’s body-positive and guided by doctors. Whether you’re on the hunt for an amazing probiotic supplement or simply need some feminine hygiene advice, you can always count on us to have your back.
Natural solutions for natural problems — check us out today to see how we can help you to feel good in the skin you’re in.
If you want to boost immunity, look to the gut | UCLA Health Connect
The International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) consensus statement on the definition and scope of postbiotics | Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Digestive System: Function, Organs & Anatomy | Cleveland Clinic
Effect of Probiotics on Glycemic Control: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials | PMC
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