What Are Postbiotics (& Why We Want Them)


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

Whereas maintaining a healthy diet and specializing in entire meals is crucial, dietary supplements can even enable you 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? Effectively, to not fear as we’ll 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 number of metabolites, together with:

  • Quick-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 identified for his or her health-promoting results, notably for the digestive and immune programs.

They could be a shortcut for optimizing your digestive well being. In case your physician agrees, you may deliberately embody meals that promote postbiotics in your eating regimen 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 are 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 frequent SCFAs embody butyrate, acetate, propionate, pentanoic, and hexanoic acid. Butyrate is crucial of the SCFAs. Analysis has proven this postbiotics can enhance many elements 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 may soak up dietary supplements (just like the lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species). When taken as dietary supplements, these dwelling microorganisms produce helpful results within the host (you).

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

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

For that motive, it could 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 total well being and wellbeing. Nonetheless, some particular documented well being advantages, particularly the SCFA butyrate, embody:

  • Reducing irritation – Butyrate suppresses irritation within the colon by lowering the inflammation-promoting cells and proteins. 
  • Repairing leaky intestine A type of butyrate known as 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 supply mucus within the intestines. In addition they have an effect on the blood movement to the mucus layers of the colon, which helps digestive well being. With out sufficient SCFAs, the mucus layers can not keep 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 keep a wholesome weight.
  • Eliminating pathogens – Postbiotics have proven promise in defending kids in opposition to infectious ailments by bettering the stability 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. 
  • Reducing autoimmunity – In stopping an excessively aggressive immune response, postbiotics could enhance signs of autoimmune illness.
  • Bettering allergic reactions – Kids with meals allergic reactions are inclined to have a deficiency in butyrate. Primarily based on animal analysis, postbiotics, like SCFAs, could also be a useful therapy for meals allergic reactions
  • Defending in opposition to most cancers – Early analysis suggests postbiotics may suppress the expansion of most cancers cells, notably within the intestine. 

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

Circumstances which are related to low butyrate ranges embody the next: 

  • Inflammatory bowel illnessCrohn’s and ulcerative colitis, each autoimmune ailments
  • Irritable bowel syndromeIBS – each constipation-dominant and diarrhea-dominant
  • Colon most cancers – preliminary research counsel postbiotics could even assist in the therapy
  • Kind 1 diabetes – diets excessive in acetate or butyrate supplied a excessive diploma of safety from diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritisan autoimmune illness – rheumatoid arthritis (RA) sufferers and animal fashions of RA have decrease ranges of SCFAs in comparison with wholesome controls
  • Weight problems – because of an imbalance within the intestine microbiota
  • Parkinson’s illness – the gut-brain connection
  • Allergy symptoms in kids – pores and skin allergic reactions, bronchial asthma, meals allergic reactions, and seasonal/environmental allergic reactions

These situations are extra seemingly as a result of the SCFAs stability the immune system and shield in opposition to irritation and harm to the tissues. 

So, how can we enhance low butyrate ranges? We will do it by meals and supplementation.

Postbiotic Meals

As chances are you’ll know from earlier weblog posts, I attempt to get as a lot diet from meals as doable—earlier than including dietary supplements. So, earlier than you contemplate including a postbiotic complement, check out these dietary sources:

Resistant Starches 

Resistant starches are people 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 should be wheat), beans, legumes, different grains
  • Inexperienced (unripe) bananas – larger in starches and decrease in sugars
  • Flours/meals: inexperienced banana flour, potato starch, Hello-Maize starch

These may 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 kind of fiber that’s naturally current in sure fruit and veggies, 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 effectively, and, not like the following couple of meals parts, it isn’t excessive in FODMAPs, or fibers that may worsen IBS and different signs. 


Inulin is a kind of fiber known as a polysaccharide. It’s in a class of non-digestible carbohydrates known 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 element is fructooligosaccharides, shortened to FOS. 

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) 

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) is a kind 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 straightforward to incorporate in soups. Listed here are just a few concepts:

You may even make your individual French Onion Soup Combine


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

Fermented Meals

Fermented meals comprise 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 standard fermented meals from a number of nations, together with Poland, Russia, and Hungary.
  • Kimchi – A fermented cabbage dish from Korea. It takes conventional sauerkraut to the following degree with different greens like radishes, spring onions, and spices like crimson 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 Russia and Japanese Europe. The unique model is made from black tea and sugar and fermented with a starter known as a SCOBY – an acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Micro organism and Yeast.

Conventional cultures have used these postbiotic meals for hundreds of years around the globe. (Study extra on this submit concerning the significance of conventional meals). Nonetheless, some individuals have points tolerating these meals. Some are on the excessive FODMAP checklist, and others are high-histamine meals.

Potential Facet Results

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

That’s the place a complement may 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 a good way to bypass the digestive processes wanted to create these necessary compounds. In case you’ve been coping with compromised digestion for some time, a postbiotic complement could also be a great way to calm irritation. It could possibly additionally assist stability your immune system.

My favourite means so as to add postbiotics into my well being routine is to rotate on this postbiotic from Simply Thrive. Not solely does it comprise postbiotics, however it 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 movement brokers like silicon dioxide. The veggie caps are straightforward 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 simply discuss along 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!


Wegh, C., et al. (2019). Postbiotics and Their Potential Purposes in Early Life Vitamin and Past. Worldwide journal of molecular sciences, 20(19), 4673. 

?ó?kiewicz, J., et al. (2020). Postbiotics-A Step Past Pre- and Probiotics. Vitamins, 12(8), 2189. 

Zimmerman, M. A., et al. (2012). Butyrate suppresses colonic irritation by HDAC1-dependent Fas upregulation and Fas-mediated apoptosis of T cells. American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology, 302(12), G1405–G1415. 

Hou, Y., et al. (2014). Dietary supplementation with tributyrin alleviates intestinal harm in piglets challenged with intrarectal administration of acetic acid. The British journal of diet, 111(10), 1748–1758. 

Ohira, H., Tsutsui, W., & Fujioka, Y. (2017). Are Quick Chain Fatty Acids in Intestine Microbiota Defensive Gamers for Irritation and Atherosclerosis?. Journal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis, 24(7), 660–672. 

Pothuraju, R., et al. (2021). Mucins, intestine microbiota, and postbiotics position in colorectal most cancers. Intestine microbes, 13(1), 1974795. 

Chakraborti C. Okay. (2015). New-found hyperlink between microbiota and weight problems. World journal of gastrointestinal pathophysiology, 6(4), 110–119. 

Mantziari, A., et al. (2020). Postbiotics in opposition to Pathogens Generally Concerned in Pediatric Infectious Illnesses. Microorganisms, 8(10), 1510. 

Berni Canani, R., et al. (2019). Intestine Microbiome as Goal for Modern Methods In opposition to Meals Allergy. Frontiers in immunology, 10, 191.

Rad, A. H., et al. (2021). Molecular mechanisms of postbiotics in colorectal most cancers prevention and therapy. Crucial critiques in meals science and diet, 61(11), 1787–1803.

Vich Vila, A., et al. (2018). Intestine microbiota composition and useful adjustments in inflammatory bowel illness and irritable bowel syndrome. Science translational medication, 10(472), eaap8914. 

Mariño, E., et al. (2017). Intestine microbial metabolites restrict the frequency of autoimmune T cells and shield in opposition to sort 1 diabetes. Nature immunology, 18(5), 552–562.

Rosser, E. C., et al. (2020). Microbiota-Derived Metabolites Suppress Arthritis by Amplifying Aryl-Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation in Regulatory B Cells. Cell metabolism, 31(4), 837–851.e10. 

Coppola, S., et al. (2021). The Protecting Position of Butyrate in opposition to Weight problems and Weight problems-Associated Illnesses. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(3), 682.

Keshavarzian, A., et al. (2015). Colonic bacterial composition in Parkinson’s illness. Motion problems : official journal of the Motion Dysfunction Society, 30(10), 1351–1360. 

Roduit, C., Frei, et al. (2019). Excessive ranges of butyrate and propionate in youth are related to safety in opposition to atopy. Allergy, 74(4), 799–809. 

Chen, Y., et al. (2018). Butyrate from pectin fermentation inhibits intestinal ldl cholesterol absorption and attenuates atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. The Journal of dietary biochemistry, 56, 175–182.

Shoaib, M., et al. (2016). Inulin: Properties, well being advantages and meals functions. Carbohydrate polymers, 147, 444–454.

Sabater-Molina, M., et al. (2009). Dietary fructooligosaccharides and potential advantages on well being. Journal of physiology and biochemistry, 65(3), 315–328. 

Creedon, A. C., et al. (2020). Nuts and their Impact on Intestine Microbiota, Intestine Operate and Signs in Adults: A Systematic Overview and Meta-Evaluation of Randomised Managed Trials. Vitamins, 12(8), 2347. 

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