If you are into health and wellness, you’ve probably heard the terms probiotics and prebiotics used almost interchangeably. Both of them promote the growth of good bacteria in your body, however, these two key natural supplements are actually quite different. In addition to being used internally for digestive health, you can also use them topically for skin health. Here’s everything you need to know about probiotics and prebiotics, and how you can use them to live healthier.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are produced by the body naturally in the gut, and they help the digestive system break down food. Probiotic supplements are designed to be very similar to the bacteria that your body produces naturally, and taking them can help your digestive system work more efficiently. People are often encouraged to take probiotics after taking a course of antibiotics, but they can be very healthy to take regularly to keep your system balanced. Topical probiotics introduce good bacteria to your skin, which helps it stay fresh and calm.
What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are a supplement that promotes the growth of good bacteria in your body, but they don’t actually contain bacteria themselves. In fact, they act as food for this type of bacteria, so that they can grow and keep your body healthy, whether you’re taking them topically or internally. Prebiotics are made from dietary fiber, and there are actually some foods that contain them naturally, such as bananas and asparagus.
Do I need both probiotics and prebiotics?
In short, you can take probiotics without prebiotics, but prebiotics on their own won’t do much good unless you are taking probiotics. When you take both probiotics and prebiotics together, it creates an ideal balance that will keep your body healthy. This is particularly effective when using probiotics topically because the prebiotics create conditions that allow your skin to thrive. They are also very effective, when taken orally, for treating diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and other conditions that cause irritation in the digestive system. They are also thought to be beneficial for your immune system and could even prevent the common cold, although research is still being done on this. If you want to take both prebiotics and probiotics internally, it’s important to check with your doctor beforehand. They can recommend the appropriate dosage based on your personal health needs.
Where can I find these supplements?
Both probiotics and prebiotics are becoming much more commonly available, and you can find them in local health food stores, natural grocery stores, and pharmacies. You can also find a huge selection of probiotics and prebiotics online. You can now find skincare products from brands like LaFlore® that contain prebiotics, probiotics, and even postbiotics! (More on this later).