Prebiotics Overview

Prebiotics are a type of food additive that helps the good bacteria in your gut grow and thrive. The human gut contains about 100 trillion microbes, which is 10 times more than the number of cells in the human body. These microbes have a significant effect on our health and well-being.

They help us to digest food and extract nutrients from it, they protect us from harmful bacteria, they produce vitamins and hormones that we need to survive, they influence our moods, they affect how we sleep or how much energy we have and they even play a role in obesity. One way to maintain a healthy gut is by consuming prebiotics.

Prebiotics naturally found in:

Prebiotics are a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by the human body. They are found in many types of plants and fermented foods.

There are two types of prebiotics: soluble and insoluble. Soluble prebiotics are found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Insoluble prebiotics can be found in whole grains and legumes.

Some examples of foods with soluble prebiotics include: bananas, garlic, asparagus, honey, onions, leeks, olives, soybeans and wheat germ. Foods with insoluble prebiotics include whole grains such as oats or brown rice and legumes such as lentils or black beans.

Types of Prebiotics

Prebiotics are dietary fibers that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. There are two types of prebiotics: Soluble and Insoluble.

Soluble prebiotics dissolve in water and remain stable when exposed to stomach acid, while insoluble prebiotics do not dissolve in water and need to be broken down by gut microbes before they can be used by the body.

Examples of soluble prebiotics include:

  • Fructo oligosaccharides (FOS)
  • Inulin
  • Lactulose

Examples of insoluble prebiotic include:

  • Gum Arabic

Health Benefits

Prebiotics are dietary fibers that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Some research suggests that prebiotics may also have other health benefits, such as improving blood sugar control and lowering cholesterol levels.

1. Prebiotics and Gastrointestinal Disorders

Prebiotics are dietary supplements that promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

The gastrointestinal tract is a part of the body that is composed of both physical and chemical components. The primary function of this system is to digest food and absorb nutrients.

The epithelial cells that line the gastrointestinal tract produce mucus, which helps protect it from harmful substances like bacteria, viruses, and toxins.

2. Skin

Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber that is not digested by the body. It is a type of food that can be found in certain types of dairy products, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and cereals.

There are many benefits to prebiotics, but one of the most notable benefits is their ability to improve skin health. Prebiotics break down the sugars in the gut into short-chain fatty acids which can then be absorbed by the body. These short-chain fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation and improve skin health.

3. Immune system

The human gut is a complex ecosystem, with trillions of microorganisms that influence many aspects of our health. A healthy gut microbiome can help to maintain immune system balance, prevent inflammation and promote intestinal health.

The prebiotic fiber inulin is one way to support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Inulin has been shown to increase the production of short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, which are important for maintaining a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria.

4. Nervous system

The human body is made up of trillions of cells, each with a specific function. The nervous system coordinates all of the functions within the body and communicates with the brain to regulate these activities.

There are two types of nerves in the human body: myelinated and unmyelinated. Myelinated nerves are made up of a protective sheath that helps them conduct signals faster and more efficiently. Unmyelinated nerves are not covered by this protective sheath and therefore conduct signals slower than myelinated nerves do.

5. Cardiovascular system

The cardiovascular system is the system of vessels that transports blood to and from the heart. The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries. It is a closed system with no exchange of air or other gases through it. The cardiovascular system includes all parts of this circuit, including the heart and blood vessels (arteries and veins), as well as the lungs.

The function of the cardiovascular system is to transport oxygenated blood throughout our body so that cells can get oxygen from it to produce energy in a process called cellular respiration.

6. Calcium Absorption

Prebiotics are a type of indigestible carbohydrate that is found in many plants. They act as food for the good bacteria in our gut and promote healthy digestion.

Calcium absorption is the process by which calcium is taken up into the body from food, supplements and other sources. The human body needs calcium to maintain healthy bones and teeth, blood clotting, muscle function and nerve impulses.

Side effects of prebiotics

Diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, and other digestive issues are common side effects of prebiotics. These side effects are often temporary and will go away after the body adjusts to the new diet.

Prebiotics can be dangerous for people with certain health conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Some people might have a risk of developing an allergy to prebiotics.


Prebiotics are food substances that encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon. Prebiotics foods are not digested by the body and do not provide any calories. They can be found in a variety of foods, such as:

  • onions
  • garlic
  • leeks
  • artichokes, and
  • bananas.

The most common prebiotic is inulin which is found in many vegetables like chicory root and dandelion greens.


Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber that can stimulate the growth and activity of gut bacteria. They are non-digestible food ingredients, which means they can pass through the stomach unchanged and reach the large intestine. They are either naturally occurring or synthesized.

The main prebiotic fibers include inulin, oligofructose, and resistant starch (RS). Inulin is a natural plant fiber that is found in many plants such as chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, leeks, asparagus and wheat. Oligofructose is a sugar molecule made up of short chains of fructose molecules linked together. RS is starch that resists digestion in the small intestine and enters the large intestine intact where it becomes available for fermentation by gut bacteria.