What are Postbiotics, Their Benefits & Sources

  • 18 months ago
2 minute read.
What are Postbiotics, Their Benefits & Sources

Postbiotics or metabolites is a term that is gaining popularity in 2021 more than ever. We are aware of probiotics and prebiotics but postbiotics seems like a new member of this family. Probiotics are the good category of microorganisms that affect your gut health positively whereas prebiotics are fibers that probiotics feed on. Scientists have known this term for years but there is no exact official definition for it. Let’s explore and try to understand what it is.

What Are Postbiotics?

Postbiotics are bioactive compounds made when probiotics (the friendly bacteria) consume the prebiotic food in your gut. Though they are considered as a by-product of the metabolic process, there is a range of benefits they offer as a result of prebiotics and probiotics.

Health Benefits of Postbiotics

  1. Help boost your immune system- Postbiotics has short-chain fatty acid components like butyrate that help in the production of immune cells (T-cells) that help prevent your body from infections. Antimicrobial properties favor the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut that coordinate with these infection-fighting cells to make the system stronger.
  2. Keep digestive issues at bay- Inflammation has a tendency to slow down the organs and can have the worst impact on the body if not taken care of. Postbiotics can reduce inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and infections like salmonella.
  3. Help prevent and treat diarrhea- Many people have already accepted that probiotic foods and supplements are beneficial in treating diarrhea. Studies suggest that postbiotics have proved to be effective in children to treat common infectious diseases including diarrhea.
  4. Reduce certain allergies- According to research, postbiotics are being used as a new strategy to treat food allergies because of their unique properties like- Resistance to mammalian enzymes, good shelf life, etc.
  5. May reduce obesity and keep sugar level in control- Not having an adequate balance of gut microbes is related to obesity and fluctuating insulin levels. Muramyl dipeptide, an element of postbiotics, increases insulin sensitivity and balances glucose formation. From ongoing research, it seems that postbiotics help fight Pre-Diabetes and Type II Diabetes but firm conclusions are yet to be confirmed.

You may also like: Probiotics During Pregnancy

Sources of Postbiotics

Foods that are rich in prebiotics (fibers) are directly linked to an increase in postbiotics. Here are some plant-based and other healthy products that can be consumed-

  • Yogurt
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Chicory
  • Garlic
  • Banana
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso soup
  • Onion
  • Soft Cheeses
  • Honey
  • Sugar beet
  • Tomato
  • Sourdough bread
  • Buttermilk
  • Barley
  • Tempeh

Postbiotics can be used in other forms like supplement capsules or direct application for therapeutic purposes.

You might find postbiotic supplements online because they are rarely available in the market. It is also possible that they may be listed under an alternative name. However, you can naturally increase the postbiotics by consuming more prebiotic and probiotic foods. You can also order pre and probiotics health products online on The Wellness Corner (Head to Online medicine section on the app to place order).

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