Dietary fibers contain a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that is unlike anything else we eat. For that reason, the scientific community has studied them extensively over the past few decades. The resulting list of benefits is incredibly long but research continues to uncover even more with each new year.
Certain fibers, like Fructo-Oligosaccharides (FOS) and Galacto-Oligosaccharides (GOS), are what probiotics use as a fuel source to strengthen your immune system and promote healthy digestion.
Fibers like FOS and GOS feed the type of friendly probiotic bacteria that fight off infections, which is how they got the name ‘prebiotics’.
More recently, evidence has shown that the golden fiber from the Gum Acacia tree, also known as Gum Arabic, surpasses even FOS and GOS as a prebiotic.
These fiber sources are special because while probiotics can use them for fuel, bad bacteria can’t. Because this allows your probiotic colonies to grow and flourish, bad bacteria have to fight off more good bacteria for the same food.
Because the rapid growth of probiotics can happen so quickly, the benefits of a good prebiotic can be seen as quickly as within 24 hours – usually as a reduction in bloating and gas, increased energy levels, and more regular/less painful trips to the bathroom.
They can be extremely effective as standalone supplements because they help your body’s own probiotic colonies grow and flourish. Even without the help of a probiotic supplement, the right prebiotic can provide the following benefits:
Potential Health Benefits of Prebiotics:
Alongside the right probiotic supplement the speed and potency of both supplements increases exponentially.
Prebiotics lay the foundations for a healthy gastrointestinal tract and allow your body’s natural digestive system to work at peak efficiency. Getting the right amount of prebiotics and probiotics also helps to strengthen the immune system and improve health in general.
Key Factors that influence Prebiotic potency:
- Diversity of Fibers
- Getting just enough FOS or GOS is not acceptable—you need both as well as gum arabic if possible
- Organic vs. Non-Organic
- The closer it is to what’s found in nature, the more easily your body can recognize and make use of the prebiotic fibers – organic is best.
- If your prebiotic contains a long list of other ingredients, you may end up doing more harm than good. Additives, fillers, or dyes are notorious for killing probiotics.
- Method of Manufacture
- All products must be manufactured in cGMP-certified facilities and quality tested after production to meet our standards.
BlueBiology is known internationally for their probiotics and other digestive health supplements. Their prebiotic product checks all of our boxes and is one of the few prebiotics with organic sources of FOS and GOS that also includes Gum Arabic. Many of you out there will be happy to hear that this prebiotic contains an anti-bloating enzyme (alpha-galactosidase) that will eliminate the bloating and gas that many prebiotic/fiber supplements can cause.
Actual users have reported a wide variety of benefits from increased energy levels to improved digestion and cognitive function. Many of our staff have started using this prebiotic, as well as myself and my family.
This supplement contains slightly less prebiotics than our number one pick, but it’s certainly worth considering.
This product contains 3.35 grams of chicory root and 2.5 grams of fructooligosaccharides. There are other supplements with a broader range of prebiotic types, but what’s in this supplement is plenty adequate for most people, especially considering it’s packed into small gummies.
This product contains an organic prebiotic fiber blend consisting of organic acacia fiber, organic Jerusalem artichoke fiber, and organic green banana flour.
This product does not contain gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, nuts, eggs, or shellfish, which is good. However, unfortunately, according to Hyperbiotics, it is “packaged in a GMP facility that may handle these ingredients”. If you have food allergies, you probably know all too well that just because a product doesn’t directly contain a food you’re allergic too isn’t a guarantee.
Otherwise, this supplement contains a nice array of prebiotics.
It contains a potent 16 gram prebiotic blend consisting of inulin, blueberry extract, and beta-glucan.
This brand claims that their product helps maintain hunger control, regularity, and healthy mealtime blood sugar.
It’s great that this supplement is vegan-friendly, but unfortunately, it does contains soy products.
InnovixLabs Broad Spectrum Prebiotic is a prebiotic product that’s not as potent as it gets, but it does have a very wide range of prebiotic types. Getting a wide range of prebiotics either through your diet or in a supplement such as this is ideal because the different types of probiotics each have their preferred prebiotics that they like to feed on.
The prebiotics in this supplement include tapioca isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMO), resistant potato starch, tapioca resistant starch, acacia seyal gum, citrus pectin, larch (larix laricina) arabinogalactan (AG), cane sugar short chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS), chicory root inulin, green banana (musa paradisiana) powder, corn xylo-oligosaccharide (XOS), guar seed galactomannan, mushroom chitin-glucan, konjac a (amorphophallus konjac) yam (glucomannan).
It’s not the cheapest option on the market, but it does provide the most value for the money. It contains all the relevant types of prebiotics plus enzymes that offset the gas and bloating that commonly occurs with prebiotic supplements.
- Lewis S Burmeister S Brazier J Effect of the prebiotic oligofructose on relapse of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea: a randomized, controlled study. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005;3:442–8.