Everything You Need to Know About Probiotics, Prebiotics and Synbiotics
The ABCs of good bacteria.
Photo credit: Stripes
Both inside and out, our bodies harbor a huge array of micro-organisms that, together, create a micro-ecosystem called the microbiome. Different parts of the body–the skin, vagina, gut–all have very different, distinct communities of microbes and microbiomes, and also differ from person to person. The microbiome plays an oversized role in our health–aiding digestion, regulating our immune system, protecting against other bad bacteria that cause disease, producing vitamins including B vitamins B12, thiamine and riboflavin, and Vitamin K–and can even affect our mood and behavior. Having a healthy, balanced microbiome is therefore vital to our overall health and wellbeing.
We’ve all heard the expression “you are what you eat”, but it would be more accurate to say, you are what you feed the trillions of organisms that live in your gut. Not surprisingly then, what you feed your microbiome has a big impact on its and your health and the key to a healthy microbiome is nourishing a balance.
There are two ways to maintain a balanced microbiome. Firstly, by helping the microbes already there to grow by giving them the foods they like (prebiotic) and secondly, by adding living microbes directly to your system (probiotic). Synbiotics, meanwhile, are a combination of prebiotics and probiotics.
Prebiotics are specialized plant fibers that stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and are found in many fruits and vegetables, especially those that contain complex carbohydrates. Because these complex carbohydrates aren't digestible, they pass through the digestive system to become food for other microbes. Prebiotic supplements contain indigestible complex carbohydrates to enhance the growth of bacteria.
Probiotics are live microorganisms, aka "friendly bacteria", that are similar to organisms that occur naturally in the digestive tract. Like prebiotics, you can take probiotics through food, supplements, and more recently. skincare. Probiotic foods include bacteria-fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, kimchi, and yogurt. Probiotic supplements also contain live organisms, a particular strain of microbe or a blend of microbes.
Diet, antibiotics, age, and even anxiety can all lead to changes in our microbiota, and recent research also reveals significant changes are also caused by menopause as estrogen levels fluctuate.
At Onda, we know that wellness begins within, so here are our four favorite good bacteria boosters to keep your microbiome in perfect balance:
This complete synbiotic MenoGlow Probiotic Blend from MenoLabs contains a blend of research-backed probiotic strains specifically created for the health and radiance of your skin and a prebiotic blend formulated to stabilize and support the potential efficacy of the nutrient supplements and probiotics in the formulation.
Stripes The Support System
Hot off the shelf from Onda co-founder Naomi Watts, Stripes The Support System is super-specialized care for your “down there.” Appropriate for any stage of menopause, this once-a-day supplement is designed to support and promote a healthy vaginal microbiome.
Menolabs Happy Fiber
MenoLabs Happy Fibre is an all-natural triple fiber supplement for women designed to keep the gut healthy. It contains jerusalem artichoke, a prebiotic that helps slow down digestion and extract more nutrients from food, and fructooligosaccharides, a type of prebiotic carbohydrate that acts as a food source for your gut bacteria and can help stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria.