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What is a postbiotic?Updated 4 months ago

According to the International Scientific Association for Prebiotics and Probiotics (ISAPP), a postbiotic is defined as “a preparation of inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confers a health benefit on the host”. If you’re scratching your head, thinking, “Say what?!?" we don’t blame you. That’s about as murky as mud, so let’s see if we can’t paint a clearer picture with a more understandable metaphor.

There are really three pieces to the gut health puzzle: probiotics, prebiotics, and postbiotics. Most people are familiar with probiotics, which are mainly friendly gut bacteria that can help support a healthy balance among the gut microbiota.

Many people have also heard of prebiotics, which are indigestible substrates (such as fibers and phytonutrients) that serve as an energy source (i.e., fuel) for gut bacteria. What fewer people are familiar with are postbiotics, which are the final (and often, missing) piece of the gut health puzzle.

Postbiotics, to put it simply, are the metabolic by-products that are created when probiotics feed on prebiotics. In other words, postbiotics are what probiotics make when they eat prebiotics.

The important point is this: postbiotics are one of the -- if not THE -- primary means by which probiotics help our bodies stay healthy. In other words, postbiotics are the “endgame” of prebiotics and probiotics, and quite frequently, they represent the “missing piece” of the gut health puzzle for many people.

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