Postbiotics are functional bioactive compounds that are generated by fermentation in the gut. When you eat prebiotic fibers, they are resistant to digestion which means they make it to the colon without being digested. At this point, it’s the job of the bacteria in the colon to digest them via fermentation. This process creates helpful compounds like short-chain fatty acids and butyrate that benefit us both locally (healing and nourishing the gut lining) but also systemically (energy metabolism, lowering inflammation, improving gut-brain interaction, etc.). Postbiotics create long-term effects and really depend on the quality of the diet, allowing for ample amounts of prebiotic fibers and plant compounds.
You may have also heard of synbiotics, which are products specifically designed to incorporate both pre- and probiotics. Some examples include Athletic Greens or
“The probiotic strains used in synbiotic formulations include Lacbobacilli, Bifidobacteria spp, S. boulardii, B. coagulans etc., while the major prebiotics used comprise of oligosaccharides like fructooligosaccharide (FOS), GOS and xyloseoligosaccharide (XOS), inulin, prebiotics from natural sources like chicory and yacon roots, etc. (source)”
It is currently difficult to determine whether or not a synbiotic product is beneficial for specific conditions due to the large variability in pre- and probiotic formulations, strains, dosages, and the inappropriate usage of the term “probiotic” on many products. For now, we recommend working with a practitioner to determine which of the pre- and probiotic foods and/or products are the right fit for your specific condition or scenario.