Prebiotic vs probiotic

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prebiotic is a non-digestible chemical or ingredient which acts as food for good bacteria and flora in the intestinal tract. It is generally used in its plural prebiotics, since it is rare that only one is added to a food. They naturally occur in foods such as garlic, honey, onions, and bananas.

probiotic is the bacteria itself which lives in the intestinal tract. They naturally occur in foods such as yogurt. They are also normally discussed in the plural probiotics.

Both words are not hyphenated and can be used as adjectives in their singular forms.


Inulin, a prebiotic, and other inulin-type fructans can be found in many root vegetables including onion, jicama root, dandelion root, chicory root, burdock root, leeks and asparagus. [Deming Headlight]

To be clear, food gums are not considered harmful or unhealthy, and consuming fermentable carbohydrates such as those represented by gums may be a good thing, healthwise, for their prebiotic effects. [MSN]

A wide range of prebiotics are also available, such as mannan oligo-saccharides and fructooligo-saccharides, which enhance the natural intestinal flora, promoting the growth of probiotic species, such as lactic acid bacteria, so reducing colonisation by enteric pathogens. [Farmers Weekly]

If the new discovery proves effective in humans, a huge number of lives could be saved by people protecting themselves with a regular drink, much in the way that people take a probiotic drink each day to boost good bacteria in the gut. [Express]

Probiotics may be the next big thing in skin care treatments, making their way from your digestive system into topical products and onto beauty-aisle shelves near you, thanks to dermatological researchers. [ABC News]