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What Are Postbiotics and Prebiotics, and How Do They Help Improve Your Health?

What Have You Done for Your Gut Health Lately?
Prebiotics and Postbiotics for Gut Health

It's important to consult your doctors with any medical concerns, and before making any changes or adding supplements to your health plan.

If you regularly consume yogurt or fermented drinks, you might be familiar with the term probiotics. Fermented foods and drinks naturally contain probiotics. These, according to Cleveland Clinic, are live bacteria and types of yeast that are good for your health, specifically that of your digestive system, or gut. You have both good and bad bacteria in your body that exist with other organisms in a "community" known as the human microbiome. When you get, an infection, for example, more bad bacteria could enter your body, knocking your system off balance. Consuming probiotic-rich food and drinks could help rebalance and strengthen the body's microbiome, especially that of the gut. However, there is more to keeping your gut healthy than simply consuming foods that contain probiotics.

Prebiotics and postbiotics are perhaps two terms connected to gut health that are less commonly heard than probiotics. Find out what they are, how they could help improve your health and what fermented dietary supplement drink is likely to contain all three.

Prebiotics and Postbiotics: What's the Difference?

Prebiotics and Postbiotics for Gut Health

Prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics relate to the flora of the digestive system. One way to make sense of these three terms is to understand them in order, pre-, pro- and post-.

According to Healthline, prebiotics are foods for the beneficial bacteria in our guts. This definition implies that when ingested by us, prebiotics help good bacteria—also known as probiotics—grow in the gut and improve overall gut health.

Postbiotics, on the other hand, exist inside the gut microbiome because of probiotics. A study of postbiotics published in 2019 by the International Journal of Molecular Sciences defines them as "bioactive compounds produced by food-grade microorganisms during a fermentation process."

While prebiotics function as food for the probiotics or good bacteria inside the gut, postbiotics are the bioactive compounds produced by the probiotics.

The Importance of Prebiotics and Postbiotics for Good Gut Health

Prebiotics and Postbiotics for Gut Health

Like all live microorganisms, the good bacteria that reside in your gut also need food to stay healthy. Cleveland Clinic states that prebiotics play an important role in keeping the gut's probiotics strong. The stronger the body's probiotics are, the more likely good bacteria can fight infections and strengthen your immune system in the process.

As postbiotics are the "end product" of probiotics, they could be considered the gut's ultimate barrier against inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A study published in 2020 in Nutrients suggests that prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics are the three pillars that keep a gut microbiome healthy, in addition to exercise and a healthy diet. Supplements that contain these three types of biotics could be worth the investment for long-term gut health.

A Drink That Contains Prebiotics, Postbiotics and More

Prebiotics and Postbiotics for Gut Health

While fermented drinks like kombucha and typical snacks like yogurt contain probiotics, there is one traditional Japanese enzyme drink that contains all three biotics—koso.

Koso, a "century-old traditional Japanese fermented drink," is said to contain prebiotics, probiotics and acetic acid—a type of postbiotic compound. R's Koso, one of the few available natural koso drinks available in the U.S., also contains antioxidants in the form of phenolics.

R's Koso is said to be made from over 100 vegetables, fruits, seaweeds and mushrooms. Some of the vitamins in this fermented drink include A, B and C. Minerals are similarly abundant in R's Koso, including calcium, iron and potassium. One key difference between taking multivitamins and drinking koso, however, is that R's' Koso goes through a year-long fermentation process.

According to the company, lactic acid bacteria, yeast and other healthy microorganisms are added to the well-balanced natural ingredients before aging them for an entire year inside a cryogenic tank.

All ingredients used to make R's Koso are said to come from Japan. To ensure their quality and freshness, the brand's website explained, the fermentation and manufacturing process likewise takes place in Japan, making a koso drink that is truly of high Japanese quality and origin.

A Taste of R's Koso

Prebiotics and Postbiotics for Gut Health

R's Koso is now available in the U.S. in trial packs of five bottles at one fluid ounce (30 milliliters) each. Each bottle can be mixed with a quarter cup of sparkling water and, R's Koso recommends, can be consumed up to twice a day before meals. A bigger bottle (16 fluid ounces, or 474 milliliters) is likewise available for free delivery and is typically good for two to four weeks if consumed for daily enjoyment. Additionally, R's Koso is said to be dairy-free, which makes it an ideal source of good bacteria for vegans.

R's Koso contains a mixture of prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics to help promote a healthy gut microbiome. Get R's Koso delivered to your doorstep today.

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