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Prebiotic Supplements

Question:
What are prebiotics? Is it important to look for them when choosing a probiotic supplement?

Answer:
As discussed in detail in the Probiotic Supplements Review, prebiotics (such as inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides or FOS) are plant-based complex sugars that act as food for healthy bacteria (probiotics), promoting their growth in the digestive tract. Two to 6 grams per day of prebiotics are sufficient. This amount can easily be provided by eating certain foods (see the list in the Review). It can also be provided by supplements -- although, due to the relatively large amount of prebiotic needed, this would require multiple pills, so another form, such as a powder, may be preferable. Some probiotic supplements include a prebiotic, but typically only a small amount (less than a quarter of a gram per pill).

For more information, including other potential benefits of prebiotics and possible side effects, as well as our tests and comparisons of probiotic supplements which contain prebiotics, see the Probiotic Supplements Review >>

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DONALD5824   June 30, 2015
Please review Prebiotic supplements, Probiotic supplements are different.
Thank you

ConsumerLab.com   June 30, 2015
Thank you for your suggestion, Donald, we will keep this in mind for future reviews. You may also be interested in the section on prebiotics https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews//probiotics/#prebiotics, as well as our tests of products that contain both pre and probiotics (these are noted in the Other Notable Ingredients column of the results table) in the Probiotics Supplements Review.

This CL Answer initially posted on 9/14/2014. Last updated 8/8/2017.

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