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We know probiotics and prebiotics, today we talk about postbiotics. In particular, we will see what postbiotics are, what their benefits are in terms of inflammation, the immune system and some disorders such as asthma. We will also see how postbiotics are taken and any contraindications.Probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics, let’s clarify by trying to explain what these substances are, what they are for and what the possible risks are

We all know prebiotics and probiotics, useful for the health of the gut and the entire organism. But now the family of these beneficial substances is expanding, as scientists are focusing their attention on so-called postbiotics. But what exactly are postbiotics and what are they for? Let’s try to understand it better...READ THE FULL ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE▶▶

Postbiotics, what they are
To understand what postbiotics are, we need to better understand what the gut microbiota, prebiotics and probiotics are. The gut microbiota is made up of the bacteria that populate our intestine. A good balance between these bacteria, without the pro-inflammatory species taking over, is essential for correct digestion but also for keeping chronic inflammation under control. Not only that, a balanced gut microbiota protects the health of other organs, even distant ones, such as the liver, lungs and the brain. Hence the importance of taking care of the health of the gut microbiota, trying to follow a healthy and varied diet that includes prebiotics. Prebiotics are a type of fiber that is not digestible but is used as a source of nutrition by good intestinal bacteria.

These bacteria, once they have fed on prebiotics, produce anti-inflammatory substances such as butyrate. Examples of prebiotics are garlic, onion, chicory, leeks, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, barley and oats. It is also possible to take, through supplements and specific drinks or yogurt, probiotics, which are live bacteria that overcome the stomach barrier and thus support the intestinal microbiota, increasing the presence of good bacteria. These so-called good bacteria are anti-inflammatory as they produce substances such as butyrate, which works by reducing levels of chronic inflammation (Zolkiewicz et al, Nutrients). Well, postbiotics are precisely these substances, such as butyrate, produced by the bacteria of the intestinal microbiota when they are fed with prebiotics.

Postbiotics, what are the advantages
The main advantage of postbiotics is that we can directly take the beneficial substances produced by the intestinal microbiota, immediately enjoying the advantages in terms of health. In fact, taking probiotics may not always give the desired results or even cause problems for a series of causes, such as fluctuations in product quality, loss of vitality of the bacteria themselves following processing, gastrointestinal disorders or a compromised immune system. In fact, in the case of a very weakened immune system, there is a possibility that probiotics can overcome the intestinal barrier and bring infections to other parts of the body (Ma et al, Nutrients, 2023 – Vinderola et al, Foods, 2022). Postbiotics, however, go beyond these difficulties and, even if they are less effective than probiotics, they are more stable, easier to preserve and with fewer health risks, as they cannot become pathogenic for the body (Ma et al, Nutrients, 2023 – Szydlowska et al, Microorganisms, 2023).

Postbiotics, properties
But what are the benefits of taking postbiotics? Postbiotics have a protective action against pathogens and regulate the inflammatory and immune system response (Ma et al, Nutrients, 2023). Postbiotics are showing important results in case of intestinal disorders, such as bloating and diarrhea, they contribute to improving the cholesterol levels in the blood, are antioxidants, anticancer and are capable of preventing gastric and urinary tract infections (Ma et al, Nutrients, 2023). Recent research is demonstrating the usefulness of postbiotics in treating and preventing allergic rhinitis, asthma and atopic dermatitis, as well as reducing food allergies such as cow’s milk allergy (Zolkiewicz et al, Nutrients, 2020).

Postbiotics, disadvantages
We have seen that probiotics can present problems regarding their safety of intake, especially in people with compromised immune systems. Postbiotics, however, in these cases are safer than probiotics. However, they are also less effective, especially in terms of their ability to reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system. Not only that, at present a unique way to measure the quality of postbiotics has not yet been developed and more in-depth studies need to be carried out on their side effects (Ma et al, Nutrients, 2023).

Postbiotics, where they are found and conclusions
Postbiotics are produced by the microbiota.
Therefore, to increase their presence we either take probiotics and prebiotics or we can turn to postbiotic supplements, such as butyrate-based supplements. At present, postbiotics are a class of supplements very new compared to the more common and better known probiotics.

However, it is already possible to find postbiotic-based supplements in pharmacies, herbalist shops and online. We have also seen that, at present, other work should be conducted on postbiotics to evaluate any side effects. Additionally, we know that postbiotics may be less effective than probiotics even though they are safer, especially for some groups of people. So, postbiotics have a number of advantages and disadvantages, just like probiotics.

This article intends to inform, trying to analyze all aspects relating to these substances. It is not possible to say a priori what is better and what is not, as we have seen it depends on the personal situation and contacting your trusted doctor is certainly the right choice, in order to evaluate all these aspects and know which supplement is most suitable for us.

About the author

Baba Voss

A Prolific Writer, Vast In Series of Publications Basically on Politics, Entertainment, Sport, Life Style, Fashion, Business, Technology, Health, History etc.

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