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What is the Difference between Prebiotic and Probiotic?





The digestive tract is an important part of the eating process and keeps your body healthy. Your body naturally produces good bacteria to help it digest and fight off some infections. There are two bacterias to be aware of when thinking about your gut health: probiotics and prebiotics.

Why is Gut Health Important?

Your digestive health is an important part of maintaining overall health in your body. Live microorganisms, also referred to as the good bacteria, run your gut, communicate with the immune system, and break down your food. Issues within your gut can lead to chronic illnesses or just becoming more prone to getting sick. If you take care of your digestive tract, it’ll take care of you in return.

Keep an Eye on Your Digestive Health

Because your gut health is such an influential center for the rest of your health, if you’re having stomach problems, it’s important to know when it’s time to turn to a health care professional for help. If you find your stomach is upset often, you are often tired or suffer from insomnia, or you find rashes on your body, get checked out by a doctor. In the meantime, there are some ways you can support your digestive health through your diet or choice in supplements.

What is a Probiotic?

Probiotic is probably the word you’ve heard the most in reference to your digestive system. Probiotics are the term for the microorganisms that live in your gut and fight off the bad bacteria. Probiotics can also be found in food and supplements. When ingested, they add to the already existing bacteria in your body to help all the processes along. Probiotics are the more talked about between it and prebiotics and are a more common supplement than prebiotics.

What is a Prebiotic?

The main difference between a prebiotic vs probiotic is the prebiotic doesn’t introduce new bacteria. Instead, prebiotics stimulate growth within the already existing bacterias. In fact, sometimes prebiotics function as “food” for the probiotics in your body. A prebiotic isn’t naturally occurring in the body and is often introduced through food or sometimes supplements, although there are more probiotic supplements available than prebiotic. 


The best way to think of the difference between a probiotic and a prebiotic is that when a probiotic is introduced to the digestive system it provides new live bacteria to help the already existing bacteria. It doesn’t stimulate the bacteria that are already there to do anything, it just becomes part of the community itself. In contrast, when a prebiotic is introduced, it doesn’t have any bacteria to add to the current probiotics, but instead, it stimulates the bacteria that already exist there to grow further. 

Recommended Foods

One of the main ways to make sure your body is receiving the prebiotic and probiotic nutrients is through the food in your diet. Yogurt contains probiotics and is commonly associated with helping your digestive system.  Other foods containing probiotics include kimchi, miso, aged cheese, and kombucha. These foods are fermented, making them rich in probiotics. 


Food containing prebiotic is also food filled with fiber. Oats, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, and legumes are just some of the prebiotic foods. These foods are fed on by the good bacteria, encouraging growth, and aren’t broken down beforehand. 


When searching for the right foods to add to your gut conscious diet, there are three general types of food to add to your diet. The first is foods high in fiber. Fiber is talked about frequently in relation to a balanced diet because it provides benefits all around, although it specifically helps with gut health. The second type of food is any kind of fermented food. The fermentation of food is the process that creates the live bacteria that your gut needs. This includes things like aged cheese or yogurt. The third type of food to look out for is collagen-rich foods. Our bodies naturally produce collagen and it’s also high in protein, making it a positive choice for gut health.

Should I Use Supplements?

If you’re still feeling as though adding prebiotic and probiotic foods into your diet aren’t working or you’re just seeking out other ways to build your probiotics, supplements can be the solution. If you’re having serious gastrointestinal issues you should always consult a health professional to make sure you’re getting the right advice before going forward. 


Supplements can help your immune system by either stimulating probiotic growth or adding to the existing growth. When searching for a supplement, you should always check out the ingredients to see whether there’s actual probiotic bacteria or just prebiotics. Either way, you’re looking for quality supplements. Sun Chlorella offers a wide selection of natural supplements that could benefit your lifestyle. Check out our selection to get started.