Can You Take Prebiotics and Probiotics Together?

Jan 31, 2024 DigestionPrebioticsProbiotics 5 MIN

Can You Take Prebiotics and Probiotics Together?

When looking into what helps with digestion, you're likely to hear about a couple of specific words; "prebiotics" and "probiotics." No, that's not a typo, and I didn't repeat myself; prebiotics and probiotics are two different gut health supplements, and they're separated by more than just a letter! And if you've found yourself on this page, you've probably asked, "Can you take prebiotics and probiotics together?" The short answer is yes, but it's best to understand what prebiotics and probiotics are, what they do, and how they best work together.

What are Prebiotics?

What's a prebiotic? And what makes it different from a probiotic? Prebiotics are dietary fibers often found in fruits, vegetables, oats, and bran. If you have looked into gut health at all, you'll know just how important fiber is for keeping your gut moving! But despite its importance, many Americans lack it in their diet! Did you know that more than 90% of women and 97% of men do not meet the recommended dietary fiber intake, which is 31 g/day for men and 25 g/day for women?[1] †

What makes prebiotic fiber special and different from other types of dietary fiber? Here's where it gets interesting: prebiotic fiber is fermentable. The body doesn't digest it the same way we digest other nutrients. Instead, prebiotic fiber gets digested by the beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome. These prebiotic fibers serve as fuel for the beneficial bacteria in your gut, feeding them so they can multiply and help support healthy gut flora. If you want to add prebiotic fiber to your diet, bananas, barley, and oats are a great, tasty source. Nature Made also offers a taste-free Prebiotic Fiber Drink Mix Powder to mix into your favorite noncarbonated beverage! It's vegetarian and sugar-free; one daily scoop provides 3 grams of soluble dietary fiber to support digestive health.†

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics, that's with an "o," are beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is a complex environment populated by thousands of strains of bacteria. Like all bacteria, some are helpful, and others are not. Providing your gut with good sources of "pro" biotic bacteria is a great way to support your gut health. Our gut microbiome affects more than just our digestive system; it's linked to all sorts of bodily functions, including our immune system![2] You can find dietary sources of probiotic bacteria in fermented food, like yogurt, kefir, and miso. Nature Made also offers tasty probiotic supplements with Digestive Probiotics Ultra-Strength‡ Gummies, with colors and delicious flavors derived from natural sources. Two daily gummies are formulated to provide at least 8 billion live cells of Bacillus coagulans IS-2; that's a lot of probiotic support.♦†

How Do Nature Made® Prebiotics and Probiotics Work?

Prebiotics and probiotics have several distinct functions, and Nature Made offers different lines specially formulated for your unique needs.

One daily scoop of Nature Made® Prebiotic Fiber Drink Mix Powder mixed into 4 - 8 ounces of a noncarbonated beverage helps feed the good bacteria in your digestive system and support your digestive health. Nature Made® Fiber Gummies come in tasty fruit flavors like orange and mixed berry, and they provide a good source of fiber with 5 g of fiber per 3-gummy serving to help support a healthy digestive system.†

Probiotics are "live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host."[3] Nature Made® Digestive Probiotics Dual Action Capsules help support digestive balance and a healthy gut flora. These capsules are formulated with 13 billion live bacteria cells of the strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, which works in the small intestine to help relieve occasional gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. They also contain 2 billion live cells of Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, which works in the large intestine to help relieve occasional constipation and irregularity.Δ†

Can You Take Prebiotics and Probiotics Together?

If you want to support your gut health in multiple ways, you might be interested in taking prebiotics and probiotics. When changing your supplement routine, it's best to first consult with your primary care provider or other medical professional. The general rule, however, is that prebiotics and probiotics are safe to take together if they're both taken correctly. Prebiotic fiber should be taken once a day in the amounts recommended on the packaging. Probiotics should be taken once daily, with cold or room temperature water and a meal. The functions of prebiotics and probiotics complement each other in the gut; probiotics are good bacteria, and prebiotic fiber is fuel for good bacteria. By taking them together, you are giving your gut two levels of support! †

How to Take Them Together

As stated above, the best practice for taking probiotics is with cold or room-temperature water and a meal. If you're starting or changing your supplement routine, Nature Made® recommends timing your supplements around a regular meal during your day. If you always take your supplements around the same mealtime, it helps to ensure you take them with water and food, which is the best practice for most supplements. It also helps you to keep your supplement routine regular; if you don't have a schedule, it can be easy to forget to take your supplements during the hustle and bustle of the day. But if you attach this routine to a regular meal, you'll always have that meal to jog your memory and remind you to take your supplements. All of Nature Made's supplements are easy to take, and they are easy to incorporate into your schedule! 

 

‡2X the CFUs of other Nature Made® Digestive Probiotics Adult Gummies (4 billion CFUs).

♦Formulated to provide at least 8 billion live cells per serving if continuously stored in a cool, dry place at or below 75°F (23°C) and consumed prior to expiration date. Storage and handling conditions can vary, and may affect the total amount of cells delivered at time of consumption.

ΔFormulated to provide at least 13 billion live cells per capsule of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and 2 billion live cells per capsule of Bifidobacterium lactis HN019™ if continuously stored in a cool, dry place at or below 77°F (25°C) and consumed prior to expiration date. Storage and handling conditions can vary, and may affect the total amount of cells delivered at time of consumption.


† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

References

  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at DietaryGuidelines.gov.
  2. Lambring CB, Siraj S, Patel K, Sankpal UT, Mathew S, Basha R. Impact of the Microbiome on the Immune System. Crit Rev Immunol. 2019;39(5):313-328. doi:10.1615/CritRevImmunol.2019033233
  3. Hill C, Guarner F, Reid G, et al. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2014;11(8):506-514. doi:10.1038/nrgastro.2014.66

Authors

Graham Morris

NatureMade Copywriter

Graham has a degree in film with a focus on screenwriting from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He enjoys learning new things and finding the best, most engaging way to communicate them to a wide audience. Graham appreciates simplicity in life and nutrition, and wants to find the easiest, no-stress ways to stay healthy.

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Kalyn Williams, RDN

Science and Health Educator

Kalyn is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and a Science & Health Educator with the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. Her experience in the field of nutrition prior to joining Pharmavite has included community and public health education, media dietetics, and clinical practice in the areas of disordered eating, diabetes, women’s health, and general wellness. Kalyn received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona, and completed her dietetic supervised practice in Maricopa County, AZ, with an emphasis on public health. Kalyn is certified in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, where she is an active member in addition to memberships in Dietitians in Functional Medicine, Women’s Health Dietitians, and the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians.

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