Gut Health

Symbiotic Stack | Prebiotics and Probiotics

Symbiotic Stack | Prebiotics and Probiotics

As people learn more and more about the complexity of good gut health, symbiotic stacks are growing in popularity. A symbiotic stack is a group of nutrients taken together, that work synergistically toward a certain aim.

 

The most popular symbiotic stack today is the combination of prebiotics and probiotics. These two gut health supplements work together in synergistic ways. In this article, we’ll explain how.

 

Why Combine Prebiotics and Probiotics?

 

Both prebiotics and probiotics are important for gut health. Much of the focus today is on probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help restore balance in your gut microbiome. Many people, however, are unaware or simply undervalue the importance of prebiotics and how they work synergistically with probiotics to benefit gut health.

 

To understand this further, let’s take a closer look at what the gut microbiome is.

 

The Gut Microbiome

 

We all have trillions of organisms that live in and on our body. The gut microbiome, or gut microbiota, is the name for the community of microorganisms living in our gut. These microorganisms are essential to our health and well-being and include bacteria, archaea and fungi. While they live throughout our bodies, the gut is the main location of these microorganisms.

 

Our gut health is largely determined by this community of microorganisms, and depends on what kind of organisms live in the gut, and how many of these organisms live there. Ideally, our gut contains a ratio of 80-90% “good” bacteria, and 10-20% “bad” bacteria.

 

This delicate balance can easily be thrown off as a result of unhealthy dietary or lifestyle practices, or through the overuse of antibiotic medications. Unfortunately, many people have the opposite of the ideal ratio, and have a ratio of 10-20% “good” bacteria and 80-90% “bad” bacteria—which explains why gut health issues like Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are also on the rise.

What Is the Difference Between Prebiotics & Probiotics?

 

Probiotics are live bacteria that live in your gut and can also be found in certain foods and supplements. Probiotics are what are referred to as “good” bacteria, and include bacteria strains such as:

 

  • Lactobacillus
  • Bifidobacterium
  • Saccharomyces
  • Streptococcus
  • Enterococcus
  • Escherichia
  • Bacillus 

 

Prebiotics are indigestible carbs (mostly from fiber) that feed probiotics. In other words, they are foods that we cannot digest, but our gut bacteria can. When we eat these foods, they go to our lower digestive tract, where they act like food to help the healthy bacteria grow. Both prebiotics and probiotics are important for our gut health.

 

So, what is the difference between prebiotics and probiotics? Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, prebiotics are food for these beneficial bacteria. Without prebiotics, probiotics do not have enough food to grow and colonize the gut. So it isn't an argument of prebiotics vs probiotics and which is better. They work together to support a healthy gut microbiome.

 

Prebiotic foods are typically too tough and difficult to digest for humans. They do not break down in the stomach, but instead travel through to the large intestine where they are fermented by bacteria and yeast, producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that the gut bacteria then consume.

 

These SCFAs have the miraculous tendency to feed only helpful bacteria, while inhibiting potentially harmful or unwanted microorganisms. This is due to the lower pH level that occurs in the colon as a result of the fermentation process, which is harmful to pathogens like bad bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and helps the beneficial bacteria like lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.

 

You can learn more about prebiotics in our article “What Are Prebiotics? Foods for Your Good Gut Bacteria”.

 

Arabinogalactan

 

What Are the Benefits of Prebiotics & Probiotics?

 

Together, prebiotics and probiotics work together to create a healthy gut microbiome. Research is continually discovering the importance of our gut microbiome in our overall health.

 

The gut microbiome helps control digestive processes and also plays an essential role in our immunity. Interestingly, over 80% of serotonin and 50% of dopamine are produced in the gut in conjunction with gut bacteria. These two hormones play critical roles in our feelings of happiness and well-being, suggesting a very strong association between gut health and mental health.

 

Healthy skin has also been linked to a healthy gut microbiome. Since the gut microbiome plays such an important role in digestion, it is a determining factor in the amount of nutrition we digest and absorb from the food that we consume.

 

A healthy gut microbiome is linked to better overall digestion, stronger immunity, enhanced mood, and overall better physical and mental health. An imbalance in the gut microbiome has been linked to weight gain, elevated cholesterol levels, high blood sugar and other disorders.

 

Can You Get Prebiotics and Probiotics from Food?

 

Certain foods do contain prebiotics and probiotics and they therefore can be obtained from diet. Probiotic-rich foods include:

 

  • Kim chi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Soy sauce (traditionally made nama shoyu)
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh

 

Common foods that are rich in prebiotics include:

 

  • Oats
  • Apples
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Bananas
  • Dandelion greens
  • Asparagus
  • Chicory Root
  • Barley
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Flaxseeds
  • Wheat bran
  • Seaweed
  • Burdock root
  • Jicama root

 

Prebiotics and Probiotics Supplements

 

While it is possible to get prebiotics and probiotics from food, good prebiotic and probiotic supplements can be a very helpful and convenient way to ensure you are getting these gut-supporting foods in your diet. Many prebiotics and probiotics are even sold together in symbiotic stacks.

 

The best prebiotics and probiotics in supplement form will contain prebiotic starches from a natural source and a diverse ratio of strains of beneficial gut bacteria. Our Complete GI Protocol (link protocol page) is an example of a symbiotic snack. Only we take our protocol a step further and include two additional nutrients—colostrum and butyric acid. These nutrients help to heal the gut lining and repair damaged gut tissue, working symbiotically with our prebiotic and probiotic supplements for a complete gut restoration protocol.

 

Zuma Nutrition’s Symbiotic Stack – Our Complete GI Protocol:

 

This gut health bundle contains 4 important ingredients needed for optimal gut health:

 

  • Probiotics – as mentioned, probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help support gut health and a wide range of other important functions in the body. It is important when supplementing with probiotics that you choose the right type of probiotic supplement for the best results. Our Multi-Strain Probiotic Complex features 30 billion CFUs and eight unique strains that promote the strains of bacteria in the gut. Included in this professional grade probiotic formula are both lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria and their numerous species that colonize both the upper and lower bowel.†

 

  • Arabinogalactan – prebiotics are the indigestible fibers that act as food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut and allow their populations to grow and thrive. Arabinogalactan, extracted from the larch tree, are densely branched, high molecular weight, water-soluble polysaccharides that are among the most beneficial prebiotics promoting the growth of the probiotic bacteria Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. They also support healthy immune function.†

 

  • Colostrum – an essential nutrient involved in repairing DNA, colostrum contains hormones, enzymes, complex sugars and growth factors that speed up the growth and healing of tissue. It has many benefits, but among its greatest benefits is the ability to support the healing of damaged gut tissue. Colostrum stimulates the growth and repair of every organ, gland and tissue in the body, and also strengthens the immune system as it contains the immunoglobulins that form our first line of immune defense. Colostrum also has the enzyme peroxidase which destroys disease-carrying microbes, and lactoferrin to neutralize certain strains of harmful bacteria.†

 

  • Butyric Acid – a powerful compound that helps the body produce short-chain fatty acids, heals the lining of the stomach, small intestine and large intestines, repairs damage from bacteria and fungal infections, and supports the immune system.† Butyric acid also acts on the fungal stage of candida, destroying the root-like structures (rhizoid) that penetrate the intestinal membrane causing leaky gut. Butyric acid then helps to repair the damage to the intestinal membrane. It also helps reduce inflammation in the gut which leads to the treatment of numerous digestive disorders.†

 

  • Additionally, we include a step-by-step guide in our protocol for instructions on what to eat and how to follow the complete gastrointestinal protocol to flip dysbiosis (gut imbalance) and improve gut health long term.

 

Our Complete GI Protocol is a symbiotic stack that offers the best prebiotics and probiotics along with colostrum and butyric acid for a total gut health restoration protocol.

 

Can You Take Prebiotics and Probiotics Together?

 

Yes! It can even be beneficial to do so. We recommend taking our prebiotic and probiotic supplements 30 minutes to an hour before a large meal. Taking prebiotics and probiotics on an empty stomach before a meal ensures that they make it to the gut as quickly as possible.

 

Summary

 

A symbiotic stack is a group of nutrients taken together, that work synergistically toward a certain aim.

 

The most popular symbiotic stack today is the combination of prebiotics and probiotics. These two gut health supplements work together in synergistic ways.

 

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, prebiotics are food for these beneficial bacteria. Without prebiotics, probiotics do not have enough food to grow and colonize the gut. They work together to support a healthy gut microbiome—which is the community of trillions of organisms living in our gastrointestinal tract.

 

A healthy gut microbiome is linked to better overall digestion, stronger immunity, enhanced mood, and overall better physical and mental health. An imbalance in the gut microbiome has been linked to weight gain, elevated cholesterol levels, high blood sugar and other disorders.

 

While it is possible to get prebiotics and probiotics from food, good prebiotic and probiotic supplements can be a very helpful and convenient way to ensure you are getting these gut-supporting foods in your diet.

 

The best prebiotics and probiotics in supplement form will contain prebiotic starches from a natural source and a diverse ratio of strains of beneficial gut bacteria. Our Complete GI Protocol is an example of a symbiotic snack. Only we take our protocol a step further and include two additional nutrients—colostrum and butyric acid. These nutrients help to heal the gut lining and repair damaged gut tissue, working symbiotically with our prebiotic and probiotic supplements for a complete gut restoration protocol.

 

 

 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5031164/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553134/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6463098/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6041804/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4290017/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6682904/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33086688/

Products mentioned in this post

Complete GI Protocol
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