As promised, here is a detailed and easy-to-follow buyer’s guide to help you find the best prebiotic supplement for your specific needs. We will tell you what to look out for, what to avoid, and why we recommend these supplements.
But first, what is a prebiotic supplement? Well, indigestible dietary fibers are called prebiotics. Their primary role is to increase the growth of helpful microorganisms in the colon and intestines.
The top three prebiotic compounds are galactooligosaccharides, fructooligosaccharides, and inulin. Although these were not always classified as fibers, researchers revealed that they act similar to other fiber types.
So, how are prebiotic products different from probiotic supplements? Prebiotics support the gut’s existing bacteria by transmitting nutrients to the most beneficial strains. In comparison, probiotics provide foreign kinds of bacteria to re-balance a person’s microbiome.
Who Can Benefit From Prebiotic Pills and Powders?
Many falsely believe that prebiotics are only for individuals with digestive complications. The truth is that everyone can benefit from prebiotics. So, whether you want to increase the concentration of beneficial digestive enzymes, fight irritable bowel syndrome, ward off anxiety, boost brain function, or lose weight, a high-quality prebiotic can come in handy. Moreover, people who do not consume enough fiber may benefit from whole food prebiotics or a prebiotic supplement. According to experts, the recommended daily amount of fiber for women is 25g, whereas men should aim for 38g.
Potential Health Benefits of Prebiotic Supplements
Here are the principal reasons many healthcare professionals recommend eating more prebiotic-rich foods and consuming high-quality prebiotic supplements:
- lowering cholesterol
- immune system stimulation
- fighting off illnesses
- colorectal cancer prevention
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) prevention
- constipation relief
- improved digestion
- obesity prevention
- enhanced absorption of some nutrients (such as magnesium and calcium)
- help with weight loss
- boosted energy levels and warded off depression/anxiety
Are Prebiotic Capsules, Pills, and Powders Safe?
Generally, prebiotics are safe. However, sometimes unwanted side effects can occur if a person intolerant to soluble fiber takes prebiotics. According to prebiotic supplement reviews, the best way to avoid the side effects is to spread the recommended dosage of prebiotics throughout the day or reduce the dose. In other words, we advise individuals with such sensitivities to start with small doses and increase them as tolerance develops. Most importantly, always consult a healthcare professional before attempting to self-medicate with any dietary supplement.
How to Choose the Best Prebiotic Supplement for You?
Here are the key factors to consider when picking the right prebiotic supplement for you and your family.
You want to get a high-quality dietary supplement that only contains the essential ingredients. In other words, added artificial colors, artificial flavors, hydrogenated oils, titanium dioxide, magnesium silicate, and hypoallergenic rice flour are substances that have no place in a high-quality supplement.
Above all, be cautious of brands that do not show the complete list of ingredients on their official website and the product’s label. It is a big red flag, so avoid these brands and products.
Best Prebiotic Supplement Types
The four main, completely natural types of prebiotics that you should purchase include:
- pectin (can be found in apples)
- galactooligosaccharides (GOS; can be found in beans and dairy products)
- fructooligosaccharides (FOS; can be found in asparagus and garlic)
- inulin (can be found in bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, and leeks)
Many brands list ingredients such as agave, dextrin, and lactulose as prebiotics. In case you find these ingredients, understand that they are not “real” prebiotics. To clarify, these ingredients have qualities similar to those of prebiotics, but they are not the same thing.
Preferences and Special Dietary Needs
If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you want to pick the best-rated prebiotics for people on a plant-based diet. Likewise, if you have any other dietary preferences, triple-check the label for any ingredients you may have overlooked. If you are allergic to gluten, soy, dairy, or any other ingredient, you will want to get an allergen-free product.