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Probiotics vs Prebiotics: what’s the difference?

Do you find yourself using the terms probiotics and prebiotics interchangeably without really knowing what they mean? While you may be aware that these things are great for your gut and overall health, you may be unclear on the difference. So we’re here to break it down very simply:

Simply put – prebiotics feed probiotics. Think of your microbiome as a beautiful ecosystem. The probiotics are the bees that improve the environment they live in, and the prebiotics are the flowers that feed those bees to keep them alive and thriving.

Let’s dig a little deeper…

Probiotics 🐝

Probiotics are living microorganisms (such as bacteria and yeast) that confer health benefits to the host (you) when consumed in adequate amounts.

When it comes to optimal gut health, diversity is key! To put multiple strains of bacteria into your gut, you need a probiotic that has as many strains as possible. Logically enough, the more diverse your probiotic, the more it will aid your diversity

Man-made probiotics often contain only a few strains of live culture. But Chuckling Goat’s Kefir, which is made with real living kefir grains, has been tested and determined to contain 27 different strains of beneficial bacteria. To our knowledge, this makes our kefir the most diverse probiotic available on the market today. 

Because these bacteria are living and thriving in their own environment, they continue to grow over time. The number of active bacteria in Chuckling Goat kefir is constantly increasingThis is in contrast to powdered or man-made probiotics, which are dying off over time, often becoming increasingly weak over their shelf life.

Fermented foods (like kefir, live yoghurt, sourdough, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, miso) are also probiotic. We recommend boosting your bacterial diversity by adding in a wide range of naturally fermented foods. Read more here: What is fermented food, and how can it benefit you?

Prebiotics 🌸

There are an estimated 5 NONILLION microbes on this planet 1https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af5qUxl1ktI – and these guys ‘gotta’ eat! Your gut bugs require a complex mix of fibres to thrive, and this is where prebiotics come in. Prebiotics are non-living, non-digestible plant fibres that feed the good bacteria that live in your gut2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6463098/.

Prebiotics exert a remarkable influence on human health, making them effective and simple tools for improving the quality of human life. This can affect you in more ways than you might imagine, including immune function, blood sugar regulation, anti-inflammatory support, and against vascular diseases, cancer, mental disorders, metabolic disturbances, obesity, and digestive issues.

Prebiotic supplements can be effective in increasing the growth of good bacteria and can reach your gut intact as they are highly stable and unaffected by acidity or heat. Chuckling Goat’s own Complete Prebiotic is the most diverse on the market! It offers a quick and easy way to add 18 different types of natural fibre into your diet, in one simple hit.

Prebiotics are also naturally present in many plant foods, including asparagus, green bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, leeks, onion, barley, rye, wheat, oats, soybean, chicory root, lentils, potatoes, and peas3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6463098/.

Try our Creamy Prebiotic Soup recipe or our Raspberry & Coconut Prebiotic Energy Balls!

Put these together and you get…


Probiotic + Prebiotic = Synbiotic

The simplest definition of a synbiotic is the combination of a probiotic and a prebiotic that promotes health benefits. Combining Chuckling Goat Kefir with the Complete Prebiotic gives your gut access to 18 different types of fibres and 27 different live microbes.

Synbiotics have been associated with various health benefits, including improved gut health, enhanced immune function, reduced inflammation, and improved mental health.

Synbiotics improve the survival and colonisation of probiotics in the gut while also providing a nutrient source for them to thrive.

To land this concept, just think of the bees and flowers again. The probiotics are like the bees – living, beneficial organisms that benefit your internal environment. The prebiotics are like the flowers – necessary to feed the bees and keep them going. Stronger together! In combination (synbiotic), they create a blooming, buzzing ecosystem in which diverse, healthy growth can occur.

You can find a Simple Synbiotic Smoothie Recipe here: https://www.chucklinggoat.co.uk/simple-synbiotic-smoothie/

Get your Chuckling Goat Synbiotic ingredients here!

Questions? Contact one of our Nutritional Therapists via live chat 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays for bespoke advice on gut wellness.


Questions? Talk to a Nutritional Therapist on live chat!

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