Prebiotics or Probiotics?

If someone says prebiotics, you might think that he or she is trying to say probiotics. However, this is not a mistake. Prebiotics are lesser known than probiotics and many people can confuse the two.


"Biotic" means related to living things, so, probiotic is something beneficial to living things. Probiotics are micro-organisms introduced into the body and can benefits the host.


"Pre" means before, so prebiotics should come before probiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that promote the growth of probiotics in your gut (1). Two different types of plant fiber, oligofructose and inulin, work as prebiotics. They can be found in many fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, asparagus, garlic, onions, and artichokes (2).


  1. Glenn, G. R., and M. B. Roberfroid. "Dietary modulation of the human colonic microbiota: introducing the concept of prebiotics." J. nutr 125 (1995): 1401-1412.
  2. Slavin, Joanne. "Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits."Nutrients 5.4 (2013): 1417-1435.