How and When to Take Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Enzymes: Your Top Questions Answered
Some of us have grown so accustomed to gut upsets that it’s become a fact of life, like stress and lack of sleep.
We tend to compartmentalize gut health, and that’s a big mistake. You see, the gut has a reciprocal relationship with your body’s overall physical and mental health. It’s all interconnected!
But managing good gut health isn’t always easy. Remember that yummy greasy cheeseburger you had for lunch? Well, it will travel 30 feet from your mouth to your colon!
That’s a mighty long journey, and along the way, there can be twists and turns of all sorts, resulting in gas, bloating, constipation, and more. That’s when your GI tract could use an extra boost to regain balance.
Perhaps you’ve done your due diligence and researched top gut health hacks. Still confused? Read on, and we’ll answer your top gut health questions.
1. What’s the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?
Probiotics: This is a selected group of beneficial microorganisms that are ingested in food (i.e., yogurt, kefir, and fermented foods) or in supplemental form. By taking these regularly and nurturing a plentiful supply of “good bacteria” in our intestinal tracts, many people have (or hope to) derive many of the benefits. These include boosting our immune systems, maintaining a healthy weight, and supporting brain and heart health.
Prebiotics: Unlike probiotics, which are live bacteria, prebiotics are not living organisms. Instead, these are non-digestible food ingredients that support the ‘good bacteria’ already living in your gut. They may help to prime your digestive tract for the processes ahead that will allow bacteria in your large intestine to break down more nutrients so they can be absorbed while the waste can be excreted. And like probiotics, prebiotics can come from foods (i.e., bananas, asparagus, beans) or prebiotic supplements.
2. Should I take probiotics and prebiotics together?
Yes! This duo has a symbiotic relationship. Their goal is to boost the number of probiotic bacteria that become established in your digestive tract by providing a source of energy for them. Simply put, prebiotics help probiotics survive and thrive. When the synergistic effect is optimized between these two, the beneficial effects of each are optimized.
3. What are digestive enzymes and why do I need them?
Your body makes enzymes in the digestive system. These go-getters help break down carbs, fats, and proteins from food. This allows the absorption of nutrients, helping you maintain optimal health. Without enzymes, all those beneficial nutrients in your food go to waste. The catch is that there is some scientific evidence that enzyme production decreases as we age. This deficit may be associated with lactose intolerance and symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Enzyme supplementation generally works best prior to eating. Without digestive enzymes, certain foods can trigger gut upsets, food intolerances, or nutritional deficiencies. If you’re in doubt about the proper dosage and timing check the product label and/or consult with a trusted healthcare professional.
4. Wait! Are enzymes necessary if I’m already taking probiotics and prebiotics?
Lots of folks support their gut health with a probiotic/prebiotic supplement, which can be great for maintaining healthy gut flora. But, as effective as this duo is, it may not be giving you all the digestive support you need and may be best paired with digestive enzymes. That way you’ll reap not only the potential gut health benefits of probiotics/prebiotics but also the power of enzymes that will help break down food, absorb nutrition for energy, and reduce digestive woes, such as gas, bloating and irregularity. There are common foods, such as meat, fried foods, dairy, and raw veggies, that may be tough to digest, and that’s where an enzyme supplement could help.
5. Do I need to take three different supplements to cover my bases?
Maybe not! At Zenwise we pride ourselves in providing effective formulations that address multiple digestive health needs. In fact, we are the only top 25 digestive health company to offer a supplement, Digestive Enzymes, that combines probiotics, prebiotics and enzymes in one easy-to-swallow capsule. And we don’t stop there, this and other formulations also include natural herbal ingredients to support digestive health and target common gut upsets, such as gas, bloating, and occasional indigestion.
Have more questions about digestive health supplementation? Our Customer Service Team can’t wait to help! We’re available to answer your questions seven days a week at firstname.lastname@example.org or M-F from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (800) 940-1972.