Can We Take Probiotics And Fiber Supplements Together?

The benefits of fiber and probiotics for gut health are well-known to health-conscious individuals. Our health depends on both of them. Is it okay to take fiber and probiotics together? Would it be safe for our digestive system to consume it? 

It is a resounding YES! It is possible to take fiber and probiotics together. Your probiotic regimen will benefit from the addition of fiber. It will be beneficial to your gut in the long run.

This article aims to explore the potential benefits of dietary fiber and probiotics when combined. Check out how they can benefit your health tremendously. 

What are probiotics?

As live bacteria, probiotics promote overall health when administered to the host. The bacteria in this group are not just any bacteria but strains of bacteria that are commonly found in the gut microbiome. In your gut, you will find both good and bad bacteria.

It is important to stimulate the host, nourish the good bacteria, and encourage their growth. While avoiding the good bacteria, it is important to avoid the bad bacteria that can cause pathogenic illnesses.

Several fermented foods contain probiotics, including yogurt, kimchi, Natto, and many others. Many supplements contain probiotic strains that support the health of the gastrointestinal system, the heart, and the immune system. Recent trends suggest that probiotics can significantly improve health along the gut-brain axis (such as the Floradapt DR7 strain).

What is fiber?

Even though humanity has consumed fiber for over ten thousand years, the term “dietary fiber” was only coined in 1953. It is now recognized that dietary fiber consists of nondigestible carbohydrates and lignin in plants in an intrinsic and intact state. Fibers are those parts of fruits and vegetables that humans cannot digest.

Commercially available fibers include Benefiber, Metamucil, and Citrucel. There are many benefits that fibers provide, including the facilitation of food passage through the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, fibers also have a variety of other functions, such as supporting healthy blood lipid levels.

As a general rule, there are two broad categories of fiber: soluble fibers and insoluble fibers. The enzymes in our body cannot digest either form, so they both end up in the colon undigested. On the other hand, soluble fiber can be fermented by beneficial bacteria due to its ability to dissolve in water.

The definition of a prebiotic is when soluble fiber can serve as a fuel source for probiotics. Several prebiotic fibers have been identified, including fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and galactooligosaccharides (GOS). Various plants contain these prebiotic substrates, including onion, garlic, artichokes, chicory (filled with prebiotics), leek, banana, asparagus, and wheat.

Are Fiber and Probiotics Perfect Together?

The consumption of fiber has also been linked to an improvement in general health in addition to improving digestive health. It is possible to control the risk of several chronic diseases and relieve constipation by consuming a diet high in fiber. We lack fiber in our diets due to an absence of whole-plant foods and an overreliance on processed foods.

Approximately 95% of Americans consume insufficient fiber to meet the recommended daily intake of 19-38 grams. A Western-style diet, such as the typical American diet, has been associated with a reduced diversity of beneficial gut microbes compared to a diet containing a high level of plant fiber.

Dietary fiber is generally divided into soluble and insoluble forms. Both are essential for the proper functioning of the digestive system. Fibers that are soluble in water form a gel that softens stools. As well as inhibiting nutrient absorption, it enhances the feeling of satiety. Stool passes more easily as a result of insoluble fiber. Fiber can be found in a wide variety of foods.

Fibers include the following types:

  • Generally, vegetables and whole grains contain cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, which are insoluble sources.
  • Pectin, gum, and mucilage are derived from fruit and vegetables, whereas gum and mucilage are derived from plants.

In the colon, prebiotics nourishes beneficial bacteria by passing undetected through the upper gastrointestinal tract. Together, they can provide live beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics. Our gut bacteria feed on prebiotics, while probiotic supplements deliver live, beneficial bacteria to support a balanced, diverse gut flora.

Fiber and probiotics: What are the benefits?

A healthy digestive system may benefit from using probiotics and dietary fiber. However, what happens when they are combined?

Why are probiotics important?

The benefits of probiotics for digestive health include improved digestion, reduced symptoms of diarrhoea and constipation, and protection against bad bacteria.

Although some probiotic foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha, are cultured with or contain probiotics, not all have enough live bacteria to be beneficial. Furthermore, they may not have the right strain combination to have a lasting impact on your gut.

Why Fiber is important?

It is important to take an adequate amount of fiber for digestive health. Fiber prevents chronic diseases by keeping the gastrointestinal tract moving and maintaining regular bowel movements.

You can obtain a variety of insoluble and soluble dietary fibers and other valuable nutrients and compounds by eating whole plant foods high in fiber.

It can be beneficial to take fiber supplements if you want to add a specific type of fiber to your diet. According to your health goals, some types of fiber provide more benefits than others.

Combining Probiotics and Fiber – Perfect

Generally, it is best to supplement probiotics and additional fiber separately since some beneficial bacteria may adhere to the fiber and can be eliminated rather than absorbed.

It is known that prebiotic fibers work with the good bacteria in the digestive system to increase their numbers and activity. This includes their ability to support immunity and maintain the gut barrier against harmful pathogens.

Prebiotic fiber and probiotics should not be taken simultaneously, as the probiotics can ferment the prebiotics too early, causing abdominal pain and bloating.

The exception to this rule is synbiotics that are designed to be combined. A synbiotic is a product that contains probiotics and a prebiotic, most commonly inulin, GOS, or FOS, which support the probiotic’s beneficial health effects. According to research, synbiotics can enhance the microbiota by increasing the number of beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.

Conclusion

The health benefits are maximized when prebiotic fibers are combined with a synbiotic. Synbiotics contain varying levels of fiber, ranging from very small to large amounts. It would help if you looked for products that provide a combination of probiotics and prebiotics that is optimal.

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