Just as you have gotten your head around probiotics and prebiotics, now you have postbiotics to contend with. But what are postbiotics? As our research into digestive health deepens we are discovering more about the complexity and governing role that our digestive system has over our entire health.
So what are postbiotic?
Postbiotics are non-viable bacterial products or metabolic byproducts from probiotic microorganisms that have biologic activity in the host.
Basically, postbiotics are the waste products of probiotics, yep, bacteria poop.
When we ingest probiotics they interact with our digesting process and perform a variety of functions. These include enzyme production, bacterial balance, pH levels and the digestion of food within the digestive system.
Once these probiotics are metabolised (yep, not all probiotics permanently survive in the gut), they turn into postbiotics. Researchers are starting to believe that these postbiotics hold the key to long term digestive health.
Postbiotics include –
- Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) – These SCFAs support healthy digestion and metabolisation of probiotics.
- Indole – which helps to bring about the right conditions for healthy bacterial formation.
- Teichoic Acid – helps to regulate cell growth, which can defend against some cancers.
- Lactocepin – An enzyme which catalyses the chemical reactions in the gut, creating the right kind of conditions for postbiotic formation.
- p40 Molecule – p40 is a molecule with a range of different attributes, including the potential to reduce instances of cancer.
- Other postbiotics include – bacteriocins, peptidoglycan derived muropeptides, antimicrobial peptides and hydrogen peroxide.
10 Benefits of Postbiotics
1. PROMOTION OF ‘GOOD’ BACTERIA IN THE GUT
Postbiotics are a crucial part of a healthy microbiome. Pre, pro and post biotic all work together to create a robust and diverse bacterial community in the gut.
2. REDUCTION IN INFLAMMATORY DISEASES AND OXIDATIVE STRESS
Postbiotics release important immune-supporting enzymes that boost our bodies ability to fight not only infection from external exposure but also from oxidative stress that is naturally creating within our bodies.
3. TREATMENT FOR PRE-DIABETES
Postbiotics interact with insulin absorption and can help to reduce blood sugar levels. Foods that contain postbiotics naturally reduce blood sugar levels, so actively adding these foods to your diet will further support healthy blood sugar levels.
4. REDUCTION IN THE PRESENCE OF HARMFUL PATHOGENS
Postbiotics help to support a pH level in the gut that is disruptive to pathogens. Along with direct immunomodulatory influences, postbiotics really boost your bodies ability to fight off infection.
5. LOWERED BLOOD PRESSURE
A healthy microbiome has shown to reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular markers. The anti-inflammatory actions of postbiotics work further to improve blood pressure and heart health.
6. STRENGTHENED IMMUNE SYSTEM
This is because of the effect that postbiotics have on regulatory mechanisms in the body. A diet rich in postbiotics helps to shore up these mechanisms, increasing your body’s ability to respond to potential illnesses before they take hold.
7. POSSIBLE TREATMENT FOR IBS, IBD, AND LEAKY GUT SYNDROME
Post bionics have shown to reduce inflammation within the digestive systems and to reduce dysbiosis and leaky gut. Postbiotics might be the missing link to patient’s struggling to resolve their digestive complaints.
8. POTENTIALLY REDUCED RISK OF COLON CANCER
Butyrate is a form of post biotic is that helps to increase mucus production within the gut. This mucus serves as a protective mechanism against the development of colon cancer.
9. IMPROVED BREATHING AND RESPIRATION
Research has indicated that postbiotics can reduce hyperresponsiveness, which is when the body overreacts to airborne allergens and triggers an asthma attack. Another positive function of postbiotics is to reduce the inflammation of the airways to make breathing much easier.
10. MANAGEMENT OF ECZEMA AND SKIN CONDITIONS IN INFANTS
The anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating influences that postbiotics produce, has the potential to reduce eczema in children.
Best Sources of Postbiotics
You can naturally increase your production of postbiotics by including certain foods in your diet, especially those with prebiotics and probiotics.
- Spirulina and chlorella— Types of algae that help detox the body, reduce inflammation, feed beneficial bacteria and possibly help increase secretory immunoglobulin A, which improves gut health.
- Mycelium, which produces mushrooms — Mycelium contains many enzymes, antimicrobial agents, antiviral compounds, in addition to supporting bacterial growth in the microbiome.
- Fermented Aloe — Helps with detoxification, digestive support and producing immune-boosting beta-glucans.
- Apple cider vinegar and coconut vinegar
- Saccharomyces enzymes — Support healthy digestion, many metabolic processes, and breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and protein.
By understanding the function of pre-, pro- and postbiotics, and by recognising the profound connection between each stage in the biotic cycle, you are providing your gut with a holistic approach to support its function. Supporting pre, pro and post-biotics will result in a comprehensive foundation for full-body health, great digestion and wellness.