Today's best prebiotic supplements are an upgrade over basic probiotics.
The microbiome is a colony of beneficial bacteria (also called friendly flora, good bacteria or probiotics) that lives in your gut.
Your microbiome's good bacteria can do great things for your health:
- Boost nutritional status. Liberate nutrients from food, improve nutrient absorption and support natural nutrient synthesis1
- Support digestive health. Nourish the colon, strengthen your gut lining and promote easy elimination2
- Promote immune function. Help to fight pathogens and raise immune cells3
- Support the gut-brain axis. Research links the microbiome to mood-boosting brain chemicals4
Probiotic supplements have traditionally been used to optimize the microbiome.
But prebiotic supplements are now emerging as a better way to promote a thriving microbiome for overall health.
Prebiotics are gaining popularity as we learn more about probiotic limitations:
1. Probiotic supplements are fragile.
Probiotics can be degraded by heat, cold, light and time.5 They also need to reach the colon alive in order to promote any health benefits.6
Some probiotic strains are destroyed by stomach acids on their journey down the gut.
2. Some probiotic supplements are misleading.
Probiotic supplement labels show colony forming units (CFU). This is the number of bacteria in the capsule. CFU ranges from millions to 50 billion probiotics per serving. But more is not better.
That's because manufacturers are not required to list live probiotics on the label. 10 billion CFU listed the label might mean 5 billion life and 5 million dead. Who knows.
According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), probiotic supplements with higher CFU counts do not necessarily improve a product’s health effects.7
3. Probiotic supplements may be linked to digestive side effects.
A haphazard mix of 10+ billion probiotics as 10+ probiotic strains may confuse and upset the stomach.
Some probiotic supplements have been linked to gastric distress including gas, bloating, constipation and other symptoms.
Probiotic supplements have the potential for great health support.
But many are limited by variable bioactivity, unreliable effectiveness and gastric side effects.
Enter the prebiotic supplement.
Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that nourish growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines and colon. They are found in foods and supplements.
Prebiotics are hot because they boost the microbiome like probiotic supplements do -- but in a more reliable, organic and comfortable way.
- Instead of bombing the gut with billions of mixed-strain microbes, prebiotics feed your existing microbiome for robust growth and thriving health.
Prebiotics are also a 2-in-1 supplement. Beyond boosting the microbiome, prebiotics supply soluble fiber that contributes to ideal daily fiber intake.
Sufficient fiber intake supports:8
- Digestive health and comfort
- Heart and cardiovascular health
- Blood sugar balance
- Appetite control
- Healthy weight management
By optimizing the microbiome and boosting your soluble fiber intake, prebiotic supplements have benefits that probiotics do not.
Usage Tip: Prebiotic supplements contribute 1-3 g soluble fiber to total daily intake. For the best fiber benefits, experts recommend 25-30 g fiber per day, including both soluble and insoluble fiber.9
For the best prebiotic benefits, you need the most effective ingredient presented in the cleanest supplement format.
Let's get right to the best prebiotic ingredient, followed by the best prebiotic supplement of 2020, in this guide.
Best Prebiotic Ingredient on the Market Today: Orafti® Synergy1 Inulin-FOS
Inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are two types of soluble fibers found in one natural source: Chicory root.
Orafti® Synergy1 is a special form of Inulin-FOS made from chicory, bioengineered for 2-in-1 microbiome/fiber benefits and backed by human research.
Orafti® Synergy1 chicory root prebiotics' unique structure of short-chain and long-chain fibers has a stronger resistance to enzymes in saliva and digestive juices.
Therefore, Orafti® Synergy1 Inulin-FOS prebiotics arrive in the colon completely intact and ready to optimally boost your microbiome.10
Orafti® Synergy1 Inulin-FOS has another special property that makes it the best prebiotic supplement you can take:
- Orafti® Synergy1 selectively nourishes one probiotic strain, and it just might be the best: Bifidobacterium11
Why boost Bifidobacterium, specifically? Bifidobacterium are not the most prevalent probiotic found in the gut.
However, they are considered among the most important for supporting a healthy gastrointestinal tract.12
Bifidobacterium is the probiotic strain bred to win at life.
Bifidobacterium are highly competitive probiotics. They can feed on a wider variety of nutrients than other bacteria in the gut.
This advantage is suggested to help Bifidobacterium outcompete bad bacteria in the gut and shift its microbiota balance favorably.13
Orafti® Synergy1 Benefits
Orafti® Synergy1 may be most well known for Bifidobacterium-nourishing and soluble fiber support that benefits overall digestive health. It is suggested to:14,15
- Contribute to normal bowel function by increasing stool frequency
- Stimulate fermentation processes in the gut that increase stool volume and softness
- Assist with easy and comfortable elimination
- Support a resilient gut lining and reduce leaky gut risk
- Promote a healthy and balanced digestive system
- Provide digestive support that comes on in a gradual, mild and comfortable manner, for benefits without bloating
Further, the Bifidobacterium probiotics nourished by Orafti® Synergy1 have been shown in research and reviews to:
- Help to ease uncomfortable symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome16
- Fight GI tract infections by outcompeting bad bacteria and pathogens17
- Assist with diarrhea-related symptoms and discomfort18
Healthy immune system function
About 70% of the immune system is located in the gut.19
In addition to helping digestive health, prebiotics' various gut-supportive bioactivities may also support immune function.
Orafti® Synergy1 is suggested to support immune function by raising Bifidobacterium probiotics.
Here's the idea: Pathogens can only make us sick if they survive the stomach and cross over the intestinal barrier.
Bifidobacterium probiotics may help because they:
- Stick to the intestinal lining more easily, and adhere to the lining more strongly than bad bacteria and other probiotic strains. They strengthen a critical mucosal barrier against invading pathogens.20
- Protect the body against bad bacteria and pathogens via competitive exclusion, immune modulation and nutrient metabolism21
- Play a key role in modulating immune responses, helping to keep them balanced22
In addition, Orafti® Synergy1 in particular has been shown in research to stimulate more effective immune system responses to pathogens.
Researchers have suggested that Orafti® Synergy1 may modestly enhance some aspects of immune performance.23
Orafti® Synergy1 helps to reduce caloric intake, and is a great supplement to choose for your healthy weight management diet.
Some research shows that prebiotic fiber helps to promote feelings of fullness and reduce feelings of hunger -- equating to a 5% reduction in caloric intake over the course of the day.24
Research has shown that Orafti® prebiotics like Inulin-FOS:
- May help with weight loss and body fat mass reduction25
- Help to regulate blood sugar levels and slow the transit of food through the gut.26 This may in turn promote appetite control and less eating
- May further promote appetite control by raising hormones that are associated with appetite satisfaction27,28,29
- Have been shown to trigger a cascade of metabolic effects that lead to reduced daily calorie consumption30
Orafti® Synergy1 can be taken in capsule form, but is also popularly used as a functional fiber in food products.
This is because in addition to its health and wellness benefits, it has a mildly sweet flavor that stabilizes and water and produces pleasing, creamy texture.
Orafti® Synergy1 is used in commercial products that you can eat like ice cream, cereals, chocolates and baked goods.
If you're buying it in supplement form, you can also open the capsule and pour it into your homemade creations.Orafti® Synergy1 is about 25% as sweet as sucrose, with no aftertaste, no stimulation of insulin and no impact on blood sugar levels.31
Research has shown that Orafti® Synergy1 increases calcium uptake.
Orafti® Synergy1 inulin FOS is fermented in the colon, stimulates production of short-chain fatty acid, and raises large intestine acidity.
All of these bioactivities help to make the calcium in your digestive tract more soluble and more bioavailable (bioavailability refers to how much of the nutrient reaches the bloodstream).
Orafti® Synergy1 human research studies have shown that:
- 8 g per day of Orafti® Synergy1 boosted calcium absorption by almost 20%.32
- 10 g per day of Orafti® Synergy1 increased calcium absorption by 20% and magnesium absorption by 10%.33
- 8 g of Orafti® Synergy1 was associated with 45% higher bone mineral density (versus placebo)34
On the last study, researchers also suggested the extra calcium from Inulin-FOS appeared to be deposited directly where it was needed: In bones.
Best Prebiotic Supplement with
Performance Lab® Prebiotic
Performance Lab® Prebiotic is the cleanest, highest-quality Orafti® Synergy1 supplement on the market, and one of the best sources of prebiotic nutrition overall.
When you take Performance Lab® Prebiotic, you get:
- 2 grams of Orafti® Synergy1 per serving: The single best prebiotic supplement ingredient: Chicory root Inulin-FOS
- NutriCaps®: World's cleanest prebiotic capsule, infused with bonus prebiotics from fermented tapioca
The only other ingredient is NuFlow® rice concentrate: A natural flow agent for manufacturing quality. Other prebiotic supplements may use synthetic flow agents.
Performance Lab® Prebiotic Supports
1. Whole-body wellness
- Promotes healthy digestive function, including regularity, comfort and nutrient absorption
- Supports immune function
- Helps fortify intestinal mucosal wall against unhealthy bacteria, toxins and pathogens
- Helps with weight management via satiety, blood sugar regulation, and caloric intake reduction
- Supports long-range bone health by enhancing absorption of calcium
2. Clean lifestyle and long-range health
- Performance Lab® Prebiotic Orafti® Synergy1 is 100% Natural Oligofructose Enriched Inulin (Inulin-FOS)
- Orafti® Inulin is so clean and high quality, it can be used in infant formulas
- Contributes to the fiber intake that promotes long-range heart health by regulating absorption of bad cholesterol
- Vegan, 100% natural, prebiotic-infused NutriCaps® from pullulan (fermented tapioca) for daily use with no worry
Performance Lab® Prebiotic is the best prebiotic supplement of 2020.
No other product on the market delivers Orafti® Synergy1 in NutriCaps® with no synthetic additives and a clean label.
Performance Lab® Prebiotic is also made to stack with other Performance Lab® products and form unique health-boosting synergies. For example:
Bio-Performance Synergy: Prebiotic + NutriGenesis® Multi
Performance Lab® Prebiotic works great as its own, but may work even better with Performance Lab® NutriGenesis® Multi.
Performance Lab® Prebiotic + NutriGenesis® Multi form a powerful bio-performance stack:
- NutriGenesis® Multi: Supplies vitamin and mineral essentials grown on probiotic, plant and yeast cultures in a state-of-the-art lab. Highly absorbable to best restore peak cell function across all body systems for daily vitality and long-range health.
- Prebiotic: Boosts probiotic Bifidobacterium that metabolize NutriGenesis® Multi nutrients. Bifidobacterium also further enhance calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc absorption; as well as helping with natural synthesis of B-vitamins and vitamin K in the gut.
Prebiotic's Bifidobacterium support synergizes with NutriGenesis® Multi to improve nutritional status.
Together, they help to promote healthy biological performance across all cells, organs and body systems.
Take NutriGenesis® Multi + Prebiotic as powerful foundational nutrition for supporting peak health and performance.
NutriGenesis® Multi + Prebiotic restore nutrition efficiently; optimize nutrient metabolism and digestive wellness; and prep the body for the best possible utilization of all nutrients in all Performance Lab® formulas
Usage Tip: Take NutriGenesis® Multi + Prebiotic in the same supplement regimen, but not at the same time. Inulin-FOS can interfere with nutrient absorption.