Last Updated: February 8, 2019.
Many people are aware of probiotics these days because of the advances in knowledge of gut health.
Probiotic microorganisms play a big role in our digestive health, especially in those with digestive disorders.
But did you know that probiotics don’t reach their full potential if they don’t have prebiotics as a food source? You could make the case that the two are essentially equal in importance.
So in this article, we’re going to give you our recommendations on the best prebiotic supplements that are available on the market.
Why Take a Prebiotic Supplement?
Prebiotics come from plant sources that have high amounts of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and resistant starches. They act as a food source and fertilizer for the healthy probiotic microorganisms that pass through the gut.
By now, you may know just how important the microbiome (the collection of microorganisms in the gut) is to overall health.
There are multiple direct and indirect health benefits associated with prebiotics.
The most direct benefit is that prebiotics are largely made of fiber, so they help with regular digestion by forming healthy stools. Getting enough prebiotics in your diet will result in well-formed stools, meaning less diarrhea and constipation.
Additionally, prebiotics allow probiotics to thrive.
Probiotics are still being studied but have a number of potential health benefits they may provide, including:
- Encouraging a healthy balance of gut bacteria (1)
- Probiotics can help prevent/treat diarrhea, especially antibiotic-associated diarrhea (2) (3)
- Probiotics may boost the immune system and decrease the number of harmful bacteria in the gut. (4)
- They may improve mental health through the ‘gut-brain axis’, the communication channel between the brain and the microbiome. (5) (6) (7)
- Probiotics may provide relief from the symptoms of digestive disorders. (8) (9)
What to Look for When Buying Prebiotic Supplements
There are many different types of probiotic microorganisms and each type has their own preferences when it comes to what they like to feed on.
So the best way to provide a food source for all the probiotic bacteria that you get from food and probiotic supplements is to get as wide a variety of prebiotics as possible.
The three major types of prebiotics that you should look for in a high-quality, well-formulated prebiotic supplement include:
- Galactooligosaccharides and;
By taking a supplement containing these ingredients, you’re incorporating each type of prebiotic and giving good, healthy probiotics the best chance to flourish.
Our pick for the overall best prebiotic supplement is BlueBiology’s 100% Plant Based Prebiotic.
We were impressed with the high quality and variety of strains of BlueBiology’s probiotic product, BlueBiotics Ultimate Care. You can read our full review of that product here.
What we liked about that probiotic supplement is its wide variety of probiotic strains that each have their own health benefits. What this brand has done with its prebiotic is to include each type of prebiotic, meaning every probiotic strain has a viable food source.
This prebiotic supplement consists of:
- 1500mg organic chicory root powder
- 1500mg lentil root powder
- 5000mg organic gum arabic flour
- 23mg alpha galactosidase
When you combine a wide number of probiotic strains with a variety of prebiotics, you get a complementary combination that promotes a healthy gut and digestion.
This product is manufactured in an FDA-certified GMP facility, so you have the assurance that it’s safe.
Coming in at a close number two, the next prebiotic supplement on our list is InnovixLabs’ Broad Spectrum Prebiotic.
We like this supplement because of its robust variety of prebiotic ingredients. With one scoop of this supplement, you get 13 different types of prebiotic fiber and carbohydrates.
This supplement’s prebiotic fiber blend consists of:
- Tapioca isomalto-oligosaccharides (IMO)
- Modified potato resistant starch
- Tapioca resistant starch
- Acacia seyal gum
- Modified citrus pectin
- Larch (larix laricina) Arabinogalactan (AG)
- Cane sugar short chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS)
- Chicory root inulin
- Green banana (Musa paradisiana) powder
- Corn Xylo-oligosaccharide (XOS)
- Guar seed galactomannan
- Mushroom chitan-glucan
- Konjac A (Amorphophallus konjac) Yam (Glucomannan)
A serving consists of 5 grams of total carbohydrates, 5 grams of total dietary fiber, and 5 grams of soluble fiber.
This supplement is free of sugar, gluten, and soy. It’s also vegan-friendly and non-GMO.
If you’re looking for a more simplified prebiotic powder at an affordable price, Hyperbiotics 100% Food Based Prebiotic is a nice option.
This prebiotic supplement contains 6 grams of total carbohydrates, 5 grams of dietary fiber, and 5 grams of soluble fiber per serving, which is one scoop.
The prebiotics in this supplement come from its 7 grams per serving of organic prebiotic fiber blend consisting of organic acacia fiber, organic Jerusalem artichoke fiber, and organic green banana flour.
Do note that this supplement is great for digestion but it can cause gas.
Some people don’t like the taste/consistency of prebiotic supplements in powder form that you mix with a drink. If that applies to you, then BeLive Prebiotic Fiber Gummies may be a great alternative for you.
This product contains 40 gummies. One serving is one gummy, so it’s a bit over a month supply.
For what this product is priced at, it’s a really good value.
A serving contains 3.3 grams of total carbohydrates and 1.6 grams of dietary fiber. Its prebiotics come from 3.35 grams of chicory root and 2.5 grams of fructooligosaccharides (inulin).
It’s free of gluten, wheat, peanuts, soy, eggs, fish, shellfish, and GMOs. It’s also vegan/vegetarian-friendly and is manufactured in an FDA-approved and GMP compliant facility.
The only thing we didn’t like about these is that they stick together very easily.
In spite of its odd name, our final recommendation is Dr. Tobias’ Gutmeister Ultimate Prebiotic.
This prebiotic supplement is unique in that it uses a patented form of prebiotic as its active ingredient called PreforPro®. This substance is specifically manufactured to provide a food source for probiotics and only feed the good bacteria in the gut, not the bad.
This product is made an a GMP facility and is third-party tested for quality. It comes in capsule form (vegetarian capsules) and one bottle contains 30.
It’s a good idea to keep in mind that you should be getting as many prebiotics as you can from food and if you need a little extra boost to get the rest, then use a prebiotic supplement.
On a related note, when shopping for a prebiotic supplement, the main thing to look for is that it contains each class of prebitoic: oligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharides, and inulin.
That’s why we chose BlueBiology’s 100% Plant Based Prebiotic supplement as the best prebiotic supplement. It ticks all the right boxes for a prebiotic and is very complimentary to the company’s multi-strain probiotic supplement.