Probiotics and prebiotics: what's the difference?

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Last reviewed: 14.03.2019

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Recently, they have often started talking about the usefulness of bifido- and lactobacilli, but not everyone understands what it is. Probiotics and prebiotics: what is the difference - probiotics are called live microorganisms that are found in dairy products (yogurt, kefir), and prebiotics are the remains in the body of food eaten. They promote the growth of bifido- and lactobacilli. Contain these substances in garlic, various porridges, as well as artichokes.

Probiotics and prebiotics for the intestine

How do probiotics help protect the intestinal microflora? One of the ways - to populate it with "useful" bacteria, which should displace harmful microorganisms. But it should be remembered that this method will work effectively only in the case of correction of microflora, in which conditions for the development of harmful bacteria earlier developed. Ignoring this fact will lead to the fact that useful bacteria will have to be taken continuously, and their overabundance can lead to the development of diarrhea.

Another method is the normalization of the intestinal flora and the use of foods that are food for bacteria. In this case, prebiotics should be used. These substances are indigestible food residues, which have a positive effect on the body. They selectively contribute to the development or activation of certain types of bacteria living in the large intestine, thus beneficially affecting the health of the whole organism.

List of probiotics and prebiotics

List of the most popular probiotics for improving the microflora for the intestine:

  • "Bifidumbacterin forte" is a probiotic of the newest generation. Since the capsule has a very strong membrane, it passes through the small intestine and stomach, not dissolving. Therefore, the bifidobacteria trapped in the large intestine remain undamaged;

  • "Profibor" has a higher saturation with bifidobacteria - one of its pouch contains about 10 portions of useful substances contained in the preparation "Bifidumbacterin forte";
  • "Biovestin", which contains simultaneously 2 types of bifidobacteria;
  • "Lineks" is one of the most popular probiotics, since it contains at once 3 components of the intestinal microflora, located in different parts of this organ;
  • Another very popular probiotic drug is Bifiform.

There are also several popular prebiotics - "Dufalac", which helps normalize the level of acidity of the intestine, as well as "Imbalance", containing the necessary dietary fiber for the body.

Russian probiotics and prebiotics

Among Russian drugs, the following probiotics and prebiotics are distinguished:

  • Single-component products - Lactobacterin, Colibacterin, as well as Bifidumbacterin;

  • Polycomponent preparations manufactured in Novosibirsk - Trilakt, as well as Bifidum BAG;
  • Complex agent Bactistatin, which contains a growth medium of bacteria, and not living microorganisms. Bactystatin has an effective pro-and prebiotic effect.

Prebiotics and probiotics in one preparation

Synbiotics are preparations containing food ingredients that include both prebiotics and probiotics. Such a combination allows to mutually enhance the effectiveness of the effect on various metabolic and physiological processes in the body. Such drugs are: Bifiform, Polibacterin, Bactistatin, Bifidumbacterin forte, and Primadofilus, among others.

How to take prebiotics and probiotics?

The complex probiotic Biovestin-lakto should be consumed before meals (half an hour) or after it (after 1 hour). Daily dosage is: for children under 1 year - not more than 1 ml; children 1-6 years - 1 ml for each year of life (for example, a baby 3 years - 3 ml, 4 years - 4 ml, etc.); children 6-12 years old - 6 ml each; children over 12 years, as well as adults - 12 ml.

Prebiotic Bactistatin adults take 1-2 capsules twice a day during meals. In case of poisoning, you should drink 2 capsules three times a day.

Prebiotic Eubikor for children 3-6 years old - 1 packet, for children 6-12 years - 2 bags (the volume of sachets is 1.5 g). Adults appoint 1-2 packs. Volume of 3 g.

Probiotics and prebiotics in foods

Products that contain the most prebiotics:

  • in its raw form - Jerusalem artichoke, garlic, chicory root, dandelion greens, simple onions and leeks, wheat bran, asparagus, bananas;
  • in the prepared form - wheat flour and onions.

Foods containing probiotics are, above all, kefir. In addition, this substance can be found in cheese and cottage cheese, as well as onion, artichokes and various home-made sugars and pickles - sauerkraut, wet apples, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Mixtures with probiotics and prebiotics

In the process of manufacturing infant formulas for milk, manufacturers create a composition that, in its properties, will be as close as possible to mother's milk. For this purpose, most of them include complexes of pro- and prebiotics.

Modern studies show that mixtures containing probiotic strains, as well as oligosaccharide prebiotics, have a positive effect on the health of infants under the age of 1, providing them with a more comfortable digestive process.

It was also found that children who were fed with mixtures with prebiotics in the composition had a more regular and soft stool. In addition, it was found that babies who consumed milk mixtures with probiotics were much less likely to develop intestinal infections or suffer from a temperature increase than infants who were given mixtures without these substances.

In the infant formula, Similac Premium contains both pre- and probiotics, so it helps to strengthen the immunity of the baby, and also improves the digestion process.

Probiotics and prebiotics for children

Often, the child needs a number of useful microorganisms from the mother's milk, with the condition that she herself consumes enough essential substances. But with or just after the illness, the intestinal microflora of the baby is weakened, and therefore it needs additional help. In such cases, doctors prescribe medicines that will be safe for any baby, even in the early days of his life.

The following preparations are probiotic: Lineks, Bifidumbacterin for newborns, and Bifiform and Trilact. Between each other these drugs differ in the amount of colony-forming microorganisms per 1 ml of the preparation.

Prebiotic drugs are Laktusan, Normaz, and Prelax and Inulin. These funds differ in content in the composition of different low-molecular carbohydrates. For example, in the basis of the drug Norma there is lactulose.

The best probiotics and prebiotics

Probiotics in the form of medicines are available in the form of ampoules, tablets, powders, capsules, and also vials. The liquid form is considered to be the most effective, since they have the strongest concentration and therefore have an immediate effect. The action of dry probiotics begins only after 5-8 hours and stretches for a fairly long time. The duration of the course can not be more than 1 month. The best probiotics for the intestines:

  • Lactobacterin, containing microorganisms living in the intestines, as well as the oral cavity. They help to remove cholesterol from the body, and also help the process of carbohydrate excretion;
  • Bifidumbacterin, the components of which help to isolate the vitamins of groups B and K. This drug is allowed to be given even to infants. This medicine also helps to eliminate inflammation in the intestines;
  • Colibacterin - this probiotic is usually prescribed for elderly people with pathologies of the large intestine, colitis in chronic form and other intestinal diseases;
  • Linex contains substances that help the production of calcium and iron, as well as vitamins B and E, C and K. The drug improves digestion;
  • Acipol, which contains kefir fungi (so it tastes like dairy products). This component helps to eliminate acute intestinal diseases, as well as inflammation;

  • Bifiform, which helps to produce special intestinal acid. The beneficial substances contained in this preparation are not destroyed by antibiotics, so it can be taken in combination with them.


Dufalac, which is a solution of lactulose, contains at least 67 g of this carbohydrate in 100 ml of the preparation.

Prebiotic Hilak Forte is a medicine produced in the form of a drinking suspension. It contains 4 elements, including the products of vital activity of a healthy intestinal microflora. In addition, the preparation contains auxiliary substances: citric, phosphoric, and lactic acid.

Pantothenate calcium is a medicine containing a complex of minerals and vitamins. The drug improves metabolism and increases the growth of intestinal bacteria. The active substances of the prebiotic interfere with the development of pathogenic flora in the intestine.

Lysozyme is a natural antibacterial drug whose substances are produced by certain types of bacteria. The use of lysozyme allows the destruction of pathogenic microorganisms in the digestive tract, and also promotes the development of a healthy microflora. In addition, the drug enhances the local effects of antibiotics.

Cheap probiotics and prebiotics

Probiotics and prebiotics can be purchased at low prices. For example, such are Lactobacterin and Bifidobacterin, which are available in the form of a powder contained in ampoules or vials.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6]


To simplify the perception of information, this instruction for use of the drug "Probiotics and prebiotics: what's the difference?" translated and presented in a special form on the basis of the official instructions for medical use of the drug. Before use read the annotation that came directly to medicines.

Description provided for informational purposes and is not a guide to self-healing. The need for this drug, the purpose of the treatment regimen, methods and dose of the drug is determined solely by the attending physician. Self-medication is dangerous for your health.

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