You Had Prebiotics And Probiotics Now Get Ready For Postbiotics

Smoothies will be good drinks for postbiotics
Image by Krzysztof Kamil from Pixabay

One of the new ideas for healthy eating is postbiotics. 

It seems that having understood to a large extent what prebiotics and probiotics meant, we now have a new concept in healthy eating which is termed postbiotics.

What are postbiotics?

It helps to do a quick recap on the other terms. Probiotics are those microorganisms that we ingest and do us good by fermenting our food and turning it into useful componentry. Prebiotics are what probiotics and our gut bacteria live on and serve as the raw material for all those beneficial microorganisms.

Postbiotics are actually all the good healthy components that our gut microorganisms produce. It includes what are described as metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids, broken down protein and peptides etc. To all intents and purposes it is waste material from fermentation but its the really beneficial stuff.

To date there is no formal definition but it wont be long before there is an officially sanctioned form. If you think of the foods that contain probiotics than they will most certainly contain postbiotics. These are foods like kefir, kimchi, sauerkrauts, sourdough etc.

Another term used in the same way is paraprobiotics!

These types of food are familiar to many so selling the idea will not prove too much of a stretch.

For many of us, postbiotics are compounds which have a wide variety of benefits. If you think how good other-biotics happen to be than you can identify them with reducing inflammation, modifying and stimulating the immune system, reducing cholesterol as in their hypocholesterolaemic effect and having antioxidant benefits.

A number of suppliers are beginning to offer postbiotics by removing the live bacteria from the mix and leaving all those healthy compounds. ADM offer probiotic strains including BPL-1 which is linked to reducing visceral fat. If you heat treat the microorganisms then it inactivates it but offers roughly the same benefits as the live microorganism.  One benefit is that it is probably easier to sell the concept as a non-living ingredient. It will remain stable and not be altered further because it is no longer living and this relatively easier to work with. There are shelf-life issues when it comes to proving the presence of live bacteria at the end of shelf-life but this aspect is taken out of the equation.


In the USA, heat-treated BPL-1 has GRAS status. The material is associated with an important fatty acid known as lipoteichoic acid (LTA) which has specific cell signaling properties. The biochemistry is only just being worked out.

Cargill have a yeast fermentate called Epichor which has also has wellness function.

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