The word “synbiotic” refers to the combination of probiotics and prebiotics and how they work together, in synergy, to improve health. Some recent research suggests that combining particular synbiotics could exert weight-reduction and anti-inflammatory effects. Perhaps this is because it effects short-chain fatty-acid production and improves the metabolomic output of the gut microbiome. It is also felt that when prebiotics are added to the probiotics, there is improved viability of the probiotic. This basically means that if you combine probiotics with prebiotic “food,” for those probiotics, it might possibly be more likely to survive and plant its flag in your gut. In other words, you should always be eating prebiotic fiber-rich foods along with your probiotics.
So, if you are looking for a way to help give your gut microbiome a boost, particularly in the setting of certain kinds of infections and IBS, you might want to consider a probiotic. Generally speaking, my favorite probiotics are the ones found in fermented foods. Not only do you get the beneficial affects of the microbes that come with the foods, but you also get the benefits of the foods themselves, including the vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients.
If you eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in prebiotic foods, probiotic foods, and other gut-healing, microbiome-balancing herbs, spices, teas, and foods, you will be well on your way to being one step ahead of the game. This synbiotic style of eating will help keep your gut microbiome diversity and richness scales more ideal. Your whole body will benefit from it!