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Best Prebiotic Supplement

When it comes to gut health, most people assume that high CFU probiotic supplements are the way to go.

Although probiotics are essential for optimal gut function, they too rely on the help of their own supplementation in the form of prebiotics. [1]

Prebiotics are dietary fibers that are commonly found in foods, such as vegetables and fruits. They nourish good bacteria found naturally within the body and are typically used to relieve constipation, promote weight loss, and restore a healthy microbiome.

Here, we’ll review the 5 best prebiotic supplements available today and discuss the intended health benefits of each product based on the specific prebiotic fibers they contain.

TL;DR: What is the Best Prebiotic?

  • PrebioMD by 1MD is the best overall prebiotic. It combines xylooligosaccharides (XOS) and galactooligosaccharides (GOS) with PreforPro, the leader in bacteriophage prebiotics.
  • Prebiotic by Performance Lab is the best soluble fiber supplement. It’s composed of Orafti® Synergy1 Inulin-FOS fiber that selectively nourishes naturally occurring Bifidobacterium.
  • Daily Synbiotic by Seed is the best prebiotic and probiotic combination on the market. It contains 24 probiotic strains contained within a prebiotic capsule sourced from Indian Pomegranate.
  • Complete Gut Health + by Mary Ruth’s is the best organic fiber supplement. This product is made with an organic prebiotic fiber blend consisting of alfalfa, barley grass, wheatgrass, and cracked cell chlorella.
  • FertileDetox by Fairhaven Health is the best liver detox supplement. This 3-in-1 supplement consists of a multivitamin-probiotic-prebiotic blend that contains citrus pectin to promote the elimination of heavy metals and nourishment of good bacteria.

Comparison of the 5 Best Prebiotic Supplements

Best Prebiotic
1MD
1
Best Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic Supplement
Best Prebiotic
1MD

PrebioMD® is made with PreforPro® technology and contains both xylooligosaccharides and galactooligosaccharides.

1 Capsule Daily
XOS + GOS
Contains PreforPro Technology
Lactose Allergy Warning
$1.10/Serving
Best Soluble Fiber Supplement
Performance Lab
2
Best Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic Supplement
Best Soluble Fiber Supplement
Performance Lab

Prebiotic contains  Orafti® Synergy1 Inulin-FOS fiber sourced from chicory root.

3-6 Capsules Daily
Inulin-FOS
Chicory Root Derived
Vegan Friendly
$1.30/Serving
Best Prebiotic and Probiotic Combination
Seed
3
Best Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic Supplement
Best Prebiotic and Probiotic Combination
Seed

Daily Synbiotic contains 24 probiotic substrains encapsulated within a prebiotic capsule.

1-2 Capsules Daily
Prebiotic Capsule
24 Probiotic Strains
Vegan Friendly
$1.67/Serving
Best Organic Fiber Supplement
Mary Ruth's
4
Best Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic Supplement
Best Organic Fiber Supplement
Mary Ruth's

Complete Gut Health + is packed with organic prebiotic fibers from superfoods and 1 billion CFU of probiotics.

2 Capsules Daily
Organic Prebiotics
5 Probiotic Strains
Vegan Friendly
$1.33/Serving
Best Liver Detox Supplement
Fairhaven Health
5
Best Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic Supplement
Best Liver Detox Supplement
Fairhaven Health

FertileDetox contains a powerful combination of prebiotics, probiotics, and antioxidants.

3 Capsules Daily
Citrus Pectin
4 Probiotic Strains
Veggie Capsule
$1.00/Serving

Best Prebiotics on the Market

Best Prebiotic – PrebioMD by 1MD

Best Prebiotic Supplement

PrebioMD® is the leading prebiotic supplement within the health and wellness industry.

Unlike its competitors which are solely-fiber based products that, this prebiotic supplement selectively targets harmful pathogens through the use of 4 leading bacteriophages while nourishing essential gut bacteria with the help of xylooligosaccharides (XOS) and galactooligosaccharides (GOS). [6]

Other products typically contain single prebiotic sources which tend to benefit a limited amount of probiotic strains, whereas PreforPro technology enables PrebioMD to provide nutrients to a broad spectrum of good bacteria that work together to promote full-body benefits and boost the immune system.

It is recommended for adults 18 and older to take one capsule daily.

Pros
  • Contains PreforPro® Prebiotic bacteriophages that attack pathogens

  • Combines XOS and GOS to feed good bacteria

  • Only 1 capsule daily

Cons
  • Contains lactose, making it unsuitable for some consumers

  • Contains vegetable oil powder

  • Prebiotic only and does not contain probiotics or antioxidants

custom multivitamin pack

Best Soluble Fiber Supplement – Prebiotic by Performance Lab

Best Prebiotic Supplement

Performance Lab’s Prebiotic contains  Orafti® Synergy1 Inulin-FOS fiber which is best known for its role in nourishing Bifidobacterium found naturally within the body.

This chicory root-derived fiber forms a gel-like substance when passing through the GI tract which helps relieve constipation, prevent watery stools, and promote weight loss by suppressing hunger and regulating blood sugar.

Rather than flood the body with mixed probiotics that may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, Performance Lab utilizes a targeted approach with prebiotics that selectively feed Bifidobacterium strains that are crucial for digestive and metabolic health.

It is recommended for adults to take 3 capsules prior to eating, once or twice daily.

Pros
  • Contains 2 of the best soluble fibers: inulin and FOS

  • Made from chicory root which promotes weight loss and relieves constipation

  • Selectively nourishes Bifidobacterium that live naturally within the gut

Cons
  • Up to 6 capsules daily

  • Limited number of servings if taken twice daily

  • Prebiotic only, does not contain probiotics or other nutrients

 

Best Prebiotic and Probiotic Combination – Daily Synbiotic by Seed

Best Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementBest Prebiotic SupplementSeed.com best Probiotic Review

Daily Synbiotic by Seed is by far the best prebiotic and probiotic combination available.

This product is composed of 24 probiotic strains that are encapsulated within 400mg of non-fermenting punicalagins concentrated from Indian pomegranate.

Pomegranate-derived punicalagins have been shown to: [2][16]

  • Inhibit the growth of pathogens and prevent their overgrowth within the colon
  • Enhance the growth of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli
  • Increase the GI track’s antioxidant capacity to combat inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Reduce the risk of obesity and enhance cholesterol breakdown
  • Aids the prevention of intestinal inflammation and cancer

 

Daily Synbiotic can be taken by both women and men to help improve the following digestive health, dermatological health, cardiovascular health, and aid micronutrient synthesis.

It is recommended for adults 18 and older to take 1-2 capsules daily, depending on their level of tolerance.

Pros
  • Compatible with FODMAPS diet

  • Contains 24 broad-spectrum probiotic strains

  • No refrigeration required

Cons
  • Requires subscription

  • Proprietary formula – doesn’t list specific concentrations of probiotic strains

  • Only contains 1 prebiotic source

 

Best Organic Fiber Supplement – Complete Gut Health + by Mary Ruth’s

Best Prebiotic Supplement

Complete Gut Health + is packed with organic prebiotic fibers and 1 billion CFU of probiotics to provide support for optimal gut health and immune function.

Its organic prebiotic fiber blend consists of alfalfa, barley grass, wheatgrass, and cracked cell chlorella which are all superfoods that possess antioxidants and other phytonutrients required for natural detoxification.

Additionally, Complete Gut Health + contains the leading probiotic strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Bifidobacterium longum, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, making it a powerful synbiotic supplement.

It is recommended for adults to take 2 capsules daily.

Pros
  • Made from organic prebiotic superfoods

  • Combines prebiotics with 5 probiotic strains

  • Contains the leading postbiotic Tributyrin

Cons
  • Doesn’t include the amount of each fiber

  • Doesn’t include concentration of each probiotic strain

  • Doesn’t disclose the source of Fructooligosaccharides

Best Liver Detox Supplement – FertileDetox for Women and Men by Fairhaven Health

Best Prebiotic Supplement

Last, but not least, we’ve included FertileDetox as a part of our list for being the best liver detox supplement with prebiotics.

This product is generally used by both women and men for optimizing their reproductive health to increase their chances of conceiving, however, it can be used by just about anyone as a natural liver cleanse.

FertileDetox contains a powerful combination of the prebiotics citrus pectin, dandelion root, beetroot, and grape seed to nourish the 4 probiotic strains contained within its probiotic blend.

It also contains essential vitamins and minerals for improving sperm health parameters and egg quality as well as supplements like milk thistle to enhance the removal of toxins and heavy metals.

Adults should take 3 capsules daily for best results.

Pros
  • Contains 14 vitamins and minerals

  • Proprietary blend includes prebiotic fibers such as citrus pectin and dandelion root

  • Includes 4 probiotic strains

Cons
  • 3 capsules daily

  • Doesn’t disclose concentration of specific prebiotics

  • Doesn’t disclose concentration of each probiotic strain

Prebiotic Supplement

Prebiotics are technically defined as “selectively fermented ingredients that allow specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microbiota that confers benefits upon host well-being and health”. [13] [14] [15]

In order for dietary fiber to be classified as a prebiotic, it must meet the following 3 criteria:

  1. The fiber must resist breakdown by stomach acidity and enzyme activity as well as absorption in the upper GI
  2.  The fiber must be fermented by bacteria within the intestinal microbiome
  3. The fiber must promote the growth, proliferation, and activity of good bacteria within the intestinal microbiome

 

Prebiotic supplements are generally taken to improve digestion, relieve constipation, and promote weight loss or improve body composition through curbing hunger, enhancing nutrient uptake, and managing blood sugar.

Many prebiotic supplements also contain vitamins, minerals, or probiotics within their formulation to enhance the above benefits and boost the immune system.

custom multivitamin pack

What is the Best Prebiotic to Take?

There are several types of prebiotics that are found within various food sources and supplements.

Some of the most common and best forms of prebiotics include the class of oligosaccharides which consist of fructooligosaccharides,  galactooligosaccharides, and xylooligosaccharides. [4]

Fructans and pectin are also common sources of prebiotics and fall under the class of fibers. Additionally, guar gum and bacteriophages serve as prebiotics.

Let’s take a closer look at the major types of prebiotics and their typical sources. [7]

Oligosaccharides

Fructooligosaccharides

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), also referred to as oligofructose or oligofructans, are dietary fibers found in nearly 36,000 plants.

Their most common sources include barley, oats, wheat, and various fruits and vegetables such as bananas, onions, garlic, and artichoke.

FOS have been shown to provide health benefits ranging from immune system improvements, reduction in cholesterol, and enhanced mineral absorption. [3][10]

They’ve also been added to infant formula in recent years due to their ability to provide protection against pathogens and establish a greater presence of beneficial microbes.

Galactooligosaccharides

Galactooligosaccharides (GOS) are dietary fibers that are composed of lactose and galactose. The most common forms of GOS include oligolactose, oligogalactose, and oligogalactosyllactose.

They are derived from lactulose (cow’s milk) and human milk and have been shown to promote both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacilli growth.

GOS have played a major role in the reduction of the duration of traveler’s diarrhea and have also been shown to induce apoptosis to protect the body against cancer.

Xylooligosaccharide

Xylooligosaccharides (XOS) are derived from plant fiber and can be found in foods such as vegetables, fruits, bamboo shoots, honey, and wheat bran.

XOS are major promoters of Bifidobacterium and some studies have displayed that they are more potent than FOS in respect to Bifidobacterium proliferation and action.

 

Prebiotic Fiber Foods

Fructans

Fructans are naturally sourced polymers that contain plant oligo- and polysaccharides.

They’re found in foods such as chicory root, leeks, onion, garlic, and asparagus and provide protection for plants against environmental stressors.

Fructans are best known for regulating lipid metabolism and improving blood glucose levels. They also serve as ROS scavengers and provide cellular defense against oxidative stress.

Chicory Root Inulin

Inulin-type fructans are the most well-studied form of fructans and within this group, chicory root is considered king. [5][11]

Chicory root is composed of both inulin and fructooligosaccharides which enables it to selectively feed Bifidobacterium.

It has been shown to curb the growth of pathogenic bacteria including E. coli and Candida albacans and is one of the most popular soluble fibers for weight loss and appetite control, as it suppresses ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and helps regulates blood sugar. [9] [17]

Consumption of chicory root inulin-FOS has also been directly connected to improvements in bowel movement frequency and ease.

Pectin

Pectin is a naturally occurring soluble fiber found in vegetables and fruits, specifically in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons.

They have proven highly effective in reducing inflammation and restoring commensal microbes within the colon.

Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum

Guar gum is extracted from the endospermic portion of guar bean seeds. This portion of the seed contains high amounts of galactomannan which are polysaccharides that function as dietary fiber. [8]

You may have seen this certain fiber used as a thickener or stabilizer in food products such as ice cream, cream cheese, or salad dressings and sauces.

Since guar gum in its natural state possesses extremely high viscosity within water, it must be prepared by enzymatic hydrolysis in order to be used effectively by the body.

Partially hydrolyzed guar gum has been associated with an increase in microbial diversity within the body and is a popular remedy for increasing stool frequency while simultaneously reducing stool consistency.

PreforPro

PreforPro is a non-fiber prebiotic that contains bacteriophages which are bacterial viruses that are designed to selectively remove pathogens while promoting the growth of desirable bacteria. [Gindin 2019]

PreforPro contains 4 major strains of bacteriophages:

  •  LH01-Myoviridae
  • LL5-Siphoviridae
  • T4D-Myoviridae
  • LL12-Myoviridae

 

These strains remove unwanted pathogens by destabilizing their cell walls. Subsequently, this releases essential nutrients for bacterial growth into nearby surroundings which can then be used by preferential bacteria for growth and proliferation.

custom multivitamin pack

When to Take Prebiotics

Prebiotics are generally taken in conjunction with probiotics in the morning prior to eating or with meals.

However, some people may prefer to take their prebiotics and probiotics together before bed if they struggle with irritable bowel syndrome or side effects related to FODMAP consumption (fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyols).

Can You Take Prebiotics and Probiotics Together?

Yes, you can take prebiotics along with probiotics.

In fact, many of the supplements we reviewed earlier combine prebiotic fibers with probiotic blends to promote the proliferation and potency of specific probiotic strains.

Supplements that combine prebiotics and probiotics together are referred to as synbiotics.

For example, Daily Synbiotic by Seed encapsulates 24 probiotic substrains within prebiotic fiber capsules sourced from Indian Pomegranate. [12]

Where to Buy Prebiotics

If you’re looking for a prebiotic-only supplement, we suggest the brands 1MD and Performance Lab.

PrebioMD® by 1MD is made from 3 prebiotic components: XOS, GOS, and PreforPro®. It’s designed to provide support for a broad spectrum of probiotics to promote systemic health benefits.

Prebiotic by Performance Lab is sourced from Inulin-FOS that’s derived from chicory root. This product is geared towards nourishing Bifidobacterium specifically in order to achieve optimal gut health and enhance nutrient absorption.

Take-Home Message

Prebiotics are an absolute must when it comes to improving digestive health and boosting the immune system.

On their own, they are extremely effective in promoting the growth of commensal microbes found naturally within the body. However, many supplements combine prebiotics with probiotic strains or essential vitamins and minerals to enhance their effects and further promote health.

1MD and Performance Lab offer prebiotic-specific supplements for those who want to nourish their existing bacteria or already use separate probiotic supplements.

Other brands including Seed, Mary Ruth’s, and Fairhaven Health go one step further and combine their prebiotics with probiotic strains, vitamins, minerals, and other supplements to provide an all-in-one product.

References

See all references

[1] 1MD. (2020, September 3). Prebiotics 101: How To Fuel Your Probiotics. Retrieved from https://1md.org/health-guide/digestive/ingredients/prebiotics

[2] Bialonska, D., Ramnani, P., Kasimsetty, S. G., Muntha, K. R., Gibson, G. R., & Ferreira, D. (2010). The influence of pomegranate by-product and punicalagins on selected groups of human intestinal microbiota. International journal of food microbiology, 140(2-3), 175-182. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168160510001819

[3] Cani, P., Joly, E., Horsmans, Y., & Delzenne, N. M. (2006). Oligofructose promotes satiety in healthy human: a pilot study. European journal of clinical nutrition, 60(5), 567-572. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16340949/

[4] Davani-Davari, D., Negahdaripour, M., Karimzadeh, I., Seifan, M., Mohkam, M., Masoumi, S. J., … & Ghasemi, Y. (2019). Prebiotics: definition, types, sources, mechanisms, and clinical applications. Foods8(3), 92. Retrieved from https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/8/3/92/htm

[5] Gargari, B. P., Dehghan, P., Aliasgharzadeh, A., & Jafar-Abadi, M. A. (2013). Effects of high performance inulin supplementation on glycemic control and antioxidant status in women with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes & metabolism journal, 37(2), 140. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3638225/

[6] Gindin, M., Febvre, H. P., Rao, S., Wallace, T. C., & Weir, T. L. (2018). Bacteriophage for gastrointestinal health (PHAGE) study: Evaluating the safety and tolerability of supplemental bacteriophage consumption. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30157383/

[7] Kaur, A. P., Bhardwaj, S., Dhanjal, D. S., Nepovimova, E., Cruz-Martins, N., Kuča, K., … & Kumar, D. (2021). Plant Prebiotics and Their Role in the Amelioration of Diseases. Biomolecules, 11(3), 440. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8002343/

[8] Mudgil, D., Barak, S., Patel, A., & Shah, N. (2018). Partially hydrolyzed guar gum as a potential prebiotic source. International journal of biological macromolecules, 112, 207-210. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0141813017345324

[9] Nwafor, I. C., Shale, K., & Achilonu, M. C. (2017). Chemical composition and nutritive benefits of chicory (Cichorium intybus) as an ideal complementary and/or alternative livestock feed supplement. The Scientific World Journal, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5745685/

[10] Parnell, J. A., & Reimer, R. A. (2009). Weight loss during oligofructose supplementation is associated with decreased ghrelin and increased peptide YY in overweight and obese adults. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 89(6), 1751-1759. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/89/6/1751/4596797

[11] Roberfroid, M. B. (2007). Inulin-type fructans: functional food ingredients. The Journal of nutrition, 137(11), 2493S-2502S. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/137.11.2493S

[12] Schrezenmeir, J., & de Vrese, M. (2001). Probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics—approaching a definition. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 73(2), 361s-364s. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/73/2/361s/4737561

[13] Seed. (2020, August 12). The Superfood You (And Your Microbes) Aren’t Getting Enough Of. Retrieved from https://learn.seed.com/cultured/the-superfood-for-microbes/

[14] Slavin, J. L., Savarino, V., Paredes-Diaz, A., & Fotopoulos, G. (2009). A review of the role of soluble fiber in health with specific reference to wheat dextrin. Journal of International Medical Research, 37(1), 1-17. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/147323000903700101

[15] Slavin, J. (2013). Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients, 5(4), 1417-1435. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/

[16] Viladomiu, M., Hontecillas, R., Lu, P., & Bassaganya-Riera, J. (2013). Preventive and prophylactic mechanisms of action of pomegranate bioactive constituents. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine2013. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3657449/

[17] Watson, A. W., Houghton, D., Avery, P. J., Stewart, C., Vaughan, E. E., Meyer, P. D., … & Brandt, K. (2019). Changes in stool frequency following chicory inulin consumption, and effects on stool consistency, quality of life and composition of gut microbiota. Food hydrocolloids, 96, 688-698. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0268005X19303686

 

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Kathryn Giuffrida MPH

Kathryn Giuffrida MPH

Kathryn obtained a MPH in Toxicology & Risk Assessment from the University of South Florida in 2018. She's also a year-round swimmer who qualified to compete in the 2020 TYR Pro Series.

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