Postbiotics are gaining scientific recognition as a critical factor in maintaining long-term digestive health.
When dietary fibre is broken down and fermented in the colon by bacteria, it forms byproducts known as postbiotics. Previously considered the metabolic waste of probiotic activity, postbiotics are now recognized as a potential alternative to using whole bacteria and may produce the same effect on gastrointestinal health as probiotics (friendly bacteria associated with good gut flora).
Probiotics v postbiotics
Probiotics are living organisms. When they die, they secrete postbiotics that are believed to mimic the beneficial therapeutic effects of probiotics and continue to improve health.
Despite the proven benefits of probiotics, postbiotics can avoid risks linked with administering live probiotic bacteria, especially to vulnerable people such as preterm infants or people with immune deficiencies.
Concerns regarding the side effects of probiotics include the potential to spread antibiotic resistance genes and hinder normal colonization of other microflora.
Other advantages of postbiotics are their clear chemical structure, safety dose parameters and longer shelf life.
Examples of probiotic products:
Probiotic Serum, this revitalizing serum replenishes, balances and hydrates skin.
10% Probiotic Cream, multi-purpose cream, replenishes, balances and hydrates skin, also contributing to treating acne and rosacea.
Example of postbiotic product:
Oxy 229 PF is a bioactive skin ingredient designed to revive dull-looking skin. It reduces redness and makes it look smooth and young. It effectively reduces sebum levels and minimizes Corynebacterium Kroppenstedtii, a novel target for the control of skin redness. OXY 229 PF is suitable for post-biotic skincare applications.
Short-chain fatty acids
Postbiotics include short-chain fatty acids – *acetate, propionate and butyrate.
The production of short-chain fatty acids is determined by several factors, including the numbers and types of bacteria present in the gut and the specific source of fibre.
Short-chain fatty acids are among the essential products of the gut microbiota. They affect a range of physiological processes, including energy utilization, communication between human and microbial cells, and control of acid levels in the colon. These effects affect the composition of the gut microbiome and general colon health.
* Propionate and acetate are carried in the bloodstream to various organs for critical metabolic processes. At the same time, butyrate is a significant energy source for the colon and has a vital role in intestinal growth and cells that line the gut.
Advantages of postbiotics
- They are safer to use than probiotics: no harmful bacterial components
- Host reproducibility: no need for bacterial growth or colonization
- Efficacy: higher concentration of active components
Image courtesy of ThinkBiome