What Are Prebiotics & Why Should They Be Part of Your Routine?

What Are Prebiotics & Why Should They Be Part of Your Routine?

Gut health is a trending topic in wellness right now, with new findings in the field making headlines seemingly every day. After all, there has been—and continues to be—no shortage of scientific advancement in recent years: Between 2014 and 2019 alone, more than 25,000 gut-microbiota-related research articles were published.1 This literature has shown the gut microbiome significantly influences our overall well-being in numerous ways we’re only beginning to fully understand. Of course, it has a huge influence on digestion. But it also plays a major role in immunity, as well as mood. The very latest studies suggest a healthy gut might help us be more motivated to exercise, for example.2

So how can you best care for your gut? You probably already know about—and likely take—probiotics. And if you ask us, a good probiotic is as important to a good daily supplement routine as a multivitamin. But what if you could do even more? We recommend adding in prebiotics for comprehensive gut support.*

What are prebiotics and why are they so important? What’s the difference between prebiotics and probiotics? What should you look for in a prebiotic supplement? Keep reading for the answers and to meet our new Mycrobiome™ Prebiotic Powders.

Prebiotics Definition + Benefits

Prebiotics are specialized plant compounds that act as a source of food for probiotics, aka the good bacteria in the gut (more in a minute). Prebiotic compounds are resistant to stomach acid and unable to be digested, which means they can travel all the way to the colon. There, probiotics metabolize and ferment these prebiotics, which help the beneficial bacteria not only survive but thrive—so they can keep on doing their work of helping you stay well.*

As prebiotics get broken down by gut bacteria, short-chain fatty acids such as butyric acid are created. And that’s a good thing: Butyric acid plays a role in several bodily processes, including helping strengthen the intestinal lining. A strong lining allows important vitamins and minerals to leave the gut and enter the bloodstream while keeping potentially harmful compounds out.*

You can consume prebiotics through your diet—discover many common food sources below—as well as take a prebiotic supplement, like our new Mycrobiome Prebiotic Powder.

Prebiotics vs. Probiotics: What Is the Difference?

Probiotics are living microbial organisms naturally found in the human body. Though bacteria are usually seen as “bad,” probiotics are good bacteria that have a beneficial effect on our overall health and well-being.

Perhaps surprisingly, the human body contains as many microbial cells as human cells; in fact, slightly more. Research suggests the average person is made up of around 39 trillion bacteria and around 30 trillion human cells.3 These bacteria—including probiotics—as well as fungi and viruses are collectively known as the microbiome. Though probiotics can be found in many locations in the body, the largest concentration of these beneficial bacteria is found in the gut microbiome. (There’s even an oral microbiome. Our Mycrobiome Mouth & Throat Lozenges are specially designed to promote oral health.*)

The gut microbiome is often thought of as a supporting organ because it is so critical to helping the body function smoothly. As mentioned above, it’s not only involved in digestion, but also immunity. Scientists report at least 70% of the immune system is located in the gut.4

Probiotics can be found in dietary sources, particularly fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso, and tempeh. They can also be consumed through probiotic supplements. The majority of our targeted Mycrobiome probiotic supplements are expertly formulated specifically for powerful digestive function and immune system support.*

Types of Prebiotics

There are many different types of prebiotics. Some of the types most often used in prebiotic supplements include inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which are found naturally in chicory, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, asparagus, agave, and other dietary sources.

But they aren’t the only kind—and, for a variety of reasons shared below, may not be the best types of prebiotics for supplements. Other dietary sources of prebiotics include resistant starch (in uncooked and cold potato, rice, etc.); arabinogalactans, or AOS (in turmeric, carrots, tomatoes, etc.); galactooligosaccharides, or GOS (in lentils, chickpeas, low-FODMAP mushrooms, etc.); and flavonoids and polyphenols (in citrus, green tea, cacao, etc.).

When formulating our new Mycrobiome Prebiotic Powders, we decided to utilize these other types of prebiotics, not typical inulin or FOS. Why? Inulin can be problematic for people with gastrointestinal issues, as well as those allergic to plants in the ragweed family and those intolerant to high-FODMAP foods. It can cause unwanted side effects such as bloating, gas, and abdominal cramping. Likewise, FOS used for prebiotic supplements may contain allergens, may not be suitable for vegans, and may also cause digestive discomfort for some.

What to Look for in a Prebiotic Supplement

When shopping for a high-quality prebiotic supplement, there are many things to consider. As previously discussed, if you have any allergies, are intolerant to high-FODMAP foods, or just generally want to avoid potential digestive upset, look for products without inulin or FOS that are expressly formulated to be gentle on the stomach.

To ensure you’re getting one of the most efficacious prebiotics available, choose a supplement made with clinically backed and studied ingredients. Of course, as prebiotics come from food sources, also consider your own personal dietary preferences, and choose a product that meets your individual needs, such as one that is vegan, made without soy, or gluten-free. 

Introducing New Solaray Prebiotic Powders

We are proud to introduce new Solaray Mycrobiome Prebiotic Powder—in citrus and unflavored options. These formulas deliver expert blends of carefully selected prebiotics and are designed to support overall colon and digestive health as well as butyric acid production to promote a healthy gut barrier.*Now, our Mycrobiome line offers complete gut support in just two simple steps: 1) Before you probiotic, prebiotic. 2) After you prebiotic, probiotic.

What makes our powders high-quality, efficacious options you can count on?

  • Innovative prebiotic blends: Each formula features a unique blend of prebiotics with resistant starch—no inulin or FOS.
  • Clinically backed and studied ingredients: Both our citrus and unflavored formulas are crafted with scientifically backed ingredients including MyceliaGI®, a proprietary blend of organic reishi, maitake, and oyster mushrooms shown to increase butyric acid levels, along with clinically studied MICROBIOMEX® and Potatodaat®.*
  • Non-bloating: Because of our special prebiotic blends that include resistant starch, flavonoids, and polyphenols, the powders are designed to be non-bloating and gentle on the stomach and are formulated as low-FODMAP products.*

With a bright, delicious flavor, the citrus formula is sweetened with organic monk fruit and contains no added sugars. The unflavored formula contains no added sugars or flavors. It also includes STARMERIC® turmeric, FIBRISS™ baobab, and fermented ginger for additional support. These powders are non-gritty and dissolve quickly in water or any beverage, making it easy to feed your probiotics and nourish your gut.* They are vegan, gluten-free, made without soy, keto-friendly, and lab verified.

Prebiotics and Probiotics for Gut Health*

Though not as often discussed as probiotics, prebiotics are vitally important for gut health.* These non-digestible compounds act as a source of food for probiotics, helping the beneficial bacteria thrive, and are also involved in the production of butyric acid, which plays a role in strengthening the intestinal lining.

For a comprehensive digestive support regimen alongside your favorite Solaray probiotic supplement, add in our new Mycrobiome Prebiotic Powder—in citrus or unflavored.* Each formula delivers an expert blend of carefully selected prebiotics, including resistant starch, and is made with clinically studied ingredients you can trust.* Count on Solaray Mycrobiome Prebiotic Powder to support overall digestive wellness, butyric acid production, and a healthy gut barrier.*

Prebiotic. Probiotic. Live Brighter.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

As part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

‡Potatodaat® is a registered trademark of Lodaat, LLC; MICROBIOMEX® trademark is property of BioActor, B.V.; MyceliaGI® is a trademark of Aloha Medicinals; FIBRISS is a trademark under exclusive global distribution by Compound Solutions, Inc.; STARMERIC® is a registered trademark of Sabinsa Corporation, USA.


  1. Sibo Zhu et al. “The Progress of Gut Microbiome Research,” Journal of Neuroinflammation 17, no. 25 (2020), https://jneuroinflammation.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12974-020-1705-z.
  2. Lenka Dohnalová et al. “A Microbiome-Dependent Gut–Brain Pathway Regulates Motivation for Exercise,” Nature 612 (2022), https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05525-z.
  3. Alison Abbott, “Scientists Bust Myth That Our Bodies Have More Bacteria Than Human Cells,” Nature (2016), https://www.nature.com/articles/nature.2016.19136.
  4. Selma Wiertsema et al. “The Interplay Between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System,” Nutrients 13, no. 3 (2021), https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33803407.

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