Discovering Postbiotic Metabolites: A New Frontier in Gut Health & Overall Vitality
The Unsung Heroes of Our Health
Most health-conscious people have heard of probiotics, those live bacteria that keep your gut healthy. But postbiotics are a new frontier for researchers. These are byproducts of probiotics’ fermentation process inside our intestines.
But don’t dismiss them as simple waste products. Scientists are learning about the vital role postbiotics play in your health. Remarkably, our native, natural intestinal bacteria are critical in producing thousands of these compounds that then promote many of our body’s vital functions.
Prebiotics, Probiotics, & Postbiotics – What’s the Difference?
There are three elements to boosting the friendly bacteria in the human body. They work together seamlessly to improve overall health. Probiotics are the active component. Prebiotics feed the probiotics, and postbiotics result from the probiotic action.
As mentioned above, probiotics are live bacteria that have shown indications of positive effects on the human body. Scientists are still researching which strains of bacteria are most beneficial for different conditions, but it is one of the most highly researched areas these days.
For a bacteria to be considered a probiotic, it must survive the stomach acid and arrive in the colon alive. Once there, it ideally works compatibly with other microorganisms that live there, conferring benefits to the human host.
Probiotics are available in a number of different foods and supplements.
- Probiotic supplements
- Fermented pickles
- Fermented saurkraut
Prebiotics are less well-known than probiotics but are essential for probiotic organisms to thrive and grow. They are foods we eat that are called resistant starches. Our digestive process doesn’t break them down, and when they reach the colon, they provide food for the probiotics, which can break them down into food.
You can get prebiotics in your diet by eating the following foods, or you can take a supplement that contains prebiotics:
- Boiled, chilled potatoes
- Green bananas
Postbiotics are a little different from prebiotics and probiotics. Probiotic bacteria create Postbiotics as nutritional factors by living and going through their lifespans. Some supplements contain postbiotics, but if you have prebiotics and probiotics in your body, it sets the stage for the bacteria to produce the bioactive compounds that are beneficial to the human body.
Sometimes postbiotics are called by different names. Here are three:
- Non-viable microbial cells
- Fermented infant formulas (FIFs)
Diversity and Postbiotics
Different bacteria produce different kinds of postbiotic metabolites. We must have many different types of probiotic bacteria in our gut for optimal health. If you plan to take a probiotic supplement, ensure it contains all three.
Microbiologist and supplement developer Dr. Iichiroh Ohhira created the world’s first multi-strain probiotic supplement. It contains twelve strains of probiotic bacteria, making a broad range of postbiotics in the body. These substances are collectively called postbiotic metabolites.
Types of Postbiotic Metabolites
Postbiotic metabolites fall into many broad categories. Here are some important examples.
- Bacteriocins – These protective compounds kill or inhibit the growth of unwanted bacteria
- Enzymes –These postbiotic metabolites help digest food, get rid of toxins, and assist other metabolic processes
- Vitamins – For example, the B vitamins and vitamin K
- Amino acids – These organic compounds are the building blocks of protein
- Neurotransmitters – Postbiotic metabolites carry messages between the nerves and brain and can even affect appetite
- Immune-signaling compounds – These crucial postbiotic metabolites support the body’s immune cells
- Short-chain fatty acids – Created from fiber, these postbiotic metabolites keep the intestinal lining strong and healthy
- Nitric oxide – This is crucial for cardiovascular health.
- Organic acids – For example, fulvic and humic acids. They combine with minerals, making them easier to absorb and helping maintain the correct pH in the GI tract
Our Health Suffers from Lack of Postbiotics
A robust, naturally diverse community of intestinal bacteria – a healthy microbiome – makes all the postbiotics a body needs. However, when fewer families of bacteria are on board, the variety of postbiotics is also reduced – and our vitality and gut health suffer.
Lifestyle factors like smoking, most medications, chlorine in drinking water, junk food, pesticides, and chemicals around the home reduce the diversity of intestinal bacteria. In these cases, a supplement can add the missing elements.
Benefits of Postbiotics
Researchers are beginning to learn about postbiotics, but indications are they have many benefits for the human body. The studies mentioned below all recommend additional research to learn more about the potential of improving human health by improving the gut biome.
- Improved Digestion – Studies are finding evidence that postbiotics positively impact all aspects of digestion and may improve symptoms of uncomfortable digestive conditions.
- Boosted Immune System – Researchers found that postbiotics can help with T-cell mediated immunity, exhibiting pro and anti-immune, anti-tumor, anti-microbial, antioxidant, and anti-biofilm properties.
- Balancing Inflammation Response – Studies suggest that positive changes in gut microbiota can influence inflammation in certain chronic diseases.
- Improved Mental Health – Indications are that prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics can “…exert protective effects against mental disorders by enhancing beneficial gut microbiota while suppressing harmful ones.”
- Promoting Overall Health – A study found evidence that prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics improved sleep quality and stress, and another found an impact on obesity.
Building Postbiotic Metabolites in Your Body
Eating fermented natural foods supports intestinal bacteria by increasing the probiotics in our bodies, and those probiotics, in turn, create the postbiotics our bodies need for good gut health. The wider the variety of fermented foods, the more abundant the variety of postbiotics. Dr. Ohhira had that in mind when he created the only supplement that contains postbiotics.
He fed dozens of wholesome foods like fruits, vegetables, seaweeds, mushrooms, and herbs to twelve proven beneficial strains of probiotics. Then he waited three years while they fermented, giving them ample time to create the postbiotic metabolites that keep our entire body healthy.
A pioneer in probiotic health and research, Dr. Iichiroh Ohhira proved what science now confirms: that the most vital and health-promoting aspect of probiotic supplementation is the restorative postbiotic metabolites produced in his exclusive natural three-year fermentation process. We’re proud to make his supplement available to our customers.