Probiotics vs. Prebiotics: what should you know?

November 16, 2023

Probiotics and prebiotics, despite their similar names, play very different roles in the gut ecosystem. In the rising supplement market, understanding the subtle differences between probiotics and prebiotics is key. So let's explore the differences between probiotics and prebiotics together to help you better understand the relationship between the two and how to skillfully pair them in your products.

1. What are probiotics?

Probiotics are a class of microorganisms that are beneficial to the human body, usually bacteria that help maintain intestinal health. These microbial hosts help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, promote digestion and absorption of food, and boost the immune system. Probiotics can be ingested by way of yogurt, fermented foods, or probiotic supplements. As far as the probiotic supplements market is concerned, the popular ones are in the form of softgels and tablets1.

2. What is prebiotics?

Prebiotics are special fibers that provide nutrients for the growth of probiotics in the intestines, encouraging them to multiply and become active. Prebiotics have no direct effect on the body but can be used as raw materials for probiotic growth to stimulate the growth of probiotics. In simple terms prebiotics act as a food source for the probiotics. Prebiotics are not digested by the body but can be utilized by probiotics in the intestines. Prebiotic supplements on the market are usually available in liquid or powder form.

3. Current Market Trends

Probiotics have always been at the top of the list of food trends. With the growing interest in functional foods that contain probiotics, as people become more aware of gut health, the global probiotic dietary supplements market was valued at $18.04 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.1%2. Interest in probiotics among women in particular has been on the rise and has reached an all-time high by 2021. This presents a great opportunity for supplement brand owners where you can diversify your line of probiotic supplements for women.

The prebiotic supplements market is also showing a similar boom. The global dietary supplement prebiotics market will be valued at $2,205.9 million by 2022, according to a study by Coherent Market Insights, a U.S.-based research data company3.

4. Combination of prebiotics and probiotics together -Symbiotic supplements

Symbiotic refers to food ingredients or dietary supplements that combine probiotics and prebiotics. It is a mixture of probiotics and prebiotics. It plays a strong synergistic role by both supplementing probiotics and selectively stimulating probiotic colonization. Symbiotic supplements have become popular in recent years, with estimated annual sales of $638 million4. This further suggests that there is a clear consumer interest in getting the combined health benefits of both prebiotics and probiotics at the same time, and symbiotic supplements have become a popular choice to fulfill this need. In response, you can combine different types of prebiotics and probiotics to meet the needs of different consumers. This innovation will make your product more competitive in the market.

Get the latest prices

Since launching in April of 2014, Reiheychem now manages additive supplier work for more than 120+ clients in 30+ countries. We'd love for you to join!
NO.999, qianshan Road, Hefei City,Anhui Province,China
(+86) 15249926606
Inquiry form