News from CRIS: Probiotics & Prebiotics - Microbiome Background

February 21, 2022

What are probiotics and prebiotics? 

Probiotics and prebiotics can be foods, ingredients, supplements, products, and more that contain or support microorganisms, most often beneficial that may impact our microbiome, impacting our overall health (1).

What is the human microbiome?

The human microbiome consists of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and archaea living within or on our body, often in a mutualistic or symbiotic relationship, meaning the microorganisms benefit our health in some way. In return, our body keeps the microorganisms alive (1,2).

There are trillions of organisms living in and on our bodies, helping to support our health. We each have a unique combination of microbiota (the microbes that make up the microbiome) to support our systems (1). 

Each person’s microbiome will consist of beneficial and potentially harmful microbiota. The potentially harmful microbes (known as pathogens) present in our system typically do not threaten our health or our microbiome balance unless an illness, diet, or medication (like antibiotics) disrupts our system. Any significant disruption can cause the beneficial microbiota to die, leaving more harmful pathogens to thrive (1).

Where do we find microbiota?

Our microbiome typically refers to all the systems of microbiota found throughout and on our body.

Our gut contains the largest and arguably most impactful microbiota system. But, we still find microbiota on our skin, in our mouths, and in other mucus membranes. All of these together make up our microbiome. 


To continue reading the entire blog post, visit: