News from CRIS: Probiotics & Prebiotics - Ingredient Safety

March 14, 2022

What are probiotics and prebiotics? 

Prebiotics and probiotics can be foods, ingredients, supplements, products, and more that contain or support microorganisms, intended to be beneficial, that may impact our microbiome, with the goal of improving our overall health (1).

Typically, manufacturers design prebiotic and probiotic products to encourage beneficial bacterial growth that supports our microbiome.

Prebiotics are food, ingredients, supplements, and products that support the wanted beneficial bacteria in our microbiome by providing an ideal nutritional source for the bacteria.

Probiotics are food, ingredients, supplements, products, and more that contain desired beneficial bacteria. 

Are prebiotic foods and ingredients safe?

As discussed in our previous post, prebiotic foods primarily consist of the vegetables, fruits, and whole grains needed to support a healthy lifestyle. Unless you’re allergic to a specific food, they are perfectly safe and advisable to eat regularly, especially if you’re beginning to incorporate probiotic foods into your diet. 

The healthful microorganisms found in probiotic foods need prebiotic-rich veggies, fruits, and whole grains to thrive.

Are probiotic foods and ingredients safe?

For healthy adults, store-bought probiotic foods and ingredients are safe to consume and use in normal quantities. These will include foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, etc. 

For people with a weakened immune system, who are pregnant or nursing, or young children under the age of two, it’s best to talk with a state-licensed medical professional to ensure the foods are safe for you or your young children. 

The most significant risk with probiotic foods is the fermentation and/or pasteurization process. 


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