What are Postbiotics?

What are Postbiotics?

Melanie Ryan

We have all heard of prebiotics and probiotics, but now there is POSTbiotics!

Postbiotics is a recent term as the research is still very new. Here is what we do know about what they are and how they compare to pre and probiotics.

Prebiotics are the foods that feed our probiotics. Probiotics are the live bacteria in our gut.

Postbiotics are the biproduct of fermentation which occurs after probiotics eat the prebiotics. Postbiotics are considered to have a beneficial effect on the host. They include short chain fatty acids, enzymes, proteins, peptides and discarded cell wall fragments. Therefore postbiotics are not living bacteria but the beneficial after effect of the fermentation process. They can also be heat-treated or “inactivated” specific probiotic strains eg Lactobacillus paracasei which can provide the same effect.


Evidence has found that postbiotics may have:

• anti-inflammatory effects
• anti-hypertensive effects
• antioxidant effects
• improve immune health
• potentially help prevent type 2 diabetes
• possible anti-cancer properties
• Benefit to overall health

It’s also been shown that postbiotics may be particularly helpful in infants in the first three years of life. Clinical trials showed reduced incidence of symptoms of food and inhaled allergies. Also showed to be beneficial in reducing diarrhoea in infants. Using postbiotics in babies and infants would be particularly beneficial for those that cannot be breastfed as one of the best pre and postbiotics come naturally in breastmilk.

Where do I get postbiotics from?

You will naturally get the effects of postbiotics if you are consuming a good amount of prebiotics as well as either taking a probiotic supplement or consuming fermented foods on a daily basis. Although some people cannot tolerate these particular foods and would benefit from taking the postbiotic directly.

There are some products out there that combine pre and probiotics which then results in a product that has postbiotics. Synbiotics is a term that has been used for these products in the past, but there is discussion to change this over to postbiotics.

There is currently not a lot of products on the market claiming to be postbiotic as this concept is so fresh especially in Australia, but one product we sell is Rochway Kakadu Plum with Collagen. A great way to get postbiotics as well as the many health benefits of Kakadu plum and collagen all rolled into one easy, great tasting drink. You can check out this product in-store and online.