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Prebiotics vs. Probiotics

How Gut Health is the Key to Great Skin

Written by: 100% PURE®
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Yes, we could totally be breaking out from eating too many carbs - but not for the reason we’ve always thought! The more we learn about the body, the more we realize just how complex and interconnected everything is. What’s becoming more prevalent with scientific studies is what’s called the gut-skin axis. This phrase describes how there’s a direct relationship between what’s going on in our gut and what’s happening on the surface of our skin. Learning more about taking great care of our skin now means taking excellent care of our guts, too. With that in mind, we need to understand the role that prebiotics and probiotics play in relation to gut health and healthy looking skin.


What are Prebiotics and Probiotics?

Let’s start with the prebiotics. What exactly are they? Prebiotics are natural fibers found in foods or formed into supplements that help feed the supportive bacteria living in our gut. We know, it sounds a little off-putting, but let us explain. Designed to support and improve gut and digestive function, prebiotics are broken down in the large intestine and converted to short chain fatty acids. From there, the fatty acid chains are then utilized to maintain the body’s energy and immunity.

Now for probiotics, and how they are different. Unlike prebiotics, probiotics are not fiber at all. Rather they’re types of yeast and living, healthy bacteria. Yes, in a way probiotics are “alive” - and working hard for a balanced gut, too! Probiotics, also known as microorganisms, are an important part of our overall gut microbiota that allows for proper digestion, immune regulation, and so much more. Funnily enough, while we often refer to our skin as the largest organ, the gut microbiome is often referred to as the “forgotten” organ. As our understanding of gut health is more recently emerging and ever developing, the role that prebiotics and probiotics play, especially when we factor in the gut-skin axis, is critical.


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Benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics.

Now we know that together, prebiotics and probiotics make up one of the most significant aspects of our overall digestive environment. What exactly are these two truly up to in our gut?

Prebiotics are mostly responsible for a healthy mucous lining internally. This allows our food to properly digest, absorb, and metabolize. Remember we mentioned that prebiotics act as food for our healthy gut bacteria? That relationship between prebiotics and healthy stomach flora works to prevent the growth and development of unhealthy stomach bacteria. This process should be a total mystery to us, however it becomes obvious quite quickly when there’s an imbalance or overdevelopment of unhealthy gut bacteria. Symptoms such as gas and bloating, irregular bathroom usage, pain, nausea, and even an increased presence of immune-related issues are the most common ways our guts communicate to us that there’s a problem.

This also means that when it comes to gut health, there are clear signs from our body when we aren’t getting appropriate probiotics as well. Surprisingly one of the biggest signs - and the easiest to miss - is persistent lethargy. Studies have found that chronic fatigue along with elevated allergies or food sensitivities, are some of the biggest hints that something’s not quite right in gut-ville. Once we get this turned around, however, we can experience higher energy, weight loss, debloating of the tummy area, a more regular bathroom schedule, and even an improved mental health state.

We can see here that prebiotics and probiotics are absolutely essential for a healthy gut, and it would follow then that they’re also equally as important for healthy skin. How can we get more of these in our diet?


Best Sources of Prebiotic and Probiotic Foods.

Great news! While supplements are often an excellent source of prebiotics and probiotics, they’re not the only option. A healthy and balanced diet is probably already loaded with plenty of prebiotics and probiotics, working towards that gut health that we’re all after. Let’s look at some of the most common and plentiful options to get these into our body.

  • We have no doubt that almost everyone is already consuming at least one source of prebiotic - so that’s a great start! Options include the foundation of many meals, garlic and onions; oats, apples, and bananas, which make up many a breakfast spread as well as flax seeds and wheat bran.

  • As far as probiotic foods go, the most well-known source of foods that contain the healthy bacteria strains that make up probiotics are most commonly found in fermented food. Great sources to naturally work probiotics into our diet come from kombucha, kimchi, yogurt and kefir, sauerkraut, and even sourdough bread.

Let’s also highlight some familiar favorites that make cameos in 100% PURE product formulas.

  • The highly fibrous konjac root which acts as the base of our konjac charcoal sponge cleanser is a great dietary source of prebiotics.

  • Natto beans - a lesser known legume - is working overtime as a probiotic, as they’re doing double duty with our skin too. They’re an incredibly rich natural source of polyglutamic acid, which for those who are unfamiliar is a supercharged sister of hyaluronic acid. With tons of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, this skin powerhouse is such a star that we formulated an entire skincare line around it in our new Watermelon + Cucumber skin trio.

  • Anyone who is at all familiar with us at 100% PURE knows how obsessed we are with cocoa. And although products like our fruit pigmented lipsticks perform great, they’re not quite good enough to eat. Well, our favorite food (and skincare ingredient) also happens to be an excellent prebiotic, so now we can enjoy this delectable treat guilt-free.

It’s also important to note that supplement forms of prebiotics and probiotics are perfectly fine and will work just as well for gut health. Keep in mind that introducing a new supplement to the body often requires a bit of an adjustment period; however extended periods of bloating, bathroom irregularity, skin irritation and uncommon lethargy are likely signs to switch supplements for a more seamless fit and wait to see that beautiful skin bloom when we finally maintain balanced, happy gut health.

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.


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