The 3 Best Prebiotic Supplements

If you’re looking to improve your digestive health or to boost your overall wellness routine, combining the best prebiotic supplements with a healthy dose of probiotics may help. To learn more, Bustle reached out to Dr. Heather Tynan, ND from Evergreen Naturopathic. Below, she details how prebiotics work, their health benefits, and what to look for in a prebiotic supplement.

First things first: it’s important to understand the purpose of prebiotics in the human body. Dr. Tynan tells Bustle to think of prebiotics as food for probiotics, which she describes as: “[...] those helpful microorganisms that are responsible for everything from helping break down the foods we eat so that we can obtain maximal nutritional value to allowing for optimal immune functioning to contributing to neurotransmitter production and thus aiding in mood regulation and mental health.”

Dr. Tynan says you should look for a prebiotic supplement that contains fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), inulin (a type of FOS), or galacto-oligosaccharides, “[...] but recognize that there are multiple prebiotic formulations that will be effective [...]”. Dr. Tynan also points out that the ideal option is to get most of your prebiotics through your diet. Having a wide variety of fiber sources from fruits and vegetables in your diet ensures you're getting not just a broad spectrum of prebiotics but probiotics, too.

As with any supplement, Dr. Tynan advises purchasing from a quality controlled, transparent, reputable source; “[...] opt for third party tested when possible,” she says.

Take a look at the best prebiotic supplements on Amazon. All are highly rated and meet one or more of Dr. Tynan’s criteria.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

1. The Best Prebiotic Capsules To Support Bowel And Immune Health

This pick meets all of Dr. Tynan's criteria, and it comes highly recommended by her, as well. Biotagen by Klaire Labs contains inulin derived from chicory root as well as beta-glucan, which studies have shown boost probiotic microorganism growth, as well as arabinogalactan, which has been shown by studies to have immunity boosting effects.

Plus, this pick has passed raw materials testing, boasts third-party certifications, and Klaire Labs adheres to Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs), as well. Additionally, this prebiotic pick is just about as hypoallergenic as a supplement can get: it's free from milk, eggs, shellfish, fish, gluten, corn, soybeans, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and fish. It also has a 4.3-star rating to boot.

What fans love: “This is a very effective prebiotic recommend by my gastro Dr. I have used it for 3 years.”

2. The Best Gummies With Prebiotics And Probiotics

Olly Probiotic + Prebiotic Gummies boast a four-star rating and it's easy to see why. Containing fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), inulin, and xylitol, an ingredient that promotes your colon's metabolic activity, this peach-flavored supplement is a tasty way to look after your gut health. It's also gluten-free and made without artificial flavors or coloring. Additionally, Olly products are produced and manufactured in facilities audited by the FDA and third party certifiers, including NSF, which makes sure they’re compliant with cGMPs.

What fans love: “Name says it all — Balanced Belly indeed. I felt great after taking these nightly. Felt like they brought balance back into my life.”

3. The Best Prebiotic Powder On A Budget

I couldn't verify that KOS Organic Inulin Powder goes through third party lab testing, but it is USDA-certified organic, produced in a GMP-certified facility, and nonGMO. Plus, this pick has one simple ingredient: organic inulin powder. Also, it's vegan, soy-, dairy-, and gluten-free; and it boasts a 4.6-star rating.

What fans love: “I add this into my smoothie every morning and I absolutely love it! Does exactly what it claims to do. It has zero taste which is exactly what I wanted in this product and mixes well with any beverage I’ve tried (sports drink, water, almond milk) you get a lot of product for the cost also the really cute packaging is always a plus!”

Experts:

Dr. Heather Tynan, ND from Evergreen Naturopathic

Studies Referenced:

Dion, C., Chappuis, E., & Ripoll, C. (2016). Does larch arabinogalactan enhance immune function? A review of mechanistic and clinical trials. Nutrition & Metabolism, 13(1). doi: 10.1186/s12986-016-0086-x. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27073407

Russo, P., López, P., Capozzi, V., Palencia, P. F. D., Dueñas, M. T., Spano, G., & Fiocco, D. (2012). Beta-Glucans Improve Growth, Viability and Colonization of Probiotic Microorganisms. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 13(5), 6026–6039. doi: 10.3390/ijms13056026. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3382753/

Sato, T., Kusuhara, S., Yokoi, W., Ito, M., & Miyazaki, K. (2016). Prebiotic potential of L-sorbose and xylitol in promoting the growth and metabolic activity of specific butyrate-producing bacteria in human fecal culture. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 93(1). doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiw227. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27810878