• What are probiotics & prebiotics?
  • What is the difference between probiotics & prebiotics?
  • Should I take probiotics & prebiotics?
  • Are probiotics better than prebiotics?

...We aim to answer all of your questions here.

Probiotics are the body's friendly bacteria. Probiotic bacteria are microorganisms which are beneficial for the human host. Types of probiotic include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces boulardii, and Bifidobacterium infantis. Learn more about probiotics.

Prebiotics, on the other hand, are a food source for probiotics. A prebiotic is a complex carbohydrate which selectively stimulates the growth of good (probiotic) bacteria in the body. Prebiotics can be naturally found in foods such as leeks, onions, and Jerusalem artichokes. Learn more about prebiotics.

Both probiotic and prebiotic supplements have been linked to healthy digestion, good immunity, and increased energy levels.

Probiotics without Prebiotics

The benefit of taking probiotics as opposed to prebiotics is that if the body does not have enough, or the right types of probiotics, it is more useful to take a probiotic supplement, as opposed to simply a prebiotic which will stimulate growth of any probiotics already in the system. A very small minority of people find that prebiotics do not agree with their system (they can cause gas & bloating at first, although this may not subside), and therefore prefer to take probiotics alone.

Probiotics and Prebiotics

The benefit of taking probiotics with prebiotics is that you are effectively covering both grounds; replenishing the body's good bacteria, and also feeding the probiotics - for a longer lasting effect. In simple terms it is like giving someone a bunch of flowers, along with flower food to keep them flourishing for longer.

Prebiotics without Probiotics

Some people find that certain types of prebiotics can be beneficial for certain conditions such as constipation (others may find that a combination works better, or that probiotics alone work for them too).

At the end of the day, different people have different bacterial make-ups, and therefore find that different solutions work for them. At OptiBac we currently offer products with either probiotics alone, or products with a combination of probiotics & prebiotics.

Probiotics without prebiotics: For daily immunity, For those on antibiotics, Saccharomyces boulardii, For travelling abroad, For your cholesterol, For women, and For every day EXTRA Strength.

Probiotics with prebiotics: For every day, Bifidobacteria & fibre, One week flat, and For babies & children.


  • Can you take Optibac products and still eat Activia yoghurts or other probiotics yoghurts?

  • Response from OptiBac Probiotics

    Hi Sia, yes that should be absolutely fine. It's very difficult to overdose on probiotics. For more information see:
    <a href="http://www.optibacprobiotics.co.uk/resource-centre/faq/category-general-faqs/15-is-it-possible-to-overdose-on-probiotics.html">; FAQ : Is it possible to overdose on probiotics?</a>

  • Hi docs think my son has toddler diarrhoea I'm trying him on optibac probiotics for children to see if this helps. How long does he need to take these before we see any improvement ? Thank You

  • Response from OptiBac Probiotics

    Dear Sally, my colleague Jacob has e-mailed you about this. Kind Regards, James.

  • Should we take extra prebiotics with your probiotics for travellers' dairrhoea protection since you do not include any?

    Also can you tell me if the capsules are enteric coated to protect the organisms during passage through the stomach?

    Thanks for your help

  • Hi Roger,

    Thanks for your question.

    Prebiotics are really good to consume, as they provide food for the probiotic bacteria to grow on. However we do find prebiotics much more readily in the diet than probiotics - most fruit and veg contain prebiotics actually, with apples, bananas, onions and garlic being particularly good sources.

    The other reason for not including this ingredient in our travel product is that very occasionally some people can be temporarily sensitive to prebiotic supplementation, until their body gets used to it. For more information you can always refer to this FAQ on our website: 'Side effects from probiotics.' http://www.optibacprobiotics.co.uk/faq/are-there-any-side-effects-from-taking-probiotics

    Omitting the prebiotic therefore makes 'For travelling abroad'suitable for more of our customers.

    Finally, all of the strains in our products are guaranteed to be colony-forming units until the date of expiry, and the strains in those products that do not contain prebiotics have been tested to be viable without additional support.
    The strains are also proven to be viable with or without their protective capsule, and so are not enteric coated.
    For more information see our page 'Are your capsules enteric coated?' http://www.optibacprobiotics.co.uk/faq/are-your-capsules-enteric-coated

    Hope this answers your query - you can always contact me directly if you need any further advice regarding our product range.

    Kerry Beeson BSc (Nut.Med.) BANT CNHC
    Customer Care and Nutritional Advisor
    OptiBac Probiotics
    T: +44 (0) 1264 369 936
    E: [email protected]

  • How do we know if a product covers both the large and small intestine? I know some only work in certain areas of the stomach and want to make sure whatever product I choose covers the entire stomach not just a part. Does that make sense?
    Also, does an upset in your gut flora contribute to weight gain, and does taking a pre/probiotic help with weight loss combined with healthy diet and exercise?

  • Hi Jamie,

    Thanks for your questions.
    I've emailed you directly with the answers to these, along with some useful advice.

    Wishing you the best of health,


  • I have been 'prescribed' the Fodmap diet by both my gastroenterologist & dietician. I've been using Optibacs for every day for several years. Do you know the whether your products have any high fodmap ingredients, or which of your products would be best for me (ie pro- v pre-biotics)?

  • I have severe gas problem, whenever I drink, for 2 days my stomach is full of gas and at that time I also can't breathe properly. My doctor suggested for me prebiotic & probiotic capsules for one month. Is it ok?

  • Hello, I need your help. My husband has had severe stomach cramps and diarrhea for over 2mths. He doesn't eat any vegetables and rarely eats meat. Would you recommend he starts taking probiotics along with prebiotics? I would greatly appreciate your help

  • Dear D. Sczar,

    Thank you for your question, which is one we are regularly asked about.
    For this reason, we have put together a comprehensive FAQ on this subject, which you can read here: http://www.optibacprobiotics.co.uk/faq/are-optibac-probiotics-suitable-on-a-fodmaps-diet

    This will tell you which products are suitable for those following a FODMAP diet and, in answer to your second question, 'prebiotics' are typically avoided by those following this dietary regime. If you would like to contact me directly on [email protected], I would be happy to discuss your individual product requirements further.

    Wishing you the best of health,


  • @ VISH,

    Thank you for your question.
    Your doctor's recommendations sound like a very good idea to us!

    I will contact you directly to find out a little more about your individual needs, and then I can try to make some helpful recommendations.

    Warm wishes,


  • @Rosy,

    Thanks for your question, Rosy, and I'm sorry that your husband has been suffering in this way.

    First of all, I'd have to say that, if he hasn't done so already, he should really go along and see his doctor to have his symptoms thoroughly investigated.

    If his doctor is satisfied that the problem falls under the umbrella of 'Irritable Bowel Syndrome', then do please read our very comprehensive FAQ on this subject, which explains about our range of products and how they may be able to support the broad range of symptoms that can present in this unpleasant digestive complaint.
    Click on this link to the page: 'Which probiotics are for IBS?'

    Of course, diet is extremely important for good digestive health, and so if your husband is having to exist on such a restricted diet, then this is another area you could look at improving. Ideally, I'd suggest that you consult with a qualified nutritional therapist or naturopath, who should assess his diet and lifestyle, and identify the most appropriate and balanced diet for his needs, along with a supportive supplement protocol if necessary. From what you say, probiotics could play a helpful role in such a protocol.
    Check out www.bant.org.uk or www.cnhc.org.uk to find a professional near to you.

    If you have any more questions about your husband's probiotic requirements, then do feel free to contact me on [email protected]

    Kind regards,


  • I've just had 8 days of antibiotics for acute diverticulitis, including some intravenous. I'm thinking how to restore gut health and if pre pro biotics might help?

  • Response from OptiBac Probiotics

    Dear Maxine,

    Thank you for your query, and I'm sorry that you have been experiencing unpleasant symptoms.

    You may be interested to read our FAQ 'I have diverticulosis: would OptiBac Probiotics be beneficial?' http://www.optibacprobiotics.co.uk/faq/i-have-diverticulosis-would-optibac-probiotics-be-beneficial

    I'll also write to you directly with some more recommendations that I hope you'll find useful.

    With best wishes,

    Nutritional Advisor
    OptiBac Probiotics

  • I am taking probiotics (the everyday one) for candida overgrowth. If I used the one for women it would not contain prebiotics - does this matter? Why does it not contain prebiotics?

  • Response from OptiBac Probiotics

    Hello Jess,

    Thank you for your question.

    Firstly, if you eat a healthy balanced diet that contains plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains then your gut bacteria will still receive the natural prebiotics that are contained in these foods. We don't put prebiotics in all of our products as not all of our customers want to take them in a supplement form.

    But in the case of the 'For women', the bacteria in this product colonise in the vaginal tract, where they utilise the glycogen contained in vaginal epithelial cells as an energy source, rather than the type of fermentable fibre utilised by intestinal bacteria.

    Hope this helps to clarify,

    Kerry Beeson, Nutritional Advisor, OptiBac Probiotics

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