• 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.


  • 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="https://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.' https://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?' https://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: https://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?' https://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

  • Is it ok to take Every Day capsule AND For Women together? I have diverticula problems and recurring UTI's.

  • Response from OptiBac Probiotics

    Dear Margaret,

    Thank you for your enquiry.

    The answer to your question is, yes, it's absolutely fine to take any of our products in combination, according to your individual needs.
    See our FAQ: Can I take two OptiBac Probiotics supplements at the same time?

    I hope that this helps to reassure you.

    with kind regards,


    Customer Care and Nutritional Advisor

  • I have heard that GOS probiotics are better for certain aspects of health but you seem to only offer the FOS version. If I am wrong could you tell me which of your products offer the GOS version instead? Thank you

  • Response from OptiBac Probiotics

    Hello Nikki,

    Thank you for your question.

    You're correct that we currently only offer products containing FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) rather than any other form of prebiotic, as we felt that the bacteria that they contain, and the intended purpose of the products, would be better served using FOS products. At the time of development, there was also more research available to support the use of FOS; however, we're constantly reviewing the latest research and considering how to improve and add to our range, so it's certainly possible that products containing GOS (Galacto-oligosaccharides) may be added to the Optibac Probiotics range in the future.

    Thank you for your interest in our brand.

    Best wishes,

    Nutritional Advisor

  • Hello

    I am on Fodmap and am unable to have white onion, leek etc. How can I counteract missing out on these obviously important prebiotics. ?
    Best Wishes


  • Response from OptiBac Probiotics

    Hi Heather,

    Thank you for your enquiry.

    I'm sorry to hear that you’re not able to have some prebiotic rich foods or supplements due to your FODMAP diet.

    I must point out that low FODMAP diets are generally only recommended for a short period of time, and should be done with the support of a qualified practitioner. So, if you haven’t already done so, then I'd strongly recommend consulting with a nutritionally qualified practitioner to ensure that your diet is still healthy whilst on this diet.

    Your chosen practitioner will be able to provide tailored recommendations about foods you can re-introduce, and also which ones to avoid based on your personal experience at each stage of the low FODMAP diet.

    I hope this helps Heather!

    With kind regards,

    Assistant Customer Care & Nutritional Advisor

  • I take prebiotics (Inulin) can i take probiotics at the same time. No just same day but take them together or should o leave time between??

  • Response from OptiBac Probiotics

    Dear Lesley,

    Thank you for enquiry.

    It's fine to take your probiotic and prebiotic supplements at the same and you don't have to leave any time in-between.

    I hope this answers your question, Lesley.

    With kind regards,

  • When is the best time to take probiotic and prebiotic? Which one do you take first?

  • Response from OptiBac Probiotics

    Dear Desiree,

    Thank you for your enquiry.

    Regarding your first question, we recommend it's best to take our products with a meal, preferably breakfast; however, there are couple of exceptions with two of our products; 'Saccharomyces boulardii' and 'Bifidobacteria & fibre' which can be taken at any time, with or without food.

    We have a detailed FAQ about this subject that explains why we make these recommendations. You can check it out here: https://www.optibacprobiotics.co.uk/faq/at-what-time-should-i-take-probiotics

    We specialise in live culture supplements so we don't offer prebiotic supplements on their own; however, many prebiotic supplements available can be taken at any time of the day. It's still best to check the usage instruction of your chosen prebiotic supplement.

    You can take prebiotics alongside your OptiBac supplement, but it's worth noting again that some of the products will already contain the prebiotic FOS. We have more information about prebiotics here: https://www.optibacprobiotics.co.uk/live-cultures/what-are-prebiotics.

    I hope this answers your query, but feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.

    Kind regards,


  • Please can you let me know which of your Optibac probiotics also contain a prebiotic?

    Many thanks

  • Response from OptiBac Probiotics

    Hi Joanna,

    Thank you for your enquiry.

    The following products in our range contain a combination of live cultures and prebiotics (FOS): 'For every day', 'Bifidobacteria & fibre', 'One week flat', and 'For babies & children'.

    See the bottom of this article for more information about products that contain prebiotics.

    I hope this helps.

    Best wishes,


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