Improve your brainpower and gut health with Prebiotic Supplements

After decades of dividing mental health from physical health into the respective branches of psychiatry and physiology, emerging research has re-established the link between mind and body by observing the importance of gut health on cognition—and vice versa.

The result: a skyrocketing interest in probiotics among athletes, exercisers, academics, nootropic nerds, and other health and fitness enthusiasts.

But, as we’re learning, not all gut health supplements are the same.

In fact, though current health trends favor probiotics, there seems to be an even better supplement for gut health available to us: prebiotic supplements.

In this guide, we cover the advantages of prebiotic supplements over probiotics, as well as our choice for the Best Prebiotic Supplements for More Brainpower in 2020 and where to find them.

The Beginner’s Guide to Prebiotics

While many store-bought foods and mainstream health strategies emphasize the importance of probiotics, few people seem aware of the benefits of prebiotics, the fibrous foods that feed and nourish probiotics.

With that in mind, let’s start this article by answering the question on everyone’s minds:

What Are Prebiotics?

Here’s a horrifying thought: there are more bacteria in our bodies than human cells.

On a sheer number count basis, it’s not inaccurate to say that humans are more bacteria than they are human.

And so, yes, when it comes to feeding the human body, we need to first ensure that our little bacterial friends lining our guts are well-fed. The guests always eat first, after all.

So what are prebiotics?

Prebiotics are fibrous foods that feed our gut bacteria, so to speak.

As the typically non-digestible parts of foods—such as the banana peel, for example—

prebiotics are fibers that pass through the small intestine undigested to undergo fermentation in the large intestine.[1]

The fermentation of prebiotic fibers in the colon feeds the life-essential microbiota of the gut, including beneficial bacteria such as probiotic bacteria.

By nourishing these beneficial bacterial colonies in the large intestine, prebiotic fibers help increase the quantity and activity of healthy gut bacteria, which in turn contributes to healthier digestion, nutrient absorption, metabolic activity,[2] and so on.

What’s the Difference: Probiotics vs. Prebiotics?

Roughly speaking, probiotics are bacteria, whereas prebiotics feed bacteria.

More specifically:

  • Probiotics are live colonies of gut-healthy bacteria that naturally produced through the fermentation of foods like yogurt, tapioca, sauerkraut, kimchi, and more;
  • Prebiotics are fibrous foods that don’t digest in the small intestine, instead undergoing fermentation in the large intestine to feed the live colonies of gut-healthy bacteria (i.e., probiotics) already present in the gut.

While there are plenty of types of probiotics, most probiotic strains come from two groups: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Key Point:

Due to the variability of probiotic strains and the need for probiotic colonies to be alive on arrival to work, probiotic supplements tend to be more unpredictable and unreliable than prebiotic supplements.

Instead of introducing new probiotic cultures to the gut, prebiotic supplements work by nourishing the existing probiotic colonies already in your body.

In a way, the prebiotic supplement is a more stable, one-size-fits-all version of the probiotic supplement.

What’s the Deal with Synbiotics?

Synbiotics are a combination of probiotics and prebiotics in a form of synergism, hence synbiotics.

Though this synergy duo makes sense, more research is required to determine the full range of effects of supplementing symbiotics.

The Gut-Brain Axis

The enteric nervous system (ENS), otherwise known as the “second brain,” is a network of mesh-like neurons that govern the function of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

This “second brain” communicates with the “first brain,” the actual brain sitting in our skulls, by engaging with the central nervous system (CNS) in a bidirectional manner.

The Gut-Brain Axis facilitates communication between the “second” brain in the gut and the “first” brain in the skull.[3]

Altogether, the Gut-Brain Axis is comprised of the connections between the CNS, which includes the brain and spinal cord, and the ENS, which oversees the GI tract.

The bidirectional relationship between the ENS and CNS means that both nervous systems influence each other.

Brain activities effect changes in the gut, and vice versa.

The Relationship Between Gut Health and Cognitive Performance

We’ve long understood the importance of brain activity in the maintenance and regulation of the gut.

However, the importance of gut microbiota, the microorganisms (namely bacteria) living inside the gut, on brain health and performance is a relatively new discovery.

And a key aspect of this discovery is the realization that the link between gut health and cognitive performance is much closer than previously imagined.

An unhealthy diet not only disrupts the health of gut microbiota but the disruption in gut microbiota health disrupts cognitive performance—as well as a variety of digestive and metabolic health issues.

Likewise, certain cognitive disorders, such as anxiety and chronic stress, may significantly impair gut microbiota to a significant, long-term degree.[4-5]

If anything, the mutually beneficial relationship between gut health and cognitive performance lends credence to the wisdom of holistic mind-body health systems.

A bottle of Mind Lab Pro on the left of a bottle of Performance Lab Prebiotic

The Benefits of a Healthy Gut Biome

To reach and nourish the brain, food must pass through the digestive tract and undergo all the digestive and metabolic processes involved in converting food to energy fuel.

Naturally, the health of the gut biome, namely the bacteria that assist with digestion, plays a key role in the health of the brain, as well as the body at large.

With that in mind, here are a few of the benefits of maintaining a healthy gut biome:

Elevated Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)

Given the various bio-pathways involved in the gut-brain axis, the effects of healthy gut microbiota on cognitive performance are likely many.

However, one well-documented result of prebiotic supplementation is an improvement on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activity, as demonstrated by animal research.[6]

As an important component in brain growth and development, BDNF is very complex in its bioactivities, playing key roles in memory processing, learning, and emotional stability.[7]

Better Digestive Performance

Not all human digestive enzymes are capable of digesting most complex carbohydrates and plant polysaccharides.

Instead, the microbes in our gut metabolize these complex micronutrients.

And so maintaining the health of your gut biome maintains your overall digestive performance, particularly when it comes to non-digestible foods, such as prebiotic fibers.[8]

Increased Pathogen Resistance

Similar to how a healthy gut biome improves the digestion of non-digestible* foods (*by non-bacterial human digestive standards), improving the health of your gut microbiota may also increase pathogen resistance in the gut.[9]

Whereas antibiotics may effectively neutralize harmful pathogens after the infection has taken place, these same antibiotics should be taken prudently, as they may also be detrimental to the healthy bacteria in your gut.

Conversely, prebiotic supplementation may bolster your gut’s defenses against pathogens and gastrointestinal infections - improving the safety of a standard diet altogether.

Improved Immune Function

One of the beneficial effects of prebiotic supplementation is promotion of the immune system - the body’s overall defense system against pathogens and decaying cells.

Whether a direct or indirect consequence of prebiotics’ promotion of beneficial gut microbes, one of the important bio-effects of prebiotics involves increasing the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines and a reducing the expression of proinflammatory cytokines.[10]

Optimized Nutritional Status

Bifidobacterium and other lactic-acid producing gut flora may assist with nutritional status by promoting a favorable acidic environment for optimal absorption of essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.

Likewise, Bifidobacterium also helps synthesize B-vitamins and vitamin K within the GI tract, which in turn serve various cognitive and physical bio-functions.[11-12]

The Top Prebiotic Food Sources

Ever been told to “eat more fiber” in your diet?

By this point in the article, the wisdom underlying this advice should be clear. But if not...

Fibrous foods, such as prebiotics, feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Here, we’ve listed here a few of the top prebiotic food sources you can consume to “eat more fiber” and naturally improve your gut health, including:

  • Chicory Root
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Konjac Root
  • Burdock Root
  • Yacon Root

What’s the Difference: Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber?

Many of the aforementioned foods are high in both soluble and insoluble fibers - the two basic types of dietary fiber.

And as the names suggest: 

  • Soluble fiber easily dissolves in water to create a gel-like substance that feeds beneficial gut bacteria and optimizes nutrient absorption.
  • Whereas insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and, thus, passes through the GI tract undigested, promoting a healthy bowel movement along the way.
Take note: both soluble and insoluble fibers seem to help with digestive performance and weight management. However, soluble fibers, in particular, seem to feed and promote healthy gut bacteria.

Best Prebiotic Supplement for More Brainpower in 2020

A bottle of Performance Lab Prebiotic next to a bottle of Mind Lab Pro

The best prebiotic supplements use Orafti® Synergy1 Inulin-FOS to selectively feed Bifidobacterium probiotic strains.

Sourced from Chicory root, an extraordinarily rich source of prebiotic insulin and FOS (FructoOligoSaccharides), Orafti® Synergy1 is a potent prebiotic supplement supplying inulin-FOS soluble fibers that pass through the small intestine undigested to feed and stimulate beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Inulin-FOS is resilient. Unlike probiotic supplements, insulin-FOS may better survive the stomach acids unharmed, reaching the large intestine to deliver its gut healthy benefits.

Once there, fermentation of inulin-FOS produces lactic acid that reduces gut pH, thereby limiting growth of bad bacteria strains, such as Candida albacans and E. coli, while also protecting intestinal lining.

As both prebiotics and soluble fibers, the benefits of inulin-FOS fall under the following two categories:

  • Probiotic Support: digestive performance, pathogen resistance, immune function, and nutritional status;
  • Soluble Fiber Support: healthy bowel movements, appetite and weight management, and optimal cholesterol and cardio health.
Paired with nootropics, the gut-brain optimizing effects of inulin-FOS may help take your cognitive performance to the next level.

And the best Orafti® Synergy1-powered prebiotic supplement to stack with nootropics is Performance Lab® Prebiotic, a powerful gut health supplement with the cleanest formula design.

Mind Lab Pro® Nootropics with Performance Lab® Prebiotic

A bottle of Performance Lab Prebiotic Supplement

For total Gut-Brain health and performance enhancement, stack Mind Lab Pro® nootropics with Performance Lab® Prebiotic.

As the gut-brain axis suggests, brain health influences gut health and gut health influences brain health.

So, which one should you address first? Brain health or gut health?

Here’s a better option: both.

With Mind Lab Pro® supplying a smart, all-natural stack of nootropics for cognitive performance and Performance Lab® Prebiotic delivering all the aforementioned gut health benefits provided by prebiotic supplementation, you’re receiving a comprehensive top-down, bottom-up boost on your overall mind-body health and performance.

What’s more, considering the bidirectional relationship between the brain and gut in the Gut-Brain Axis, there’s likely a potential degree of health-boosting synergy involved in pairing nootropics with prebiotics.

To Buy, Visit:
www.PerformanceLab.com

However, to better understand why Performance Lab® Prebiotic - and not probiotics or other prebiotic supplements - is the best prebiotic supplement to stack with Mind Lab Pro® for more brainpower...

Let's take a deeper look at Performance Lab Prebiotic's formula:

Performance Lab® Prebiotic Formula Analysis

The Supplement Facts for Performance Lab® Prebiotic include the following:

  • Total Carbohydrates, 2g
  • Fiber,7g
  • Orafti® Synergy1 (Inulin-FOS) (FructoOligoSaccharides from Chicory Root [Cichorium intybus]), 2g

Having a clean formula is important to all types of health and fitness supplements.

However, for prebiotics, it’s doubly important.

Considering how artificial additives and synthetic chemicals may not only dampen a formula’s bioavailability but they may also clog up your digestive tract.

And clogging up the digestive tract is incredibly counterproductive when it comes to supplementing prebiotics.

Like all Performance Lab® products, Performance Lab® Prebiotic possesses an incredibly clean formula inside and out. Delivering only all-natural, cleanly sourced ingredients in all-natural, additive-free NutriCaps® capsules.

Constructed out of fermented tapioca (pullulan), NutriCaps® are uniquely probiotic-cultured capsules - and nothing else - giving Performance Lab® Prebiotic a bit of a synbiotic (probiotic + prebiotic) edge over other prebiotic supplements.

Altogether, this prebiotic supplement is: 

  • gut-friendly
  • vegan-friendly
  • eco-friendly
  • and just all-around friendly for all health enthusiasts of all dietary lifestyles.
To learn more about Performance Lab® Prebiotic, click here.

Who takes Performance Lab® Prebiotic?

Similar to a multivitamin supplement, Performance Lab® Prebiotic work for everyone.

Again, unlike probiotic supplements, prebiotics feed all types of beneficial gut bacteria, whereas probiotics supply a specific bacterial strain that might not match your gut biome.

With that in mind, anyone dissatisfied with standard probiotic supplements or who are seeking a healthy way to optimize their diet, Performance Lab® Prebiotic is a smart daily option that’s safe for long-term use.

How to take Performance Lab® Prebiotic

The directions for Performance Lab® Prebiotic suggest that:

For best results, take 3 capsules with your first meal of the day and 3 capsules with your second meal. Always take Prebiotic with at least 8 oz. of water.

Where to buy Performance Lab® Prebiotic

To buy Performance Lab® Prebiotic, visit here.

All Performance Lab® products sell exclusively through www.performancelab.com, which houses even more information on Performance Lab® Prebiotic and many other health and fitness supplements.

Conclusion

Mind Lab Pro® + Performance Lab® Prebiotic stack delivers the most advanced nootropic and prebiotic formulas in one - for more brainpower in 2020.

Even though prebiotics are far lesser known than probiotics, many consumers are catching onto the immense advantages of supplementing prebiotics over probiotics.

And it’s beginning to show in the supplement market.

However, if you’re still looking to gain a competitive edge - both mentally and physically - try stacking prebiotics with cognitive enhancing nootropics.

  • Boosting health and performance from both ends of the gut-brain axis, Mind Lab Pro® and Performance Lab® Prebiotic may work together to strengthen your mind-body connection.

The belief that you are what you eat is incomplete.

Really, it’s not only what you eat that makes you who you are but also what the microorganisms in your gut eat.

And if you fail to feed the bacterial guests in your gut with healthy prebiotics, not only are you a less healthier version of yourself but you’re also a very rude host.

Stack prebiotics with nootropics for a healthier, more mindful version of you—whoever you are!

To get the best deal on Mind Lab Pro®, click here.

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Prebiotic, click here.

BONUS – Ultimate Gut-Brain Health Stack

With nootropics boosting brainpower and prebiotics optimizing nutrient absorption, the foundation is set and the channels are open for other brain-and-body supplements to work even better at enhancing your mental and physical performance.

To achieve the Ultimate Gut-Brain Health Stack, consider stacking Mind Lab Pro® and Performance Lab® Prebiotic with the following supplements:

Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi

Probiotic-cultivated NutriGenesis® vitamins and minerals delivered in prebiotic-infused NutriCaps® for optimal nutrient absorption.

Ingredients: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Vitamin K1 + K2, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B7, Vitamin B9, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Iron, Iodine, Magnesium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, Manganese, Chromium, Molybdenum, Strontium, Inositol, Vanadium, Boron

  • By nourishing gut Bifidobacterium, Performance Lab® Prebiotic enhances absorption of Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi, a comprehensive stack of essential vitamins and minerals.
  • From gut health to brain health to overall vitality, Whole-Food Multi’s micronutrients provide a solid foundation for all your bio-pathways to function at their highest levels.
  • Prebiotic + Whole-Food Multi is a powerful stack to supercharge your nutrient status.

2 bottles of Performance Lab Whole-Food Multi

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Whole-Food Multi, click here.

Performance Lab® Energy

Advanced mitochondrial support stack of antioxidants that boost natural, cellular energy, as opposed to risky, synthetic stimulation.

Ingredients: Acetyl L-Carnitine (from Acetyl L-Carnitine HCL), Microencapsulated Bio-Enhanced® R-Lipoic Acid, MicroActive® Q10 (Coenzyme Q10), BioPQQ® (Pyrroloquinoline quinone [PQQ]), BioPerine® Black Pepper Extract (Piper nigrum) (fruit) (95% piperine)

  • Across the brain and body, mitochondria convert food fuel into ATP energy, the basic energy unit for all physiological processes. By promoting ATP energy efficiency, Performance Lab® Energy is a smart energy booster stack that outperforms the standard caffeine pill in terms of health and fitness enhancement.
  • Combined with Mind Lab Pro® and Prebiotic, Performance Lab® Energy’s stim-free formula design provides additional metabolic energy support that enhances nutrient utilization on a cellular level.

A bottle of Performance Lab Energy

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® Energy, click here.

Performance Lab® SPORT Protein

Certified organic brown rice protein comparable to whey popular in terms of anabolic muscle gains, delivered in a clean, gut-friendly, plant-based powder

Ingredients: Protein (from Oryzatein® Certified Organic Brown Rice [Oryza sativa] Protein Concentrate), Himalayan Pink Salt, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Manganese

  • Performance Lab® SPORT Protein supplies Oryzatein®, a certified organic brown rice protein—and the only brown rice protein clinically demonstrated to build muscle as effectively as whey, with rice leucine (the most anabolic BCAA) absorbing 30% faster than whey leucine.
  • Paired with the digestive support offered by Performance Lab® Prebiotic, SPORT Protein may work even better, digesting and absorbing into muscle tissue at a much more efficient rate.

Performance Lab Protein

To get the best deal on Performance Lab® SPORT Protein, click here.

References

  1. Davani-Davari D et al. Prebiotics: Definition, Types, Sources, Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications. 2019 Mar; 8(3): 92.
  2. Yoo JY, Kim SS. Probiotics and Prebiotics: Present Status and Future Perspectives on Metabolic Disorders. 2016 Mar; 8(3): 173.
  3. Carabotti M et al. The gut-brain axis: interactions between enteric microbiota, central and enteric nervous systems. Ann Gastroenterol. 2015 Apr-Jun; 28(2): 203-209.
  4. Karl JP et al. Effects of Psychological, Environmental and Physical Stressors on the Gut Microbiota. Front Microbiol. 2018; 9: 2013.
  5. Cerdó T et al. Probiotic, Prebiotic, and Brain Development. Nutrients. 2017 Nov; 9(11): 1247.
  6. Savignac HM et al. Prebiotic feeding elevates central brain derived neurotrophic factor, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subunits and D-serine. Neurochem Int. 2013 Dec; 63(8): 756-764.
  7. Bekinschtein P et al. BDNF and memory processing. Neuropharmacology. 2014 Jan; 76 Pt C: 677-83.
  8. Holscher HD. Dietary fiber and prebiotics and the gastrointestinal microbiota. Gut Microbes. 2017; 8(2): 172-184.
  9. Gibson GR et al. Prebiotics and resistance to gastrointestinal infections. Br J Nutr. 2005 Apr; 93 Suppl 1: S31-4.
  10. Shokryazdan P et al. Effects of prebiotics on immune system and cytokine expression. Med Microbiol Immunol. 2017 Feb; 206(1): 1-9.
  11. Rowland I et al. Gut microbiota functions: metabolism of nutrients and other food components. Eur J Nutr. 2018; 57(1): 1-24.
  12. Abrams SA et al. A combination of prebiotic short- and long-chain inulin-type fructans enhances calcium absorption and bone mineralization in young adolescents. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Aug 2005; 82(2): 471-476.
  13. Gibson GR et al. Selective stimulation of bifidobacteria in the human colon by oligofructose and inulin. Gastroenterology. 1995; 108: 975-982.