prebiotic

adjective
pre·​bi·​ot·​ic | \ ˌprē-bī-ˈä-tik How to pronounce prebiotic (audio) \

Definition of prebiotic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being chemical or environmental precursors of the origin of life … it is possible that either the prebiotic molecules necessary for the evolution of life or the raw materials from which these molecules formed were brought to Earth by comet-like objects.— Marcia Neugebauer also : existing or occurring before the origin of life … RNA is a chemically fragile molecule, unlikely to survive the harsh prebiotic conditions. — Michael Egholm et al.
2 : of, relating to, or being a prebiotic … next-generation probiotic microbes administered along with the appropriate prebiotic nutrients to nourish them.— Michael Pollan

prebiotic

noun

Definition of prebiotic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance and especially a carbohydrate (such as inulin) that is nearly or wholly indigestible and that when consumed (as in food) promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract Prebiotics are naturally found in certain fruits, vegetables, and herbs, including artichoke, asparagus, bananas, chicory, garlic, and onions.— Andrew Weil — compare probiotic

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Examples of prebiotic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Colorful fruits and veggies: Foods high in prebiotic fiber, including produce and 100% whole grains like oats, are also key. Good Housekeeping, "Exactly What to Eat to Boost Your Immune System, According to a Registered Dietitian," 30 Jan. 2019 While all fiber is good, here are some great prebiotic fiber sources: Jerusalem artichokes, onions, garlic, and leeks, as well as chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds. Liz Krieger, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New Way to Lose Weight Involves Healing Your Gut," 26 June 2017 This daily probiotic supplement dissolves under the tongue to promote good digestion using a unique blend of live cultures and prebiotic fiber. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Everything You Need for Summer, From the Perfect Mascara to Chanel’s Tanning Mist," 16 May 2018 Until more comprehensive research is conducted on synbiotics, consider sticking to swallowing a probiotic supplement or eat probiotic-rich foods in addition to prebiotic foods. Anthea Levi, Health.com, "Are Synbiotics the New Probiotics?," 2 May 2018 Healthier gut microbiota: The abundance of dietary fiber and polyphenols in almonds may create a prebiotic effect. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Good Housekeeping, "Why You Should Go Nuts About Almonds," 3 Apr. 2018 The best prebiotic foods are chicory, garlic, leeks, onions, asparagus, banana and artichoke. Sheah Rarback, miamiherald, "How to stay healthy: Eat well, sleep well and keep moving | Miami Herald," 5 Mar. 2018 One idea being explored in astrobiology is whether some prebiotic organic molecules could have been delivered to Earth by meteorites or dust grains. Luba Ostashevsky, Ars Technica, "How did life begin? It’s Chemistry 101, but in space," 26 Feb. 2018 To strengthen the immune system feed the gut the prebiotic fibers that nourish the good bacteria. Sheah Rarback, miamiherald, "How to stay healthy: Eat well, sleep well and keep moving | Miami Herald," 5 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This fiber also provides prebiotics, which fuel your body’s probiotics and help these friendly bacteria survive and thrive. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Is Oat Milk Healthy? Here's What You Need to Know, According to a Nutritionist," 11 Apr. 2019 Once in your stomach, freekeh acts as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria that aid digestion. Leah Zerbe, Good Housekeeping, "The 11 Healthiest Whole Grains You Should Be Eating," 17 July 2018 Probiotics are an ever-growing market, with 3.9 million adults in the US using either probiotics or prebiotics. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Probiotics: If you don’t just poop them out, they may muck up your guts," 8 Sep. 2018 Some examples of prebiotic produce include: Collards Garlic Kale Onions While garden-friendly probiotics include: Cabbage Ginger Turmeric root Reporter’s note: All of these vegetables and herbs can be grown in Florida. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Stock your garden with gut-friendly produce," 2 May 2018 In a nutshell, prebiotics serve as food for probiotics, and help those beneficial microbes flourish. Health.com, "6 Health Benefits of Onions," 22 June 2018 Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar could be beneficial in lowering blood sugar, aiding in slight long term weight loss, and as a prebiotic to ease digestion. Kyle Beechey, Bon Appetit, "The Mysterious Hippie Food Brand That's Never Let Me Down," 27 June 2018 There’s no question whether probiotics and prebiotics on their own are good for you. Anthea Levi, Health.com, "Are Synbiotics the New Probiotics?," 2 May 2018 Soon, Katz had teamed up with scientist Raja Dhir to create one straightforward and scientifically sound pill that would combine the best of probiotics and prebiotics (a combination formally known as a synbiotic). Mackenzie Wagoner, Vogue, "If You Only Take One Supplement This Summer, Let It Be This," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prebiotic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of prebiotic

Adjective

1954, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1995, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for prebiotic

Adjective

pre- + biotic

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Time Traveler for prebiotic

The first known use of prebiotic was in 1954

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More Definitions for prebiotic

prebiotic

adjective
pre·​bi·​ot·​ic | \ -bī-ˈät-ik\

Medical Definition of prebiotic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being chemical or environmental precursors of the origin of life prebiotic molecules also : existing or occurring before the origin of life prebiotic conditions
2 : of, relating to, or being a prebiotic Prebiotic agents included the oligosaccharides inulin, galactose, fructose, lactulose, and combinations of these nutrients.— Josef Neu et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, 20 Jan. 2011

Other Words from prebiotic

prebiotically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

prebiotic

noun

Medical Definition of prebiotic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance and especially a carbohydrate (such as inulin) that is nearly or wholly indigestible and that when consumed (as in food) promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract — compare probiotic

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