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

Furthermore, environmental conditions on Titan appear to be similar to those found on early, prebiotic Earth. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, "NASA Will Send a Helicopter to Hunt for Life on Saturn's Biggest Moon," 27 June 2019 Its mission is to explore the moon that is larger than the planet Mercury, looking for prebiotic chemical processes that are similar to what has occurred on Earth. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, "NASA to send flying drone Dragonfly to Saturn moon Titan," 27 June 2019 In fact, this process, in principle, can explain how large aggregations like galaxies, stars and planets can form due to gravity and how the chemicals required for life could have originated by prebiotic chemical evolution. Quanta Magazine, "Seeing Time Through a Liquid Crystal Display," 13 Sep. 2016 Biochemists have tended to favor an alternative proposal, that a chance occurrence of prebiotic chemistry triggered an initial disequilibrium. Quanta Magazine, "New Twist Found in the Story of Life’s Start," 26 Nov. 2014 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Though inulin offers benefits as a fiber source and as a prebiotic, keep in mind that the majority of your fiber should be coming from whole foods that provide other nutrients. Christy Brissette, Washington Post, "What is inulin, and why is it showing up in so many food products?," 12 June 2019 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

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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Statistics for prebiotic

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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