prebiotic

1 of 2

adjective

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

2 of 2

noun

: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Haeckels, based in the British seaside town of Margate, has built a devoted following from innovations that include biocontributing mycelium packaging, prebiotic face masks and an odor-eating mushroom and kelp deodorant. Elizabeth Paton, New York Times, 4 Jan. 2023 Lastly, Gut+ includes a natural prebiotic fiber called fructooligosaccharide. Dallas News, 23 Dec. 2022 This formula also contains enough prebiotic fiber to help nourish the probiotic bacteria, enabling them to survive in your small intestine. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 16 Dec. 2022 Their work suggests that RNAs and other molecules in the prebiotic world could likewise have coevolved to lay the foundations of cellular life. John Rennie, Quanta Magazine, 21 Dec. 2022 Perry also shared a photo of her inspiration, posting a bottle of Bragg organic ginger turmeric prebiotic shot. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 16 Dec. 2022 This dish is nutritionally complete and contains prebiotic fibers to promote a healthy gut microbiota and resistance against ailments. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 23 Oct. 2022 Just a teaspoon of Now Foods Certified Organic Inulin delivers 2.5 grams of inulin, a type of soluble prebiotic fiber. Christine Byrne, Men's Health, 13 Dec. 2022 These daily soft chews are designed to support your canine’s gastrointestinal health with a blend of probiotics and prebiotic fiber. The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Nov. 2022
Noun
Asparagus is a natural diuretic and acts as a prebiotic, feeding healthy gut bacteria. Jaclyn London, M.s., R.d., Good Housekeeping, 4 Jan. 2023 Next-gen prebiotic PreforPro supports the bacteria and encourages its growth. Dallas News, 23 Dec. 2022 These have one of the more impressive lists of ingredients out of any of these supplements, with 2 billion CFUs for Bacillus Coagulans and Bacillus Subtilis and chicory root as a prebiotic. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 16 Dec. 2022 Resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine, instead fermenting in the large intestine and acting as a prebiotic to feed the good bacteria in the gut as the fiber ferments. Stefani Sassos, M.s., R.d.n., C.s.o., C.d.n., Good Housekeeping, 6 Dec. 2022 Garlic contains the fiber inulin, a prebiotic, which is known to boost good gut bacteria. Amy Fischer Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, 18 July 2022 High in resistant starch, black beans act like a prebiotic during the digestion process to nourish the good bacteria. Valerie Agyeman, Good Housekeeping, 21 July 2022 The prebiotic, PreforPro, has been shown to support the growth of beneficial bacteria. Stefani Sassos, Ms, Rdn, Cso, Cdn, Nasm-cpt, Good Housekeeping, 13 July 2022 The moisturizer has the prebiotic, postbiotics, squalane, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. Megan Decker, refinery29.com, 30 June 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

pre- + biotic

First Known Use

Adjective

1954, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1995, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prebiotic was in 1954

Dictionary Entries Near prebiotic

Cite this Entry

“Prebiotic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prebiotic. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Medical Definition

prebiotic

1 of 2 adjective
pre·​bi·​ot·​ic
-bī-ˈät-ik
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
prebiotically
-i-k(ə-)lē
adverb

prebiotic

2 of 2 noun
: 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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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