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Prebiotics vs. Probiotics:
What’s the difference?


Despite the similarity in their names, probiotics and prebiotics have significant differences. Probiotics contain microorganisms or spores intended to be alive at the time they are consumed. This adds “good” microbes to the animal’s gut. However, because probiotics are living, they are delicate and often do not have a good shelf life. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are not alive and, unlike a probiotic, prebiotics can withstand heat, moisture, acidity, sunlight, and other environmental conditions. This allows them to be pelleted for improved palatability, fed with antibiotics without fear of diminished efficacy, and have an overall better shelf life to provide a quality product. Prebiotics work to enhance the good microbes that naturally occur in the gut. This allows the gut microbes to multiply quicker and work with greater efficiency. The nature of prebiotics also allows for stimulation of all beneficial microbes within the gut, whereas probiotics generally only add one or two specific types of bacteria. Due to these differences, probiotics and prebiotics aid in distinct aspects gut function. In fact, the two can work together synergistically when the resident microbe population needs to be restored and replenished.

Probiotic Prebiotic
Living Microorganism(s) or spores Food for living microorganisms
Sensitive to heat, moisture, acidity Not sensitive to environmental conditions
Poor shelf life Good shelf life
Add more good microbes to the gut Make existing microbes multiply and increase in efficiency


Active Ingredient Product Examples Product Type
Live yeast (S. cerevisae) Yea-sacc Probiotic
Live bacteria (E. faecium, L. acidophilus, L. casei) Probios Probiotic
S. cerevisiae fermentation product Diamond V XP Prebiotic
Yeast cell well Bio-MOS Prebiotic
A. oryzae fermentation product Amaferm® Prebiotic


Amaferm: A prebiotic crafted to advance animal performance

Understanding the differences between probiotics and prebiotics is the first step to effectively achieving desired animal health and performance. In many cases the gut already contains a sufficient number of microbes, but these microbes need fuel from a prebiotic to function at their best. However, it is important to understand that not all prebiotics are created equal! Amaferm is a prebiotic that is crafted at BioZyme®, Inc. using a select strain of the fungus Aspergillus oryzae. Amaferm is produced from a proprietary multi-step fermentation process developed by scientists at BioZyme. Unlike many other A. oryzae fermentation products on the market, this process yields a high-quality product that is solely engineered and carefully manufactured for use in animal diets for over 50 years. During this time, Amaferm has been extensively researched by universities and private facilities worldwide and more than 100 peer reviewed papers have been published. This research proves Amaferm’s mode of action and impact on the microbes and the animal in which those microbes reside.

The effects of Amaferm have been demonstrated across multiple species. The mechanism is quite unique because it works to stimulate both bacteria and fungi in the gut. Specifically, research shows Amaferm increases fungal growth, providing more attachment sites for bacteria and maximizing fiber digestion. Amaferm has also been shown to significantly increase production of microbial enzymes that assist in fiber and starch degradation. Bacteria in the gut also benefit from Amaferm. Studies have shown increased growth rates, faster replication, and an increase in the total number of bacteria present. The increase in bacteria along with increased fungal growth, which increases the available surface area for bacteria attachment, provides maximum digestion of nutrients. The leader in A. oryzae research and development, Amaferm continually provides superior health and performance.