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Is a probiotic less effective when used without a prebiotic?

In the past, I have only taken probiotics in the morning and plain yoghurt.  Recently I learnt of prebiotics, which I have never taken. Does this mean that the probiotics have not been working effectively because I don't take prebiotics. Or can I choose to only use on of them? When is the best time to take them?
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Yogurt is a prebiotic, primarily.  If you buy most commercial yogurts, there are no live organisms in them, as they are killed during pasteurization.  If you buy very high quality yogurt, usually organic ones in the health food stores, they will add live organisms back in after pasteurization, but even then, there are very few of them compared to the billions you get in a good quality refrigerated probiotic found in the refrigerated section of your best local health food store (shelf stable probiotic supplements probably have more dead than live organisms in them by the time you buy them, as these are living things that must either have food to eat and a habitable environment, or hibernate, which they do when kept under refrigeration).  But yogurt is still a good prebiotic, so again, you're eating one.  Unfortunately, that one happens to be a dairy product, and that raises the many problems with consuming dairy, but if you are going to force-feed something not natural for an adult mammal to eat into your body, fermenting or culturing it makes it a lot less of a problem.  So that's one thing.  But the two categories, while connected, are also separate.  A lot of supplements contain FOS, a sugar that is a good food for probiotics, or in other words, they have a prebiotic in them.  But there are only a few beneficial organisms we know about that are safe to consume, and so you'll notice there aren't a ton of them available for consumption but there are a ton of them in your body.  That means that eating good prebiotics will provide food for all those other organisms as well, so using both is better than using one or the other.  And you might actually be eating prebiotics without knowing it -- if you like fermented and cultured foods, such as pickles and kim chi and sauerkraut and tempeh and miso and all the multitudes of these kinds of foods people eat then you are in fact eating prebiotics as long as you're not cooking them to death.  
Thank you so much  Pixal, this makes sense. So do you suggest rather taking in prebiotics and probiotics naturally through food? You've mentioned good prebiotic foods (at the end of your comment) but which food an I take as a probiotic?
For probiotics, you need to take a supplement.  It's really hard to get them past the environment in the digestive system to where you need them to live, mostly in the intestinal tract for the few we know are safe to use.  A supplement has billions of organisms.  But if you don't have a special need for them, there's no reason to take them.  If you have no digestive problems, or haven't killed them off taking steroids or antibiotics, or you don't have recurrent fungal infections, just as examples, you don't need them, you already have them or you'd have these problems.  These organisms occur naturally -- they are in the environment -- just as harmful bacteria do.  Eating a healthy diet will maintain your immune system as best as you can do, and that will maintain the natural ability of your body to get the organisms it needs and maintain healthy colonies.  You supplement when something goes awry.  Eating prebiotics is just a good idea generally, as it not only provides food for these organisms, they are also very healthful and nutritious foods and help with digestion.  As for foods that are probiotics, lots of supplements are in foods -- some companies put them in milk, some put them in yogurt, some put them multivitamins -- they're truly all over the place but they're always added so they are supplements.  If they're added in a way that allows them to survive, you will get some from food.  If they are added to foods that attract bad bacteria, such as milk and sugar, you might get more bad than good depending on your individual system.  But the general point is, we supplement these when we have a need for them -- digestive problems, chronic yeast infections, etc.  We don't if we don't need them.  Eating well is always a good idea.  All the best.
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