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Choosing the Right Probiotics

Probiotics are found almost everywhere today but not all are created equal. There are two major groups and each group has a variety of strains. Different strains have different effects on the body. Now, where do you start when it comes to choosing the right one for you?


How to choose the right probiotics


In choosing probiotics, it should contain live and active bacterial cultures, and it should indicate as much on its packaging.  Probiotics are usually measured by colony-forming units (CFU). Higher doses generally lead to higher success rates. It’s best to opt for probiotics supplements with at least 1 billion colony forming units or CFU. Dosages of 1–2 billion CFUs per day may be enough for some probiotics, while other strains may need at least 20 billion CFUs to work.

It should also contain the genus Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, or Saccharomyces boulardii. However, you have to dig deeper as each genus has many strains that produce different results. Some strains seem to be more effective than others for treating certain conditions. For instance, certain strains of E. coli and Strep can be harmful, while others can be probiotics germs that can help sustain the body. Look for a product that has been tested for whatever you’re looking to address. If you want to take probiotics for your IBS, look for a strain that’s best for the GI tract and not for immunity.


Probiotic strains and their benefits


Strain:                                     Best for:


  1. Rhamnosus: Eczema, GI support
  2. Acidophilus: Diarrhea, acne and vaginal health
  3. Casei: Diarrhea, brain function
  4. Plantarum: Inflammation


  1. Lactis: Immunity
  2. Breve: Anti-aging, GI support
  3. Bifidum: GI support, immunity
  4. Longum: Brain function, constipation


  1. Thermophilus: Skin and GI support



Choosing probiotics supplements


When it comes to probiotics supplements, you should make sure that the supplement contains live strains of the bacteria or yeast, and that these live strains are guaranteed at the time of use, not at the time of manufacture. You also need to consider the number of live bacteria and the number of colony forming-unit.

Probiotics are live microorganisms. Use them before the expiration date and store them according to package instructions. Some probiotics needs refrigeration while others are inactive and can simply be kept in a cool, dry place.

If you choose to get probiotics in capsule form, look for products with L. bulgaricus, Lactobacillus GC, S. thermophilus, and B. longum strains. The ideal probiotic supplement should have at least two of these strains. Since different strain performs differently, thus, they can have different effects on the body. Choose a probiotic supplement that can survive the long journey through your acidic, churning stomach, and your bile-filled intestinal tract. One good example is capsule-in-capsule probiotics. It is designed to improve the bioavailability of the formulation in the inner capsule. Here, two capsules are used. The outer capsule contains prebiotic for immediate release. The inner capsule contains the probiotic that will be released in the colon or the large intestine.

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