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Probiotic Supplements Versus Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are now officially big news. When it comes to their health benefits, should you start with supplements or load up on probiotic-rich foods? Before we get to that, let’s look at how they differ.


Probiotic supplements


Probiotic supplements are a way to add beneficial bacteria “probiotics” into your gut. These good bacteria can help keep your gut healthy, which can have a positive effect on your overall health and well-being. There are different probiotic supplements available in the market including;

  • Capsules
  • Pills
  • Powder
  • Liquid


Advantages of getting probiotics through supplements


  1. Probiotic supplements can provide more probiotic diversity.

Probiotic supplements give you the option to take a broad spectrum of probiotic strains, unlike probiotic foods. Some probiotic supplements contain at least five or six different strains of good bacteria.

  1. Probiotic supplements can be beneficial if you are looking for a specific health result.

With supplements, you have more control over the specific strain of bacteria to address particular health problems. For example, if you want to address symptoms of diarrhea due to antibiotics, you can choose lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. If you are lactose intolerance, you can take probiotic supplements with lactobacillus acidophilus.

  1. Probiotic supplements are sweetener and allergen-free

Probiotic supplements are free from common allergens like gluten, dairy, soy, and wheat. This makes it fit into anyone’s diet. They are also sweetener-free, which is very important because sugar can disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome.

  1. Probiotic supplement contains a large number of good bacteria

Most probiotic supplements contain 1 to 10 billion CFUs, but some may contain up to 50 billion CFUs or more. For general health, the amount of CFU should vary depending on the specific condition.

  1. Probiotic supplements may contain multi-strain probiotics

Unlike probiotic foods, probiotic supplements may contain different strain probiotics in one capsule. Multi-strains probiotics are more effective and can have better results than single-strain. It has a broader range of effects and more mechanisms of action. Furthermore, it can have beneficial effects on multiple health conditions while boosting immune functions.


Probiotic-rich foods


Probiotic-rich foods are certainly a great way to add more good bacteria to your gut. And certainly, should feature as part of a healthy diet. When you get good bacteria from probiotic-rich foods, you are also getting additional nutrients than just probiotics supplements alone. Consuming probiotics through whole foods can provide a greater source of overall nutrition than supplements.


Moreover, probiotics can increase the micronutrients essential for your body’s daily functions. The nutrient protects your body from oxidative stress and damage. The fiber present from the probiotic-rich foods is crucial for the good bacteria present in your gut. They act as prebiotics, aka “food” for probiotics.


Probiotic-rich foods have a wider diversity of probiotic strains compared to supplements. However, the number of probiotics or CFU present in probiotic-rich foods is limited. It has also been suggested that higher CFUs are needed in probiotic-rich foods to produce the same effects as supplements.

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