Probiotics: Not All Are Equal
Taking probiotic supplements is a smart idea for several reasons, including the fact that they help with nutrition, mood, and energy levels. Probiotics provide a barrier against a wide range of pathogens. They boost the immune system, affect hormone function, and they can regulate body mass. By enhancing your microbiome with probiotics, you are taking a proactive and meaningful step towards sustaining your health and well-being.
However, not all probiotic supplements can provide you with the diverse supply of live organisms as you would expect. Every single probiotic supplement available on the market is different. Some probiotics contain just one strain, while others are made up of multiple strains with varied effects on health. Different strains of the same species could even be different. Today, many modern probiotic supplements contain microbes and bacteria that are ineffective for humans. Many companies use bacterial strains that cannot survive in the acidic environment of the stomach, making them worthless.
Here are some very important details that you need to know so that you can differentiate those quality probiotic supplements from the ones that won’t support your health that much.
- Know the genus, species, and strain of the probiotic supplement you’re buying. Become familiar with research and studies that shows health benefits associated with specific organisms. Always choose probiotic supplements with a variety of strains. Choose those that will maintain your unique microbiome and cover your bases in the face of all the challenges our modern lifestyle presents. It’s a wiser choice to focus on replenishing the strain that lives naturally in the GI tract such as Bifidobacterium, lactobacillus, and saccharomyces.
- Make sure that your probiotic supplements are from a trusted source. Check the manufacturer’s website to find out that their products are reputable and if the product is effective. Read the product review to know if it is trustworthy.
- Not all probiotic supplements contain live strains. Probiotic supplements with live strains, can make you feel the difference that quality probiotics can give. They can help you feel your best by strengthening and speeding up your immune system, boosting energy, and reducing occasional bloating.
- Watch out for added ingredients. Avoid anything that contains unnecessary fillers and ingredients like soy, dairy, gluten, or corn.
- Know your dose. The number of CFUs probiotic supplement contains matter. What’s your dose? The answer depends on why you are taking it. A daily dose of 10 to 15 billion CFUs is advisable for people who seek everyday health and digestive support. Doses higher than 50 billion CFU are for clinical and medical use only. They are reserved for conditions like GI dysfunction and for those who have experienced a significant alteration in the gut microbiome because of antibiotic therapy, illnesses, or exposure to environmental toxins.