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Why Probiotic Strains Important?

Are you aware that a probiotic strain determines its effect? Are you also aware that some supplements do not inform the customer what strain it contains? To take the right probiotic, you need to know which strain will provide you with the health benefits you desire.


Probiotics can be identified by the strains they belong. These include the genus, species, subspecies, and their alphanumeric designations. The seven main genera of probiotic products are:

  • Lactobacillus
  • Bifidobacterium
  • Saccharomyces
  • Streptococcus
  • Escherichia
  • Bacillus
  • Enterococcus


Probiotics usually exert their effects in the GI tract where they influence and change the microbiota. They can colonize the GI wall in highly variable pattern, depending on the following:

  • Type of strain
  • Baseline microbiota
  • GI tract region


They act in two ways:

  • They compete with the pathogens (bad bacteria) for food and energy sources.
  • They produce substances that inhibit the growth of and bacteria by consuming the nutrients bad bacteria use.


Probiotic strains are the genetic subtype of each species. Each strain has different effects on the body. When you buy probiotic foods or supplements, you’ll see probiotic strain names on the label. For example, Lactobacillus species are often abbreviated as L. and combined with an individual species name such as rhamnosus. This gives you L. rhamnosus. This is how the name will appear on the food or supplement label. But the name is missing the most important part-its strain. Say for example L. rhamnosusGG, or L. rhamnosusPB01. The third letters or numbers (GG and PB01) are the strain of the bacteria. They are extremely vital when testing the best probiotic supplements. L. rhamnosusPB01 is best for urogenital infection, pain, and sperm motility while L. rhamnosusGG is used for preventing C. difficile infection, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and promoting intestinal barrier function.


Why strains matter in probiotic supplements?


Knowing the different strains of probiotics is vital. Without knowing the strain, it would be impossible to know what benefits the strain might offer. To pick the best probiotic supplement, you need to look for the strains of probiotic that your supplement contains. Knowing the strain will help you decide on which type of probiotic supplements to buy. Furthermore, some commercially produced probiotic supplements don’t live up to their claims, which is why it’s essential to get your probiotic supplements from reputable manufacturers.


Again, probiotic effects are strain-specific, meaning, different probiotic strains perform different functions even if they belong to the same species. Because of this, you must know what strain you are buying. Also, the effects of each strain that you are looking to get. Choose a probiotic strain that targeted what you’re trying to treat, has multiple strains, and has around 5 to 10 billion CFUs. For severe health conditions like IBS, choose probiotic strains with over 50 billion colony-forming units.



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