Saturday, December 23, 2017

Finding a great probiotic for your needs

Finding a great probiotic for your needs

What is a probiotic?

The human body is made up of over 400 different species of bacteria, some of which is “good” and some “bad.” Probiotics are supplemental good gut bacteria that works to out-compete the bad for resources and space, effectively pushing them out. Probiotics are known to improve immune function, protect the body against bad bacteria to prevent infections, and aid in digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Because of the many benefits of probiotics, the team at did the research to look at over 200 supplements to see what’s really important when looking for a formula for you.
Bacterial variety

Look for a probiotic supplement that includes more than one bacterial strain. Probiotic bacteria are known to work best when in a blend of other bacterial strains. Most probiotics include more than 1 strain, and targeted formulas will often have 10 or more strains.
Studies show that probiotics, when accompanied by prebiotics, have numerous health benefits. Prebiotics help improve the survival of probiotics during passage through the upper gastrointestinal system and helps to stimulate the growth of probiotic components.

CFU contents

Probiotic supplements include a certain amount of bacterial colonies, reported in a unit called a CFU (colony-forming unit). You’ll notice a huge range of CFU contents in probiotics on the market today, but what should you really be aiming for? Look for a formula with at least 1 billion CFUs per serving — a benchmark at which most people will be able to experience the benefits of the supplement. That’s not to say that lower than this number means an ineffective supplement, rather it’s just a good rule of thumb. Formulas with far higher than this number tend to be made for specific digestive issues, and users are usually directed to that colony content by their healthcare provider. For questions about what CFU you should be aiming for, speak with your healthcare provider for guidance.

Shelf life

Because probiotics contain live bacteria, it’s important to pay attention to the shelf life and expiration date of the supplement. The expiration date on a probiotic bottle is the date by which the manufacturer guarantees that the formula will still contain the advertised amount of probiotic colonies. Be sure to examine the label up close to be sure you’re reaping the full benefits of the supplement.

For more information about choosing a great probiotic for your routine, you can see the full guide here: