Monday, May 27, 2024

What To Look For When Buying A Probiotic

Do Cfus Matter And How Many Billion Cfus Should Your Probiotic Ideally Have

What To Look For When Buying Probiotics

CFU stands for colony forming units and is used to quantify how many bacteria in probiotics are capable of dividing and forming colonies. There are a lot of numbers flying around of how many CFUs are included in different probiotics, and some of the numbers can be staggering. But to put it bluntly, we have approximately 100 trillion bacteria in our bodies, which equates to about 5 pounds worth.

So when you see staggering numbers of CFU inclusion, they are not generally that big in the grand scheme of things. We know that probiotic bacteria are alive and active if they are able to divide and form these colonies. CFU numbers on probiotic supplements can vary anywhere from several million to 50 billion, but the researchers concluded that effective probiotic dosage for general gut health seems to be in the range of 10 million to one billion CFU/mg per day in humans. However, the dosage recommendations can vary for specific conditions of reasons as to why you might be taking a probiotic supplement in the first place.

Whats actually important, though, is that the strains included are numbered and clinically validated. Quality over quantity, people.

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Since you can get probiotics from food, you might be curious about why you would even want to take a supplement. Besides the convenience factor, one benefit from probiotic supplements is that you can choose products with targeted strains for certain issues with a supplement. On the other hand, if you eat fermented foods you can still get probiotics, but you may not know exactly which strains or how much.

So if you’re looking into probiotics for a specific reason then you may benefit from looking into specific strains of bacteria that can help with that. For example, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is a probiotic strain that researchers found particularly helpful for diarrhea. Another thing to note is that probiotic supplements do not have to be approved before they are sold. Otherwise, for the general benefits, eating probiotic rich foods like yogurt each day can do the trick.

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Doctors say theres no proven medical reason for most people to take probiotic supplements. But theyre unlikely to cause any harm. If you do want to give them a try, here are some tips to make sure youre getting what you expect:

  • The bacteria should be present in adequate amounts, which means billions of CFUs, or colony-forming units. The human gut contains trillions of resident bacteria, so scientists estimate at least one billion probiotic organisms are needed to make an impact via the intestine.
  • The bacteria should be living. If they are dead or inactivated, theyre not probiotics.
  • Be wary of products sitting on a shelf or in high temperatures for long periods of time. If bacteria experience any moisture or heat, theyll begin to grow, use up the resources around them, and die. If you pick a product in a shop window in Texas in the middle of summer, good luck, said Gregor Reid, director of the Canadian Research and Development Centre for Probiotics at the Lawson Health Research Institute.
  • The bacteria should confer a health benefit, backed up by human trials that showed the probiotics had a positive effect on a specific condition. A group of experts recently compiled the clinical evidence for 40 brand-name probiotic products in Canada, many of which are also sold in the United States. Check out their ratings for each product, Levels I-III, based on the strength of evidence for specific health conditions.

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Does The Form Of Probiotic Matter

You may be thinking what does it matter how you take a probiotic? As long as you take it, right? The truth is, not all probiotics are the same. Often it isnt just about the type of probiotic and what is included in it, and more about how fast the bacteria can get to your gut in order to be beneficial to you.

Powders have been known to be the least beneficial because of what happens in the stomach. With every probiotic you take you run the risk of stomach acid killing the bacteria before it even makes it to your gut. The more protected your probiotic is, such as specific coasting or a delayed-release capsule, the more likely the bacteria will reach the gut in order to work.

May Improve Symptoms Of Certain Gastrointestinal Diseases

What to look for when buying a probiotic supplement ...

Some of the most well-studied uses of probiotic supplements relate to the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease .

One review of 11 studies found that 7 of them reported that probiotic supplementation significantly improved symptoms like bloating and abdominal pain in IBS patients, compared with a placebo, while the remaining 4 studies did not find significant improvements.

The review also found that multi-strain probiotics used for at least 8 weeks seemed to be most effective at improving IBS symptoms .

Notably, Lactobacillus acidophilus was present in all of the multi-strain supplement studies that reported significantly improved symptoms .

Multi-strain probiotics may improve some symptoms in those with IBD, though they appear to be less effective for people with Crohns disease.

Evidence is currently limited, and well-designed studies are needed (

34 ).

While some people, including those with IBS and certain types of IBD, may benefit from specific strains of probiotics, in general, most healthy people who follow a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle do not need to supplement with probiotics.

Plus, some researchers are concerned that the widespread use of probiotics may lead to antibiotic resistance and warn that many studies investigating the safety and efficacy of probiotics are of poor quality .

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Are Refrigerated Probiotics Better

The short answer: not necessarily.

What’s most important is understanding what you’re taking and why. Specific strains have specific benefits , and that’s what we should be focused on.

“There is no rule of thumb regarding how many different strains. Go with the product that has evidence,”, executive science officer of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics , tells

“If you are just looking for adding live microbes to your diet, then choose as many or as few as you’d like. Regarding CFUs, the argument is the same: Use what the evidence requires.”

Simply put, the best dose is the one that has been tested in humans and shown to provide positive outcomes. Most probiotics have been tested at levels between 1 and 10 billion CFUs per day, according to the ISAPP.

Here’s a list of specific strains of bacteria backed by a significant amount of research.

Benefits of Specific Probiotics and Where to Find Them


What About Kefir Yoghurt Drinks

As with other fermented foods, kefir a traditional Eastern fermented milk product available as both a drink and yoghurt also has limited clinical evidence behind it. It’s hard to measure exactly what concentration of which bacteria each batch contains.

Kefir products usually contain a broader range of probiotic bacteria than yoghurt-based drinks, though.

As a milk-based product, it can be high in sugar .

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Diversity Is Your Best Ally

Your probiotic needs to be diverse, just like your gut. Go for a probiotic supplement that contains many different strains. Some substandard brands incorporate only one probiotic species, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus.

Instead, look for supplements that contain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains and species like Streptococcus thermophilus and Saccharomyces boulardii. The more the strains in your probiotic supplement, the better. The diverse strains will help to regain your gut balance.

What You Need To Avoid:

What to look for when buying probiotics
  • Harmful Artificial Binders, Unnecessary Additives, or Synthetic Fillers.

You want to ensure youâre getting 100% premium, highly concentrated ingredients in their purest form, with no unnecessary synthetic fillers, added artificial additives, or synthetic fillers. Look out for artificial colourings like iron oxide, polyethylene glycol , carrageenan, mineral oil, titanium dioxide, and petroleum byproducts, just to name a few.

  • Fake Amazon Reviews

Millions of Brits look to Amazon before purchasing their products, but most donât realize that up to 60% of their reviews are written by individuals paid to leave positive feedback. Risking your health with reviews that are likely false is too dangerous a game to play when youâre choosing an ingestible supplement.

  • Prioritise Quality Over Price

It’s vital to prioritise quality when searching for a probiotic supplement, even if that means paying a little more for a high-quality, safe, and dermatologist recommended formula. Your health is far too valuable to take such a gamble.

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Amen Probiotics Supplement Sbo Probiotic And Organic Prebiotics 50 Billion Cfus Shelf Stable No Refrigeration Required Flora Daily Probiotic Formula For Women & Men Vegan & Non

  • 50 billion cfu probiotics, prebiotics, and sbo probiotics: Amen SBO Probiotic is made with 50 billion CFUs* of prebiotics, probiotics, and SBO probiotics. It provides 6 different probiotics strains including Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, and Bacillus clausii. This probiotic solution is formulated for both women and men.
  • Organic prebiotics: This probiotic supplement also features a prebiotic blend of botanicals, fibers and minerals including organic sprouted broccoli seed, artichoke, holy basil, organic turkey tail mushroom, and organic acacia fiber.
  • No Refrigeration Required: This probiotic dietary supplement is shelf-stable and doesnt require refrigeration.
  • Convenient: Simply take 2 capsules alongside a glass of water to enjoy this shelf-stable real food probiotic.
  • Vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, & made in USA: AMEN SBO Probiotic supplement is vegan, and non-GMO. This formula is also gluten, dairy, and soy free. Amen probiotics capsules are manufactured in the USA in an cGMP certified facility and third party tested.

Common Mistakes People Make When Taking Probiotic Supplements

  • Not following instructions to refrigerate.
  • Not being consistent for over a month to see desired benefits.
  • Low dose or not following the dosage directions.
  • Choosing the wrong strain for your needs.
  • Take multiple probiotic supplements.
  • Putting probiotics in a pillbox. Probiotics degrade quicker than other medications, especially when exposed to air, moisture, light, and temperature changes.
  • Taking expired supplements.
  • Not eating a well-balanced diet. Healthy choices with whole fruits and vegetables help feed good bacteria to proliferate and grow.

Read Also: What Is The Best Probiotic Supplement To Take Daily

Which Probiotic Product Does Iheartdogs Recommend

The team at iHeartDogs created an innovative 3-in-1 probiotic for dogs containing probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes. With 3 billion CFU from 3 different probiotic strains, we believe this product to be the most balanced and complete canine probiotic formula available.

Whatever product you choose, we hope this information was helpful, and trust that you have your dogs best in mind. Always consult your veterinarian and do your own research before choosing any product for your precious pup.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional.

A Good Probiotic Supplement: What It Looks Like

The Best Probiotics to Buy on Amazon

A good probiotic will ease digestion, relieve gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea, and may also help improve your immunity. Some people say that probiotics also promote brain-boosting benefits since our guts influence how our brains work. The digestive system is also referred to the second brain, which is one reason beneficial bacteria is so important in regulating how you feel all the way around.

When shopping for a probiotic, you can choose a supplement form or find it in many green superfood powders these days . To make sure youre consuming an optimal brand, heres what to look for:

1. Make sure it contains live, active cultures, specifically L. acidophilus and L. Bifidus cultures. These are only two beneficial cultures out of hundreds that exist, but are some of the best for digestive health specifically. If other beneficial cultures included, thats even better, but look for those two strains above all else for a good, basic probiotic.

2. Look for enteric coated capsules which survive stomach acid better than other types.

3. Look for those that are dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free when possible. If theyre raw, even better since theyll come from raw, living foods.

4. Choose a brand thats non-GMO to make sure genetically modified corn and soy werent used in the fermentation process.

5. Read the label to make sure it doesnt contain sugar, which is often used in cheaper brands to jump-start the fermentation process.

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How To Tell If Probiotics Are High

I like a bargain as much as anyone, but buying a probiotic supplement is something you don’t want to skimp on. Warehouse stores are great to buy paper towels and grass-fed beef in bulk, but those mega-containers of probiotics are hardly the great deal they might seem.

Quality matters for any supplement, and that goes triple for probiotics. Many commercial brands lack the technology to identify specific strains and how much of that strain each dose contains. That could mean you get an ineffective or potentially harmful dose. It’s a great sign if the company is using probiotic strains that have been used specifically in clinical trials at a dose similar to or the same as that used in the study. This is one of the only ways to guarantee a probiotic’s effectiveness.*

And even then, with probiotics, it’s all about survival. These delicate microorganisms must survive several obstaclesthe manufacturing process, packaging, shelf life, and the acid in your stomach environmentto reach your intestines, where they do their job.

To avoid those and other problems, I strongly recommend buying a professional brand from a reputable health care professional or another vendor who stands by their products and submits their products for multiple rounds of quality testing, from raw ingredients to finished product. Some of these brands have created advanced technology that preserves a probiotic supplement’s survival on the shelf and in your gut.

Other Things That You Should Look For While Buying A Probiotic

Some probiotics on the market can contain allergens like dairy, fish, bovine, crustaceans, soy and wheat. Others dont contain GMOs and allergens like wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, peanut, tree nuts, sesame, fish, eggs, corn, sulphites, shellfish and mustard. This could help to make it a viable choice if you follow a particular lifestyle like veganism or if your diet needs to be free from specific allergy threats or gluten.

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Packaging And Shelf Stability

advanced gut health probiotics

  • Crafted with 15 balanced strains of probiotic bacteria with an ample CFU
  • Strains are triple cleaned to ensure that only the heartiest remain
  • Encapsulated in a delayed-release, plastic-free capsule thats been shown to deliver up to 10x the bacteria to the gut
  • Shelf stable and packed in a humidity-resistant blister pack
  • Vegan and free of allergens like gluten, wheat,dairy, nuts, fish, eggs and sulphites

Make Sure Your Probiotics Don’t Go Bad

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Always look for the manufacturing date or expiration date, after which the potency on the bottle can no longer be guaranteed. Most probiotics are good for two years from the manufacturing date, but ask the manufacturer if that information is not clear on their website. Many high-quality shelf-stable probiotics exist. These do not require refrigeration. Other formulations do. The label should tell you specifically whether or not to refrigerate.

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Is The Product Safe

Probiotics have been around for a very long time, and most have been shown to be relatively safe. However, there is always a chance that a foreign microorganism could potentially cause a patient harm.

Fortunately, all products sold in the US, Canada, and the UK must be reviewed and authorized before they can be sold.

This includes probiotics, which are considered to be drugs under the Food and Drugs Act.

The Refrigeration Slight Of Hand

One thing we hear commonly is that people know that probiotics should be refrigerated. They are right, partially. The crucial thing to remember is that not just that probiotics need to be refrigerated, but the cold chain MUST be maintained throughout the products lifecycle. That little tweak to the wording is where many retailers and probiotic companies deceive their customers about the products they sell.

The ideal scenario is that probiotics are cultured, manufactured, shipped, sold, and stored with temperature controlled. This is the cold chain.

For most retailers, the first time probiotics are refrigerated is when they are received in store. Many retailers get probiotics from distributors instead of direct from the company. This is actually a big difference, because great manufacturers are serious about the cold chain.

But many distributors do not take such precautions. The cold chain is almost never maintained and we have LOTS of evidence of that from first-hand experience, stories weve heard, and confirmation from distributors and manufacturers.

Get ready for this: this even goes for Vitality Approved brands of probiotics. No, not literally our products. Our probiotics are guaranteed to ensure the cold chain. BUT just because you may see Natren in another store, it doesnt mean that store ensures the cold chain is always maintained.

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Provitalize Best Weight Natural Weight Management Probiotic

The product is made of six herbal components that enhance its effectiveness in the body. These components include the Lactobacillus gasseri, which boosts the bodys immune function, helps fight allergies and has many other benefits. Bacterium Breeve lowers the overall fat mass, Bacterium Lactis reduces the BMI, total body cholesterol that could lead to cardiac problems, and breaks down low-density lipoproteins. Tumeric root extract helps reduce inflammation, and Moringa leaf is rich in Vitamins E & C, promoting good brain health. Bioperine improves nutrient absorption b 30%, and sunflower lecithin enhances the effectiveness of the formula. e Delayed-release capsules protect the probiotics from stomach acid effects.

The Provitalize capsules work to ease hot flashes that may occur during menopause, manage to bloat, energize the body, improve gut and digestive health, and improve sleep at night. The capsules work effectively to minimize the side effects of menopause in women, leaving you feeling lighter and energized.

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