Probiotics are live bacteria that have become popular among those who want to stay healthy and fit. They can be found in foods, beverages, and even supplements. Probiotics are said to help improve one’s health by regulating the digestive system and boosting immunity. The market is now filled with different brands, types, and variations of probiotics. This means that it can be very difficult to find the one that suits your needs.
1) Know Your Needs
Before shopping for a probiotic, it is important to know what you need or want in one. Are you looking for something to help improve your digestive health? Do you want something with fast effects? Knowing what sort of benefits, you are looking for will help determine which type of probiotics you should buy. There are three major variants when it comes to this supplement: prebiotics, foods containing active cultures (or live bacteria), and capsules. Each type has different benefits and serves a specific purpose.
2) Look for the Right Number of Species
The probiotic market is filled with brands that contain different types of bacteria in them; more than 200, to be exact. One of the most common bacteria found in probiotics is bacillus coagulans, which helps improve digestive issues such as bloating and diarrhea. Another example is lactobacillus acidophilus, which can help reduce lactose intolerance and boost immunity. If you want to purchase a supplement with just one type of bacterium, it’s best to look for an effective species.
3) Check the Number of Colony-Forming Units (CFUs)
In order for a probiotic supplement to be effective, it needs at least 3 billion CFUs of active cultures. A higher CFU count means that you can take fewer doses of the product in order to get the same effect. If you factor in the number of bacteria needed per dose, make sure that each pill has at least 15 – 25 billion CFUs. This is because around 100 – 10,000 bacteria will pass through your body upon ingesting a single dose. The more colonies there are in a particular supplement, the easier it will be for those colonies to survive and for you to get the most out of your probiotics.
4) Make Sure the Product is Refrigerated
One of the main perks of taking a probiotic supplement is that it can help improve digestive issues such as diarrhea, bloating, and indigestion. However, these problems can be exacerbated if you purchase a product that is not kept at the right temperature. This is because bacteria begin to die at body temperature, making them less effective once taken orally. Ensure that you keep your probiotic supplements in a fridge or in a cool place to make sure they stay fresh and functional. It’s also best to check the expiration date on each container before buying one; by doing so, can avoid purchasing something that will become unusable in a few months.
5) Make Sure It Contains Prebiotics
Prebiotics are special types of fibers that help nourish the good bacteria found in probiotic supplements. They can help improve digestion and promote overall health by establishing a protective barrier against bad bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Clostridium. Don’t purchase a supplement without prebiotics! This is because it will fail to provide you with its primary purpose: helping your body absorb more nutrients from the food you eat. There are three main kinds of prebiotics: fructooligosaccharides (which ferment at a moderate rate), inulin (which ferments very fast), and soybean oligosaccharides (which ferment very fast, too). Make sure that the product you buy contains at least one type of prebiotic.
6) Check How Long the Bacteria Lasts in Your System
Similar to checking for CFU levels, make sure that the bacteria found in a probiotic is able to survive inside your body for a long period of time. Different types of bacteria have different shelf lives. For example, lactobacillus acidophilus can last from 1 – 3 days while Bifidobacterium lactis and some strains of bacillus can last up to 2 weeks. Regardless of how long it lasts, be sure that the supplement has an expiry date printed on its packaging so you don’t purchase something that will go bad within a few months.
7) Try to Avoid Probiotics Made with Fillers
Lastly, it’s best to purchase a supplement that contains ingredients that you can actually pronounce, rather than fillers such as magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide. These substances have no benefit on your digestive system so there’s no point in paying for them. If you find yourself struggling to pronounce the name of an ingredient, look for another product instead!
In summary, when trying to find a probiotic supplement that meets your needs, be sure to take these 7 tips into consideration. If you’re struggling with severe digestive issues or just want to maintain your overall health, then it’s best to look for effective species of bacteria in each dosage. Look out for the number of colony-forming units per pill, make sure they are stored properly, check if they contain prebiotics, ensure the bacteria survive in your system for a long time, avoid supplements made with fillers.