When purchasing a probiotic supplement, it is very important to be an informed consumer and label reader.
For example, when a consumer watchdog group recently tested 25 popular probiotic products, it found that 8 contained less than the perfect live bacteria advertised on the label. Worse still, six had only a few million live cells at the time they were tested, not the one or two trillions they announced.
Here’s what to look for when shopping for a probiotic supplement.
#one. must contain both lactobacillus Y bifidobacteria.
The first thing any probiotic product should contain is a mixture of various “live” cultures. Ideally these should be a mix of both lactobacillus Y bifidobacteria.
lactobacillus The bacteria are lactic acid-producing bacteria that function in the small intestine. They help digest the sugar (lactose) and protein (casein) in dairy products, but the lactic acid they produce also kills harmful bacteria.
bifidobacteria lives in the large intestine. Members of this strain station themselves along the intestinal wall and stop dangerous pathogens as well as yeast. Candida albicans grab on. bifidobacteria they also help you absorb health-boosting B vitamins.
We have high levels of bifidobacteria when we are young, but levels drop dramatically as we age. This causes gas and indigestion. It also hampers your ability to digest certain foods. As a result, a probiotic supplement should contain multiple strains of both lactobacillus Y bifidobacteria.
#two. It must contain several billion viable cells per capsule.
The second thing to look for is how many viable cells the probiotic contains.
Many store-bought probiotics provide as few as one to three billion cells per capsule. Sure, that may sound like a lot. But with about 80 trillion bacteria in your intestines, one or two million “good” cells provide little, if any, benefit. Researchers say that a probiotic supplement must contain at least seven to ten BILLION cells for you to feel any benefit.
#3. Crops must be well protected from light and air.
Finally, probiotics are delicate and very sensitive to light, heat and air. To prevent this, some manufacturers use a special enteric coating. However, this does not always work. Many times, this coating is applied at high temperatures, which kills the microbes inside. This makes the product useless.
Although probiotics can survive at room temperature for several days, it’s best to purchase supplements that are kept refrigerated. This puts the microbes into a state of “suspended animation.” As a result, they will live longer and you will reap the health benefits much faster.