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How to Choose the Right Probiotic

How to Choose the Right Probiotic

Phil Gorman

When looking for probiotic products, look for a supplement with the following features

Multispecies and multistrain probiotic: The product should contain different bacterial species and multiple strains of bacteria.

Differentiated products tailored to your needs: Different digestive issues warrant different probiotic strains. Therefore, for optimal benefits, try to seek out a probiotic that is tailored to the specific health outcomes you are trying to achieve.

Clinical studies: The probiotic and its claims should be backed by clinical studies using the final product. This will ensure that you are buying a product whose effects have been studied and proven.

Human strains: Only human bacterial strains can colonize your gut (i.e., live and reproduce in your gut). Other bacteria, such as bacteria found in fermented foods such as yogurt and in soil-based probiotics, cannot colonize the gut and usually pass through your body within a few days. For lasting positive effects, you want to make sure that you have human strains that can colonize.

Free of animal proteins, allergens and fillers: It is recommended to choose a probiotic that is free of dairy and other animal proteins, gluten, soy and yeast to ensure you are taking a clean product.

Delivery mechanism: When you ingest your probiotic, the probiotic travels through the harsh, very acidic environment of the stomach before it reaches the small and large intestine.

Many capsules contain freeze-dried bacteria. If these bacteria get in contact with stomach acid as the first liquid, then they will soak up the stomach acid and die from the acidity as a result. The most effective probiotic is formulated as a powder and activated with water prior to intake.

In addition, look for a probiotic that has prebiotics mixed in, as the prebiotics are food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Beware of probiotics that require refrigeration, as you can not be sure how “fresh” these bacteria are by the time they reach your fridge.