How to Choose a Good Probiotic?
Over the years, research has continued to demonstrate the various health benefits that probiotics provide such as heightened digestive function, a stronger immune system, and improved hormone balance [1-3]. In response to these powerful properties, many companies are now marketing probiotic supplements, but choosing a good probiotic is not always easy. Here are a few features to look for when you are trying to find a probiotic supplement.
Look for a probiotic with a variety of good bacteria
Research shows that combining specific types of bacterial strains promote overall health . For instance, the combination of Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus acidophilus help target digestive issues such as ulcerative colitis . A blend of Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus lactis also have immune-boosting properties [4-6]. Additional strains such as streptococcus thermophiles and bifidobacterium bifidum improve gastrointestinal health and bifidobacterium lactis even promotes the breakdown of body fat, triglycerides, and cholesterol [7-9]. This means that probiotic supplements with several strains of bacteria can enhance various processes in the body and in doing so, better improve your health.
Evaluate whether it can specifically target your health needs
In order to experience the health-boosting benefits of probiotics, you should take a supplement containing about 5-10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) daily . Higher daily servings may be taken to help improve specific issues. CFUs refer to the number of bacteria in the product. However, it is also important to take a probiotic that contains the strains that will target your needs. For example, if you are experiencing bloating, gas, intestinal cramping, or diarrhea, then taking a probiotic with Lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium lactis, and streptococcus thermophiles may provide you with the best experience [1, 7, 11]. In general, the more probiotics a supplement contains, the better the chances are that it will target specific health issues and enhance your overall health.
Can the probiotic withstand the harsh intestinal environment?
A number of probiotics that are currently on the market do not offer protection from stomach acid. This means that the probiotics in most products are quickly broken down in the stomach and never make it to the intestines. Probiotics thrive in the gut, but in order to do so, they must remain intact as they pass through the stomach and into the intestinal tract. To ensure that this happens, probiotics need to be encased by a natural, protective layer that shields them from stomach acid and allows them to reach the gut. In order to avoid taking a probiotic that will be quickly degraded, look for a supplement with a Bio tract delivery system that protects the bacterial strains from stomach acid, controls their release into the intestines, and helps maintain their potency as they travel through the digestive tract. Kovoh probiotics, for example, are developed through patented technology that provides optimal protection from harsh stomach acid and this allows the gastrointestinal tract to efficiently absorb the probiotics. These types of supplements ensure that the beneficial bacteria are delivered to your gut in their most potent form. In summary, when you are looking for a good probiotic remember to search for a supplement that contains a variety of good bacteria, specifically targets your needs, and has a Bio Tract guarantee.
Also Read: Probiotics: All You Need to Know
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- Cremon C, Guglielmetti S, Gargari G, et al. Effect of Lactobacillus paracasei CNCM I-1572 on symptoms, gut microbiota, short chain fatty acids, and immune activation in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: A pilot randomized clinical trial. United European Gastroenterol J. 2018, 6(4):604-613.
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- Kvan OV, Gavrish IA, Lebedev SV, et al. Effect of probiotics on the basis of Bacillus subtilis and Bifidobacterium longum on the biochemical parameters of the animal organism. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018, 25(3):2175-2183.
- Famouri F, Shariat Z, Hashemipour M, Keikha M, Kelishadi R. Effects of Probiotics on Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Obese Children and Adolescents. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017, 64(3):413-417.
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- Eskesen D, Jespersen L, Michelsen B, Whorwell PJ, Müller-Lissner S, Morberg CM. Effect of the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis, BB-12(®), on defecation frequency in healthy subjects with low defecation frequency and abdominal discomfort: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial. Br J Nutr. 2015, 114(10):1638-1646.