There is growing interest in probiotics and there is growing number of probiotic products on the shelves of the supermarkets. So there is no surprise that I get asked over and over again: “How to choose the best probiotic product?”.
- The key to a healthy microbiota is its diversity. Тherefore, when choosing probiotics, look for those that have more than one bacterial strain and preferably species (as an example probiotic products that have both Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli).
- Choose a well-known brand that discloses not only the species of bacteria but also the strain number. For example not only Lactobacillus reuteri but Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 or Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis. These are a few well studied probiotic strains that can be found commercially in different products:
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (you can buy it here)
- Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM (you can buy it here)
- Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 (you can buy it as drops or chewable tablets)
- Saccharomyces boulardii (you can buy it here)
- Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis 35624 or Bifantis (you can buy it here)
- Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 (you can buy it here)
- Note how many CFU (colony forming units) of live bacteria this product has. The more live cells it has the better, with a minimum of 1 billion per bacterium (strain).
- Pay attention at the packaging and avoid buying it online with the delivery to your home especially in summer time. Also note how the probiotic product should be stored. Some are stored at room temperature and those may handle the shipping well, others should be refrigerated so it has to be shipped with ice pack.
- Does it have an expiration date? Supplements are not required to have best before date on the package. However probiotics are in fact live bacteria and they do expire and the expiration date is pretty short. Therefore look for it and make sure the product is not expired when you are buying it.
- Check if the company has a return policy.
- Some of the most studied probiotic products are:
Stay tuned for more information on how specific probiotic strains may treat specific health issues.
You might also like to read the article about “PROBIOTICS VS ANTIBIOTICS”.