Arguably one of the most popular trends in health and wellness is probiotics. Many of us have heard that probiotics are the next big thing in optimizing our health, but as it turns out, there’s much more to that than simply adding a supplement to your routine.
Probiotics have actually been around for a long time, historically in dietary sources like kefir, sauerkraut, and tempeh. The idea is that our bodies are naturally full of bacteria: some bad, but a lot of it good. By introducing more good bacteria into the gut, it out-competes the bad bacteria for resources and takes its place. Probiotics have been tested for a myriad of uses, but are commonly used for general digestive health maintenance, IBS/IBD, immune health, antibiotic recovery, weight loss, etc. In fact, some studies show that diverse gut flora via probiotics may even help to increase brain activity.
The team at Reviews.com recently released a guide to finding the best probiotic for your unique needs which covers the key factors to consider when finding what works for your routine:
The bacterial cultures in probiotic supplements are quantified in a unit known as a CFU (colony-forming unit). To ensure that you ingest enough of the bacteria to experience its benefits, aim for a supplement that contains at least 1 billion CFUs. Those with less aren’t necessarily ineffective, but this number will serve as a good benchmark. On the other hand, you may find formulas with a far greater CFU count. Note that these aren’t actually hyper-effective, rather, they’re options often used by those with other digestive issues which require this amount and have been recommended by their doctor.
Leading research shows that probiotic cultures tend to work better when they’re more diverse. Effective formulas will have two bacterial strains at minimum, which can out-compete bad gut bacteria for space and resources. This ensures that if one strain of good bacteria can’t compete with the bad, another one likely will. There isn’t one single best strain either — though some combinations can be better for different types of digestive issues.
Like all living organisms, bacteria die over time. We want what’s in the supplement to be alive when we ingest it to ensure we get the benefits. If the probiotic has been sitting in the store or a cupboard for a long time, there could be way fewer live bacteria when it comes time to consume. Always use these products by their expiration date!
Overall, finding a probiotic that fits your body and your budget is the most important part. Probiotics cycle through your system, so if you don’t take them on a regular basis, you may experience gaps in those benefits. Staying consistent is key!
You can read through at the full article from Reviews.com and see their suggestions here: https://www.reviews.com/