More and more probiotic foods and supplements are taking their places on our store shelves. From supplements to different types of yoghurts and fermented drinks – it is a phenomena that gets everyone’s attention.
Finding the right source for probiotics is important. Based on recent studies, consuming probiotics daily and taking probiotics supplements are the most effective ways to get them. Choosing the right probiotic supplement may sound challenging but probioticsfor is here to help.
Before diving into the wonderful yet complicated world of probiotics, please ask your doctor if you have any dietary or health restrictions. Keep in mind that probiotics are alive microorganisms and their potency will differ from species to species.
- The names: Bacteria are identified by strains. They are named in Latin and you will see the names like this “Lactobacillus acidophilus“. The first name is the genus (larger group) and second one is the species (individual) and if there is third word or number, that is the specific strain. Make sure that each bacteria is identified correctly whether it is just a single species or mix of them.
- The measurement: Since we are dealing with active microorganisms, it is important to use the correct microbiological measure for live bacteria, which is colony forming units (CFU). If there is a milligrams statement on the label, it means that weight of bacteria not a measure of live bacteria.
- The potency: Each strain of bacteria has different potency rates and those rates must be stated in colony forming units (usually CFU/mL).
- The storage information: Probiotics are alive microorganisms and they should be handled properly. The general rule is to keep the product away from heat, air and moisture. Most probiotics should be stored in a dark, cool or refrigerated environment to prevent bacterial growth or spoilage. Please pay attention to storage conditions of the product and its packaging.
- The expiration date: Since bacteria can not live forever in a limited container, it is important to check the expiration date where it is stated as either at the time of manufacture or time of expiration. If there is an expiration date, please look for freshly made products.
Quality, effectiveness and safety are important factors to consider when choosing the right probiotic product. Please keep those points provided above in mind and if you would like to learn more details please refer to ISAPP (International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics), Council for Responsible Nutrition and IPA guidelines.