We are made up of just as much bacteria as human cells. Knowing this makes it easier to understand why probiotics are crucial to our health. Given that 80 percent of our immunity rides on gut health, your choice of probiotics is as important as the reason you’re taking it.
There are so many probiotic supplements on the market and finding the best option can be a bit tricky. Every human gut microbiota is unique, and that’s why we process nutrients differently. ‘One size fits all’ doesn’t apply to probiotics.
But to help you use probiotics more safely and effectively, we’ve rounded up the most frequently asked questions that can help you make better choices.
Frequently Asked Question #1:
What’s the right probiotics for me?
When choosing your probiotics supplement, pick the right strains at the right amount from the right source:
1. A multi-strain probiotic blend helps achieve a more diverse gut flora, and therefore, offers more health benefits with every dose. But if you’re treating a certain health condition, consult your doctor for a single-strain alternative.
2. A high CFU (or Colony-forming Unit, the estimate of living microorganisms per dose) is a good indicator. Choosing the right CFU depends on your health status and desired benefits. But as a rule of thumb, go for 15-50 billion CFUs for a more effective general use.
3. Quality and credibility of the manufacturer matters. Check the label for words like ‘natural’ and ‘allergen-free’. Shipping and handling are also keys to preserving shelf-life and efficacy because most probiotic bacteria are sensitive to heat and moisture.
Frequently Asked Question #2:
Which probiotic strains should I look for?
Different strokes for different folks, that’s what they say. There are numerous strains available, and each of them offers a different function. And since each human individual is unique, it’s unlikely that a single probiotic strain would benefit everyone.
To get the best results, understand how probiotic strains differ before making a choice. Be result-specific. Health benefits include reduced lactose intolerance, bowel irregularity, and food allergies, as well as better digestion, cholesterol levels, mood, and defense against infectious diseases.
Clinical studies also suggest that some strains function better than others, so choose those that are tested and documented.
Here’s our basic guide for the health benefits of some effective probiotic strains:
Frequently Asked Question #3:
How should I take probiotics?
Probiotics are ideally consumed before bedtime to allow more bacteria to get into the large intestines. It’s also best taken on an empty stomach for faster absorption. But for people with hyperacidity, take probiotics with food to help the live bacteria survive passage through stomach acid.
Once in place, you can nourish your good bacteria with fiber from fruits, vegetables, or a prebiotic supplement.
FOR YOUR SAFETY: Seek professional advice if unsure about your probiotics choice or how & when to dose effectively.
If you want to learn about more about the safe & effective use of probiotics, you can ask for FREE expert advice from our Vitamin Geeks. They are specialized pharmacists and nutritionists who can answer your questions about the proper practices in taking supplements.
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