Tuesday, 10 October 2017

3 Things To Look For In A Probiotic Supplement

We’ve all heard claims about the health benefits of probiotics, in fact, it’s become one of the biggest recent trends in health and nutrition. But what exactly are probiotics, and what makes supplements “good”?

Probiotics have always been a staple in the human diet through our various sources of food. In modern times, there’s been a shift to focus more on digestive health and for good reason. According to CNN,  the digestive system makes up 70-80% of our immune cells, so maintaining its health should be a high priority. Sources like Harvard note that probiotics can assist in managing various GI from diarrhea to ulcerative colitis. Probiotics are “good bacteria” (also known as microflora) which typically help in managing harmful gut bacteria by competing for space and resources within the body. Overall, probiotics can help with digestion, absorption of nutrients, and the immune system.

With all the benefits associated with probiotics, the team at Reviews.com chose to create a guide to finding a probiotic supplement to fit your needs. Throughout their process, they determined three key factors to keep in mind when looking for a probiotic supplement:

1. Colony Count

Probiotic supplements might seem like a pill or capsule, but they actually contain live bacterial cultures. In the field, the metric used to count the bacteria is called a “CFU” or colony-forming unit. This is an important number because you have to ingest enough of the probiotic cultures to experience the benefits. Aim for supplements that have at least 1 billion CFUS. While those with lower numbers can still be effective, this is a good area to aim for when you begin your search. It’s important to note that there are also formulas with a far greater number, though these are most often used under doctor supervision for specific GI or immune system issues. Consult with your doctor if you’re unsure what’s best for you.

2. What Is The Variety Of Bacteria?

Leading research shows that probiotics work best when there are more than one strain working together. Look for a formula with more than one strain — the better supplements can have 10+ strains. There aren’t specific strains that are better or worse, but some combinations of bacteria can be more effective at addressing specific GI issues. Some formulas may be specially designed for this purpose.

3. What Is The Viability Of  The Culture?

We all know to not ingest expired supplements, but this is particularly important when it comes to probiotics. Remember that the cultures start off live, though bacteria will naturally die over time. The expiration date on probiotics is actually a guarantee of the CFU number. That is to say that until the expiration date, the formula is guaranteed to have that number of CFUs. If the supplement has been sitting in the store or a cupboard for a long time, there could be dramatically fewer live bacteria when it comes time to consume, so also be sure to store properly.

Image Credit: reviews.com

Overall, finding a formula that fits both your budget and your body’s needs is what’s most important. Keeping these factors in mind can help guide your search, but be sure to speak with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about what is best for you.

You can take a look at the full article from Reviews.com as well as their suggestions here

Source: https://www.reviews.com/probiotic-supplement/



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