One of the essential components of overall wellness is digestive health. Sources like USA Today and Harvard Health sing the praises of probiotics as an effective and easy way to help support the digestive tract and, in turn, the whole body.
We hear “probiotics” used time and again in the media, but what exactly are they? The human digestive system has hundreds of trillions of bacteria occupying it at any given time, which makes up a large portion of our immune system. Adding good bacteria (probiotics), protects the digestive tract from harmful bacteria that enter your system from sugar, pesticides, and saturated fats.
There are hundreds of options on the market, and it can be hard to navigate the attributes of each to find a formula that’s best for your needs. That’s why the team at Reviews.com recently released a guide to choosing a probiotic. They looked at over 200 different supplements, analyzing their potency, purity, and other important factors. Ultimately, they determined a variety of formulas that work well for the unique needs of different people like antibiotic recovery and IBS.
It’s important to find a probiotic with an adequate amount of bacteria to notice the benefits. Colonies of bacteria are quantified in terms of “CFUs,” or colony forming units, which are the number of active live organisms within the bacteria. Look for a formula which contains at least 1 billion CFUs. Those with lower than this benchmark can certainly still be effective, but 1 billion is a good range to aim for. With that said, some formulas can contain more than 100 billion CFUs, and while they have their own niche in the wellness market, are typically used under unique circumstances with doctor recommendation
Also pay attention to the bacterial strains which are included in the supplement. Probiotics should have more than 1 variety of bacteria — they actually tend to be more effective that way. 75 percent of studies that compared the effect of a strain mixture with a single strain supplement showed that those in a mixture are more effective at improving irritable bowel symptoms, immune function, and digestive health. Also to take into account which strains are included. Certain types of bacteria work well together as a team like L. helveticus and B. longum.
Keep in mind that that these formulas contain live bacteria. That is to say that the supplements are created with a specific amount of bacteria in them, and they’ll still be alive when we swallow them. Some of the bacteria will die over time, so the amount of time the bottle has spent on a shelf will dramatically impact how much bacteria you’re actually ingesting. The CFU amount refers to the supplement’s expiration date, which ensure you’re getting the dose you’re actually
No two digestive tracts are the same, so the best probiotic is up to personal preference! Keep these key factors in mind when you begin your search and to guide you along the way!
You can take a look at the full review written by Reviews.com here and see their top picks here: https://www.reviews.com/probio