We’ll give you some simple tips on how to find the best probiotic for you.
You probably already know the importance of your gut health. It is the key to better digestion, better skin and a better mood.
Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir can serve as a source of probiotic bacteria. But if these foods aren’t your cup of tea, a probiotic supplement may make sense.
But be careful with your choice. That’s because not all probiotics are created equal, and the options on the market are overwhelming. We’ll help you understand the label and find the right probiotic for you.
Which microorganisms are contained in probiotics?
The most common genera of bacteria are Lactobacilli, which live in the small intestine, and Bifidobacteria, which are more commonly found in the large intestine. Make sure that both types of bacteria are combined in your product. Thus, the entire intestinal tract can benefit from the probiotic.
Also, as many different strains of bacteria of each type should be included in the product as possible. In fact, each strain may promise different benefits to your health. The motto “a lot helps a lot” really applies here, as the variety of bacteria strains that live in your gut is good for your health.
For example, there are also certain strains of bacteria that are particularly good for skin problems such as acne or eczema. You can find out which ones in our article, “Are probiotics the key to better skin?”.
How many bacteria per capsule?
If you want to use probiotics to support the intestinal flora on a daily basis, pay attention to the number of “colony forming units” (CFU). Choose a probiotic that guarantees 5-10 billion CFEs in one capsule. This allows it to have a good effect in the body and does not overload your system.
On the other hand, if you have just taken an antibiotic or have had an illness, you should choose a higher dosage. Then a probiotic with a dosage of more than 20 billion units is recommended daily for several weeks. Below you will also learn which specific bacterial strains are particularly important in this case.
Is the probiotic free of sugar, allergens and additives?
Look critically at the ingredient list to make sure the probiotic doesn’t contain sugar. It’s often used in cheaper brands to speed up the bacteria growth process, but it’s poison for your gut.
The probiotic should also have been produced without genetic engineering and should also label this. This is the only way you can ensure that no genetically modified corn or soy has been used in the fermentation process, which is common.
The product should also be free of any chemical additives, as they can potentially disrupt the gastrointestinal tract and also your hormonal system.
Classic allergens such as milk/lactose or gluten should also not be included under any circumstances.
Are the bacteria protected against stomach acid?
For the bacteria to work, it is important that they arrive alive in the intestine. So be sure to look for probiotics that will ensure that. Importantly, all strains included have been shown to have high survivability in the gastrointestinal tract. So have a natural resistance to gastric and biliary secretions.
Does the product work without cooling?
Here, pay attention to the storage instructions on the package of the probiotic. This is because some forms of probiotics still need to be stored in the refrigerator these days. This is complicated and particularly inconvenient when traveling, where probiotic protection is especially useful.
Modern probiotics like Ogaenics Love your Gut Daily Biotic Complex no longer need to be stored in the refrigerator, making them perfect travel companions. However, always protect the capsules from too much light, heat and moisture so that they do not lose their effect.
Are the bacteria getting enough “food”?
Feed the new bacteria so they are happy and quickly feel at home in your gut. For this, the microorganisms need indigestible fibers, i.e. dietary fibers, also known as prebiotics.
Ideal and extremely practical are probiotic supplements that already provide these prebiotics in a capsule. On the packaging, these dietary fibers are usually listed as inulin. The Love Your Gut Daily Biotic Complex contains, for example, inulin from certified organically grown blue agave from Mexico.
Which strains are included?
To say in advance: there are countless different strains. For some of them, very specific effects could already be researched through various studies. So you should always look for a probiotic that contains the strains that can help you with your problem. Below we give you specific complaints and which strains work against them.
For antibiotic reconstruction
Antibiotics also destroy the good bacteria in your body and make you susceptible to diarrhea or infections. A probiotic containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus acidophilus may help improve this situation.(1)
Some research suggests that Bifidobacterium animalis lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus help reduce the duration and severity of the common cold and flu. They help the body improve its production of antibodies.(4)
The strain Lactobacillus acidophilus produces the enzyme lactase, which absorbs lactose.(5)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Lactobacillus plantarum helps regulate bowel movements and relieve bloating and pain. More research is needed here, however, to determine what other probiotics might help treat IBS.(6)
The strains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri help prevent and eliminate bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections. They are also the most effective strains for protecting against yeast infections. They are particularly adept at colonizing the vaginal environment and fighting unwanted bacteria and fungi. (7)(8)