THIS IS HOW YOU CHOOSE THE BEST PROBIOTIC FOR YOU
Your body is home to trillions of bacteria. Known as gut microbiota, this colony of bacteria plays a role in your immunity, digestion and overall health. These bacteria aren’t all good guys, with some of them causing disease, and others working to fight it. In a perfect world, the levels of good and bad bacteria are in perfect balance, but in reality, they’re often thrown out of whack. When this happens, a probiotic is your best friend.
But with so many options out there, how do you choose the best probiotic for you? In this blog post, we give you all the guidance you need to pick the best probiotic supplement for your health and lifestyle.
How do probiotics work?
Stomach upsets, emotional stress, antibiotics and a number of medical conditions can all disrupt the balance of the gut microbiota. Probiotics help bring the gut back into balance, providing relief from IBS, diarrhoea caused by antibiotic use, and yeast infections, as well as many other common conditions. By repopulating the gut flora, a good probiotic will also boost immunity, fight inflammation and even tackle depression.
How to choose the best probiotic for you
When it comes to probiotics, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. With each probiotic containing differing amounts of live bacterial cultures, the product you choose should depend on the health benefits you’re hoping to gain.
Choosing a probiotic for taking every day
Anybody can benefit from a good probiotic. If you’re looking for a supplement to take every day, choose a product with at least 1 billion colony forming units, and containing the genus Saccharomyces boulardii, Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus. These probiotics are all heavily researched and offer a whole host of science-backed benefits.
Choosing a probiotic for little tummies
Don’t forget about the kids when shopping for probiotics! Little ones can benefit from the immune-boosting potential of a good probiotic, especially when recovering from a stomach bug or a round of antibiotics. Look out for formulas containing child-specific strain of bacteria, Bifidobacterium infantis.
Choosing a probiotic for treating diarrhoea
Traveller’s diarrhoea can ruin a trip, but thankfully probiotics offer some relief. Probiotics have been found to reduce stool frequency in infection-related diarrhoea that occurs with food poisoning and gastroenteritis. According to a large review of 34 studies, probiotics reduce the risk of diarrhoea from various causes by 34%. Effective strains include Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
How to choose the best quality probiotic
Once you’ve decided on the best strain of bacteria for you, it’s time to focus on choosing the best quality product. Here are some things to consider when supplement shopping:
- Consider the delivery system, The probiotic you choose should survive long enough to reach the gut and work its magic. Look for probiotics with “beadlet”, “controlled release: or “micro-encapsulation” to guarantee that they’re well protected against the harsh environment of your gut.
- Think about storage. Probiotics need to be alive at the point that you take them to be effective. Some probiotics need to be stored in the fridge, while others are shelf-stable. Choose a freeze-dried formula rather than a heat-dried one to avoid the hassle and unreliability of storing your probiotics in the fridge.
- Look for guarantees. To ensure the highest quality and potency, make sure the manufacturer includes a best before date on the label, as well as independent certifications.
Choosing the best probiotic for you isn’t always easy, especially when there are so many products to choose from. But the principles are simple: identify the right strain for you and prioritise potency, certifications and an effective delivery system.