Probiotics are starting to pop up everywhere as you walk through the aisle in a store, in the news, all over the web, and your go-to influencer may even be selling their “favorite” brand! There are so many options on the market, and you might be thinking: is a probiotic right for me, and if so what kind?
As the conversation around gut health grows, so do the number of ways you can help support your gut. You can eat foods such as yogurt with live cultures, or you can take a probiotic supplement. With so much information out there and so many choices, you need to make sense of it all to do what’s best for your gut. The good news is I am here to help you navigate choosing the best probiotic for you!
First, let’s dig a little deeper into what is a probiotic?
Probiotics were discovered in the early 1800’s, and named from a Greek word meaning “for life.” Probiotics are live and active cultures similar to those naturally found in your gut. Their function is to boost immunity and promote GI health by overriding the bad bacteria and repopulating the gut with good bacteria.
Here are my top 3 requirements when looking for a probiotic:
- Probiotic Strain: Different strains of probiotics can provide different benefits. Research the strain used in your probiotic so you know how it can help your digestive system. Some probiotic strains will be a better fit for your gut health goals than others.
- Dosage: Probiotic supplement dosing is measured by colony-forming units, or CFUs. The probiotic strain determines how many CFUs are necessary to deliver the intended health benefit. When choosing a probiotic, focus less on the number of CFUs and instead nail down what strain you need. Then research how many CFUs are needed to get that probiotic strain’s health benefit. Choosing a probiotic with the highest number of CFUs doesn’t guarantee its effectiveness; what’s important is choosing the strain that can give you the benefits you need. A good general rule of thumb is to choose probiotic products with at least 1 billion colony forming units and containing the genus Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium or Saccharomyces boulardii, some of the most researched probiotics.
- Proof of Benefit: A number of studies have shown that supplementing with certain probiotic strains can reduce constipation in both adults and children such as B. longum, S. cerevisiae and a combination of L. acidophilus, L. reuteri, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus and B. animalis. Studies have also shown that probiotics such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus can be used to treat diarrhea!
Are you wondering if a probiotic may be right for you? I would love to be a part of your health journey, send me a message or visit the link to book. I look forward to hearing from you!