The best way to add probiotic nutrients to your body is by having more probiotic foods to improve digestive health. But if you cannot implement these in your daily diet, probiotic supplements are the next best thing. With the market almost overflowing with probiotic supplements from many brands, it can be quite a confusing task to choose the right one for yourself or your family.
Here are some factors that need special consideration while purchasing probiotics supplement..
1. Look out for the specific probiotic strains included in the supplement- Most of the probiotic supplement manufacturers will fool you into believing that the best probiotic supplement is the one with the higher number of bacteria per unit, which is measured by the colony-forming unit or CFUs.
But the truth is far away from this. Scientific research has not concluded yet, a way to determine if the number of bacteria actually affects your digestion in any way. In fact, the most interesting bit of it is that it is still unknown how many strains of bacteria actually grow naturally in the gut. So if a manufacturer is trying to sell you a supplement based on this myth remember, it is only a sales pitch.
The essential strains of bacteria that all probiotic supplements must have are
- L.acidophilus which readily forms colonies in the small intestine to support nutrient absorption and digestion of dairy products.
- B.longum which maintains the lining of the gut and acts as a scavenger of toxins.
- B.bifidum which gives you the natural ability to digest dairy products and break down complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
2. The packaging of the product and its delivery system- Stupid as it may sound, but the packaging and delivery of probiotic supplements is one of the most important factors in choosing the right supplement for yourself or your family. By delivery system, one implies the particular way in which the product is created and the process in which the bacteria is made to remain alive and healthy while it is on store shelves and the estimated time in which it will be absorbed by your gut wall. A probiotic drink that is full of dead bacteria is a waste of money.
The controlled-release tablet or caplet is the most popular and most effective way in which a probiotic supplement can be packaged and stored till consumption. If the bacteria is exposed to too much light, heat and moisture then the probiotic supplement loses its qualities. For this reason, opaque bottles must be used.
3. The expiry date of the supplement-Without the expiry date it is impossible to tell whether the probiotic will work or not. It is however, impossible to know how long the bacteria in the supplement are expected to last. It can range from a week to a year. Do not waste money on a product that may be of minimal or no benefit at all. As a consumer, a probiotic supplement from a trustworthy brand must last at least three to four months after manufacture.