Probiotic supplements are complicated for a variety of reasons, and that final query is no exception. This is due to the fact that probiotics should be tailored to your specific health needs. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Varied probiotics (i.e. live microorganisms that can enhance your body’s health) can have different benefits.
Good news! Those who suffer from specific medical disorders (see blog link above) may benefit from taking a probiotic. So, if a probiotic is recommended for you (and you should consult with a trained practitioner to know this), here are the top three things to look for in a probiotic:
THE GOOD STUFF
Bifidobacterium spp., Lactobacillus spp., and Saccharomyces boulardii (particularly for IBS!) are the most researched probiotics on the label. Again, each strain may have been studied for specific benefits, but this is a fantastic place to start.
MORE ISN’T ALWAYS BETTER
Some brands will try to offer you an ultra-mega dose containing 60 or even 100 billion CFU (colony forming units). A CFU is a measurement of the number of live cells in a sample), which comes at a significant price premium. The good news for your budget is that there is no evidence that more is always better at this time.
The number of CFU is usually what was present at the time of manufacture, not what was present when you bought it… which means you could be wasting your money in more ways than one. At least 1 billion CFU per daily dose is recommended by experts. There’s no need to spend more money on the product with 100 billion CFUs.
DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY
Many products contain digestive enzymes (which your body already produces), “whole foods” blends, and prebiotics (which your body already produces).
Probiotics are generally thought to be safe, although they aren’t advised if you have a weakened immune system. Consult your doctor to see if probiotics are good for you.
Finding a probiotic that works for you may take some trial and error. If you don’t see any results after a few weeks with one product, try another one with a different bacteria strain.