I have been writing about probiotics for more than 20 years, and I am delighted that it is now getting the attention it deserves. I am hopeful that knowledge about the health benefits of probiotics will continue to gain prominence and that people’s health and well-being improve as a result.
Because of my long-time expertise in probiotics, which includes everything from medical research to formulating my own product line, it is no surprise that one of the questions I am most often asked is, “What is the best probiotic supplement?”
Choosing the best probiotic supplement for you requires some research. Here are the things you should consider before purchasing.
How to Choose the Best Probiotic Supplement
1. Expiration date. Look closely. Some of those stamps that look like expiration dates are actually a stamp that simply guarantees how many live bacteria are in the product on the date of manufacture! Depending on how long you purchase your bottle after the manufacturing date, the bacteria in the product may be mostly dead, and therefore ineffective. Look for probiotics supplements that specifically guaranteed that a healthy number of bacteria will be alive on the expiration date.
2. Packaging. Probiotic stability depends on maintaining specific conditions; the wrong amount of exposure to light, heat, and moisture, can kill bacteria. Look for products packaged in opaque (preferably white) bottles.
3. Diversity of bacteria. Most probiotics claim a bacterial count in the billions, and claim that more is better. The truth is, science hasn't yet proven that to be true. In fact, we're still finding out just how many different species of bacteria live in the gut. What's most important is that your probiotic supplement include many different strains of bacteria.
4. Trustworthy manufacturers. Make sure you purchase your probiotics from a trustworthy source with high quality standards. Does your product come with a customer satisfaction guarantee? Is it tested by a third party lab? Don't be afraid to ask these questions. High-quality products will be backed by retailers who will be open to sharing this type of information.
Now It's Your Turn: What probiotic supplement do you take?
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