The realm of probiotics is trending- I see wellness influencers across all platforms sharing the positive experiences that they have had with what they choose to use.
So...how do YOU choose what to use? Keep reading to discover a four tips on how to pick a probiotic.
A probiotic supplement can be really helpful in many cases; when taking a course of antibiotics, when traveling, when wanting to avoid getting sick as schools gear up to go back in session. There are SO many options to choose from though! How do you know what probiotic will be best for you??
Understand what your probiotic is doing for you.
A "probiotic" refers to an entire realm of beneficial bacteria and yeast strains that communicate with our bodies in ways that are completely unique to you. What your favourite wellness influencer (aka, me) takes as a probiotic supplement is going to potentially have an entirely different impact on my flora than it will yours! How cool is that?
Your probiotic is supplying your body with a host of beneficial bacterias and yeasts that contribute to your unique flora makeup. Your body is like a garden; with different flowers in different areas that contribute to food breakdown, immune resiliency, even skin integrity and mood support. Your probiotic is like adding fresh seeds to your garden (which then need to be fertilized with prebiotic foods- more on that in a minute).
Your probiotic delivers a concentrated dose of beneficial strains that support your beneficial bacteria in outnumbering pathogenic bacteria. Some well researched genus include bifidobacterium and lactobacilli. These get broken down into even more specific species and strains which serve very targeted purposes.
2. Pay attention to CFUs (Colony Forming Units)
This tells you the concentration of bacterial cells that you'll get in each dose of your probiotic. It's like saying how many miles you'll get per unit of fuel in your car.
A good rule of thumb is to pick a probiotic that supplies at least one billion CFUs of the strains that it contains. Bonus points for at least one billion per strain of genus in your chosen probiotic!
Why so many CFUs?? The reason being that, whilst probiotics are living organisms, they need to survive a lot. The manufacturing process, sitting stored on a shelf, even the trip to your actual gut- this is why a high CFU number is ideal- only the strongest survive!
3. Don't skimp on the branding
When you want to purchase a probiotic, opting for a generic brand is perhaps less useful. Generic brands don't necessarily choose to fund the research behind what makes a probiotic most effective. Consider Walmart's in-house brand, Great Value; they have bigger fish to fry, like paper towels and gummy vitamins too.
By choosing a probiotic of a professional provider, you are increasing your chances of having good quality results. Look for professional brands that submit their products for quality testing at various stages of manufacture and distribution.
Don't want to do the research? In Empowered To Go LIVE, you won't have to! The 12 week program that builds your wellness routine of dreams will choose your dream probiotic for you.
4. Variety is the spice of life- and supplements.
Your gut is diverse, and your probiotic should be too. Moreover, if you're using a probiotic to target a specific condition such as IBS, eczema, and even diabetes, you'll need specific strain support.
For example; if you're someone who is traveling a lot (tis the season to escape rainy Ireland, that's for sure), you could benefit from a probiotic that supports healthy digestion and gut motility as well as your immune resiliency. Saccharomyces boulardii is an excellent, well researched strain that supports on-the-go professionals.
Another example; if you're looking to relieve chronic constipation that you're experiencing because you've been under a lot of stress at work, Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12 has been extensively researched and displays correlates with improvements in bowel transit and function.
Your probiotic should:
work for you, not against you
be plentiful enough that it can actually make an impact
be specific if you need help for something specific
not just tick another wellness box that influencers say you should