I really despise shopping for jeans. In fact I avoid it at all costs. The vast sea of endless choices gives me a headache. So the jeans I have now are the ones I had when I was in high school, when shopping for jeans didn’t feel like going to the dentist. Why am I writing about jeans in a post about probiotics?
Probiotics Can Heal Your Gut
The amount of probiotics to choose from is swiftly reaching an overwhelming capacity. The increasing number of companies claiming probiotic potency is here to stay as gut health becomes the foundation of all health. With all the hype around gut health and how probiotics can help, choosing the right probiotic can be overwhelming. Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice, says more is less when it comes to having choices. Too many choices creates anxiety for the consumer. Sometimes having too many choices leads to not choosing at anything at all.
Probiotic therapy in the form of supplementation can be a life-saver for many people as it is for me. Therefore, I am writing this to inform consumers to make the right choice and to dissuade any chance of “giving up” from an overwhelming amount of products on the shelves.
Five Things to Look For in Probiotics:
- The best probiotics that are most efficacious will be kept refrigerated. I am wary of the companies that claim their probiotics are shelf stable. Being kept at room temperature will decrease the potency of the microbes and render them less effective. Choose a probiotic that is kept cold at the store or is shipped on ice. Saccharomyces boulardi is not a probiotic but is a yeast and is shelf stable.
- In addition to being kept cold, they should be stored in a dark glass bottle to reduce the amount of light and moisture.
- Choose a probiotic that is grown in a culture (either vegetable or milk) WITHOUT UNECCESARY FILLERS. A popular filler that many companies use is maltodextrin. Most maltodextrin comes from GMO corn. This is highly toxic to the gut. In addition, maltodextrin can cause diarrhea and bloating. Look for probiotics that contain no maltodextrin, soy, wheat, gluten, sugars, corn or GMO products.
- A reputable company will list the name of the species of bacteria and the strain. For example, Lactobacillus acidolphilius DDS-1 should be listed along with the the number of bacteria guaranteed per serving. This potency should be AT THE TIME OF OPENING, not at the time of manufacture.
- Most people are unaware that species of different bacteria compete against eachother. When a probiotic is touted to contain over 20 or more different bacteria species, this is a red flag. The stronger bacteria will dominate so you are left with much less species then what is marketed. The different species must be kept separate in different bottles or capsules. There are very few companies that have developed a technique to have few species in one capsule but without touching eachother. Therefore, the dominate species do not overpower the others.
Take home message:
I hope this information has given you some tools to shop for the right probiotic. The growth of this industry will only expand more and more into the future of healthcare. Please do your research before you make this commitment to your health. Getting the right probiotic can be a life-saver. Getting the wrong probiotic can be detrimental or at best have no effect at all.
For more information, contact Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org