Probiotics are healthy bacteria that live in your gut. They help you with digestion and strengthen your immune system. There are many kinds of probiotic bacteria, and each has unique functions within the body. It’s important to know what the different probiotic strains do, so when you buy a probiotic you’re buying one that has the strains that will be most helpful to your unique needs.
Number of probiotics per serving is only one piece of the puzzle
Most probiotic supplements on the market boast loudly about the number of bacteria in each dose (usually in the billions), but this is only a small piece of the puzzle when evaluating a probiotic supplement. As we’ll address in an upcoming blog, that “X billion per serving” number on the front of the bottle is misleading without additional information. There may be 3 billion probiotics per serving, but how many of those bacteria actually manage to survive the treacherous journey through the stomach acid and make it into the gut intact? We’ll give you a hint: usually not many. Another important piece of this puzzle is knowing which strains are useful for addressing specific issues.
Each probiotic strain offers specific benefits
In general, probiotic strains help to promote healthy digestion and work to strengthen your immune system, but each strain is unique. There are some probiotics on the market that only have one or two strains. Those strains are usually some of the most important for general gut health, but rarely do they cover the variety of issues that can occur.
As an example, let’s consider a woman (let’s call her Dana) that has been suffering from bloating and constipation, and she has a yeast infection. Dana is looking for a probiotic supplement to help her deal with some of these issues. Dana starts doing some research and learns that B. bifidum is a probiotic bacterium that can help with constipation and digestive issues. This bacterium will help Dana with her constipation and bloating issues, but it will do nothing to help her yeast infection. As Dana continues to research various strains, she discovers that L. acidophilus is a probiotic bacterium that has been shown to help reduce the toxic effects of mold and yeast growth, and research has shown that it has healing and preventative effects in regards to yeast infections. By educating herself on the capabilities of various beneficial probiotic strains, Dana has effectively armed herself with the knowledge necessary to find a probiotic supplement for her specific needs.
It would be easy to create a myriad of examples like this. Are you suffering from the stomach flu? Look for B. infantis. Do you have a child suffering from colic? You want L. reuteri. We will eventually have blogs posted that cover the functions of every strain in our Probonix products, but in the meantime, make sure to do your own research and know your strains!
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