How to Pick a Probiotic
Probiotics is the name used for the supplemental form of the favorable microflora so essential to overall health and immune function in the human body. There are many probiotic supplements available in the marketplace today and a few important selection tips to keep in mind.
A good probiotic will have at least 4 or more different species of beneficial bacteria and should include members from the lactobacilli and bifidobacteria species or families. The most valuable and commonly seen species include Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus salivarius, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Streptococcus thermophilus. Many probiotics also include FOS, or Fructooligosaccharides, which are considered a prebiotic because they provide food and nourishment for probiotics. FOS may or may not be present and it is not necessarily essential but ideal.
A good probiotic should have a concentrated amount of bacteria. It takes large doses to see improvement and restore gut bacteria. Your gut is optimal when the microflora population is over 100 trillion. We now recommend a probiotic that provides somewhere between 20 to 70 billion cfu (colony forming units) per dose for most people. At a minimum, adults generally should take at least 15-20 billion cfu per day. Babies up to 12 months can have 1-2 billion; toddlers from 1 to 2 years can have 2-4 billion; children from 2-4 years can have 4-8 billion; children from 4-10 years can have 8-12 billion and from 12 to 16 years, an appropriate minimum dose is 12-15 billion per day.
It is important to slowly build up to the suggested minimum guidelines provided above. Remember, these favorable bacteria get busy about the business of killing unwanted pathogens in the gut, so taking too much probiotic too quickly can result in unpleasant die off symptoms (fatigue, itchy skin, irritability just to name a few) which can be uncomfortable. A slow, small step approach is the safest way to start taking probiotics although it is also interesting to note that it appears that overdosing is not likely if not impossible.
From our perspective at TWIHW, everyone should be taking a probiotic and/or eating fermented foods. Our culture today places very destructive demands on our favorable microflora. Stress, carbohydrates, alcohol, electromagnetic forces, antibiotics, steroids, antibacterial cleaning and body products, birth control pills, and Splenda (aka Sucralose) all contribute to the destruction of our favorable microflora, so we must be diligent at replacing them daily.
At TWIHW, we offer a wide variety of high quality probiotics to meet your needs in both capsule and powder formulations. Moreover, as is our custom, we are happy to take your order and have it ready for pick up or shipped directly to you. Place your order here and start defending Your Body Nation today.