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Probiotics: What You Need to Know

By September 15, 2014Health & Fitness, Home

 

It’s hard to ignore the latest trends, especially when they are everywhere! Currently the market is buzzing over probiotics. This latest trend has companies far and wide working to adapt and create products that capitalize on the increased demand for probiotics.

However, with all of the hype that accompanies a trend, a lot can get lost in translation from a consumer standpoint. It’s important though, to be as informed as possible to ensure you are making the best decisions for your body.

 

Numbers don’t lie, or do they?

With regard to probiotics, consumers tend to think the bigger the better, and while consuming probiotic supplements with a higher CFU (colony forming units or concentration of bacteria) is certainly more ideal, the bacteria count you read on the box, isn’t always what you’re consuming.

Depending on the manufacturing process and how the product is handled and stored, many if not all of the bacteria can die, rendering the supplement completely useless to you and a waste of your money. For example, heat during manufacturing, or not storing supplements in a cool environment will kill the good bacteria.

Before purchasing probiotics, research the brand, find out how they manufacture their product, how they’re store, and if they have been through any trials or tests to prove their potency. While shopping, look for how the store is handling the probiotics, heck even talk to an employee if you’d like, to find out how carefully they are handling the products. Don’t forget to check expiration dates as well.

Probiotics: Knowledge is Power

There is often confusion among consumers about why probiotics are important and how they benefit us. Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you to do something “because they said so”. The fact that you had no idea why you were doing something made it that much more unappealing. When we understand the importance behind something, we’re more likely to continue that action, right? (hey, I said more likely, not definitely) With that being said, if we actually understand WHY probiotics are beneficial, we are more likely to ensure we seek only the best for ourselves.

Not All Strains are Created Equal

Different bacteria strains have different benefits, so depending on the combination of strains in 1 supplement or food vs another, your body may react differently. The best thing to do would be to choose a supplement based on your bodies needs.

Click here for some common strains and their benefits.

Things You Should Know:

  1. Lay off the Antibiotics and antibacterial products (They kill the GOOD bacteria along with the bad, give your body a chance to fight off infection on its own and take antibiotics only when necessary.)
  2. Reduce or eliminate flour and refined sugars & starches from your diet
  3. Choose probiotic supplement brands that deliver the most potent supplements with (5-10 billion CFU or higher)
  4. Refrigeration can preserve the shelf life of your probiotic supplement
  5. The bacteria from probiotic supplements don’t stay in the body longer than a few weeks
  6. Listen to your body, supplement based on your bodies needs, not the general population (Some supplement on an as needed basis, others do it daily. Do what works for you.)
  7. Probiotics benefit more than just the digestive system. They can:
    • Improve cholesterol
    • Fight cancer cells
    • Heal and prevent acne
    • Improve eczema and other skin conditions
    • Enhance the immune system
    • Improve vaginal health in women
    • Help to stave off degeneration

Some Brands We Like:

 

Are you currently taking probiotics? Tell us your favorite brands and why in the comment box below! 

~ Letisha


 You Might Also Be Interested In:

15 Reasons You NEED Probiotics!

 

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