Growing up, most of us were taught that bacteria were “bad” invaders, constantly on the attack and a primary cause of illness and disease. Once thought to be the villains of modern medicine, bacteria are now proving to be the new superheroes of health and wellbeing. Science is revealing the powerful benefits of “good” bacteria, otherwise known as probiotics.
We have learned that the good bacteria residing in each of us play an important role in digestion, serve as first line immune defense and provide a host of other health benefits. Unfortunately, our sanitized modern environment can be a threat to beneficial bacteria. Regularly drinking chlorinated water or eating overly processed foods can diminish our body’s probiotic defenses. Travel, stress, alcohol consumption and medications can upset the delicate balance of bacteria in our bodies.
The good bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract can only protect us if the proper balance of bacteria is maintained. Probiotics can have a profound, positive impact on your health. This is particularly true with the increasing number of people suffering from gastrointestinal health issues and other chronic ailments that begin in the digestive tract. Keep in mind that the G.I. tract is home to 80% of your immune system, so the right probiotic can make all the difference to your health.
How to Choose the Right Probiotics
One of the most common questions I get about supplements is, “How do I choose the right probiotic?” There are a multitude of probiotics available, but I have found few that deliver the consistent results I expect for my patients. Because they are living organisms, probiotics must be carefully formulated and handled properly to survive. A probiotic that is not precisely manufactured may be a waste of money. How do you find a high-quality probiotic supplement? I strongly believe the right probiotic needs to include researched strains, and must be carefully manufactured to ensure the bacteria are active when taken.
The Major Benefits of a Good Probiotic:
- Aids in digestion, particularly hard-to-digest foods and those to which some people are sensitive
- Maintains a healthy balance of intestinal microflora
- Supports immune system
- Promotes vaginal health
Here are my four key factors for an effective probiotic:
1. Team Work An ideal probiotic should contain multiple well-researched strains proven to work well together.
Since each person has a unique G.I. system, no one probiotic strain can deliver all the benefits like that of a team of probiotics.
A good probiotic must contain strains that are backed by scientific research that proves their ability to withstand the challenges of the G.I. tract.
Even if a probiotic can survive passage through the harsh G.I. environment, it must also be well-adapted for residing in the human G.I. tract. If a probiotic doesn’t have solid research backing up its ability to survive long enough to have a benefit in the G.I. tract, it is a waste of money.
The best probiotic can guarantee live bacteria counts, called “colony forming units” (CFUs), at the time of expiration.
Probiotic stability ensures a product remains active and viable for an extended period of time. To achieve stability and provide maximum CFUs, probiotic bacteria must be protected, sealed and then freeze-dried in an environment free of moisture, heat, light and oxygen. This puts the bacteria in a state of hibernation, allowing them to remain dormant until they are activated with heat and moisture in the G.I. tract. This allows quality manufacturers to establish a true expiration date based on stability testing. Probiotics with “Born On” or “Time of Manufacture” labels can be a sign of poor stability.
An ideal probiotic is a carefully manufactured capsule that ensures delivery to the G.I. tract.
Without the most delicate and precise manufacturing practices, any probiotic formula’s stability and longevity would be questionable at best. There are many types of probiotics on the market, but the type of probiotic I recommend most is a powder or capsule that is manufactured in a controlled environment. There are some pitfalls in probiotic manufacturing you’ll want to avoid:
- Tablets are manufactured using binders and pressure, which cause heat that can kill probiotics and reduce the viability of the product.
- Enteric-coated probiotic soft gels use heat to seal the soft gel exterior, and the liquid suspension exposes probiotic bacteria to moisture. Both of these factors activate the probiotic bacteria and quickly diminish their potency.
My Probiotic of Choice
It is obvious that choosing the right probiotic can be a challenging task. After extensive research and observing patient results, I chose Bactrophillus as the primary probiotic for my practice. One of the most compelling reasons I selected this product was because the company that manufactures Ortho Biotic was able to provide me with the background information to satisfy my key “must-haves” in a probiotic.
Why I Recommend Bactrophillus:
- Formulated with broad-spectrum organisms that integrate well with the human G.I. ecosystem.
- Contains specific probiotic strains with researched survival attributes for transit through the stomach and intestines.
- Includes a super-strain called Sacharomyces boulardii. This unique organism is considered a “prebiotic” organism because it makes probiotics work better. It does this by binding bad bacteria, crowding them out and making room for the probiotic organisms to work and thrive. One of the main benefits I have seen in my patients is reduced gas and bloating that can commonly occur when taking probiotics. • Demonstrated adherence to the G.I. tract.
- No refrigeration required. Through a unique new technology, Bactrophillus’s probiotic blend has been stabilized and verified for room temperature storage.
- Available in BioShield Technology capsules, delivering more active probiotics to the G.I. tract.
- In addition, this probiotic is non-dairy and free of soy, corn, wheat and gluten, imperative for the numerous patients I see with G.I. sensitivities.
With so many things to consider when choosing the right probiotic for you, make sure to use the strict criteria I’ve mapped out above.
Probiotics are vital to good health. They help protect you, maintain a healthy G.I. environment, promote digestion and boost your immune system. That is why they are at the top of my supplement recommendations list and why I recommend Bactrophillus as the most effective probiotic for my patients.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.