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Choosing the Right Probiotic

Probiotics are excellent supplements for benefiting gut health, but there are many brands and types available in the market. How do you know which probiotic is right for you, and what matters the most in your selection? Talking with a physician is often necessary and always advisable before starting to use probiotics in your diet.

Safety is Paramount

Before implementing any new dietary supplement into your daily routine, it is vital to know your health and nutritional requirements. Experts say that probiotics will not cause any significant side effects when used by people in good health. However, you should use caution if you have serious health conditions.

For people in good health, side effects are often mild. Some people will experience discomfort due to mild gas. For those taking probiotics with serious health conditions, you have to consider that your immune system is already in a weakened state, so introducing probiotics could cause more severe side effects.

Quality Ingredients Matter

In general, the FDA does not regulate manufacturers of dietary supplements as stringently as drugs, which means that claims made by the manufacturer of herbs and vitamins are not checked as thoroughly as they would be for medication suppliers. Probiotics are a supplement; therefore, manufacturers are not held to the same stringent requirements and inspections as other drug producers. Therefore, when looking for a probiotic option, only choose from brands you recognize and know to understand quality. If you are not sure of which option to choose, you can speak with your doctor to see if they can offer any suggestions. Many physicians will be happy to provide you with a list of reputable companies.

Three Names To Consider

Every bacteria is given three names that relate to its genus, species and strain. Knowing these names is incredibly important when choosing a probiotic. Scientists research specific bacteria and their effects on the human body. If you expect a probiotic to work in a certain way, then you need to make sure that the name matches the research. However, you must match all three titles. For example, Bifidobacterium Longum W11 is not the same as Bifidobacterium Longum W10. Think of bacteria names as the first, middle and last, and make sure that the probiotic carries the specific strain your after.


Colony-forming units or CFUs tell you the number of bacteria you receive in each dose of a probiotic. Getting enough CFUs is paramount to achieving the results you are after. Therefore, read the label and follow dosage instructions exactly.

Labels Give Valuable Information

Taking a probiotic should not be done willy-nilly. You need to follow precise guidelines and instructions to avoid adverse side effects and receive the desired benefits. The label on the back of the bottle will give you all of the information you need to know, from dosing instructions to storage and expirations.

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