There is little doubt that probiotic supplements are beneficial. Bacteria in the stomach serve a huge role in efficient digestion of food and, by proxy, maintaining good health and energy in the individual. Luckily there is a huge market for probiotic supplements and hundreds, if not thousands, of varieties to choose from, continue reading to see our recommendations of the best probiotics. Unfortunately, all of these supplements will say that they have the best blend of bacteria for optimum health, which is a statement that is not easily proven or disproven.
There are so many different types of bacteria in the human gut that not even all of them have been discovered yet. So to say that any of these supplements is universally better than any other is just marketing. Many popular brands will say that they have the greatest concentration of bacteria within their pills. The general thought is “more is better.” However, with probiotics, it is not the overall concentration that’s important; it’s how many different strains of bacteria are within the supplement.
So far what we know about all bacteria, not just the good kind, is that every separate strain has a different function. This means it’s important to supplement with several strains in order to reap the maximum benefit. Some of the most successful strains are:
- acidophilus—Supports nutrient absorption and helps with the digestion of dairy foods.
- longum—A common bacteria in adult digestive tracts that maintains the gut walls and roots out toxins.
- bifidum—Serves an important role in breaking down macronutrients so they can be absorbed efficiently. It’s also crucial in digesting dairy products.
If you feel that you are in need of probiotics, those listed above are likely to be the most useful in maintaining proper gut health. If you are a regular traveler or are planning a trip soon, you may also want to pick up L. rhamnosus, which is known to help prevent “traveler’s diarrhea.”
Which probiotic do we recommend? What’s the best probiotic?
Another important aspect to look at when picking up a probiotic supplement is the method of delivery. A supplement is useless if the bacteria is instantly destroyed by the stomach acids. The current system that appears to be the most viable is the controlled release capsule. This allows the bacteria to have enough time to stir and become active before the pill is destroyed by acid. The best way to research this will be to read the packaging and marketing for the pill. If the company has taken the time to formulate a way for the bacteria to reach the intestines intact, chances are they’ll be bragging about it.
The most important thing to take away from this article is that each strain of probiotic serves a specific function. If you are looking for overall gut health and immune health, try B. longum. If you require a probiotic for better vaginal health, you could take B. coagulans or L. rhamnosus. It’s important to do a bit of research on each strain before you make any decisions regarding what supplements you should add to your regimen. If you have questions, talk to your physician or pharmacist on their recommendations on the top probiotic for you.