In observation of the uses and benefits of probiotics for the digestive system and understanding how much the gut affects the body, it’s reasonable to question why you didn’t make them sooner! That said, taking time to choose a probiotic that’s right for you requires some research.
Determine Your Needs
Although people generally opt to add a probiotic for overall health, some may intently choose to integrate them for a particular concern. Your doctor can help you to understand what you will need to obtain your specific goals. Probiotics can offer varying populations of bacteria counts, as well as diverse quality.
Firstly, take note of your predispositions to provide your doctor with as much information as possible. Avoid going for an at-home gut health test in lieu of seeing a doctor. These tests may potentially lead you in the wrong direction when it comes to accurate data and insights.
Once you’ve determined as much information as possible, provide your doctor with the concerns you’re hoping to address or treat with probiotics.
Understand What Probiotics Are Available
Not all probiotics are the same. Probiotics supplements and food are subject to mislabeling due to their current standing with the FDA as “dietary supplements.” However, safe probiotics can be purchased. Keep these guidelines in mind.
Look for The Three Magic Words.
They aren’t exactly magic, but they will give you peace of mind in knowing you’re looking at a reputable product. An indication that your product has been studied is safe for use, and has been regarded closely in terms of contents is the listing of its genus, species, and strain on the label. In other words, it should have three names.
- Genus (a large class of species): Lactobacillus
- Species(refined class): Acidophilus
- Strain (a type of bacteria): UALa-01
Make Sure the Dosage Makes Sense
Because probiotics are live bacteria and have the potential to evolve with the conditions they’re stored in, the label must indicate the dosage to its shelf life. The CFU or colony-forming units are the number of bacteria that are contained. Generally, average doses tend to be 1-10 billion for adults.
Also, there are prebiotics and precision probiotics to consider. Prebiotics are like an asset to probiotics, and can potentially enhance their effect, while precision probiotics are somewhat personalized. Both are lacking in substantial research that confirms their efficiency.
If you feel that probiotics supplements may not be for you, starting with probiotic-containing fermented foods that can be useful.
Talk to Your Doctor
An essential part of choosing a probiotic that will be safe and effective for you are speaking with your physician. They will be able to tell you if a specific probiotic will interfere with or interact adversely with a medication you’re taking, as well as help you along in adding it to your dietary intake.
Be sure to be mindful of the products you’re purchasing, as well as how they affect you once you begin taking them and over time.