5 Top Tips for choosing a Good Bacteria Supplement

5 Top Tips for choosing a Good Bacteria Supplement
Probiotics are friendly bacteria that, quite literally, support life (i.e. pro-biosis/life). But, when there are so many friendly bacteria products around, how do you know which ones are actually helpful, and which ones are unlikely to provide any real health benefits? Here, we give you our 5 top tips for choosing a good bacteria supplement.
  1. Know Your Bacteria
The human body houses a huge number of bacterial species, many of which are found in the gut, and not all of which are beneficial. The main beneficial bacterial species in our guts are Bifidobacteria and Lactobateria. These micro-organisms are lactic-acid producing bacteria that help thwart the colonisation attempts of pathogenic bacteria. Any good bacteria supplement should contain a variety of strains of these two species as a basic starting point to support gut health.
  1. Monitor Your Response to Different Bacteria
Everybody's body has a different bacterial composition, arising as a result of their diet, lifestyle, genes, and other factors. Although everyone's microflora make-up is different, that doesn't mean that a good bacteria supplement needs to be specially formulated for each individual, but it does pay to pay attention to the effects of any supplements used. Try a good bacteria supplement for a week and note down any changes in bowel habit, digestion, symptoms of inflammation, and even things like skin health and mood. Then, if you switch to a different supplement, you'll stand a better chance of recognising if one offers you more benefits that another.
  1. Check the Research!
Numerous bacterial strains have been thoroughly tested to establish their benefits, if any, as well as their safety, and the degree to which they survive gastric juices. Some of the most rigorously tested strains include:
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • acidophilus
  • plantarum
  • casei
  • paracasei
  • Bifidobacterium breve
  • infantis
  • longum
  • animalis subs. lactis
It is also a good sign when the label specifies the exact strain used, such as "Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum (HA-135) (whole cell)"; this means that you can look up studies using this exact strain, allowing you to see the data on the good bacteria survival in gastric juice, and benefits associated with the strain.
  1. Check for Guaranteed Potency
As mentioned above, some good bacteria have been tested and seen to survive gastric acid intact, meaning that they can go on to colonise the small intestine and large intestine where they are actually beneficial. Other bacterial strains may simply be destroyed by gastric acid, so always go for a product that guarantees potency both at the point of manufacture and at the expiry date on the product. These numbers will likely be a little different, allowing for some loss of potency over time. Good bacteria products that don't provide values for colony-forming units (CFUs) are to be avoided, as this lack of transparency can mean that any bacteria in these capsules will be dead and useless by the time they get to your gut. Which brings us to the last top tip for choosing a beneficial bacteria supplement.
  1. Choose a Well-Respected Good Bacteria Brand
So many people have jumped on the probiotic bandwagon in the past few decades that it is often tempting to simply go for the nearest, cheapest, or most snazzily designed bottle of bacteria. Don't! Companies, like Natren Inc., that have done their R&D (research and development) offer much better value for money than some fly-by-night outfit that produces lifeless probiotics. Natren Inc., was founded in 1982, and its founder, Natasha Trenev, is a well-regarded authority on good bacteria. In fact, her production standards are so well-respected that they were actually read into the U.S. congressional record in 1995, and are considered by many to be the industry standard for good bacteria manufacture. Not only are Natren products manufactured to pharmaceutical grade, they have guaranteed potency and use a three-in-one capsule system to ensure the survivability and stability of these friendly bacteria. Choosing a quality good bacteria supplement might seem like a lot of work but the benefits can be enormous. Why spend your hard-earned money on capsules containing dead bacteria that will do nothing for the health of your gut? Go with your gut and opt for one of the most respected brands available.