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5 Red Flags To Watch Out For When Buying Probiotics

April 24, 2021 5 min read

5 Red Flags To Watch Out For When Buying Probiotics - Balance ONE

There's no doubt that probiotic supplements can do wonders for your health. But choosing the right one is incredibly important! In this article, we're going to take a look at the five red flags that you need to be aware of when you choose a probiotic supplement.

Probiotics have been scientifically proven to improve a number of different health conditions.

For example, up to 70 percent of your immune system is in your gut, so replenishing your gut bacteria has major advantages for your immunity. Probiotics help to keep pathogens in check by preventing harmful yeast and bacteria from spreading.

Probiotics will help your digestion too. The lactic and acetic acid they produce help to promote good digestion. Some probiotic strains even produce important micronutrients like B vitamins.

There's no doubt that probiotics can be tremendously beneficial for your health, but where do you start? No two probiotic supplements are the same, and there are some that you should definitely avoid. Let's take a closer look.

Here are the 5 RED FLAGS to look for when choosing a quality probiotic.

🚩 Red Flag #1: Does your probiotic use regular vegetable capsules?

Veggie capsules sound good, right? Especially if you’re a vegetarian. Unfortunately, they’re not really suitable for probiotics.

The contents of your stomach are naturally so acidic that a standard veggie capsule will quickly break down. Its probiotic bacteria are destroyed before they have a chance to reach your gut.

Studies have shown that regular vegetable capsules will only get around 4% of their bacteria past stomach acid.

There are more suitable alternatives. Look for probiotics that will actually get their bacteria to your gut. The only proven way to deliver probiotic bacteria past stomach acid is a technology named BIO-tract.

This new technology uses an ingenious and very effective method to get probiotics past your stomach acid.

Instead of the probiotics being poured into a capsule, they are freeze-dried and compressed into a tablet.

When the tablet is moistened by the fluids in your stomach, a gel matrix forms on the outside. This creates a protective layer that protects your probiotics from stomach acids and enables them to travel safely to your intestines.

Research has shown that BIO-tract delivers 60% of probiotic bacteria past stomach acid.

That's 15 times more effective than veggie capsules at transporting probiotics through stomach acid. If you're using regular vegetable capsules, you could be wasting your money.

Solution: Buy a probiotic that uses a delivery system to get bacteria past stomach acid. 


🚩 Red Flag #2: Does your probiotic contain less than 5bn CFUs?

Probiotics contain a certain amount of living bacteria per dose. Each living bacterium is referred to as a colony-forming unit (CFU). Clinical trials have shown successful results with supplements containing a minimum of 10 billion CFU and up to 100 billion.

Because some bacteria will always die during the journey from the mouth to the intestines, it’s important to take a probiotic supplement that contains as many bacteria as possible. The more the better.

A good probiotic should contain at least 5 billion CFUs per dose in order to provide maximum benefit.

Note that the delivery mechanism is very important here too.

For example, 5bn CFUs in a BIO-tract tablet might deliver more probiotics to your gut than 75 billion CFUs in a regular veggie capsule. If you buy a probiotic with BIO-tract, it doesn't need to contain a huge CFU count.

Solution: Buy a probiotic that contains at least 5 billion CFUs. Anything less is unlikely to be effective.

🚩 Red Flag #3: Does your probiotic contain the most important strains?

While there are hundreds of different probiotic strains out there, some have been studied more than others.

Clinical trials of certain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains have provided evidence that some strains are not only more beneficial than others, but are better able to colonize the gut and survive certain conditions.

Research suggests that four of the most effective strains are:

L. plantarum: A hardy strain that survives the passage to the gut. It boosts your immunity, repairs the intestinal membrane, and also works to lower inflammation.

L. acidophilus: The most-studied Lactobacillus strain, L. acidophilus easily establishes itself in the walls of the small intestine. It’s been shown to enhance absorption of nutrients and improve overall digestion, especially of dairy products.

B. longum: As one of the most common bacteria in the adult digestive tract, B. longum helps in maintaining the integrity of the gut wall. It also reduces gastrointestinal discomfort caused by stress, and regulates the acidity of the digestive tract, which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.

B. bifidum: Found in both the small and large intestine, B. bifidum plays a major role in the digestion of lactose-containing foods. This is especially important for adults who lose the lactase enzyme. B. bifidum also helps in breaking down complex carbohydrates, fat, and protein.

Solution: Buy a probiotic that contains researched strains found naturally in the gut microbiome.

🚩 Red Flag #4: Does your probiotic only contain a few strains?

Even if your probiotic has a high number of CFU, if it only contains one or two strains it won’t be as effective as a product that contains multiple strains.

Each strain of probiotic bacteria functions slightly differently and has different benefits for the body. They’re also concentrated in different places throughout the digestive tract.

That’s why it’s best to choose a probiotic supplement that contains a variety of well-researched strains that have been shown to benefit the gut.

L. acidophilus has been shown to reduce diarrhea, boost the immune system and treat vaginal yeast infections. It also helps to improve lactose intolerance.

L. rhamnosus improves skin health, particularly eczema. It also helps to reduce diarrhea.

B. lactis is highly beneficial for improving both the immune system and digestion.

L. longum is particularly helpful in both boosting brain function and improving memory, while also treating constipation.

Other beneficial strains to look for include L. plantarum, B. infantis, B. bifidum, and L. casei.

Solution: Buy a probiotic that contains at least 10 probiotic strains. This will increase the chance of positive improvements to your gut health.

🚩 Red Flag #5: Does your probiotic contain harmful ingredients?

Many food products today contain huge numbers of potentially harmful chemicals such as colorings, preservatives, and sweeteners.

These may be added to a product in order to increase its shelf life, or to improve taste and appearance. But there is no reason for these to be present in your probiotic supplement!

A good probiotic supplement should contain as few binders, fillers, coloring agents, flavorings, preservatives, tableting aids, or additives as possible.

While additives such as colorants and flavorings may be deemed ‘safe’ by the FDA, numerous studies have suggested that they may be linked to acute intolerance or allergic reactions, or even may increase risks of serious long-term illnesses such as cancer.

After all, probiotic supplements are taken to improve your health – not harm it! Check the ingredients label on a product to see whether it contains any excipients (additives) that you don’t need.

Solution: Buy a probiotic that doesn't contain fillers, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors.

Don't Waste Your Money... Choose A Probiotic That Actually Works

Choosing the best probiotic for you is simply a matter of knowing what to look for. Don’t automatically pick up the first one you see, the cheapest one, or the one your friend recommended.

The right probiotic supplement will boost your immunity, support healthy digestion, improve nutrient absorption, and boost your energy levels.

Look carefully at all the ingredients. Find one with a high CFU count, lots of probiotic strains, and a delivery system that will get those bacteria to your gut.

If you want a probiotic that fits all these criteria, our probiotic is just for you.

Our Balance ONE Probiotic has 15 billion CFUs of bacteria, 12 potent strains, and no harmful fillers or additives. Most importantly, it uses the BIO-tract delivery system to get those bacteria where they're needed.

You can find it on Amazon, or on Shipping within the US will be free, and you can rest assured that you're buying a high-quality, made-in-the-USA probiotic.

Katie Stone, ND
Katie Stone, ND

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