So, you’ve decided to take a probiotic supplement to support your body’s immune and digestive systems.
But when it comes to deciding which one to take, it can be confusing. There is an array of probiotic products on the market, from capsules to liquids and powders. How do you choose?
A quality probiotic will deliver a batch of good bacteria into your digestive system, helping to break down foods and creating a better balance between the good and bad bacteria found in your gut.
These good bacteria form a layer of protection on the lining of your intestines and perform thousands of other functions to help ensure not only good digestive health, but a strong immune system, since 70 percent of your immune system is in your gut.
By doing a little homework and reading labels, you can find a probiotic that is right for you. To get you started, here are six things you should look for when selecting a probiotic.
1. Probiotics should be effective
Probiotics are one area where it pays to be picky about what you purchase, or at least know that the company behind the product is being picky for you.
Nutrilite™ Senior Research Scientist Kristin Morris said her team filtered through hundreds of commercially available probiotic strains before selecting an exclusive blend for Nutrilite™ Balance Within™ Probiotic.
“We wanted to only use probiotic strains that had human clinical data to support digestive health and immune system benefits,” she said. “Many probiotic strains were eliminated because they didn’t hit the mark.”
Each individual packet of Nutrilite Balance Within Probiotic features five probiotic strains at a potency of 6.3 billion colony-forming units (CFUs). One slim packet, either sprinkled into cold beverages or foods or poured right onto your tongue, gives you the probiotic equivalent of seven bottles of fermented Kombucha drinks.
2. Probiotics should undergo high levels of testing and quality control
You want to make sure you are buying a probiotic that has already been tested for quality and effectiveness.
“Testing is key,” Kristin said. “Our probiotic strains are extensively tested before we even consider them. We look for beneficial bacteria – the good guys for your gut – that can survive the journey through the harsh conditions of your stomach.”
The strains used in Nutrilite Balance Within Probiotic are backed by more than 100 third-party scientific and technical publications, including human trials.
3. Probiotics should “arrive alive”
A probiotic won’t help you if the good bacteria inside can’t survive the tough conditions of your digestive system. These good bacteria need to be able to reach your intestines alive and ready to work hard for you.
Kristin said the strains chosen for the Nutrilite product meet that requirement.
“What is particularly exciting about these five strains is that they are naturally acid and bile-tolerant, meaning the strains can survive the harsh journey through the stomach to the intestines,” she said.
In addition to the “arrive alive” technology, Nutrilite Balance Within also contains a gram of prebiotic fiber in each packet that works with other prebiotic fibers in your diet.
“Prebiotics are plant‑based fibers that work naturally to feed the good bugs in our gut and to give them an environment where they’re able to flourish,” Kristin said.
4. Probiotics should stick to your gut
Once the good bacteria reach your gut, they need to stay there for a while in order to do their work. They do that by sticking to the sides of your gut and colonizing—making themselves at home.
The probiotic strains used in Nutrilite Balance Within stick to the gut, allowing the beneficial bacteria to adhere to the intestinal wall, filling up these valuable spaces with good bacteria and making sure there are fewer places for bad bacteria to take up residence.†
5. Probiotics should be easy to use
If something isn’t easy to use, you’re likely not going to remember to reach for it every day, and probiotics are no exception. Choose one that is convenient and portable, so you have fewer obstacles to adding it to your day.
Nutrilite Balance Within Probiotic comes in slim stick packs that can be tucked into your purse, backpack, briefcase or gym bag. Open the packet and this lightly sweet probiotic can be poured on your tongue or added to any cold food or drink you have on hand. No refrigeration needed.
Keep these five things in mind when shopping for probiotics and you will likely make the right decision for your gut health.
†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.