Probiotics are live organisms like bacteria and yeast that are claimed by various medical studies to have innumerable health benefits. The human digestive system contains over 500 friendly bacteria, which helps in maintaining the intestinal health and a strong immune system. Various factors like the intake of antibiotics or infections can damage the healthy bacterial balance in the intestine, thereby leading to various digestive disorders. Taking probiotics on a regular basis can help in maintaining intestinal function by restoring the healthy bacterial balance in the intestine.
However, in order to experience all the health benefits of probiotics, it is overly important to use them in the most appropriate manner. Let us discuss some of the significant aspects that you need to consider while choosing a probiotic supplement:
- The most important aspect that you need to ensure is that the probiotic supplement is manufactured and stored in an appropriate manner. The cultures in the probiotics need to be live in order for them to deliver the expected health benefits. It is therefore extremely important to choose a reputed brand that can ensure the implementation of the most accurate and appropriate manufacturing and storing methods.
- Once you have shortlisted the names of some of the reliable companies, you have to keep in mind that probiotic supplements come in various forms such as liquids, powders, tablets, capsules and pearls. Decide on the form that would suit you the most. For example, if you are uncomfortable taking pills, you can opt for a brand that manufactures probiotics in powder or liquid form.
- While you purchase a probiotic supplement from a store, make sure that they have been appropriately refrigerated and stored in a cool, dry place to make sure that they have not been exposed to heat and oxygen that can destroy the liver cultures in the probiotics. Again, if you decide to purchase from online stores, you must make sure that you choose a site that guarantees the delivery of the supplements within 3 to 5 business days after ordering.
- The number of live organisms present in the supplements is an important factor that you need to consider. This is because while some of the organisms successfully reach your intestine, others are destroyed on the way by stomach acids. Hence it is extremely important that the probiotic supplement must contain at least 1 billion live organisms in order to enhance the chances for more numbers of cultures to reach the intestine before getting destroyed.
- There are various probiotic strains that are used to make supplements. The ones that are most commonly and widely used for the general well-being of the digestive system are Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. However, if you are using a supplement to address any particular health condition, you must check the type of strain used in the supplement.
Before you start using a probiotic supplement, you must seek advice from a health care practitioner to know the pros and cons of these supplements, and the one that would suit your health the most.