What Is The Difference In Probiotic Supplements?
It’s important to recognize that the term “probiotic” refers to a broad category of all the various beneficial bacteria and microorganisms found in the gut. That means every probiotic supplement is unique in terms of the effects it will have in the body and on the individual.
It’s also important to recognize that not all types of probiotics are equal. For instance, there are many different strains of lactobacillus acidophilus which research shows has differing effects. So just because a person took something with acidophilus and didn’t notice any benefits, doesn’t mean another strain like the DDS-1 couldn’t be highly beneficial.
Some studies have even shown different people taking the same probiotic supplement had vastly different results. Since the area of probiotic supplementation is fairly new, this means that it will likely take some time for science to really get a handle on how to diagnose which probiotic someone would benefit from the most.
I firmly believe the best place to start healing the gut and getting the benefits of probiotics is through the inclusion of cultured foods like sauerkraught, kimchi, kefir, and other fermented foods. These foods also provide far more bacteria per serving than a typical over the counter supplement will. So consider supplements to be just that, a supplement to a diet already rich in good bacteria from foods.
Best Supplemental Probiotic Products
Here is a list of some of my favorite probiotics. Note, there are plenty of other good ones out there and this is not mean to be an exhaustive list of every good probiotic supplement.
1. Saccharomyces Boulardii
Saccharomyces Boulardii is a great probiotic yeast to start with because it stimulates sIgA production. (see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11021572) This is important for signaling to our immune system what bacteria are in our gut. To make a long story short, this enhances the benefits of all the other probiotics you will take. Without adequate sIgA signaling however, the probiotics won’t do their job as well.
2. Lactobacillus GG
Lactobacillus GG (brand name Culturelle) is one of the most researched and time-tested strains of bacteria with over 400 studies done on it. It’s well noted for its immune enhancing effects, improvement of digestion, and it’s ability to successfully survive the digestive track intact to colonize the gut. It has been shown to aid in fighting infection and improve the skin with conditions like eczema. It is my number #1 recommendation when starting probiotics as there are few if any that can match the research backing it has.
3. Bifantis – Bifidobacterium infantis
Bifantis (brand name Align) is well-known for its benefits on digestion. It is great for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. This is typically the first probiotic to recommend for digestive issues.
4. L. Acidophilus Strain DDS-1
The DDS-1 strain is a highly researched strain of L. Acidophilus that is of human origin. This means it works well within the human body and can tolerate transition through the digestive track. Like other strains, research has shown it is extremely beneficial for gut-health as well as enhancing the immune system.
Product Link – USA Labs – DDS-1
Multiple Strain Probiotic Formulas
Utilizing formulas are a good way to introduce a variety of strains into the gut. While I recommend started with the previous single-strain probiotics due to their extensive research, these following formulas may offer benefits to those looking to experiment with other popular strains of bacteria.
One of my trusted health mentors believes this to be one of the absolute best probiotic supplements he’s ever used. He’s stated that the response people get when taking it is almost instantaneous in how they feel.
Called the #1 probiotic in the US. It is shelf-stable with a good mix of 8 different bacteria strains.
Natren is also the only company I’ve seen to have the Malytho superstrain of Bifidobacterium bifidum. While the product is expensive, some people swear by it.
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By: Derek Doepker