The Truth About Probiotic Supplements
October 14, 2019
Probiotics are booming. They’re close to being a 50 billion dollar market and it’s forecasted to pass $75 billion by 2024.
Millions of people take a daily probiotic and for good reason. The benefits discovered are nothing short of miraculous. They restore regular bowel movements, reduce bloating, and even alleviate abdominal pain. It’s easy to see the appeal.
With the increasing demand for probiotics, some manufacturers are cutting corners just to meet quotas. To add to the problem,
many mass-produced brands ship from overseas, where the standards set in the U.S. don’t apply.
Finding the right probiotic can completely transform your life. The best brands can relieve bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and get your digestive system
back on track. And fixing your gut balance and creating a healthy gut microbiome is the key to finally fixing these digestive issues.
We'll break down how to identify a potent supplement and show you our Top 5 Probiotic Supplements on the market today.
We'll, also show you which brands deliver the highest dosages of healthy probiotics, which strains are the best, and even packaging and manufacturing
best practices to ensure you are getting a high-quality supplement.
Now, before you skip to the end, know this. If you struggle with digestive issues of any sort, you’ve got nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain by reading this article. We’ve done the research and consulted with some of the best probiotic
specialists to help you make the best decision.
What Are Probiotics?
Microbes have been around for billions of years and today, scientists estimate there are over Five Trillion bacteria on the planet today. To put this in perspective, there could be more bacteria right here on Earth than there are stars in the known universe.
In the human body alone, there are ten times more bacteria than cells. And they make up roughly 1-3% of your body mass. That means in a 200-pound adult, there are 2-6 POUNDS of bacteria. Now, most of these microbes are harmless. In fact, some of them
are actually essential for your health. Some bacteria produce vitamins, nutrients, and neurotransmitters that your body simply can’t get anywhere else.
Some bacteria help break down food while others act as a shield for your immune system by fighting off invasions from bad bacteria and viruses.
These helpful, “good guy” bacteria are called Probiotics. And after years of research, it’s widely believed these are essential to our survival.
Benefits of Probiotics
According to experts, the “80/20 Rule” applies to gut balance as well. That means an optimal gut balance consists of 80% good bacteria and 20% bad. While this is the optimal balance for your digestive system, the benefits affect more than just your digestive
system. They affect your entire body. Good bacteria provide a list of digestive benefits as well as improved skin health, energy levels, and even mental health.
Probiotics & Skin Health
Have you battled with a skin condition for years and haven’t seen an improvement despite using every lotion and cream out there? You’re not alone. But I have some good news. Countless studies have shown there are tremendous benefits for those who take
Probiotic supplements including:
Reduced Acne - A major study by scientists in New York and Toronto found that “there appears to be more than enough supportive evidence to suggest that gut microbes, and
the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract itself, are contributing factors in the acne process.”
Help with Psoriasis - Studies have shown that people who suffer from Psoriasis have similar gut flora to those who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In a 2012 case study,
a woman with pustular psoriasis was followed after trying Probiotics as a treatment. Within mere weeks of taking Probiotics, her skin legions were gone.
Help with Eczema - Studies have shown “positive effects” from probiotics with the side effects of Eczema.
Help with Rosacea - The American Academy of Dermatology recently found a link between skin health improvements and probiotics that suggests that Probiotics can help with
Probiotics & Mental Health
With recent findings in how bacteria affect human physiology, it’s only natural to discover that scientists have begun to study how probiotics affect the brain. See, these good bacteria secrete an astounding number of chemicals. And then, our nervous
system uses these chemicals to communicate and regulate our mood.
These chemicals, or neurotransmitters, are:
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)
The results were eye-opening.
The participants who used a multispecies Probiotic Supplement “showed a significantly reduced overall cognitive reactivity to sad mood” compared to those who used a placebo. Scientists concluded that “the intake of probiotics may help reduce negative
thoughts associated with sad mood.”
Finding the Best Probiotic Supplement
Now, we’ve listed our Top Probiotic Supplements below for you, but you should know the factors we judged our choices by. Our criteria included:
Wide Variety of Strains - The more strains of good, probiotic bacteria your supplement has, the better. Now, that doesn’t mean you should just look for the total number of
strains and choose the supplement with the most. Make sure the strains selected have significant scientific evidence backing them up. Some companies just put random strains of bacteria into
their products without really knowing what they do. To get the most bang for your buck, your probiotic supplement should have the following strains:
Wide Variety of Strains - The more strains of good, probiotic bacteria your supplement has, the better. Now, that doesn’t mean you should just look for the total
number of strains and choose the supplement with the most. Make sure the strains selected have significant scientific evidence backing them up. Some companies just put random strains
of bacteria into their products without really knowing what they do. To get the most bang for your buck, your probiotic supplement should have the following strains:
Bifidobacterium Lactis - This strain is best known for its ability to help with constipation by promoting regular bowel movements. And as an added bonus, other studies
have described B. Lactis as a “health-promoting” strain that can help with food allergies and respiratory ailments.
Lactobacillus Casei - Another double-hitter, L. Casei can help with constipation and has been shown to help people with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Bacillus Coagulans - Highly touted for its effects on nutrient absorption, B. Coagulans has also been found to reduce abdominal pain associated with Irritable Bowel
Syndrome. Additional, placebo-controlled trials have also found B. Coagulans effective at reducing gas and gastrointestinal distress.
CFU Count - CFUs, or Colony Forming Units”, are extremely important. Most experts agree that 10-15 billion CFUs is the ideal amount to rebalance your gut. But here’s one
important factor to remember -- the number of CFUs on the label is the number at the time of manufacturing. This is NOT the number that ultimately reaches your small intestine. See, many
“units” of probiotics actually die as they sit on the shelf. Even more die when the pill carrying them starts to break down from the acid in your stomach. To help offset this, we recommend
20-30 billion CFUs at the time of manufacturing.
Delayed Slow-Release Capsule - Remember that stomach acid that breaks down the pill and kills off precious CFUs? Delayed Slow-Release capsules may very well be the most important
feature to help prevent this. Scientists designed these pills to dissolve 45 minutes later than an average vegetable capsule. That means more of the CFUs will make it to their final destination
allowing for maximum benefit.
Independent Testing By 3rd Party Lab - Want an honest test report on a supplement? Always go with third-party testing. This eliminates biases and ensures you won’t buy from
a company just trying to make a quick buck. A good, reputable brand will gladly submit their supplement to an independent 3rd-party lab to be tested for quality, purity, and potency to ensure
you’re getting exactly what’s listed on the label.
Made in the USA - This is essential because it guarantees the product was made following FDA & GMP guidelines. These are much stricter guidelines than overseas manufacturers
have to adhere to. The lower shipping time is an added bonus which ensures that less CFUs die in the process.
Customer Service & Return Policy - A “no-hassle, money-back guarantee” goes a long way. It shows the company is confident in the quality of their products and don’t expect
Price - This can be tricky. Some cheap probiotic supplements may only contain a single strain and several fillers. But on the other hand, you don’t want to get ripped off
by a company that is overpriced. The key is to find a great value that lies somewhere in the middle.
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