Choosing the right probiotics can be complicated and give you a headache. That's why we've decided to create a simple guide on how to choose the right ones for you.
While there are numerous probiotic strains, there are really only three different types of probiotics i.e.
Which ones should you use?
The answer is all of them because probiotics together beat a single-probiotic therapy*.
*The only exception is SIBO. If you have SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), you will want to avoid many probiotics, particularly those with prebiotics. In this case, probiotic mixes are not good for you, as they will just make your symptoms worse. Soil-based probiotics are safe and effective for those with SIBO and S. boulardii yeast is usually safe as well.
How to use probiotics? 5 simple steps!
"Does the quality of probiotics matter?"
Yes, it matters. If a company follows quality assurance practices, a probiotic supplement will meet its label claims. Always choose quality probiotics.
"What is prebiotics? Should I use them as well?"
For probiotic bacteria to grow, they also need prebiotics. High-quality probiotic supplements have both prebiotics and other ingredients.
Examples of these ingredients are (preferably fermented) flaxseed, chia seed, astragalus, ashwagandha, hemp seed, milk thistle, ginger, and turmeric. Yes, you should look for probiotics containing also prebiotics or take prebiotics separately as an addition.
"Can I use fermented foods instead of probiotics?"
1 cup of fermented food contains on average only 2.5 billion CFU (colony forming units). On comparison, a quality probiotic contains at least 30 billion CFU. This means that you'd have to eat 12 cups of fermented foods daily to see the same result as with 1 pill of probiotic supplement.
Does it mean that food is useless? Of course not. In fact, natural sources of probiotics like kimchi or sauerkraut are amazing!
However, they may not be enough to provide the dose of probiotics needed to heal your gut. In this scenario, probiotic supplementation may be needed.
"What are the benefits of using probiotics and prebiotics?"
1. Are used to balance gut microbiota in conditions like SIBO, H. pylori, candida/fungus, pathogens, IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis Leaky gut (gut damage and permeability).
2. Improve digestive health.
3. Help decrease in antibiotic resistance.
4. May fight depression and anxiety.
5. Boost immunity.
6. Improve skin health.
7. Protect against food allergies.
8. Help to lower blood pressure.
9. May help to fight diabetes.
10. Support weight loss.