Top 7 Tips For Choosing a Probiotic Supplement

Posted December 18, 2018 in Nutrition Tip No Comments »
probiotics healthy gut

If you’ve decided that you want to try taking a probiotic supplement as part of your daily routine, and to reap the benefits, good choice. Probiotic supplements have long been reputed to bring overall health and wellbeing advantages, as well as helping with gut health and the smooth running of the digestive system.

Of course, it isn’t just the gut which benefits from probiotics, as the main advantages of taking probiotic supplements are:

  • Smoother running of the digestive system
  • Improved gut health
  • A boost for the immune system
  • Lowered cholesterol levels
  • Decreased anxiety and depression conditions
  • Less chance of developing ulcers
  • Healthy balance of good and bad bacteria within the body
  • More energy

These are just some of the main benefits associated with probiotic use. Of course, the supplement world in general is flooded with choices, and every brand is different. When it comes to probiotics, there are countless strains available too, and if you want to get the best out of your daily supplement, you need to make sure that you’re choosing one which is tailored towards your needs.

If you’re at all unsure, it’s best to have a chat with your doctor before you purchase your supplement of choice. This will help you decide whether probiotics are right for you, and will also help you find the right one for your needs. To give you an idea of what you need to be on the look out for, here are 7 tips for choosing a probiotic supplement.

1 – Make Sure The Supplement is a Safe Choice For You

We just mentioned talking to your doctor first, and this is actually a vital step. Whilst there is very little evidence to suggest that probiotics are harmful, there are some anomaly cases, i.e. people with certain conditions who should use probiotics with a little caution. It’s also important to know that you might get a few side effects when you first start taking them, e.g. you might feel a little more bloated than usual, or you might have more gas. These should pass, but if you have any immune system problems, or you have a serious issue anywhere within your body, have a chat with your doctor first.

2 – Don’t go For The Cheapest Option

Of course, price is important, especially when you’re incorporating something into your routine over the long-term, but remember that much of the time you really do get what you pay for. Quality is always more important – your health is precious, after all!

It’s also important to realise that supplements form an unregulated industry, e.g. each product isn’t checked like a medication is, so going for a big brand name is a safety net towards health and wellbeing. You’ll no doubt see certain products claiming studies and results, and you can easily search for these online, to see if what the product claims is backed up by what you read. A quality choice that we recommend is Complete Probiotics Platinum by 1MD.

3 – Go For The Right Strain For Your Needs

There are countless different types of probiotics, and they fall into three categories – genus, then species, and then the subcategory of strain. Each one has benefits which are personal to it, and these might be best for a particular need you have. For instance, if you’re looking for a probiotic ideal for IBS management, or helping you lose weight, it’s best to search around before making your choice.

Again, if you’re not too sure, do some research online and then head off to see your doctor for advice you can trust.

4 – Look For CFUs on The Label

The Colony Forming Units, or CFU, basically tells you the amount of good bacteria is included in each supplement dose. Again, the supplement world isn’t regulated, and there is no set dose for probiotics. If you go for a supplement which has a low CFU, you might not notice any benefit, but if you go for a high one, you might notice side effects. On average, most supplements have a 1-10 billion CFU range, which is taken daily, or sometimes twice daily.

You should also be mindful that the label tells you the amount of CFU you’re getting when you take the probiotic supplement, and not what it was at the time of manufacture.

5 – Be Aware That You Might Need to Change Your Supplement

Your body might become used to a particular supplement, and it might not be as effective anymore. Similarly, a certain type of probiotic just might not work for you at all. In this case, you need to be prepared to swap and change a little, to find the right one.

6 – Always Read Reviews

We’ve mentioned that there is no regulation in the supplement industry, so you need to read reviews to find out the truth behind the marketing line. Reviews will help you to decide whether to give that particular product a try, or whether to move on and try another. Remember, probiotics don’t suit every single person, so fi you see just one bad review, it’s not the end of the world – if you see several however it’s probably not the best idea to go with that supplement.

7 – Look For Availability

Finally, how available is the supplement you’re looking for? You’re going to be taking this every day for a long period of time, if it works for you, so you need to be sure that you can get your hands on it again when you run out. If the supplement is quite elusive, avoid it; it’s just going to mean disappointment and you’ll end up having to try and find another one at short notice. Make sure that the one you settle on is easy to find the next time you need to stock up. Also be sure that you can store it easily, e.g. read the storage instructions, in case you decide to bulk buy a couple of packs.

These 7 tips should help you settle on the best probiotic supplement for you.

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