This is the first of a series of articles that will teach you everything you need to know about probiotics. We often argue that the probiotics are the ones who reveal how awful the unregulated supplement market truly is. Not only do we have to deal with the same production issues that other natural goods face, but we also have to keep bacteria alive!
We feel that you should speak with one of our specialists before purchasing a probiotic. It takes more than just picking up a product and testing it out to find the proper probiotic. There are numerous causes, and we will only cover two of them here. probioticseverything.comprobiotic walmart
In this essay, we’ll look at two common myths about probiotics. These two points happen to be the two most common misconceptions about probiotics.
When consumers go shopping for probiotics, they usually search for two things: “billions of bacteria” and “refrigerated.” While these are excellent places to begin, there is much more to learn about purchasing probiotics. probioticseverything.comprobiotic walmart
Billions aren’t always a good thing.
Probiotics aren’t usually measured by weight, as most people are aware. A volleyball team would weigh around 1200 pounds if they stood on a large enough scale (in this case, men’s volleyball). This type of probiotic could be weighed and stated in milligrams or grams. However, like in volleyball, the number of players on the court is more significant. In volleyball, we’d like 6 players. When it comes to probiotics, we usually aim for billions. That part is well-known.
However, bigger isn’t always better. Don’t get us wrong: excellent probiotics include a high concentration of active colony forming units (called CFUs). If we’re counting probiotics by the number of players on the field, we need to make sure we’re only counting the ones that are actively working. Two players with only one arm or no legs do not aid our volleyball team.
CFU, not weight, should be used to rate all probiotics (like milligrams or mg). Because we need a decent way to tell how many active bacteria are in a batch, CFUs are chosen. Others probiotics will be dead, some will be duds (meaning they won’t reproduce in your stomach to aid you), and ideally many will be studs. The CFU allows us to count the number of studs in a particular amount of probiotic powder. probioticseverything.comprobiotic walmart
Isn’t it true that the more studs you have, the better? That is not always the case.
Consider taking probiotics in the same way you would if you were playing a game of war. When you take probiotics, you are, in fact, doing exactly that. The “cavalry” you’re bringing in is intended to strengthen the front (your gut) and wipe out any rebel forces (the bad bacteria).
What would you choose if you had to choose between 100 billion archers and 10,000 tanks? This is why the “more is better” concept does not apply to probiotics. We want efficiency, which means the optimum dose of the right strains, not a large number of unknown strains. The impact of strain selection will be discussed in future probiotic publications. probioticseverything.comprobiotic walmart
Expiration Increases Potency
We now know that having “billions” of bacteria isn’t enough; you also need billions of active, reproducing bacteria (of the proper strains!). However, probiotic product labels continue to deceive us. probioticseverything.comprobiotic walmart
Focus just on the CFU without going into the nitty-gritty (how the strains differ, serving size, etc). There’s something interesting on this label that was really introduced after a lot of consumer backlash.
The label plainly specifies that there are BILLIONS of germs at the time of production, but not after they have expired. This suggests that they used billions when they mixed up the mixture — who knows how long ago that was. However, you’re only guaranteed ten million dollars. And it gets worse: in third-party analysis that simulates more realistic settings, you’ll often see roughly 1/4 of the indicated dose. probioticseverything.comprobiotic walmart
The indicated dosage of any probiotic you buy should be guaranteed until the expiration date. All of our “Vitality Approved” probiotics contain adequate doses of the appropriate strains and are guaranteed till expiration.
Rule 1 of the probiotic buying guide:
Buy the proper amount (measured in CFUs) of the right strains with a guaranteed expiration date.
Slightly Handled Refrigeration
One thing we frequently hear is that probiotics should be kept refrigerated. They are partially correct. The most important thing to remember is that probiotics must not only be refrigerated, but that the cold chain must be maintained throughout the product’s lifecycle. Many shops and probiotic firms fool their clients about the items they sell by changing the terminology slightly.
Probiotics should be produced, manufactured, shipped, sold, and kept in a temperature-controlled environment. This is referred to as the “cold chain.”
The first time probiotics are chilled is when they arrive in store for most retailers. Instead of getting probiotics directly from the company, many merchants purchase them from distributors. This is a significant distinction because outstanding manufacturers take the cold chain seriously.
However, many regional or national distributors do not take such steps. We have plenty of proof – first-hand experience, stories we’ve heard, and confirmation from distributors and manufacturers – that the cold chain is nearly never maintained. probioticseverything.comprobiotic walmart
Prepare yourself: this includes “Vitality Approved” probiotic brands. No, not our items in the literal sense. The cold chain is ensured with our probiotics. However, just because you see Natren (our favorite probiotic manufacturer) in another store doesn’t guarantee the cold chain is constantly maintained there.
Some businesses don’t even bother to try. Leading, high-priced brands like Culturelle and Align can be seen on the shelf in an effort to bring them into the hands of more people. Supplements aren’t usually kept refrigerated in most supermarkets. probioticseverything.comprobiotic walmart
Here’s the bottom line: Unless you inquired and the person who answered genuinely knew and was being honest with you, there’s no way for a consumer to know if the cold chain was maintained.
Keeping a product cool throughout the procedure is costly. It’s worth noting that the temperature doesn’t have to be strictly controlled; probiotic companies have proven that as long as suitable controls are in place, “excursions” – or short periods outside of the optimal range – are allowed. probioticseverything.com
Temperature monitoring of refrigerators is one of our controls. We also don’t ship probiotics on Fridays (or sometimes Thursdays, depending on how far away customers are), because we don’t want them to sit in a distribution center over the weekend.