You’ve undoubtedly seen the phrase “CFU” on a probiotic supplement label if you’ve ever gone shopping for one. What does CFU stand for, though? Is a probiotic with a greater CFU count better? What’s more, how can you tell whether you’re taking too many CFUs for your age and needs? We’ll answer these questions and dispel some of the myths about probiotics so you can make the best decision possible for your health. probioticseverything.comprobiotic 50 billion cfu
What exactly is a CFU?
CFU stands for “colony forming unit,” and it refers to the number of cells that can multiply to form a colony. So, instead of counting colony-forming units, why don’t we count probiotics by the number of cells? The explanation can be traced back to past ways of bacterial laboratory study.
Microbiology, or the study of microbes such as bacteria, algae, archaea, fungi, and viruses, is one of biology’s oldest disciplines, dating back to the 17th century. Counting bacteria, which were normally cultured in vials of broth or on small plates of solid substance called agar, required the use of microscopes in the past. probioticseverything.comprobiotic 50 billion cfu
Each healthy bacterial cell should be able to divide multiple times, generating a colony of bacteria. These colonies may be counted individually on an agar plate with the naked eye, and total CFU can be approximated from that count. CFU stands for colony forming units, and on a probiotic label, it refers to the amount of living cells in each serving. They’re commonly measured in billions and might range anywhere from 2 to 75 billion. probioticseverything.comprobiotic 50 billion cfu
When Should You Opt For Lower CFU?
In general, a lower CFU is preferred to a larger CFU in two conditions. One has to do with age. Because of their small and the natural lack of diversity in their gut, a young infant under the age of 6 months should have no more than 1-2 billion CFU. Toddlers between the ages of 6 months and 3 years require a low CFU of 2-6 billion. Children from 3 to 25 years old require fewer CFUs than adults, ranging from 4 to 25 billion. probioticseverything.comprobiotic 50 billion cfu
Some adults require lower probiotic concentrations outside of those ages. This is especially significant for people who are already supplement-sensitive, have inflamed gastrointestinal tracts, or suffer from autoimmune diseases like MCAS. Of course, there are a slew of other health issues that could make someone more susceptible to probiotics. Start with a smaller concentration, or CFU, to see if you’re sensitive, then gradually raise the dose until you see changes in your digestion or overall health. probioticseverything.comprobiotic 50 billion cfu
When should you choose a probiotic with a higher CFU count?
So you’re an adult without a leaky gut, a serious health condition, or a supplement sensitivity, but you want to boost your overall health or get rid of that pesky chronic constipation. You’re probably ready for some powerful probiotics, perhaps even some prebiotic pills to give them a boost and help them get off to a good start. If that’s the case, feel free to consume anything between 25 and 70 billion CFU. probioticseverything.comprobiotic 50 billion cfu
Of course, if you experience any brief die-off symptoms such as gas, bloating, loose stool, or headaches, you may need to reduce your dosage for a while. Whether you start with a lesser CFU, such as 25 billion, and don’t notice any changes in your digestion or energy level, consider doubling up to see if a greater CFU will make a difference.
How Can You Tell If Your Probiotic CFU Level Is Too High?
This is a critical point. There is such a thing as having too much of a good thing. When taking probiotics with a total CFU per dosage of 70 billion or higher, some patients have had a sudden onset of chronic diarrhea (lasting more than a week). If you have a serious medical condition, stomach pain from gut problems, or severe leaky gut, a high dose of CFU can cause unpleasant adverse effects. probioticseverything.comprobiotic 50 billion cfu
In both of these circumstances, the best method to test if your symptoms are caused by too much CFU is to take the probiotics every other day or cut the dose in half and see if the symptoms improve. If it occurs, you can stick on the lower dose until you’re ready to go higher.
Remember to Include Prebiotics in Your Diet
When taken at the same time or even in the same capsule, prebiotic powders including inulin, Jerusalem artichoke, triphala powder, FOS, and XOS can help improve the efficiency of a probiotic supplement. Some people with sensitive digestive tracts or other serious health concerns may want to be very careful about which prebiotics they take, when they take them, and how much they take because they can help probiotics expand quickly. probioticseverything.comprobiotic 50 billion cfu
If you think about prebiotic supplements as fertilizer for your favorite plants, it’ll be simpler to understand why moderate dosing is so vital for the plant’s health. Finding the appropriate amount of prebiotic to take can mean the difference between helping a struggling probiotic thrive and supplying prebiotics to a population of probiotics you already have. probioticseverything.com