Most Probiotics Cut Corners: The Guide To Reading Labels Like A Gut Guru
The point of this article is to educate probiotics shoppers on the production process, formula composition, how to read the label, what to look for and what to avoid. Anything and everything you might need to know about probiotics, this article lists.
Because these complex gut floras CAN help you achieve optimal health. The research is exhaustive and it’s clear that a lot of common ailments stem from a compromised digestive system…thanks to a skewed good/bad bacteria ratio.
So yes to probiotics, no to fake probiotics.
Here’s how to identify the real deal and the junk.
Probiotics, A History
For those who want a quick rundown, welcome to Probiotics 101.
Probiotics are good bacteria. They mainly live inside your small intestine and help keep your gut healthy. Typically, a healthy digestive system will have 80% good bacteria 20% bad bacteria. The bad bacteria are spawned from free radicals and processed foods like: sugars, soy, fried foods, and soda just to name a few. To ensure your bad bacteria numbers stay below that 20%, you need to ingest and promote growth of beneficial gut bacteria. The good bacteria help break down nutrients and absorb them into your system. It is incredibly important to note that if you are trying to keep your 20% bad gut flora in check, the last thing you want to do is completely wipe ALL bacteria out, which is what antibiotics do. Sometimes antibiotics are necessary like in the case of an infection or serious illness and ALWAYS listen to your primary physician when it comes to your health. However, antibiotics wipe away all bacteria including the good stuff. So when it does grow back, that gut flora garden is up for grabs for both good and & bad…
And since your immune system is in recovery mode, it rarely grows back in line with a perfect 80-20 ratio. That’s where probiotics and the importance of beneficial bacteria strains come in. The beneficial intestinal flora whip out some good gut defense against the bad guys and keep the problem bacteria in check.
Get all that? Now on to the Main Event…
Choosing A Probiotics Product
The label of any supplement can be a hodge-podge of mystery words that look more like an ancient language than a list of ingredients. That’s exactly what companies are relying on when they throw more syllables at you than the alphabet song – confusion.
When it comes to packaging live bacteria cultures and ensuring probiotics survive the purchase, transport, shelf and not to mention stomach acid….
You need some clear factors to help you get beneficial gut flora into your gut.
What To Look For On The Label
CFUs: The CFU’s stand for culture forming units and usually involve a large number anywhere from 10 million to 50 billion. The thing is with a lot of companies, the number of CFU’s displayed on the bottle IS NOT ACCURATE. This is because the CFU’s are measured when they are manufactured in the lab, not when you purchase them. The duration between manufacture and purchase is a pretty long time, meaning a lot of the once “live” cultures are dead by the time you’re about to swallow. The only way you can trust a company is if it lists +Potency at time of manufacture on the label and an expiration date. If a bottle fails to list this disclaimer than it is a low-quality, junk product.
This is the label of our probiotics product “Absorb Biotics”. As you can see, the “potency at time of manufacture” circled in red shows that we keep it honest and up front as far as labels go and we always stamp a date of expiration on the bottle of the product as well.
There are several extremely beneficial strains of bacteria: lactobacillus acidophilus, bacillus subtillus and Bifidobacterium and you should always look for these on the label. The three listed strains have been proven to promote a healthy digestive system by: minimizing yeast, fighting infection, breaking down sugars, boosting epithelial cell regeneration and a huge range of other insane benefits.
The problem is many brands will throw in one or two of these proven strains and then mix in a buffet of other bacteria strains that contribute absolutely no benefit at all. These fluffer strains are ONLY added because they are able to withstand production due to their heat resiliency but provide NO BENEFIT AT ALL. These heat resilient supplements help shoddy products pass third party testing while the ACTUAL beneficial bacteria crumbles away during the complex manufacturing process. A random strain of bacteria that doesn’t do anything will still allow companies to claim they have a pure pill full of live cultures even if those cultures are quack.
So ALWAYS make sure the above three strains are on your label otherwise you might as well be ingesting a sugar pill.
The Order & The Proprietary Blend
Now that you know which strains to look for, let’s discuss the importance of ORDER. The FDA requires any nutrition label to list the ingredients from most concentrated to least concentrated. Meaning: the first ingredients are the main ingredients. Now here comes a huge no-no that pretty much shines a beam on shady companies: The Proprietary Blend.
If a company uses a patented formula they are not obligated to list the individual ingredients of that formula and therefore, could be packing your supplements with ANYTHING.
When it comes to probiotics, stay away from labels spouting “Proprietary Blend”.
Manufacturing & Packaging
Now that you know about the composition of probiotics and what to look for on the label let’s examine the actual bottle itself.
First, there are three things that can kill probiotics: light, heat and moisture. During the manufacturing process the probiotics are freeze-dried which induces a hibernation. Moisture wakes them up and activates their life cycle. If a company doesn’t use humidity control, doesn’t put a desiccant in the bottle and doesn’t use high density plastic, it’s junk. If a brand uses encapsulation machines at high speeds, it’s a shoddy company because the speed of fast-paced production creates a high-temperature environment that kills probiotics.
What does that mean for you? Research the company. Determine their manufacturing process and make sure the packaging uses high quality bottles so you know you’re spending money on a supplement that actually has probiotics that are alive and beneficial.
The Absorption Mechanism
Here is the last factor you need to be aware of when purchasing a probiotic. Absorption is one of the biggest difficulties most probiotics products suffer from. The thing is, if you can’t absorb nutrients properly, how are you supposed to absorb beneficial bacteria? All the gut flora in the world isn’t going to do anything if you aren’t able to absorb it.
You see, your small intestine is where the majority of nutrient absorption occurs and that’s where you need to heal the most, but do you know what happens right before food gets to your intestine?
Two words: hydrochloric acid.
is important to take note of brands that ensure their probiotics will make it your intestine via a coated capsule or a pill that disintegrates in a base liquid as opposed to an acidic liquid.
And if they don’t, your probiotics will disintegrate before they get the chance to do anything.
Probiotics Are Tricky.
They are live cultures of bacteria, sensitive to light, heat and humidity. You need them up and at ‘em if you want them to fight the bad gut guys for you, but getting them to your small intestine takes some work.
Most companies fail to the fit the bill and you end up wasting time on a pill that doesn’t do the job.
To make sure that DOESN’T happen to you, we’ve listed supplements that actually passed every qualification we threw at them. Including third party testing, bottle quality, and absorption mechanism.
Tried & Tested Probiotic Supplement Review
With a patented DR capsule and advanced gut-delivery system, this product features a casing that protects organisms from stomach acids and dissolves 45 minutes after ingestion. To put it simply, Absorb Biotics takes the number one spot hands down because it nailed the absorption technology, completely erasing the number one problem most people have when it comes to digestive health. If you haven’t tried this product yet, we highly recommend giving it a go especially because we offer a 90-Day money back guarantee so there’s nothing to lose, just a healthy gut to gain.Get It Here
- Only available to order online during business hours
- Frequently on back order
- Number one most effective delivery technology compared to competitors
- This product has a powerful yet non-invasive blend of 30 billion CFUs & 10 strains that quickly without side effects
- Completely free of any artificial additives, fillers or binders, Absorb Biotics had the purest formula we came across
- Uses Third Party Testing Facility which made a huge difference in purity levels
- Supplier was very communicative via email and had a high response rate with customer questions and inquiries
- Features a 90 Day Risk-Free Guarantee that allows purchasers a 3-month window to get a full refund even if they returned an empty bottle – longest guarantee we’ve seen yet
- Uses FDA-approved and Non-GMO facilities