How To Choose A Probiotic Supplement
Be sure to involve your healthcare provider in your decision to use probiotics.
If you decide to use a probiotic supplement, be sure to read the label carefully. You’re looking for a product that offers:
- Assurance that the bacteria will be alive at the time of use
Each product should be labeled with the genus and species of the bacteria. Ideally, it will also include the strain, so you’re sure you are getting the probiotic that fits your needs.
For example, L acidophilus CL1285 and Lactobacillus casei LBC80R is a two-strain combination recommended by the American Gastroenterology Association for the prevention of C. difficile infection.
The amount of bacteria in the product should be listed in CFUs, or colony-forming units, so you know how much you’re getting.
How To Take Your Probiotic
When deciding how many capsules to take as part of your daily serving, it is helpful to check the label and read the instructions in the Suggested Use section. This lets you know what the proper serving size is for the probiotic you purchased. Many times, the serving size is not just one pill, but two. And some suggest taking them more than once a day.
Should you take probiotics on an empty stomach, or with food? Here is what we know. In general, probiotics should be taken with food. They should be taken with food because there are very few strains of bacteria the can withstand the harsh acidity of an empty stomach. Food dilutes stomach acid to levels that bacteria can withstand. We also know that fewer bacteria have been shown to survive in fasted than in fed subjects.2
The illustration on the left shows pH variations in the stomach after eating. You can see that the stomachs pH level is higher after eating, which means that the bacterial strains are better able to survive.
All Good Bacteria Act As Probiotics
There are trillions of bacteria in your intestinal tract, and we are still identifying and understanding their role in the human body. Many of these bacteria have been identified as “good,” but not all of them are the same. A true “probiotic” is one that can help to colonize the body with helpful bacteria.
A good way to think of the probiotic is like a gardener responsible for identifying the “good” and removing the “bad.” Not all strains of bacteria have the ability to make it to the colon to play a crucial role in fermenting fiber and colonizing helpful bacteria. The key is to look for strains like those found in the Silver Fern Ultimate Probiotic that have been proven to colonize the gut.
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Is It Ok To Consume Old Kefir
While consuming kefir that is just a few days past its recommended consumption date likely wont do you any harm, you want to pay close attention to the state of your kefir to make sure that it doesnt make you sick.
Kefir that tastes a little bit sour is probably no big deal, but you should steer clear of kefir that has any mold growing on it. Depending on how much you end up ingesting, this could make you very sick.
Can You Test Probiotic Supplement Potency
Some sources recommend testing probiotic capsules for potency by opening them andleaving them to grow in milk or another medium. While this may tell you if the probiotic organisms areactive or not, it doesnt tell you how many CFUs are still viable.
If the probioticsare near the expiration dateand were stored appropriately, there should be some good bacteria remaining. However, they may notbe as potent as fresh product.
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The Manufacturing And Shipping Process
In order to maximize the health benefits we get from probiotics, the manufacturing and shipping process has to follow temperature guidelines as well. This includes everything from the growing process to the assembly line to packaging to distribution.
Realistically, there may be times when the cooling chain is broken. Some manufacturers account for this loss by adding extra bacteria to ensure the product still has the amount of probiotics listed on the label. Although, this is hard to guarantee and not backed by science.
When looking to purchase probiotics, look at the expiration date. Avoid buying those that have been sitting on the refrigerator or shelf for long periods of time.
In most cases, youre better off purchasing a product that does not require refrigeration and comes in a moisture- and heat-resistant package. That way you can bypass worries about the manufacturing process, the cooling chain, and remembering to refrigerate after purchasing.
Did You Know: Not All Probiotics Need To Be Refrigerated
by Ryan Bentley, MD, PhD, DC | Mar 21, 2017 | Probiotic Blog, Probiotic Education
We still get loads of questions asking if all probiotics need to be refrigerated. This question is the result of a common misconception, a relic from the early days of probiotic sales where they were packaged and sold in a manner that required refrigeration for maximum freshness and effectiveness. So what changed? Why are some probiotics moving away from refrigeration? Well first, lets talk a little bit about the life cycle of bacteria to provide some context.
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How To Store Kefir
Kefir is a fermented dairy product, so it should be stored in the fridge. Storing kefir in the fridge is the best way to ensure that it doesnt spoil too quickly. It prevents the liquid from continuing to ferment, slowing the growth of bacteria.
Though kefir can be stored on the counter, this will significantly diminish its shelf life. Homemade kefir stored at room temperature wont last more than 1 or 2 days, so its always best to store it in the refrigerator.
Always be sure to store your kefir in a tightly sealed container to minimize the amount of air that it comes in contact with it. This will help prevent the excessive growth of bacteria, keeping it from spoiling too quickly.
Can Probiotic Supplements Expire
Like all living things, probiotics eventually dieor expireat some point. And because probiotics need to be alive to work, considering the expiry date of your probiotics is especially important.
When looking at a probiotic supplement, you’ll see that each one contains a specific number of organisms per capsule. For example, one probiotic may have 5 billion colony-forming units per dose, while another has 25 billion CFUs. But, as Pedre points out, those numbers only represent what’s in the capsule up to their expiration. After that, the probiotic numbers go down and the supplement becomes less effective over time.
While this is true no matter how you store your probiotics, the less closely you follow the storage instructions, the more quickly it happens. For example, if your probiotic calls for refrigeration but you leave it out on the counter in the middle of the summer, the heat and moisture from humidity can kill some, or all, of the bacteria, even before the expiration date.
If your probiotic doesn’t have an expiration or best-by date, most supplements are formulated to last at least two years beyond the manufacturing date . If you like your probiotic, you’ll probably use it well before two years though.
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Whats The Difference Between Refrigerated And Unrefrigerated Probiotics
Many organisms are sensitive to heat and humidity. The lack of a proper environment and heat can kill organisms, while the lack of a proper environment can cause them to die. These products should ideally be refrigerated and kept in a cool, dry place. The FDA does not require that a product be tested for safety before it is approved for use.
However, if you are concerned about the safety of your product, you should contact the manufacturer and ask them to test it. If the product is found to be safe, it will be labeled as such on the package. The manufacturer will also provide you with instructions on how to safely use it and what to do if it becomes contaminated.
But Are Refrigerated Probiotics Better Than The Ones On The Shelf
So, to shop the refrigerated section or the shelf? One isn’t necessarily better than the other, though there may be a more limited number of strains that are available at room temperature, suggests Sanders.
The bottom line is to follow the supplement’s instructions. If you’re not sure, refrigeration is a safe bet, says Bannan. “The most important thing is that the probiotics remain viable in the gut,” she adds. And as long as you’re storing them the way they’re meant to be, you’re halfway there.
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Are Your Products Free From Allergens
All Bio-K+ products are naturally free from the following allergens: gluten, wheat, corn, potato starch, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, eggs, fish, crustaceans, wheat, mustard, sulfites, celery, gluten and lupin. Our products are also tested to certify that they do not contain GMOs, hormones, antibiotics, sulfites, pesticides, MSG and heavy metals residues.
As you probably know, Bio-K+ standards are extremely high. A variety of tests are performed before releasing a product in the market to ensure its quality.All Bio-K + drinks and capsules from the Original and Pro line are non-GMO.The following products are verified and certified by the third party NON-GMO Project:Original Line, drinkable probiotics:-Bio-K+ drinkable vegan probiotic – mango-Bio-K+ drinkable vegan probiotic – blueberry-Bio-K+ drinkable vegan probiotic – raspberry
Extra Line, drinkable probiotics:-Bio-K+ drinkable vegan probiotic – lemon and ginger with Cyracos-Bio-K+ drinkable vegan probiotic – peach and turmeric with Cereboost-Bio-K+ drinkable vegan probiotic – elderberry with Wellmune
Why Refrigerated Probiotics
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve already jumped on the probiotics bandwagon, but in case you need further convincing, studies have shown that probiotics can help improve immunity, aid weightloss, and even help reduce anxiety. But why should you choose a probiotic that needs to be refrigerated over one that’s shelf stable? Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, told Well + Good that probiotics are “naturally sensitive to heat and moisture,”so if you live in a particularly warm or humid climate, opting for refrigerated probiotics is a good way to ensure that the key microorganisms inside don’t perish.
What’s more, non-refrigerated probiotics require that you follow the storage instructions to a tee. For example, if you remove the pills from their original packaging before you’re ready to use them , they lose their effectiveness, according to Ilyse Schapiro, MS, RD, CDN, in an interview with Bustle.
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What Exactly Is Kefir
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage, kind of like a drinkable yogurt, that is made by fermenting milk with kefir grains, which are live cultures that promote the growth of healthy bacterias and probiotics.
While you can buy kefir at most stores, it is also pretty easy to make at home, as you just need to mix the kefir grains with milk and let ferment for 24 hours.
How Often Should We Take Probiotics
Several lifestyle factors may interfere with and weaken your intestinal flora, which plays a key role in your general health. For example, taking antacids, stress, various infections, and a poor diet with an excess of sugar, bad fats and low fiber diets may all have a negative impact on intestinal flora. Indeed, these factors may cause a subtle imbalance that gradually favors the growth of bad bacteria over that of good bacteria.
Our intestinal flora has major repercussions on our overall health. An increasing amount of research on probiotics has revealed their noteworthy effects on inflammatory illnesses , digestive illnesses , side effects linked to antibiotics, various infections , diarrhea, infectious diarrhea , constipation, skin conditions , obesity, metabolic illnesses, cancer and others.
It is therefore important to do everything possible to maintain a rich, diversified and well-balanced intestinal flora. Regularly taking a quality probiotic product can help in this regard. Moreover, good bacteria secrete enzymes that can help digestion.
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To Refrigerate Or Not To Refrigerate
Do probiotics need to be refrigerated?
Why are some probiotics sold refrigerated and others not?
Ironically, refrigeration and probiotics is a “hot” topic. The answer has to do with the stability and form of the particular probiotic.
You may also ask yourself, “if a probiotic needs to be refrigerated to be viable, then what are the chances that the bacteria will survive in the body?“
Are Foods Or Supplements Better
From the research that’s been done so far, it appears that either food or supplements can effectively deliver probiotics to your gut.
But is one better than the other? That depends. It’s easier to get a consistent amount of probiotics from supplements. But when you get probiotics from foods, you also reap the benefits of the other nutrients.
You may want to try both approaches and see what appears to give you better results.
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How Long Can Tamales Last In The Fridge
Fortunately, you can decide to cook a huge batch of Tamales and not worry about preservation.
Tamales can stay up to 7 days in the fridge before losing taste and texture.
Meanwhile, you can still eat them a little while after a week, but the fridge temperature will harden the texture beyond normal.
The more you prolong eating the tamales, the more you stuff the dough. Itll lead to a brittle and tasteless corn-based meal.
Uncooked Tamales also last for a week in the fridge, but its advisable to eat them within two to four days when the filling contains meat.
All the same, you should store the dish correctly for it to last up to a week. Here are some tips on how to store Tamales in the fridge
- Allow Tamales to cool at room temperature hours before placing them in the fridge.
- Use a spacious airtight container.
- You can also use a plastic or ziplock bag to preserve the tamales.
- Ensure you squeeze out the air in the bags before sealing.
- Stack Tamales on each other and place a napkin to absorb excess moisture before covering with the container cover.
- Write the date and content of the dish on a sticker or masking tape and stick it to the container.
- Place in the refrigerator and consume within seven days.
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When Should I Refrigerate A Probiotic Supplement
Although it is not necessary to refrigerate your probiotic supplement if it offers shelf life stability and potency, most probiotic supplements only offer this if your home or chosen place of storage sits at around room temperature. Room temperature is classed at roughly around 20 degrees Celsius. Different strains in different probiotic supplements have different storage requirements, so you always need to check the labels. Most bacterial strains in probiotic supplements will die if they are exposed to heat, so it is best to keep them in the fridge if your chosen place of storage for your probiotic is above 20 degrees Celsius.
If you have any medical questions relating to probiotic supplementation. It is recommended that you discuss any questions you may have with a medically trained professional or your Doctor. While there are no studies that suggest taking an out of date probiotic supplement will do you any harm, we recommended that you throw away any out of date probiotics should you have them.
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Is Stomach Acidity A Major Problem For Probiotics
Theres a fourth factor influencing the viability of probiotics and thats the way the contents of the capsule are released.
A standard capsule will dissolve in the stomach as a result of the milieus acidity. So when delivered in such capsules, billions of dehydrated probiotics are released into this hostile environment. They are immediately rehydrated and are thus no longer dormant, but have to then withstand the acidity of the stomach in order to reach the gentler environment of the gut alive and intact, where they will be reunited with all the conditions conducive to their growth. In theory, the majority of probiotic species of the Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus genera are able to transition safely through the stomach especially if supplements are taken in the morning on an empty stomach and if the storage conditions are right but in practice, a considerable number will fail to stay the course.
To prevent a significant percentage of the probiotics falling at the final hurdle, manufacturers use gastro-resistant or delayed-release capsules. These capsules only disintegrate once theyve passed through the stomach . This minimises the amount of contact time between the probiotics and the acid elements of the stomach.
The following supplements should ideally be kept in the fridge:
The following products can be stored at room temperature :
Key Probiotic Expiration Date Takeaways
- Probiotics beyond their expiration date probably have too little live bacteria to make a clinical difference.
- Store Lactobacillus& Bifidobacterium species in the refrigerator for maximum shelf life.
- Saccharomyces boulardii probiotics and soil-based probiotics may not need refrigeration, but refrigeration may extend their shelf life.
- Be sure to choose probiotic products and brands that are lab test verified to contain the colony-forming units advertised on their label to ensure potency.
- If your probiotic supplement is near or past the expiration date, its probably best to buy a new product to ensure the best clinical effect.
- Either a product manufacture date or an expiration date can help you to determine the potency of a probiotic product .
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