Choosing an Effective Probiotic Preparation

There are three key steps in choosing an effective probiotic preparation.

The first step is finding out the identity of the organism(s) in the preparation. One needs to know not only the genus and species of the organism(s), but also the strain details. Ideally, this information should be detailed on the label, but in cases where it is not, manufacturers should tell you this information upon request. If they refuse to provide you with this information, it may be indicative that the company in question has utilized uncharacterized and unresearched strains in their preparations and would prefer consumers not to know.

The second step is working out whether there is any research conducted on the exact strains found in the supplement, finding it, and then reading the trials. What has the research shown? What clinical presentations is this strain proven to be helpful for? What applications is the strain ineffective in? Or is the research to date on the strain equivocal for a certain use? These questions need to be answered before deciding on whether to utilize a specific probiotic strain or not.

Thirdly, there should be adequate amounts of viable organisms contained in the product at the time of consumption – for most strains this is currently considered to be >109 CFU of each organism per dose (see Dosage for more details).

To make this critical, but time-consuming, process far easier, Probiotic Advisor has done the background research for you.

The Probiotic Advisor allows you to search specific probiotic preparations (foods and supplements) to determine:                                                                     

  • which strains are contained in the products;
  • the amounts of each strain per dose; and most importantly
  • the evidence for (and sometimes against) a particular strain in specific health conditions.

Probiotic Advisor has done this for over 300 probiotic preparations commercially-available in Australia, Canada, and the US.