How to take acidophilus probiotics

Knowing when to take your probiotics is difficult, whether you’re a vegan or not. The nature of probiotics means that they’re filled with tiny living organisms (i.e. friendly bacteria) which can be killed in large numbers by your stomach acid if taken at the wrong time, rendering them useless.

Probiotics have a ton of health and nutritional gains for us, so it’s essential that we time our consumption of them correctly, whether they’re coming from foods in our diet or from daily supplements.

Now that you can see the positives of taking these products, I hope you enjoy our tips.

The most frequently touted benefits of probiotics are related to digestive and gut health. But probiotics also promote immune health, brain health, and emotional wellness.

– Amy Sunderman, M.S., R.D

When Is The Best Time To Take Probiotics?

How to take acidophilus probiotics

The best time to take probiotics is in the morning when you wake up.

Take them 30 minutes before you consume any food, and take them with a glass of fresh water if possible.

This maximizes the survival chances of the healthy bacteria when they’re in your bowel, so hopefully more of the little fellas will survive.

The idea here is that by taking probiotics on an empty stomach, you’re taking them when your digestive tract is less active because it hasn’t seen food in a while.

As such, your stomach is less of a harsh environment for the good bacteria.

​When Is The Worst Time To Take Probiotics?

The worst time to take probiotics would be directly after eating food.

This is because the body’s digestive system is in full swing after recently eating a meal, and one of the side effects is that the friendly bacteria are more likely to be killed by stomach acid during the digestion process.

One study found that the beneficial bacteria in probiotics survived in much higher numbers if taken 30 min before a meal compared to 30 min after a meal.

Put simply, the conditions in your stomach are just too volatile after you’ve recently consumed food.

​Can I Take A Probiotic Before Bed?

How to take acidophilus probiotics

You can take a probiotic before bed, although you ideally should not have eaten for a few hours beforehand.

However, the best hour to take probiotics is also linked to what you’re using them for in the first place.

For example, if you’re taking probiotics because you’re having trouble sleeping, then right before bed is the best time of day to take your products.

This is because probiotics help to reduce Liver Cirrhosis, which is directly related to insomnia and sleeping issues (1).

So yes, you can take a probiotic before bed, but most people who are taking the supplements for gut health reasons should be taking them in the morning.

Do I Need To Take Probiotics?

You need to take probiotics in order to maintain good gut health, nutrition, and vitamins in your body, keeping bad bacteria at bay and supporting a good balance of flora in your digestive tract (2).

Probiotics can also help to stave off chronic diseases like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) which cause people to experience bloating, pain, and stool issues with certain foods.

If you’re on the heavier side and dieting isn’t making a difference, there is also evidence that probiotics can help with weight regulation.

The strains of beneficial bacteria found in these products have a slew of health advantages for the immune system and digestive system alike.

Probiotics you can try:

Watch this video below to know the signs you need more probiotics in your body.

How to take acidophilus probiotics

How Often Should I Be Taking Probiotics?

How to take acidophilus probiotics

You should be taking probiotics daily, as your body needs this constant supply of healthy bacteria in order to maintain good gut health.

Researchers have noted that you may experience diarrhea for a few days when first taking probiotics, but this dies down as your body gets used to the change.

The whole point of taking probiotics is to restore balance in your gut and keep the level of bad bacteria low, so it’s a good idea to keep your intake regular and uniform unless you want potential stomach issues.

As a reminder, supplement ​intake must be moderated and consumed only as prescribed. Together with a healthy food diet, you’ll maximize the benefits of your supplement.

​Is It Okay To Take Probiotic Every Day?

Yes, it is okay to take probiotics every day. You should be taking probiotics every day if you think that you have GI problems or an imbalance in your gut bacteria.

However, you may not want to take probiotics every day if your gut is already in good condition, as it is likely to have little effect.

Taking a daily supplement nonetheless helps to encourage a well-functioning microbiome, meaning that the flora (i.e. tiny organisms) in your gut are being maintained properly.

You might not be aware of it, but there are billions of bacteria inside you which need to stay in check.

How Long Do Probiotics Take To Work?

Probiotics take different amounts of time to work depending on your body and your gut, but in healthy adults, probiotics should work within 30-60 minutes (3).

Assuming that you take your probiotic supplements at the best time of day, you have an already-healthy digestive system, and you haven’t recently eaten any food, the good bacteria should begin to do their job within an hour.

How Much Probiotic Should I Take?

With probiotics, you should probably take somewhere between 1 billion and 10 billion CFU (colony forming units) per day, although there is no universal consensus on the recommended daily amount.

Some supplements are designed to be very strong, and there is evidence to suggest that taking doses of 20 billion CFU or higher has the most health benefits.

However, if you do enjoy vegan-friendly probiotic-rich foods such as Miso, Tempeh, and Kimchi, it may be more effective to get your probiotics from these organic food sources.

by Sarah Pope MGA / Affiliate Links ✔

How to take acidophilus probiotics

Our digestive system is home to at least 500 different bacterial strains Ideally, 85% of the bacteria in our gut are beneficial to our health. When the vast majority of gut flora is of the friendly variety, the remaining 15% which are pathogenic bacterial strains and yeasts are easily handled and kept under control. In fact, in a well-balanced gut, the friendly bacterial strains can actually harness some of the pathogenic strains to perform helpful functions!

The problem is that most people today have this proportion reversed with the majority of gut flora of the unfriendly variety. This tipping of the balance in favor of pathogens occurs due to antibiotic use, the birth control pill and other meds that negatively affect the gut flora, and the consumption of processed foods and high amounts of sugar which feed pathogens and candida.

The health consequences of a pathogen dominated gut are many.

Diarrhea, constipation, excessive gas, bloating, allergies, eczema, irritable bowel, inflammatory bowel, kidney stones, ear infections, strep throat, colds, vaginal yeast infections, Crohn’s disease, lactose intolerance, thrush, athlete’s foot, cancer, and on and on.

The good news is that proactive steps can be taken to rectify the situation to tip the balance back in favor of the friendly bacteria and beneficial yeasts.

How? Homemade fermented foods are one very smart practice, but for many people, the first baby step back to intestinal health involves taking a daily probiotic.

The Benefits of Probiotics

What are probiotics? They are friendly bacteria, thousands of strains, that prevent the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungus in the gut. Here is a laundry list of some of the beneficial functions performed by probiotics in the gut.

  • Produce substances that normalize cholesterol
  • Enhance the protective barrier of the digestive tract to prevent leaking of gut contents into the bloodstream (which produces an unpredictable mix of autoimmune symptoms).
  • Produce Vitamin K1
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Aid in the digestion of lactose
  • Prevent cavities
  • Neutralize pre-cancerous compounds
  • Lower the pH of the intestines
  • Utilize oxalates in foods like spinach to prevent kidney stones
  • Detoxify carcinogens that are consumed
  • Produce beneficial compounds which inhibit the growth of tumors
  • Much much more!

No wonder Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, famously said that “all disease begins in the gut”.

How to Take Probiotics

Once the decision to repair the gut is made, the selection of the appropriate probiotic is a must. This article on the best probiotics outlines the selection process in detail. Here is a list of top quality brands to consider to make the task easier given the dozens of probiotics on the market today:

Once you have your chosen supplement in hand, how to take probiotics? Morning or night? On an empty stomach or with food?

These are very common questions and the answer depends on the probiotic manufacturer, according to the staff at Biodynamic Wellness, which specializes in helping people recover their gut health.

Some probiotics are packaged in time-release capsules and some are not. Finding out this information usually requires a phone call to the manufacturer, so when in doubt, assume that they are not time release.

Since it is possible that the high acid environment of the stomach could destroy some of the probiotic bacteria:

Does this mean that it isn’t of any benefit to taking a probiotic on an empty stomach?

No. It just means to play it safe to ensure the probiotics are protected from any reduction in potency due to stomach acid by taking them after a meal has been consumed.

This recommendation, of course, does not affect the additional use of probiotics before bed (typically on an empty stomach) to assist with the balancing of probiotics in the mouth and sinus cavities. Beneficial flora seeks to dominate and protect every tissue of your body, not just your gut! There are plenty of beneficial bacteria in your mouth, throat, nasal passages and ears too and when they are in the proper proportion to any pathogens, healthy gums, teeth, and fluid free ears and sinuses are the result.

To this end, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD recommends emptying a probiotic capsule into the mouth and swishing it around before swallowing. Nothing should be consumed even water after you do this. This article on a natural sinus remedy using probiotics explains more about this procedure.

Obviously, the use of probiotics in this fashion is primarily for the health of the mouth and sinus tissues, not just the gut.

In summary, when consuming a probiotic to improve gut health, it is best to take it after a meal. Traveling soon? Check out this article on how to take probiotics while away from home to help keep you well.

Believe it or not, when and how you take your probiotic is just as important as the type of probiotic you take. We know that certain strains of probiotics are better than others. Some strains do little to nothing for our bodies, while others are vastly more effective at promoting a healthy immune system and gastrointestinal (GI) tract, to name just a few systems affected. However, even if you have the right strains, your body may not absorb it if you aren’t taking it properly.

Different products (probiotic supplements) will have different directions. In making any medical decision it is always recommended to take supplements as directed and to consult with your physician before making any changes. While it is recommended you take your probiotic according to its label (directions), you may want to consider some other options if you feel as though you aren’t getting the most out of your probiotic supplement. Changing up the time(s) you take your probiotic may be an effective solution to seemingly ineffective probiotic therapies. It would also be important to consider whether or not you are taking the proper strains for what you are hoping to achieve.

When to take a probiotic is somewhat controversial, but taking your probiotic supplements at the right time might make a huge difference in health benefits.

There is still debate over the topic, but it seems the general consensus recommends that probiotic supplements be taken:

HOW = on an empty stomach and with a glass of water

The reasons for this recommendation center on the levels of acid present in the gut at different times of the day, depending upon your dietary habits. Eating or drinking something that contains fat helps reduce the stomach’s acidity and supports bacterial intestinal passage. Taking it at the right time and in the right way helps to minimize the interaction between the probiotic supplement and your digestive enzymes. It is best to take probiotic supplements at times when stomach acids, digestive enzymes, and bile salts are all at their lowest levels. These levels peak in reaction to food consumption, which means the worst time to take your probiotic supplement is about 30 minutes after eating. When taken 30 minutes after a meal, the amount of beneficial (living) bacteria that actually are absorbed by your gut is greatly diminished. Additionally, you should avoid taking probiotics with a meal for the same reason.

It may also prove effective to take your probiotic supplement 2 to 3 hours after consuming your last meal of the day or directly before bed. Switching up the times you take your probiotic supplement may help increase the effectiveness of the bacteria. Aside from taking probiotics with water, you can also try washing them down with some orange juice. However, don’t just go drinking everything and anything with your probiotics. Hot drinks, coffee, tea, and caffeinated beverages are all drinks that should be avoided. These drinks interfere with the absorption of the probiotic and may destroy any living microorganisms. On that note, please remember to always store probiotic supplements in cool, dry, and dark places. If you fail to take the necessary precautions, the living microorganisms may become overheated and die before ever making it into your mouth.

However, please note that this does not hold true for probiotic supplements that are taken to support the health of your sinuses, mouth, or nose. These probiotics are usually taken before bed so as to allow them to work their magic while you sleep. This can most certainly be done on an empty stomach, since this type of probiotic supplement isn’t being directed at your gut, and thus will not necessarily be affected by the acid level of your stomach. Some recommend taking this specific type of probiotic by opening the capsule and pouring its contents directly into your mouth. You then should swish the probiotic contents around in your mouth before swallowing. Furthermore, you should not eat or drink anything after taking a probiotic using this method, as you will reduce the potency within your mouth and sinuses.

by Sarah Pope MGA / Affiliate Links ✔

How to take acidophilus probiotics

Our digestive system is home to at least 500 different bacterial strains Ideally, 85% of the bacteria in our gut are beneficial to our health. When the vast majority of gut flora is of the friendly variety, the remaining 15% which are pathogenic bacterial strains and yeasts are easily handled and kept under control. In fact, in a well-balanced gut, the friendly bacterial strains can actually harness some of the pathogenic strains to perform helpful functions!

The problem is that most people today have this proportion reversed with the majority of gut flora of the unfriendly variety. This tipping of the balance in favor of pathogens occurs due to antibiotic use, the birth control pill and other meds that negatively affect the gut flora, and the consumption of processed foods and high amounts of sugar which feed pathogens and candida.

The health consequences of a pathogen dominated gut are many.

Diarrhea, constipation, excessive gas, bloating, allergies, eczema, irritable bowel, inflammatory bowel, kidney stones, ear infections, strep throat, colds, vaginal yeast infections, Crohn’s disease, lactose intolerance, thrush, athlete’s foot, cancer, and on and on.

The good news is that proactive steps can be taken to rectify the situation to tip the balance back in favor of the friendly bacteria and beneficial yeasts.

How? Homemade fermented foods are one very smart practice, but for many people, the first baby step back to intestinal health involves taking a daily probiotic.

The Benefits of Probiotics

What are probiotics? They are friendly bacteria, thousands of strains, that prevent the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungus in the gut. Here is a laundry list of some of the beneficial functions performed by probiotics in the gut.

  • Produce substances that normalize cholesterol
  • Enhance the protective barrier of the digestive tract to prevent leaking of gut contents into the bloodstream (which produces an unpredictable mix of autoimmune symptoms).
  • Produce Vitamin K1
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Aid in the digestion of lactose
  • Prevent cavities
  • Neutralize pre-cancerous compounds
  • Lower the pH of the intestines
  • Utilize oxalates in foods like spinach to prevent kidney stones
  • Detoxify carcinogens that are consumed
  • Produce beneficial compounds which inhibit the growth of tumors
  • Much much more!

No wonder Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, famously said that “all disease begins in the gut”.

How to Take Probiotics

Once the decision to repair the gut is made, the selection of the appropriate probiotic is a must. This article on the best probiotics outlines the selection process in detail. Here is a list of top quality brands to consider to make the task easier given the dozens of probiotics on the market today:

Once you have your chosen supplement in hand, how to take probiotics? Morning or night? On an empty stomach or with food?

These are very common questions and the answer depends on the probiotic manufacturer, according to the staff at Biodynamic Wellness, which specializes in helping people recover their gut health.

Some probiotics are packaged in time-release capsules and some are not. Finding out this information usually requires a phone call to the manufacturer, so when in doubt, assume that they are not time release.

Since it is possible that the high acid environment of the stomach could destroy some of the probiotic bacteria:

Does this mean that it isn’t of any benefit to taking a probiotic on an empty stomach?

No. It just means to play it safe to ensure the probiotics are protected from any reduction in potency due to stomach acid by taking them after a meal has been consumed.

This recommendation, of course, does not affect the additional use of probiotics before bed (typically on an empty stomach) to assist with the balancing of probiotics in the mouth and sinus cavities. Beneficial flora seeks to dominate and protect every tissue of your body, not just your gut! There are plenty of beneficial bacteria in your mouth, throat, nasal passages and ears too and when they are in the proper proportion to any pathogens, healthy gums, teeth, and fluid free ears and sinuses are the result.

To this end, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD recommends emptying a probiotic capsule into the mouth and swishing it around before swallowing. Nothing should be consumed even water after you do this. This article on a natural sinus remedy using probiotics explains more about this procedure.

Obviously, the use of probiotics in this fashion is primarily for the health of the mouth and sinus tissues, not just the gut.

In summary, when consuming a probiotic to improve gut health, it is best to take it after a meal. Traveling soon? Check out this article on how to take probiotics while away from home to help keep you well.

Don’t let bad timing nab the benefits.

How to take acidophilus probiotics

Probiotics are one of the biggest wellness trends of the moment. Not only can you find supplement versions, but everything from bottled water to tortilla chips are being laced with the friendly microbes.

In case you need a refresher, probiotics are good bacteria thought to boost the health of your microbiome, or the balance of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that lives in your intestines. You can—and should—get them from foods (like yogurt, kimchi and miso), but you may also want to throw back some Bac’ in pill form.

While studies haven’t proven that probiotic supplements are beneficial for already healthy peeps, they have been shown to help treat a handful of specific conditions, like digestive disorders such as diarrhea, constipation, and acid reflux.

How to take acidophilus probiotics

There’s also evidence that probiotics can help reduce inflammation for people who have ulcerative colitis, can be helpful for people who have a condition called traveler’s diarrhea (basically, your digestion gets thrown off by traveling), and can help if you have bad diarrhea after having taken antibiotics.

You should talk to your doctor to find out which probiotic strain is best for you to take for whichever condition or issue you’re dealing with, since not every strain works for every aliment. Once you have a doc-recommended supplement, it’s also important to consider the timing of when you ingest it.

How often should I take probiotics?

The tricky thing about probiotics is that they don’t stay in your gut for very long. You poop them out, so in order for them to be effective, you need to take them daily until you feel better, says Tamara Freuman, RD, author of The Bloated Belly Whisperer. “Any benefits from a probiotic only happen as it passes through your body,” she says. Because of that, taking your probiotics at a certain time can actually make them more effective.

When should I take probiotics?

The ideal time to take probiotics is right before bed because “the gut is pretty inactive at night. If you think about it, you don’t usually wake up in the middle of the night to poop,” says Patricia Raymond, MD, a board-certified doctor in both gastroenterology and internal medicine. If you ingest a probiotic at night when your bowel isn’t moving, there’s a better chance that it will hang around, divide, and potentially get integrated into your gut.

Should I take my probiotics with other medications?

Even if you toss back vitamins or other medication in the morning (including any antibiotics that may have prompted you to start probiotics), you should still take your probiotics at nighttime. With more time in your gut, the good bacteria can get to work healing your digestive issues. And that’s exactly what you want if you’re investing in a supplement.

The bottom line: The best time to take a probiotic is generally at nighttime before bed. But speak with your doctor before taking any sort of supplement to make sure it makes sense for you and your body/condition.

When a doctor or a nurse prescribes a course of probiotics for the use of a patient, how long should you take probiotics for?

In this article we will try to answer this difficult question as it relies on several factors; age, gender, existing health conditions, etc.

Based on clinical observation at the gastroenterology practice, some patients report the advantages of probiotics immediately after 1-3 days; other patients take as long as 2 weeks to observe the full benefits of probiotics.

Which are the best probiotic strains?

With another important exception, most researchers agree that the most beneficial bacteria are the ones that are not modified. In other words, probiotics should provide the same beneficial effects whether the organisms are administered orally, by capsule, or by liquid.

The probiotics that most doctors recommend for their patients are acidophilus and bifidobacteria. They work in pretty much the same way: they are both dietary supplements that encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Their primary difference is in how acidophilus is introduced into the body.

Most Probiotics are sold in tablets or caplets, whereas acidophilus is not. For this reason, probiotics are sometimes referred to as dietary supplements.

Adding good bacteria directly to the gut can help restore the appropriate balance of microorganisms in your gut. When people consume probiotics, the live organisms make themselves available to the population in the intestine. It takes just a couple of days for the new bacteria to establish themselves and begin producing the antimicrobial effects that are beneficial to your health. Once established, however, you will have to give them time to establish themselves.

Better understanding of probiotics

Probiotics, like most microbes, thrive in the presence of other beneficial microbes. If you are trying to prevent disease or to promote health, you want to select products that are high in probiotics. Some examples of good bacteria include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium leucotomos, and other strains of anaerobes. Probiotics are available in dried powder or liquid form.

The reason that probiotics are so useful is that they are also capable of reducing inflammation. It is well known that some forms of inflammation are related to chronic diseases like arthritis and psoriasis. It is also true that people who have a low-quality immune system are at a higher risk for developing inflammatory diseases. It is now known that probiotics and prebiotics can reduce the risk of developing arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

Can long-term use of probiotics be harmful?

Probiotics and prebiotics also have antimicrobial effects. They have been shown to have an impact on the growth of both established and unstable colonies of the Streptococcus species. In addition to this, probiotics may also help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria like Helicobacter pylori (which causes stomach ulcers) in the gastrointestinal tract. Some of the beneficial bacteria in the Lactobacillus family include Acidophilus (which is often found in milk) and Lactobacillus acidophilus, which are sometimes also called “the good bacteria.”

Many people take probiotics for a variety of purposes. The primary purpose of taking probiotics is to provide the new population of microorganisms that will inhabit your gut once you consume your recommended daily allowance of them. This results in a faster digestive process and more efficient use of nutrients by the body. People who take probiotics often report that they feel better when they eat less food and more probiotics.

Although many of the bacteria associated with a healthy diet can also be produced naturally, in order for probiotics to have an impact on your health, they need to be introduced into your body. Once you ingest enough of the proper microorganisms, your body will then be able to replenish them through normal gastrointestinal processes. As long as you don’t exceed the recommended daily allowance of the microorganisms, you shouldn’t feel any negative effects.

In conclusion

If you are considering taking probiotics, there is a lot of research out there to help guide your decision. There has been some concern about the safety and effectiveness of these supplements in recent years, but it seems like they can be safe for most people if taken as directed on the package.

Probiotics are very important to your health, and it is worth taking the time to find out which probiotic strains you need. If you have any questions about how long should be taken a specific probiotic supplement, consult your doctor or healthcare professional before making changes in dosage.

How to take acidophilus probiotics

  • by Gina Jaeger, PhD
  • Last reviewed on December 9, 2020

What dose should I take?

A push towards using natural methods to maintain digestive health in recent years has led to an increased interest in probiotics—live microorganisms which, when taken in adequate amounts, confer benefits for immune and digestive health. 1 Upon learning of probiotic benefits, people often want to know what constitutes as an “adequate” amount? However, because there are so many different probiotic organisms and variables to consider when making recommendations, a set dosage has not been established. 2 Consequently the answer to “what dose should I take?” will depend on an individual’s purpose for taking probiotics.

Colony forming units

Probiotic potency is expressed in CFU, or colony forming units. This is a unit of measure used in microbiology to estimate the number of bacteria in a sample capable of dividing and forming colonies. Although the vast majority of positive clinical trials indicate that probiotic doses of 10-20 billion CFU per day are sufficient for maintaining immune and digestive health, products featuring CFUs of 50-100 billion are becoming increasingly common. 3 , 4 While it may be tempting to assume that a larger CFU translates to greater potency and thus greater probiotic benefits, this is not necessarily the case. 5

A regular dose of high-quality bacteria

In essence, the goal of probiotics is to balance the intestinal ecosystem. Because most people do not need an enormous CFU to achieve this, high-dose probiotic regimens (>50 billion CFU) have typically been reserved for clinical use with medical conditions characterized by extreme gastrointestinal dysfunction or dysbiosis. 6 , 7 To date, there is little evidence to suggest that ingesting more probiotic bacteria than needed will result in greater benefits. 8 Rather than overwhelming the gut with a “mega-dose” of bacteria, providing a regular infusion of high-quality bacteria represents a more biologically meaningful approach to health maintenance.

All things considered, a daily dose of 10-15 billion CFU is advisable for individuals seeking everyday immune and digestive support.

This not to say that doses larger than 15 billion CFU are not appropriate for some individuals. Research suggests that high doses of probiotics may be beneficial for people who have experienced a significant alteration to their gut microbiome due to illness, intense antibiotic therapy, or exposure to environmental toxins. 9 Individuals in need of significant digestive support should speak with a medical professional about their health status and whether a high-dose probiotic regimen can help.

Survivability and stability

It is also worth mentioning that CFU is not the only variable in the probiotic dosage equation. The survivability of a probiotic product’s strains and the methods used to provide stability and enhance survival within the digestive system are just as important as the number of viable bacteria it provides. 5 , 10 For a deeper dive check out “Probiotics 101: Everything you need to know”.

How to take acidophilus probiotics

Gina Jaeger, PhD is a Developmental Specialist and Lead Research Writer for Nordic Naturals. She holds a doctorate in Human Development, and has published several research articles on children’s cognitive development. Gina enjoys studying and educating others on strategies for optimizing health and wellness throughout the lifespan.

[vc_column el_id=”text-content” css=”.vc_custom_1510177240814“][vc_column_text]by David Perlmutter, M.D., Board-Certified Neurologist, #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author, Fellow of the American College of Nutrition

There’s no question that probiotics have proven themselves when it comes to health and vitality. And for those of us involved in reviewing the ever-evolving science related to probiotics, the number of supportive research publications now being published may, at times, appear staggering.

Nonetheless, there are some fundamental points that remain well established in terms of deciding on the best choices when it comes to selecting a probiotic that will offer up the top resource for enriching and enhancing your gut bacteria. These include:

  1. Always choose a probiotic supplement with at least 10 billion live organisms per dosage. Keep in mind that the probiotic supplement should ensure (in writing) that you’ll continue to receive this number throughout the shelf life of the product.
  2. Avoid taking probiotics with chlorinated water. Chlorine is added to municipal water systems to kill bacteria, and this could very well impact the effectiveness of your probiotic supplement.
  3. Probiotics are best consumed on an empty stomach, when stomach acid levels are lower.
  4. Make sure you provide a nurturing environment for your probiotic organisms by consuming adequate amounts of prebiotic fiber. Foods rich in prebiotic fiber include jicama, dandelion greens, onions, garlic leeks, and there are terrific prebiotic supplements available as well. Look for supplements made from acacia gum and baobab fruit as they are highly effective and well tolerated.
  5. Look for probiotics with a wide array of different bacteria. There are now some excellent products that contain 14 different strains. Keep in mind that there are five key organisms that should certainly be a part of any probiotic that you may choose. These include:

  • Lactobaccilus plantarum: Found in kimchi, sauerkraut, and other cultured vegetables, this bug is one of the most beneficial bacteria in your body. It survives in the stomach for a long time and performs many functions that help regulate immunity and control inflammation in the gut. It also helps fortify the gut lining, fending off potential invaders that might compromise the intestinal wall and sneak into the bloodstream. In fact, plantarum’s beneficial impact on the gut lining is perhaps its most important attribute, for it reduces gut permeability, thereby reducing the associated risks for leaky gut—including an increased risk for virtually every brain disorder. Moreover, L. plantarum can quickly digest protein, and this may reduce food allergies and even treat such allergies when they arise. It’s been shown in experimental animal studies to protect engineered mice from having clinical symptoms of multiple sclerosis and even reduce the inflammatory response typical of that condition. Finally, L. plantarum has an uncanny ability to absorb and maintain important nutrients such as brain-friendly omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants. All of these actions make L. plantarum essential for fighting infection and taking control of any pathogenic bacteria.
  • Lactobaccilus acidophilus: acidophilus is the darling of fermented dairy products, including yogurt. It keeps the balance of good vs. bad bacteria in check and in doing so, aids your immune system. In women, it helps to curb the growth of Candida albicans, a fungus that can cause yeast infections. L. acidophilus has also gained fame for its ability to help maintain cholesterol levels. In the small intestine, L. acidophilus produces many beneficial substances that combat pathogenic microbes, including acidolphilin, acidolin, bacteriocin, and lactocidin.
  • Lactobaccilus brevis: Sauerkraut and pickles owe a lot of their benefits to this bug, which improves immune function by increasing cellular immunity and even enhancing killer T cell activity. It’s so effective in combating vaginosis, a common bacterial infection of the vagina, that it’s added to pharmaceuticals used to treat it. brevis also acts to inhibit the effects of certain gut pathogens. Perhaps best of all, it has been shown to increase levels of that all-star brain growth hormone BDNF.
  • Bifidobacterium lactis (also called animalis): Fermented milk products like yogurt contain this gem, which is well documented to have a powerful effect on preventing digestive ills and boosting immunity. It’s also known to be helpful in knocking out foodborne pathogens like salmonella, which causes diarrhea.
  • Bifidobacterium longum: Just one of the 32 species that belong to the genus bifidobacterium, this is one of the first bugs that colonize our bodies at birth. It has been associated with improving lactose tolerance and preventing diarrhea, food allergies and the proliferation of pathogens. It’s also known to have antioxidant properties as well as the ability to scavenge free radicals. In laboratory mice, longum has been shown to reduce anxiety. Like L. acidophilus, B. longum also helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

So keep these things in mind when choosing your probiotics.