Ingredients matter when it comes to picking supplements and probiotics are no exception. With so many beneficial bacteria and other good additives, probiotic supplements are not created equal.
You’ll need to assess the label on the back to make sure the product corresponds to your health and nutrition needs.
Each strain of probiotic bacteria is responsible for improving health in a highly specific way. Here are a few of the top probiotic ingredients and the reasons that make them better than others.
This is one of the most common bacteria found in probiotic supplements. Lactobacillus acidophilus is quite versatile. The bacteria is also known for having a very high acid and bile tolerance.
This means it will survive the journey through the stomach, even if the pill doesn’t feature a specialized protective coating.
Lactobacillus acidophilus creates dense colonies in the gut where it controls the populations of pathogens and it also helps for the more effective absorption of nutrients.
According to researchers, lactobacillus acidophilus is one of the best bacteria for overcoming gastrointestinal issues. It helps for improving overall digestion and nutrient absorption, regulating bowel movements, reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and helping people overcome issues like bloating and flatulence.
Lactobacillus acidophilus contributes to various additional health improvements. The most important ones include:
- Strengthened immune response
- Reduction in the incidence of urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- An effective remedy for yeast infections
- Healthy cholesterol levels and a reduction in bad cholesterol
Another member of the lactobacillus genus, lactobacillus plantarum is found in sauerkraut and kimchi. This is yet another highly resilient strain that can easily survive the dangerous journey through the stomach.
Lactobacillus plantarum is one of the primary bacteria for strengthening the immune response. In addition, it curbs inflammation in the gut, which contributes to overall health improvements.
The bacterium reduces gut permeability and keeps pathogens from breaking through the lining and into the bloodstream. Lactobacillus plantarum could also have a beneficial effect when it comes to reducing the symptoms in allergy sufferers.
L. rhamnosus is one of the most beneficial probiotics for women because it can have a profoundly positive impact on regulating the vaginal flora and reducing the risk of yeast infections. It also helps for improving urinary health and reducing the risk of UTIs in women.
This bacterium has a slightly lower survival rate than the previous two strains when exposed to gastric acid and bile. Still, sufficiently large quantities will reach the gut where lactobacillus rhamnosus will form its colonies.
A few other health benefits linked to lactobacillus rhamnosus supplementation include:
- It may counteract weight gain in diabetes patients
- Reduction in the symptoms of IBS
- Reduction in the symptoms of seasonal allergies
- Stronger immune response
- Reduced incidence of diarrhea, especially after a treatment with antibiotics
The final lactobacillus member we’re going to take a look at is lactobacillus paracasei. The robust bacterium reaches the gut in large quantities where it forms colonies. This probiotic has one unique ability that other strains are missing – it can support liver health.
Lactobacillus paracasei is particularly beneficial when taken alongside prebiotics (fiber).
On top of all that, lactobacillus paracasei is known to:
- Strengthen the immune response
- Improve digestions and reduce gastrointestinal discomfort
- Provide a natural treatment for infant diarrhea
- Boost energy levels naturally
When looking for a probiotic supplement, it may be a good idea to consider a product that features prebiotics in its composition.
The term prebiotic refers to non-digestible fiber. It’s found in a vast array of fruits and veggies. Unfortunately, hectic lifestyles and poor nutritional choices make it very difficult for many people to get sufficient quantities of fiber from their diet.
Probiotics and prebiotics work together to deliver health improvements. The addition of prebiotics in probiotic supplements leads to the following benefits:
- Enhanced nutrient absorption and better functioning of the GI tract
- Lower risk of cardiovascular disease and regulated cholesterol levels
- Improvements in hormone balance
- The ability to maintain optimal weight
- Immune response enhancements
Obviously, these are just a few of the quality ingredients probiotic supplements could feature. Picking one set of components or another is entirely dependent on your individual needs and the health goal that you have in mind.