You likely already know that taking a probiotic supplement is a good idea for many reasons, including its ability to support immune function, nutrient absorption, energy levels, and even occasional low mood. By replenishing your microbiome with the beneficial bacteria it needs, you’re taking a responsible and meaningful step towards optimal health and wellness.
However, did you know that many probiotic supplements out there aren’t very effective? The truth is there are some very powerful details that require your attention so that you can discern the beneficial probiotic supplements from those that won’t do you much good.
At Hyperbiotics, we want you to be sure you’re getting the best for your money and your health. We had to do our research and dig deeper when developing our formulas, and we support you in doing the same with your choices. That’s why we’re happy to help you understand the need-to-know differences in probiotic supplements so you can make the best decision for yourself and your family.
What to Consider When Choosing a Probiotic Supplement
When it comes to what makes some probiotics much better than others, these are the most important questions to ask:
Is there a diversity of strains?
There are many culprits that can deplete our good intestinal flora, such as the modern diet, stress, excessive hygiene habits, toxins in our homes and environments, aging, and frequent medication use. When this happens, it affects all types of probiotic strains in our gut, each with their own functions and health benefits.
Therefore, it makes sense that you’d want a probiotic supplement that contains a variety of strains to replenish all of the important players and “fill in the gaps” where our modern lifestyle creates them.
For example, our leading formula, PRO-15, contains a diverse set of 15 targeted strains to repopulate your gut and give you full spectrum support. This is a far more comprehensive approach than focusing on just a few strains where you might end up missing significant benefits that come with replenishing the various ecological niches within your digestive tract.
Are the strains resident to the human gut?
Active Yeasts and Soil Based Organisms (SBOs), which are organisms found in the soil and not intended to reside in the human body, are growing in popularity (mostly because of their hardy ability to survive stomach acids) and are still labeled as probiotics.
The problem is that these strains are a different type of probiotic altogether, and some question if they are indeed safe for us all to consume. We believe it’s far more effective to focus on replenishing the strains that should naturally live in the human intestinal tract, such as Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Bifidobacterium, and we have designed each of our formulas accordingly.
Do they have protection from stomach acids?
As probiotics travel through our bodies toward the areas they must reach to colonize and get to work within the GI tract, they encounter the harshness of our stomach acids, which is often detrimental to these sensitive organisms.
In fact, in vitro studies show that a narrow 4% of the bacteria present in standard probiotic capsules, powders, and liquids are able to survive as they move through the stomach, simply because they don’t have adequate protection.
You see, most probiotic supplements use either veggie capsules or enteric-coated capsules. Veggie capsules, although they sound nice, don’t actually provide any protection from your stomach acids. Even the “delayed-release” versions only stave off the release of the healthy probiotic organisms by up to 45 minutes, which is not nearly enough time for them to bypass the danger zone of the stomach.
While enteric-coated capsules do provide some protection, there are a few other drawbacks you should keep in mind:
1. The enteric coating itself contains both air and moisture, which is damaging to the freeze-dried probiotic powder inside due to its ‘hygroscopic’ nature, which means it absorbs moisture from the air. When this happens, it kills off the beneficial flora before it even has a chance to get into your system.
2. Enteric-coated capsules are typically made by dipping the capsule into a synthetic chemical, which you must ingest with the probiotic itself.
Obviously, we want to get more than 4% of the benefits from the probiotics we take, which is why, at Hyperbiotics, we use a patented delivery method called BIO-tract® that ensures at least 60-70% of the organisms are able to make their full journey past harmful stomach acids to reach their home base in the small and large intestine. That’s at least 15 times more than plain capsules!
Here’s how BIO-tract® works: when gastric fluids moisten the tablet, a gel matrix forms a protective layer around it, directing the beneficial organisms to release much later in their journey (over the course of 8-10 hours). Because the probiotics are successfully delivered at consistent levels throughout the intestinal tract, they are able to reach those areas where they’re most needed. This technology is the only controlled-release delivery that exists for probiotics and is patented in 31 countries.
Do they have protection from heat?
Besides moisture and air, there’s a third risk factor to consider when it comes to the protection of delicate probiotic organisms: heat.
You may be aware that some probiotics require refrigeration. While in transit to our homes or even to the stores where they’re sold, probiotic supplements are often exposed to many different temperatures and not maintained in cold environments. This is a tricky situation because these friendly flora are sensitive and even small amounts of heat are often fatal for them, meaning it’s quite possible that many of the probiotics on store shelves today contain organisms that are already dead.
This is precisely why, along with our BIO-tract® method, we also use a patented manufacturing process called LiveBac® to protect our probiotic organisms from die off due to heat. In fact, we’re able to guarantee their viability for a full 18 months after the date of manufacture—without ever needing to be refrigerated!
Do they contain unhealthy ingredients?
We take probiotics for the natural benefits they provide, so it simply makes sense to look for natural formulas free from anything we’re also trying to avoid in our diet. That’s why we ensure all of our probiotic strains are non-GMO and that our comprehensive formulas are free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, gluten, soy, lactose, yeast, and sugar.
At Hyperbiotics, we’re proud to walk alongside you on the journey toward optimal health. That’s why we carefully considered each of these factors when we set out to create our premium probiotic formulas.
We want to help you make the most informed choices, and we hope that by weighing your options based on accurate information and facts, you’ll have the tools you need to experience the full benefits that probiotics have to offer so you can live your healthiest days yet.
Written by Jamie Morea, Gut Health Evangelist, Mama Bird & Co-founder of Hyperbiotics. For more ideas on how you can maximize wellness and benefit from the power of probiotics, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.
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