Amazon Probiotics Purchasing Tips

Whether you are purchasing Amazon probiotics, using another website, or doing it the old-fashioned way by going to your local store, there are some things you should know before you buy. Probiotics play a large role in helping maintain the balance between good and bad bacteria in the intestinal tract, or the “gut,” but some people find it overwhelming when it comes to finding ones that are worth the money. Here are a few tips to help make your decision easier.

Why Purchase Amazon Probiotics?

In the days before pasteurization, antibiotics, and other methods of sanitizing our environment and fighting infections, humans were exposed to a wide range of bacteria. While this was a bad thing in many instances, it was actually a good thing in others. Being bombarded by harmful bacteria leads to often-deadly diseases, of course. But it’s also important to get an ample supply of good bacteria in the system as well.1 Since we live in a more sterilized environment, it can be difficult for us to maintain a balance between beneficial and harmful microbes, such as bacteria and yeasts. That makes us susceptible to a wide range of health issues.

When you go to Amazon to buy probiotics, or get them through another source, you’re doing so in an effort to help make sure you have enough good bacteria in your body. These live microorganisms come in many different forms, and they also contain many different types of bacteria. The challenge is to find a probiotic product that will do what its manufacturer claims it will do.

Bacterial Strains

All probiotic products, whether they come in capsule, powder, or drink form, contain colony-forming units (CFUs) of live bacteria. But not all bacterial strains are created equal – some provide more benefits than others. There are an estimated 1,000 or so bacterial strains in the body, so you need to make sure the probiotic you purchase will help the beneficial ones do their jobs.

For example, look for products that contain the Lactobacillus acidophilus bacterium. This is an extremely important probiotic, because it helps to inhibit the growth of bad bacteria in the gut.2 Lactobacillus plantarum is not only found in probiotic supplements, but also in fermented foods such as sauerkraut. Studies indicate that it can help alleviate some of the symptoms that are associated with irritable bowel syndrome.3

Lactobacillus reuteri is another beneficial form of bacteria that you should make sure is included in any probiotic product you purchase. This not only helps inhibit the production of bad bacteria, it has also been shown to help boost the immune system.4

And while it’s not a bacterium, the Saccharomyces boulardii yeast is a probiotic that has been shown to help limit the symptoms of diarrhea.5

 

CFUs

The question of how many CFUs should be in each dose of probiotic you take is up for debate. It appears, however, that the more beneficial bacteria you can get, the better. One of the main reasons is that, unfortunately, some of the microbes you ingest when you take a probiotic simply won’t make it to their intended destination. Getting through the digestive system can be an incredibly rough journey, and bacteria will sometimes die before they can do their jobs.

So, it only goes to reason that the more bacteria you take in, the better the chances enough of them will get to your gut. You should try to take in at least 2 billion CFUs with every dose, but 18-30 billion is a good number to strive for. There are some products out there that claim to provide hundreds of billions of CFUs, but they’re typically very expensive.

Labeling

If you don’t see the number of CFUs on the label of the Amazon probiotics you’re considering, go another direction. Any probiotic worth buying will let you know exactly how many beneficial bacteria are included in each dose. You should also pay a great deal of attention to the expiration information on the label. It should give a date by which you should finish using it so you know the lifespan of the bacteria you’ll be ingesting. If the label doesn’t include this information, that means the manufacturer can’t guarantee the bacteria you put in your body will even be alive.

There’s a misconception that all probiotics have to be stored in a refrigerator so that the bacteria will live as long as possible. Some Amazon probiotics are manufactured using advanced technology that eliminates the refrigeration requirement. As long as these products are stored in a cool, dry place, the bacteria will reach their maximum lifespan. When you store whatever probiotic product you decide to buy, make sure to keep it away from warm environments, such as direct sunlight or your oven.

Probiotics that Contain Prebiotics

Some Amazon probiotics not only contain microorganisms, but also non-living substances known as prebiotics. These are fibers that the body can’t digest, but bacteria can. In fact, they need prebiotics in order to be able to thrive inside the gut. Prebiotics are available through supplements as well as different types of foods such as onions, garlic, bananas, and others.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Talk to your doctor before you add Amazon probiotics or any other type of supplement to your daily dietary regimen. While probiotics are safe for the vast majority of people, they may cause problems for people who have a compromised immune system due to a serious illness. Stay on the safe side, and get medical advice before you buy any probiotics product.

Sources:

1http://www.hoffmancentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Infect_Inflamm_Chronic.pdf

2http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1988.tb09312.x/abstract

3http://journals.lww.com/jcge/Abstract/2004/07002/Probiotics_in_The_Treatment_of_Irritable_Bowel.14.aspx

4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3871281/

5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805518