If you are thinking of purchasing probiotics Amazon, there are a lot of things you need to know before you press that “add to cart” button. There are somewhere around 4,000 possible options to choose from, and you should think of doing at least a little research before you make your final decision. Don’t buy any Amazon probiotics before you read this – you’ll be glad you waited.
Amazon Probiotics – The Basics
The probiotics Amazon you will be choosing from all have one thing in common – they’re designed to boost your body’s supply of beneficial bacteria. It wasn’t that long ago that the thought of willfully ingesting bacteria was odd, to say the least. Many people would have said it’s downright crazy.
But in recent years, we’ve become better educated as to just what kinds of roles bacteria play in the body. Sure, there are a lot of bad bacteria, and they understandably get the lion’s share of notoriety because they can be so dangerous. These harmful microbes can cause a lot of devastating diseases.
But there are a lot of beneficial bacteria as well, and these are the ones that are found in probiotics Amazon. These bacteria perform several different functions, but their main role is to keep the bad bacteria in the “gut,” or gastrointestinal tract, in check. If the bad bacteria outnumber the good, that puts us at risk for all kinds of potential health problems.
What to Look for on the Label
Before you make your purchasing decision, you need to take a close look at the label of the product you are considering. It will give you some important clues as to whether or not you’re about to waste your money.
For example, if the label says, “viable at the time of manufacture,” go in another direction. What this means is that the bacteria contained in the product were alive when that product was made. What it doesn’t mean is that those microbes will still be alive when you ingest them. While it won’t necessarily hurt you in all likelihood, it also won’t do you any good.
If, on the other hand, the label reads, “viable until expiration,” or something to that effect, you should be good to go. As long as you use the product before it expires, the bacteria should be able to do what they’re supposed to do.
Another thing to look for on labeling is how you need to store the product. Some probiotics Amazon need to be refrigerated in order for the bacteria within them to stay alive. Others are made using a freeze-drying process that keeps the microbes in a sort of suspended animation. They’ll spring into action when you ingest them. In addition, you won’t need to keep them in a refrigerator. As long as you store them in a cool, dry place that doesn’t get direct sunlight, the microbes should stay alive.
This is where we get to the nitty-gritty of what makes probiotics Amazon worth the price. The label should tell you exactly what kinds of bacteria are contained in each serving, whether you’re buying capsules, a powder, or a probiotic drink. Any quality product will contain bacteria that are members of two specific families, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Here are just a few specific strains that belong to each group, as well as some of the benefits that research shows they provide:
Lactobacillus acidophilus – This is one of the most extensively researched forms of beneficial bacteria, and it plays an important role in helping to make sure there is a proper balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut.1
Lactobacillus plantarum – L. plantarum is not only found in supplements, but, like most probiotics, can also be found in foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt, and sourdough bread. Studies indicate that this bacterium can help reduce the symptoms experienced by people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.2
Lactobacillus reuteri – L. reuteri is actually one of the beneficial types of bacteria we are exposed to basically from birth, since it’s found in human breast milk. This strain is believed to help strengthen the immune system.3
Bifidobacterium longum – B. longum is another bacterium that is commonly found in infants. It plays a vital role in helping ensure digestive health and also helps make sure our bodies are able to properly metabolize carbohydrates. 4,5
When you buy probiotics Amazon, another piece of information you need to look for is the number of CFUs (colony-forming units) that are contained in each serving or dose. Some products contain 1 billion CFUs, while others claim to contain hundreds of billions of CFUs. These are extremely expensive, and the jury is out regarding whether we actually benefit from ingesting so many bacteria at one time. Most experts believe that getting between 15-30 billion CFUs per capsule/serving is sufficient.
Another thing to consider – if you’re buying capsules – is to look for capsules that have an enteric coating. What this simply means is that the capsule will be better equipped to handle the acid it will encounter on its trip through the stomach. If it gets destroyed, the bacteria within the capsule will be destroyed as well. Since they won’t be able to get to your intestinal tract, they won’t be able to do you any good.
Prebiotics and Probiotics Amazon
Many people overlook the importance of prebiotics. That is, if they even know what they are in the first place. Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that are found in a lot of the foods we eat. The reason they’re so important is that they are the fuel probiotics need in order to do their jobs. Even though we can’t digest them, probiotic bacteria thrive on them. Look for probiotics Amazon that also contain prebiotics.
One more quick word on probiotics Amazon: Please talk to your doctor before you take any sort of probiotic supplement. If you have a compromised immune system or suffer from a severe intestinal illness, you may experience serious complications. Just stay on the safe side and make sure that it will be okay for you to take a probiotic.