Many hear the term “probiotic” but few actually know what it is and what probiotics do for one’s health. In fact, many believe that eating yogurt or drinking kombucha will satisfy their probiotic needs because that is what most markets promote. Realistically, they’re not enough to reach true gut health. Since the supplement market has very little regulation, it’s important to do your research before taking anything and do your due diligence on the company behind the probiotic formulations. Here are the top 7 things to look for when searching for a probiotic to add to your healthy lifestyle routine and to keep in mind for your overall improved health:
Diverse Microorganism Species
Strains that have been clinically studied to deliver a benefit to humans are important to include for the effectiveness of the probiotic. Diversity in your natural flora is important in order to effectively utilize the nutrients in your food.
Seed’s distinctive strain collection includes probiotic strains banked in Italy, Denmark, France, the United States, and other countries. Their collection of strains and finished formulations are unique and not found in falsely claimed probiotic foods and beverages.
Stomach Acid Viability
Look for a capsule delivery system that protects the supplements as they move through harsh acidic environments in the digestive system. If your probiotic doesn’t protect the viability of the live microbes against stomach acid, then the stomach acid will kill them off before they ever reach the colon, rendering the probiotic useless.
Probiotics deliver benefits by traveling through your colon, interacting with your immune cells, gut cells, dietary nutrients, and existing bacteria.
The Seed Standard: Seed encapsulates their Daily Synbiotic in an innovative 2-in-1 nested capsule. The liquid prebiotic outer capsule shields the inner probiotic capsule from heat and light to ensure shelf stability and viability through digestion. This capsule delivery system has been put through SHIME—a GI simulator—to demonstrate survivability to the gut. Their bacteria are bio-fermented in conditions optimized for pH, water activity, temperature, and 28 other growth factors. Furthermore, they extensively test each individual ingredient prior to encapsulation and each batch after manufacture.
Look for a brand that has utilized third party testing and offers some sort of satisfaction guarantee. Brands that conduct their own testing may not be as neutral as they claim to be and may have some biases in their study design that makes their product seem better than it is.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Get a supplement that is formulated with both prebiotics and probiotics. The prebiotic components will work by interacting with gut bacteria to produce metabolites for health. This helps the microorganisms in the probiotic make the gut their home and start producing health benefits. A good formulation is important in getting good bacteria through your digestive system rather than dying in stomach acid!
Make sure the species and strains included in the supplement are alive through the expiration date. Some probiotic brands contain bacterial strains that are not viable for long on a store shelf; therefore, they may have a separate viability date, which explains how long the cultures are actually alive for. It is important that the strains are alive when ingested or they will not work.
Most “probiotics” on the market are packaged in bottles that are opened and exposed to humidity and ambient air, causing them to degrade over time. Since we only have one planet (and we need to take better care of it), we like supporting companies that have eco- friendly and re-usable packaging.
Seed provides a refill system designed to protect the capsules as well as the Earth. Their home-compostable bio-based packaging keeps oxygen and moisture out while keeping the planet safe!
Adhere to FDA Regulations
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is in charge of regulating both food and dietary supplements; however, supplements are loosely regulated compared to food and other drugs. Therefore, the term probiotic is “loosely” used in the market. Make sure you source your probiotics from a legitimate company that adheres to stringent tests- there’s a lot of “fluff” supplements chock full of ineffective fillers out there!
Our favorite, Seed, not only adhere to FDA regulations but other higher international standards such as the Europe Food Safety Authority and Japan’s Food for Specified Health. They are one step ahead of everyone else in the industry!