What defines a good probiotic? A good probiotic is best identified by whether or not it is working well for you. In my experience, all sorts of probiotics work differently for people. One probiotic doesn't seem to work for one person but works great for someone else. There can be numerous reasons why this is the case. I have found that a probiotic at one time in my life works well, and that same probiotic at another point in my life has little to no effect.
Choosing a good probiotic is a highly individual issue.
Here are the best criteria to know for yourself whether or not the probiotic you're taking is working:
- A probiotic is working if it increases the size and consistency of your bowel movements
- A probiotic is working if it reduces or eliminates diarrhea or loose stools (assuming these were issues you had)
- A probiotic is working if it reduces of eliminates gas and bloating (assuming these were issues you had)
- A probiotic is working if reduces the smell of your feces
There are numerous variables which influence how any given probiotic works for anybody, the 2 most obvious: type of bacteria a person needs at a given point in time and gastric acid secretion.
The most abundant forms of bacteria that line the gut are lactobacillus acidopholous and bifidobacterium, sometimes called bifidus. Some people need more of one of these and less of the other. Acidopholous functions in a low ph, so most of it can withstand the acidic environment of the stomach and makes its way into the intestines, where it is needed. There are said to be over 400 species of bacteria in the gut besides acidopholus and bifidus. Many of these like plantarum and salivarius protect the gut from harmful forms of bacteria.
Neutraceutical Grade Probiotics
There are many brands of probiotics not found in stores. Some of these are very high grade and high potency. One of the best is called CytoFlora by Bioray. It is expensive but is a very powerful probiotic, especially for intensive gut issues. CytoFlora is also very beneficial for children. Bioray has conducted numerous tests on before and after profiles of intestinal immunoglobulins. And there is considerable data which shows the products efficacy. If you are interested in this probiotic, email me and I can get CytoFlora for you for a good price, cheaper than online. To read more about CytoFlora click HERE.
Store Bought Probiotics
There are probably thousands of brands out there. Since no one probiotic works well for everybody, its impossible to determine which is ideal for you. Here are the best store bought brands I have discovered. These seem to work well for most people:
- Dr. Ohhira's is excellent and seems to work well for most people. Its cultured from fermented foods. Certain sensitive individuals may need to back off of fermented foods. I have worked with a few clients where this probiotic caused diarrhea. For most people, I consider it to be vevry good quality and effective.
- Theralac makes very good probiotics that seem to work well for most people. They also make a good product that is a fiber blend that stimulates the proliferation of bacteria in the gut.
- Primal Defense by Garden of Life seems to work for about 50% of the people who take it. It was especially powerful to me when I suffered with chronic parasites and intestinal dysbiosis.
- Mega Foods makes a very good probiotic which seems to work for most people
- Natren makes good probiotics that seem to work for most people