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6 Lies Many Probiotic Companies Are Selling (And What to Look Out For)

May 11, 2018

6 Lies Many Probiotic Companies Are Selling (And What to Look Out For)

With more and more people realizing the immense benefits of probiotics, many companies are capitalizing on the market and manufacturing probiotics that are not only unbeneficial but potentially harmful. 

Here are some of the lies to watch out for (and the things to look for that a good probiotic will have!)

1. Hidden Sugars and GMOs

Many cheap brands contain sugar in the forms of  glucose/dextrose, fructose, sucrose or lactose, which can be used to jump-start the fermentation process. Corn-based maltodextrin is another popular ingredient and is derived from genetically modified corn. 

What to look for: 

Read your label to ensure that your probiotic is GMO-free and doesn't contain any hidden sugar sources listed above. 

2. CFU Counts

While choosing the best probiotic for you, make sure you select the right CFU (colony-forming units) count for your body (and medical condition, if you have one).

What to look for: 

It's generally thought that the higher the CFU count, the better.

Renowned MD and New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Mark Hyman, recommends that you look for a probiotic that contains at least 25 billion CFUs.


3. Cheap Fillers and Binders

Creating quality probiotics is an expensive endeavor, and to cheapen the process, many manufacturers utilize inactive binders and fillers to fill up unoccupied space in the capsule. These often contain wheat, gluten, dairy, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners or artificial preservatives. 

Keep an eye on labels and avoid binders such as  magnesium stearate, chromium, and gelatin. 

What to look for: 

Look for a probiotic that uses plant-based fillers, binders.

Prebiotics are often used as a filler, and as a form of soluble fiber that helps feed the probiotics and existing good bacteria in your gut–it can be an ideal option.

Some of the most standard prebiotics included in probiotic supplements are potato starch, FOS (inulin,) MOS (mannan-oligosaccharide,) and ISO’s (isomalto-oligosaccharide). 

Note: If you have a wheat or gluten sensitivity, make sure to check that the product doesn't contain these, as some 
prebiotics sourced from wheat.

4. Unstated Bacteria Strains

Some strains found in most probiotics are actually an irritant to the digestive systems and can lead to problems. While some brands may note the CFUs, they may opt not to list the strains that are contained.

What to look for: 

There are three top bacteria strains that will help the gut achieve optimal balance: L. acidophilus, B. longum, and B. bifidum

L. acidophilus—This is the most important strain of the   Lactobacillus  species and, it readily colonizes on the walls of the small intestine. It supports nutrient absorption and helps with the digestion of dairy foods.

B. longum—Like   L. acidophilus,   B. Longum  is one of the most common bacteria found in the digestive tracts of adults, and it helps maintain the integrity of the gut wall. It is particularly active as a scavenger of toxins.

B. bifidum—This strain, found in both the small and large intestine, is critical for the healthy digestion of dairy products. This is especially important as you grow older and your natural ability to digest dairy declines.   B. bifidum  also is essential for its ability to break down complex carbohydrates, fat, and protein into small components that the body can use more efficiently.

5. Poor Quality Capsules

What many don't realize is that taking a probiotic is only half the battle. Ensuring that the probiotic actually makes its way through the bacteria-killing stomach acid in your stomach to your gut–alive–is critical.

What to look for: 

Ensure that the delivery system (e.g., the form and means that enable the bacteria to remain alive, healthy, and reach your gut without reducing the CFUs), is a quality one.

Some manufacturers choose to use Enteric coast capsules to achieve this. We prefer the innovative more high-end capsules created by Capsugel, called DRcaps™, which not only help protect the probiotics from stomach acid, and moisture but also are  Certified Vegan, Non-GMO, Vegetarian Society, Halal and Kosher. 

6. Inadequate Packaging

While new and innovative delivery systems (such as the DRcaps™ mentioned above), have done away with the necessity to refrigerate most probiotic supplements*, the bacteria still need to be protected from overexposure to heat, moisture, and light. 

What to look for:

Look for packaging that ensures these elements will have minimal impact. Clear bottles should be avoided. Thick, dark glass, or high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles with screw top lids are ideal for probiotics. 



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