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With so many probiotic supplements on the market today, it can be difficult navigating the sea of products to choose from.
Luckily, we are here to help with our 3 key tips for picking a probiotic supplement that is right for you.
1.) COLONY FORMING UNITS
Probiotics are measured in CFUs (Colony Forming Units). This number should be prominently displayed on the product packaging. You want to find a probiotic that has a range between 3-50 billion CFUs that specifically fits your unique digestion.
The lower end of the range, 3-5 billion CFUs, is what we would call a daily maintenance product. Examples of a maintenance product would be UP4™ Adult Cubes or UP4™ Daily. This potency would be well suited for a person with an otherwise healthy digestive system that needs to replenish the probiotics lost daily due to modern living.
Potencies higher than 3 billion are recommended for many reasons, including:
- Age – As we age our microbiome tends to lose probiotics at a faster rate, especially Bifidobacteria, a genus commonly found in the large intestine. Depletion of Bifidobacteria may lead to digestive discomfort including occasional irregularity and bloating. A higher potency probiotic with a high concentration of Bifidobacteria, like UP4™ Adult 50+, is recommended.
- Travel and Stress – With over 70% of our immune cells residing in the gut, it is a great benefit to send in reinforcements during times that are more likely to compromise our immune system. Increasing your daily CFUs of probiotics, such as with UP4™ Ultra, at this time may be very beneficial in avoiding future concerns.
- Diet – At times it may be tough to eat as well as you hope. Processed foods, artificial flavorings, and other common items in the western diet play a large role in depleting our natural flora. Supplementing with a product with both Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, such as UP4™ Adult, is a great way to restore the balance in your gut and help prevent digestive discomfort associated with a poor diet.
- Medication – Some medications can cause imbalances in your gut flora. Supplementing with a higher potency of probiotics can help replenish your body’s natural defenses.
It is important to note that going over 50 billion CFUs rarely adds benefit, only a higher supplement cost.
2.) DIVERSITY OF STRAINS
Diversity of strains is vital to picking a probiotic. UP4™ Probiotics are designed to have strains that benefit the bodies they are made for. For example, UP4 Women’s contains strains found naturally in a healthy vaginal cavity, promoting overall vaginal health in addition to urinary tract, digestive, and immune health. For the average adult, you want to look for a nice mix of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. This will ensure you are supporting both your large and small intestine. They are sometimes abbreviated on the label starting with L. and B. All UP4™ Probiotics contain our trademarked superstrain, Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS®-1 in addition to Bifidobacteria. This ensure that you are supporting both your small and large intestine.
It is important to be mindful of the “kitchen sink” approach, however. Sometimes probiotic supplements will contain a multitude of different strains in hopes to look appealing to a consumer who thinks they will be benefiting from all of this diversity. Sadly, there are only a handful of strains on the market that have been proven viable when packaged and when introduced to your body’s acid & bile. When you see probiotics with upwards of 20 strains, keep in mind that only a small portion of those strains will actually reach your gut and be beneficial to your health. There are also some strains, such as spore forming ones, that don’t naturally exist in abundance within a healthy gut. These strains are actually sourced from dirt! Although spores are very durable, we only use strains found naturally within a healthy digestive system.
3.) CLINICALLY PROVEN
When it comes to supplements, it is important to have a product that is scientifically validated. A company that invests in gold standard clinical trials is a company that invests in the health of its consumers. UP4™ Probiotics is one of the few brands that not only conducts clinical trials on select individual strains, but finished formulations as well. In addition, our trademarked superstrain Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS®-1, is one of the longest studied probiotic strains available, with over 40 years of clinical studies. To learn more about our clinical research and the clinical trials we conduct, visit the “Clinical Studies” section of each of our product pages.