It can be pretty confusing to buy Amazon probiotics because there are so many choices. How can you be sure that you’re not just wasting money on a product that won’t do you any good? Here are a few tips to help you avoid regretting your decision if you’re buying Amazon probiotics.
Know What Probiotics Are – And What They Aren’t
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, mainly found in the “gut,” or gastrointestinal tract. There are trillions of microbes in this part of the body. Some help us, while others hurt us. There are a lot of factors that determine the balance between beneficial and harmful bacteria in the gut. Stress, illness, and an improper diet, for example, can deplete the good bacteria and let the bad ones take over. If you take antibiotics, they kill bad bacteria but also beneficial ones.
Probiotics come in many different forms, such as capsules, drinks, powders, and chewable products. They are also naturally found in several kinds of foods, including certain types of milk, as well as sauerkraut, sourdough bread, yogurt, and others.
Since it would be nearly impossible to get all of the probiotics you need naturally, most people purchase Amazon probiotics as supplements. It’s important to get these good bacteria in your system, so they can keep the harmful ones in check. If there are too many harmful bacteria in the gut, that can result in a wide range of health issues. These include intestinal problems, immune system weakness, inflammation, and others.
It’s very important to note that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate probiotic supplements because they are not sold as medicinal products but, rather, as dietary supplements. As a result, some companies will make health-related claims that are not based on solid evidence.
Before you buy any Amazon probiotics, you need to know that they aren’t magic. They can’t cure any sort of disease or help you magically shed weight. There are substantial benefits to taking probiotics, but you have to be leery of manufacturers who make claims that aren’t backed by solid science.
Choosing the Right Amazon Probiotics
Most healthy people won’t suffer any side effects from taking probiotics, other than maybe a little gas. But even though buying an ineffective probiotic probably won’t harm you, it’s never fun to waste money on something that doesn’t work.
Before you buy any Amazon probiotics, make sure you read the labeling information very carefully. The label will tell you a lot about whether or not you should buy the product.
For example, take a close look at the types of bacteria and other microbes that are contained in the products you’re considering. The names of the microbes will be in Latin, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria, or yeasts such as Saccharomyces boulardii.
Scientists are still researching the specific types of bacteria that may help prevent or mitigate specific health issues. No one can specifically recommend, for example, using a probiotic that contains Lactobacillus reuteri if you have inflammatory bowel disease. But studies show that different kinds of bacteria found in probiotics may offer different types of benefits. Try to look for Amazon probiotics products that contain a wide variety of beneficial microbes.1
The labeling should also include information on the number of colony-forming units (CFUs) that are contained in each capsule or serving. This is basically the number of microbes you’ll be ingesting. Some products have a billion CFUs, while others have 15-30 billion or more. This obviously sounds like a lot, but remember that there are trillions of bacteria in your digestive system already.
The storage information on the label will also be key. If you see one that states that the microbes were viable at the time the product was manufactured, look for something else. The reason is that you’re not getting any sort of guarantee that the microbes are still alive. If they’re not, then you’ll simply be wasting money because you won’t get any benefits. If, however, the label states that the microbes are viable until the expiration date, then you should be fine.2
Some Amazon probiotics need to be stored in a refrigerator or the bacteria and other microbes inside of them will die. Others use a freeze-drying product that basically keeps the microbes in a kind of suspended animation. When you ingest a freeze-dried capsule or powder, the microbes will come alive and do what they’re intended to do. Freeze-dried products don’t need to be refrigerated – just make sure you keep them in a cool, dry place.
If you are buying a powder, make sure the label states that it is “heat-resistant.” If it doesn’t, then you’ll have to remember to mix the powder in a cold drink. The microbes will die if you put the powder in hot water or tea. If you buy Amazon probiotics in capsule form, make sure they have an “enteric” coating. This will help ensure that the bacteria within the capsule will be able to survive the difficult passage through the stomach. Stomach acid destroys poorly made capsules as well as the bacteria inside of them.
There is no “one size fits all” answer to the question of how big a dose of a probiotic you should take at any one time.3 Make sure you follow the directions on the label closely. Again, you might experience some minor bloating or gas when you first start taking the probiotic you ultimately purchase. If this is the case, try lowering your dosage a bit, and then increase it once your body acclimates to the product.
Talking to Your Doctor
While Amazon probiotics are generally considered to be safe for healthy people, that doesn’t mean that everyone should take them. If you have a serious illness – especially one that affects your large or small intestine – you need to have a detailed discussion with your doctor. The same applies if you have an illness that has compromised your immune system. The reason is that, in some instances, probiotics may worsen symptoms.