Not all Probiotics are the Same

          Probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”  These probiotics must be alive when they are administered and they must be delivered in an adequate concentration. Two of the most well-known probiotic bacteria include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which have been researched extensively.     

          The key word “alive” is very important during the selection process.  These microorganisms, in order to function, must be in the active and aggressive vegetative state.  There are thousands of strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, each differing in their ability to grow, metabolize, and provide desirable functions as probiotics.   With this in mind, careful selection of the strains is the key to making them work.  Just because a product is called a probiotic, however, doesn’t mean it functions as intended.     

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