Types of Probiotics

The Different Types of Probiotics

In this piece we take a look at how to select the right type of probiotic supplements for your specific needs. If you have never taken these supplements before, then you are sure to have questions. The questions that most people want answers to is where to get probiotics and which type should they buy.

Probiotic Supplement Alternatives

Although probiotic supplements are the popular choice for many, it’s not the only way to get them into your system. Another way to feed your gut with probiotics is with food. Not any food of course, but the type that delivers the good bacteria. This includes foods like kefir, sauerkraut and yogurt to name a few. The problem with probiotic food is that it’ll only work if you consume it on a regular basis. This is something that doesn’t appeal to everyone, hence the popularity of supplements. The other comforting thing about supplements is that you get to control the exact amounts and strains.

There are several types of probiotics supplements to choose from. What you decide upon depends on your needs. You want to get the full benefits, so it’s important that you understand what it is you’re taking and why.

Specific Probiotic Strains

Specific probiotic strains target specific health conditions. This is why you need to recognize the different types of probiotics. They can all provide different beneficial effects for various areas of the body. An expert should be able to offer you a probiotic formula that supports your individual health needs. If they can’t, they shouldn’t be working in the sales department.

Once you become more familiar with probiotics, you will soon get to understand all the jargon. Being able to read the product packaging and understand the delivery system is important. Make sure there is a money back assurance on the product too, and check the end date of the product before you buy it.

What vessel you chose for your supplements is usually down to personal choice. If delivery is by suppository, then obviously that will be your one and only choice of delivery. Aside from that, you can take probiotics by way of capsules, pills and liquids. Some other options include probiotic pearls, chewable probiotics, and refrigerated options. Note that you should NOT buy probiotics from the shelf if they should be stored in the refrigerator. There are shelf stable options that don’t need refrigeration. These are easy to spot because they will say “shelf stable” on the front of the label. If they don’t, then they’re not shelf stable.

Less Is Maybe More!

Most retailers will tell you that the best supplement is the one with the most live probiotic bacteria in it. However, science is yet to prove this. We’re not even sure how many different probiotic bacteria strains need to be present in the gut at any one time. It’s not the total bacteria present within the product that you should focus on. In the case of probiotics, less may sometimes be more. What you need to focus on is the number of bacteria strains that the product includes.

Different probiotic bacteria strains have different functions. That means they work on different places along digestive tract. The Shelf stable probiotic supplements contain multiple strains and may prove to be the most effective. At least they’re more beneficial when compared to products which only contain high concentrations of one or two strains. When there are several strains present, they get to work synergistically and thus influence better health.

Three Essential Strains

Here are the three essential strains of probiotics. Don’t worry about remembering their spellings or pronunciation. Just make sure you have easy access to these so that you don’t’ forget them. You might want to print this out and pin it up somewhere visible.

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Acidophilus probiotics are an important strain of Lactobacillus species. It colonizes the small intestine walls and supports nutrient absorption. This probiotic helps with the digestion of dairy food.


Bifidobacteria probiotics strain is present the digestive tract and feces of humans. It is also vital for the healthy digestion of dairy products. It is even more important the older we get. This is because our natural capability for digesting dairy declines with age. Bifidobacteria helps to break down complex fat, carbohydrates and protein into small components. When this happens the body is able to the process food more efficiently.

B. longum

This is among the most common of all bacteria present in an adults’ digestive tract. It also helps to maintain gut wall integrity. B. Longum is active as a toxin scavenger.

Remember, good probiotic supplements depend upon specific health concerns. Know what yours are and then find the right probiotics to target your specific health needs.