Microbiotics. Is Bigger Better?
There are numerous brands of microbiotics on the UK market today and deciding which microbiotic supplement is right for you can be confusing. Let alone trying to figure out which dosage is best. Here are my top tips.
Check expiration dates, make sure the bacteria are live, and look for cells of bacteria or “CFUs” (colony forming units) in the billions. Most microbiotics supply between 1 billion to 30 billion CFU’s per dose depending on the target age group. Some brands supply 50 billion or more and there are also microbiotics on the market for substantially more up to 450 billion. These very high dose microbiotics are for specific health conditions and such high CFU’s are not needed for regular use.
For daily prevention I recommend to take up to 30 billion cells daily. Therapeutic dosages vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual. People may need 25 billion to 100 billion to feel well and rebalance.
After antibiotics, I recommend dosages between 30 billion and 100 billion daily. One can begin taking probiotics at a low level and increase the dose slowly, which will help to prevent possible side effects of bloating, diarrhoea, gas, or worsening of symptoms. If this occurs for more than 2-3 days than stop taking your microbiotics and begin again with even less amounts and build up your dosage slowly to avoid the die –off reactions. Not everyone experiences reactions, but they occur because as the disease producing bacteria and fungus are killed by the microbiotics they release chemicals that aggravate symptoms. This is normal and should subside after a few days, if the symptoms continue than stop the microbiotics and go see a doctor.
"When kept in appropriate conditions Microbiotic Supplements will loose between 1%-2% in concentration per month."
The billions on the label are not the only aspect one should be looking out for though. As important as dosage is whether the product contains live, viable bacteria that adhere to the gut lining, are not destroyed by bile and have benefit once in your body. A good brand specifies the amount of live organisms (see ‘Shelf Life’ below), and lists the exact strains used in their formula.
Shelf life will vary from one product to another depending on the active cell concentration at time of manufacture and claimed concentration on the label. When kept in appropriate conditions Microbiotic Supplements will loose between 1%-2% in concentration per month. The label should specify the strength at “manufacture” and strength at “expiry” clearly on the label to ensure the bacteria are still in the billions, active and able to reach your intestines.