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We are often asked if all probiotics are the same, and the very easy answer here is - absolutely not! Different probiotic species and strains have been shown to have unique properties,which means that they affect our health in different ways and exert their effects in different parts of the intestines. When it comes to probiotics, or live cultures (as they are sometimes referred) it is important to select a potent formula containing particular strains that support your own specific health needs.
When purchasing a probiotic supplement, it is recommended to choose a formula that fit the below criteria:
Probiotic names are normally made up of 3 parts:
Whilst the genus and species tells us a bit about its properties and where the probiotic settles in the body, it is the probiotic strain itself which determines the volume of research behind a particular probiotic. For example, L. acidophilus is generally accepted to be a good probiotic species; however looking into the specific strains within this species, such as NCFM® or Rosell-52 allows us to determine which types of acidophilus have been clinically tested in which situations. The different strains within the acidophilus species will have different effects on the body, and should be used for different health conditions.
Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM® can be found in Optibac Probiotics Every Day EXTRA.
To go even deeper, please have a read of our page dedicated to 'The Cure-All Myth'.
You might also want to explore 'The Strain Myth'.
Author: Kerry Beeson, BSc (Nut.Med) Nutritional Therapist.