Do I need to refrigerate my Optibac?

This really depends on the Optibac supplement in question – many of our supplements do not require refrigeration, but for others there are benefits to keeping them in the fridge after opening. Find out more in this FAQ.

This is one of the most frequent questions we are asked: should I put my live cultures in the fridge? Is it better to keep them in a refrigerator?

The answer to this varies from supplement to supplement.

We select only the most robust strains within a species (find out more about our strains) to use in our friendly bacteria supplements. These already-hardy strains are then put through a process called lyophilisation - a safe, sophisticated stabilisation technique also known as freeze-drying. The strains are then tested to ensure survival and that the billions count stated on the packaging is correct. The stated number of good bacteria in each supplement is valid right up until the expiry date and not just at the time of manufacture.

While all of our friendly bacteria are lyophilised, our friendly yeast Saccharomyces boulardii, undergoes a slightly different stabilisation method known as fluid bed drying (FBD). This advanced method allows less excipients to be used in Saccharomyces boulardii supplements; however it is only suitable for yeasts, not bacteria. 

These stabilisation techniques mean that you can be confident in the robustness of Optibac friendly bacteria. However, some bacterial strains may require refrigeration depending on variations in format, packaging and the heat and humidity of the local environment.

Therefore, for maximum potency we do recommend keeping some of our supplements in the fridge after opening. It is a good idea to refrigerate the following supplements once opened:

We recommend closing the lid firmly after each use and not removing the desiccant sachet. Prior to opening, you do not need to refrigerate the supplements if they are stored in a cool, dry place below 25 degrees Celsius.

Our Baby Drops supplement also requires refrigeration in certain situations. Although this supplement can be stored at room temperature, we do recommend refrigerating the drops if you plan to administer them directly into your baby's mouth using the dropper, for hygiene purposes. However, if you prefer to mix the drops into cool, non-acidic food or drink, or administer on a spoon, for example, then refrigeration is not necessary when stored below 25 degrees Celsius.

Refrigeration, before or after opening, is unnecessary for the following supplements:

These supplements do not require refrigeration due to their format and packaging.

Non-refrigerated vs. refrigerated

So, are refrigerated friendly bacteria better than shelf stable ones?

As long as the friendly bacteria supplement delivers the number of billions stated on the pack, and the strength is guaranteed at expiry rather than at manufacture, then it need not matter whether a supplement is kept in the fridge or at ambient temperature.

Do note, however, that it is recommended to store any supplements in a cool, dry place, and away from direct sunlight.

This FAQ has been created with the help of Dr Kate Stephens PhD | Food and Microbial Sciences; Gut Microbiology (University of Reading), BSc (Hons) Medical Microbiology.