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It is perfectly fine to open your Optibac live cultures capsules, if you would prefer to administer the contents directly into the mouth or to mix them into cool, non-acidic food and drink. This will not affect the viability of the friendly bacteria.
As the name suggests, live cultures are indeed ‘alive’. As living things, they can be sensitive to damage from certain conditions, particularly extremes of heat and extremes of pH (e.g. how acidic or alkaline an environment is).
With this knowledge in mind, people are often concerned that live cultures in supplements will not survive their journey through the harsh stomach environment. Some supplement manufacturers use enteric coating for their supplements to protect the delicate bacteria inside. Enteric coating stops supplements from dissolving in the stomach, therefore protecting the contents of the capsule from stomach acids. For more information read this FAQ: Are your capsules enteric coated?
Optibac live cultures do not need an enteric coating, as our strains of bacteria are proven to survive all but the very harshest of acidic conditions. In our in vitro trials (trials that are performed in a laboratory) the bacteria are tested without any protection to ensure that they are robust enough to make the journey through the stomach acid into the intestines. Additionally, we recommend that our products are taken in the morning, with or just after breakfast, as this is when the stomach acid is at its weakest, presenting even less of a challenge for our ‘hardy’ little microbes. Visit the Probiotics Learning Lab for more information about the best time to take friendly bacteria.
Given that there is no need to protect our live cultures as they pass through the stomach, this means that it is perfectly fine to open any of our live culture caps and empty the contents directly into the mouth, or into food or drink products.
In fact, four of our fifteen products come in sachet form, where the contents are recommended to be taken alone or mixed with food or drinks. But as the same applies to all encapsulated products in the range, this makes the Optibac range the perfect choice for anyone who struggles to swallow supplements. Whichever Optibac supplement you choose to take, it's good to make life easy for the bacteria, so don't add them to foods or drinks which are very hot, or acidic liquids like fruit juice. Things like cool water, milk, yoghurts and cold breakfast cereals are ideal.