Food supplement suitable for adults and children (from 4 years onwards) with the following recommendations:
- Take 1 capsule daily, preferably with breakfast.
- If desired, or professionally directed, can be increased to 2 capsules a day.
- Can be used on an ongoing basis.
- For anyone unable to swallow capsules, the capsule can be opened and the contents mixed into cool food or drinks.
- Do not exceed recommended daily dosage.
- For best results, do not remove desiccant sachet from the glass jar and close lid firmly after each use.
- Store in a cool, dry place below 25°C and out of direct sunlight. For maximum potency, can be refrigerated after opening.
All questions answered by probiotic experts Dr Kate Stephens PhD (Food and Microbial Sciences) BSc(Hons) Medical Microbiology and Kerry Beeson BSc (Nut. Med.) Nutritional Therapist.
Is it OK to take friendly bacteria every day?
Yes, it is safe and generally advisable to take your friendly bacteria supplement daily. Good bacteria colonise in the gut for a few weeks but research1,2,3 suggests that the good bacteria strains will disappear without regular supplementation, so for this reason you might wish to take them regularly.
Should you take friendly bacteria on a full or empty stomach?
In general, it’s best to take friendly bacteria with the first meal of the day. There are concerns that stomach acid will damage the delicate bacteria, and that taking them on an empty stomach will help. But at breakfast time, stomach acidity is closer to ‘neutral’ than at other times of day (i.e. least acidic), and there is a lag time (up to 30 minutes) between food consumption and stomach acid release. Taking friendly bacteria with food has additional benefits: the food helps to buffer the effects of stomach acid, facilitate the passage of the probiotics through the stomach, and ensures that they are well mixed with the stomach contents as they pass into the small intestines.
How long should you take live cultures for?
This depends on why you are taking them: some people like to take specific strains at certain times, for example during pregnancy, when travelling abroad, or during the winter flu season. However, as mentioned above, many people prefer to take friendly bacteria on an ongoing basis. There is no current research to suggest the body becomes dependent on good bacteria, so long-term supplementation is fine.
1. Mimura, T. et al. (2004). 'Once daily high dose probiotic therapy (VSL#3) for maintaining remission in recurrent or refractory pouchitis'. Gut, 53(1): 108-114
2. Morelli L et al., 2004. 'Utilisation of the intestinal tract as a delivery system for urogenital probiotics'. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology; 38(6): 107-110
3. Jacobsen et al., 1999. 'Screening of probiotic activities of 47 strains of Lactobacillus spp. by in vitro techniques and evaluation of the colonisation ability of 5 selected strains in humans'. Applied and Environmental Microbiology; 65 (11): 4949-4956
Live cultures are not recommended for those with serious medical conditions e.g. those who are severely immunosuppressed, have pancreatitis, are in the ICU, have melaena, have a central venous catheter, infants with short bowel syndrome, or patients with open wounds following major surgery; unless under a doctor's care. Keep out of reach of children.
This is a food supplement and is not intended to prevent, treat or diagnose any medical conditions. Probiotic supplements should not be used as a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you are taking any medications or have a serious medical condition, consult a doctor before use. Optibac supplements will not cause dependency and may be used on an ongoing basis.