Probiotics are ‘good bacteria’ that are well known to support gut health, but did you know their benefits extend to other areas of well-being too? However, with the multitude of products on the market, selecting the right one for your specific needs can be a daunting task.
Let’s dive into the facts about probiotics and how they work their magic, so you can make an informed choice about the best product for you...
1. Probiotics work in a strain-specific way
Ever picked up a probiotic and found yourself perplexed by the lengthy italic names on the back of the packaging? These italic names are a list of the different types of beneficial bacteria included within that product. Not all types of bacteria work in the same way, in fact, different strains have been studied for different health benefits within the body. For example, some types of beneficial bacteria have been researched for their ability to support with digestive health, whilst others have been researched for having effects on immunity or even mood.
Therefore it’s important to choose a probiotic supplement that includes bacterial strains to help with your intended outcome. At Hello Day we have a probiotic supplement designed for promoting gut health, known as ‘Gut Harmony Balance’, and another tailored to support the immune system, called ‘Immunity Support’. Read on for additional details about these two probiotics...
2. How to choose a probiotic for digestion
When selecting a probiotic for improved digestion, it’s important to make an informed choice. At Hello Day we’ve carefully curated a probiotic supplement called Gut Harmony Balance, designed to enhance your digestive well-being. This supplement includes key strains of beneficial bacteria known to support gut health. These strains work to create an environment in your gut that is less hospitable to harmful bacteria.
Additionally, these bacteria have the ability to break down lactose, the primary sugar found in milk and dairy products which can be particularly advantageous for individuals with low levels of lactose intolerance (1). What’s more, Hello Day’s Gut Harmony Balance has an additional benefit, it includes a prebiotic in the form of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Prebiotics are potent fibres that fuel beneficial bacteria helping them to flourish and grow.
3. How to choose a probiotic for immunity
As much as 70% of our immune system lies within the gut, and our gut bacteria can communicate with these immune cells influencing their function. Exciting research has illustrated that probiotics have immune-modulating properties, with a large review concluding that probiotics were 47% more effective than a placebo in reducing the number of people experiencing coughs and colds. Moreover, the authors concluded that probiotics may reduce the duration of symptoms by approximately 2 days (2). However, it’s important to note that probiotics work in a strain-specific manner, meaning that not all probiotics have these immune benefits. For example, research has shown that L. rhamnosusmay reduce the number, severity and duration of respiratory tract infections in children (3,4).
Whilst further studies have shown that children taking a daily combination of Bifidobacterium lactis and Bifidobacterium bifidum with a little vitamin C for 6 months experienced fewer respiratory tract infections and took fewer sick days off school (5). Lastly, a study of 581 healthy but ‘academically stressed’ students taking B. bifidum had a reduced occurrence of upper respiratory infections (6). At Hello Day we have designed a probiotic supplement called ‘Immunity Support’, carefully formulated with these bacterial strains researched for their benefits to immunity.
4. How to choose a high-quality probiotic
The quality of probiotics can vary significantly among different products, as a result, there are few details to be aware of. Firstly, selecting a probiotic that includes strains known to reach the gut and have a positive impact is key. Hello Day’s probiotics comprise of robust and resilient bacterial strains, demonstrating strong survivability when tested in conditions similar to those found in the gut.
Secondly, check how the probiotic is packaged. At Hello Day each probiotic capsule is individually sealed in specialised pop packaging, effectively shielding the probiotics from moisture, air and light exposure. These three elements can accelerate the rate at which probiotics degrade ultimately reducing their efficiency.
Thirdly, consider the number of Colony Forming Units (CFUs), which is the number of bacteria present in a probiotic. Insufficient CFUs can hinder the probiotic’s intended benefits. Most probiotic doses typically range from 1 to 10 billion CFUs, but Hello Day’s probiotics offer an impressive 10 to 12 billion CFUs.
Finally, be sure the check the expiration date as many probiotics have a reduction in CFUs as they get closer to their expiration date. However, Hello Day’s probiotics are exceptionally stable, with all bacteria remaining intact even after 36 months of storage, illustrating their quality and longevity.
Hello Day’s Resident Nutritionist, Lily Soutter