Does opening the capsule affect the viability of live cultures?
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, and certainly some supplement manufacturers use enteric coating for their capsules to protect the delicate bacteria inside. Enteric coating is a special type of coating given to capsules which prevents their disintegration in the stomach, therefore protecting the contents of the capsule from stomach acids (if you wish to read more enteric coating of products you may like to read this FAQ: Are your capsules enteric coated?)
How do OptiBac live cultures remain viable without their capsule?
OptiBac live cultures do not need an enteric coating, as our strains of bacteria have been proven to survive all but the very harshest of acidic conditions. In our in vitro trials (trials that are performed in a laboratory) our strains of bacteria are tested without any protective capsule to ensure that they are robust enough to make the journey through the stomach acid into the intestines. This is why 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, therefore presenting even less of a challenge for our ‘hardy’ little microbes.
Given that the capsule itself is not needed to protect the live cultures in our range from stomach acid, this means that it is perfectly fine to open any of our capsules and empty the contents directly into the mouth or into food or drink products (so long as these are not too hot, or acidic like fruit juice).
In fact, three of our twelve products come in sachet form, where the contents are taken alone or in cold milk/water, demonstrating perfectly that we don’t need any fancy protective coatings to ensure a viable product, and that our live cultures reach the intestines alive. This makes OptiBac supplements the perfect choice for anyone who struggles to swallow pills, as they can take our entire range without any problem.