Probiotics Learning Lab Impartially created by the experts at OptiBac


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The Fridge Myth:

"The best probiotics are kept in the fridge."

Research says:

Of the 10 most researched probiotic supplements worldwide, only 1 requires refrigeration. Whilst some good probiotics may be kept in the fridge, this storage method does not denote superior quality. There are a few reasons why refrigeration is less of a requirement these days. These include improvements in freeze drying techniques and discovery of strains which are naturally more robust within themselves...

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The Billions Myth:

"The more billions, the better."

Research says:

The quality of the strain is of much more importance than the quantity. In fact, recent clinical trials have shown lower strength billions counts can perform as well as, or better than, high strength billion counts. In today’s society we are often bombarded by the marketing message that more is better. When it comes to probiotics however, this can cause us to...

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The Cure-All Myth:

"All probiotics do the same thing."

Research says:

Different probiotics do different things. E.g. clinical trials show L. rhamnosus Rosell-11 supports gut health, yet research shows L. rhamnosus GR-1® supports vaginal health. In a healthy state there is a huge diversity of microorganisms in our body. There are similarities between some microorganisms but they have subtle, and often significant, differences in how they...

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The Numbers Myth:

"The more strains the merrier."

Research says:

It depends on the condition. The most researched probiotic for diarrhoea, for example, is called S. boulardii – this is a single strain. Due to the diverse nature of the gut microflora it can be instinctive to assume that a probiotic containing many different strains is best. However, the research simply does not support this theory...

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The Survival Myth:

"Probiotics need enteric coating to reach the gut."

Research says:

None of the 10 most researched probiotics worldwide use, or need, extras like enteric coating to survive stomach acidity. In clinical trial publications, in the materials and methods section where the design of the trial is described, there is rarely, if ever, any mention of fancy techniques like enteric coating. In a random choice of 3 highly regarded clinical trials it’s evident that no enteric coating is used...

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The Strain Myth:

"L.acidophilus is a strain of probiotic."

Research says:

Bacteria can then be separated out into different groups based on similar characteristics, with increasing detail down through the phylum, class, order and family, until the genus level is reached. Classification is very important in the determination of the characteristics of probiotics. The level of classification can get quite complicated, so let’s start at the top...

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The Antibiotics Myth:

"Don't take probiotics whilst on antibiotics."

Research says:

Probiotics can support gut health and help prevent antibiotic-associated sideeffects, such as diarrhoea and thrush. Probiotics are bacteria (apart from S. boulardii), hence are susceptible to being killed by antibiotics. For a long time it was therefore considered a waste of money to take probiotics whilst on antibiotics, however, as mentioned in previous myths it has emerged that some strains e.g. L. rhamnosus Rosell-11 and L. acidophilus Rosell-52 are able to survive to reach the gut alive, even when taken at the same time as antibiotics...

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The Research Myth:

"All probiotic studies are of equal significance."

Research says:

There are many different types of research – from simple research in a test tube or petri dish in a lab (known as in-vitro research) to more comprehensive research in a clinic or hospital where people are given the probiotic or a placebo and their symptoms are measured over a few weeks or months (known as clinical research)...

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The Food Myth:

"You can get all the probiotics you need from your diet."

Research says:

While fermented foods such as kefir & yoghurt are good for you, they can’t provide specific health benefits like a probiotic supplement can. To look after the gut microbiota, it’s helpful to increase probiotic and prebiotic consumption to boost overall friendly bacteria counts, and to decrease excess fast food, sugar and alcohol consumption which work negatively against the microbial balance....