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Multi- Versus Single-Strain Probiotics

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Multi- Versus Single-Strain Probiotics

From diarrhea relief to targeting symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, probiotics are proving to be paramount in promoting good health

From diarrhea relief to targeting symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, probiotics are proving to be paramount in promoting good health.

However, not all probiotic supplements are created equal, and choosing the best product can sometimes be confusing—so we’ve broken it down for you.

What are probiotics?

In a general sense, probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits, primarily good bacteria similar to those that live in the gut. They are key to our immune health and digestion, and when they are out of balance they cannot protect the body from disease caused by unfriendly bacteria and viruses.

Fortunately, when our intestinal flora is out of whack, we can rely on good quality multi-strain probiotic supplements to support our systems.

Probiotic strains

Probiotics usually fall into one of two groups: Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. Within each group are different strains. The human digestive tract houses over an estimated 400 of these immune-boosting microorganisms, some of which can be taken as supplements to enhance health.

Different strains of probiotics have specific benefits. Below are a few common strains along with some of the health benefits they possess.

Lactobacillus acidophilus
This is the most commonly supplemented probiotic. It creates an unfriendly environment for “bad” bacteria and aids with the treatment of several conditions such as bacterial vaginosis and diarrhea.

Lactobacillus helveticus
This strain may help ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and defend against colitis.

Lactobacillus casei
This probiotic strain fights viral and bacterial infections and prevents diarrhea.

Bifidobacterium longum
This power probiotic inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and boosts immunity by fermenting sugars into lactic acid.

Types of probiotic supplements

Probiotic supplements can come in either single- or multi-strain varieties, containing either one concentrated strain or a blend of many. There has been some debate over the efficacy of multi- over single-strain probiotics; however, it’s no surprise that the multi-strain options are a better choice.

A recent review published in the European Journal of Nutrition determined that of 16 studies comparing the efficacy of multi-strain probiotics to their component strains individually, 75 percent showed the blends to be more effective.

Because each probiotic strain possesses different health benefits, a blend of several high-quality strains will provide a wider range of immune support, ensuring you feel your best always.

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