City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
Featured Image

Featured Article

Facts + Myths About Probiotics 


Article by Dr. Layla Sade

Photography by Layla Sade

Partner Content

Did you know your body can contain up to 10 times more bacteria than it does human cells? Probiotics are living microorganisms that can have beneficial effects on the microbiome and on many aspects of the human body; their use has become quite widespread in the last several years. But as is common among topics that rapidly rise in popularity, misinformation is easily spread as some companies may prey on customers’ ignorance.

I think it’s time to debunk the most common myths about probiotics so you can make informed decisions.

Myth: All probiotic strains are created equal.

Fact: Only a handful of probiotic strains have been clinically shown to support human health. In fact, only a few probiotic strains have been researched extensively.

Myth: Better-quality probiotics don’t require temperature-controlled environments.

Fact: Since probiotics are living microorganisms, it makes sense that they must exist in a habitable environment. They are sensitive to heat and moisture, which can impact viability. If handled carelessly or exposed to extremely high temperatures during shipping or storage, these tiny organisms may die off and/or lose their effectiveness, which equals a lack of potency and subsequent lack of health benefits.

Myth: The higher the potency, or total numbers, of a probiotic, the better the results.

Fact: As it is important to utilize well-researched probiotic strains, it’s also important to keep in mind that the research conducted is usually done based on a total number of colony-forming units (CFU) of a specific probiotic. The potency, or total number of CFU, should be based on published scientific and clinical data on specific strains that demonstrate clinical efficacy for particular health benefits.

Myth: Guaranteed potency at the time of production and expiration is the same thing.

Fact: While some probiotic manufacturers tout the number of CFU at the time of production, not all can guarantee that you’ll get this number when you take them. Probiotics die over time, and this loss of efficacy can increase depending on manufacturing, shipping, and storage processes. Only products that guarantee potency at expiration assure reliable efficacy from start to finish. This follows the Best Practices Guidelines for Probiotics from the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and the International Probiotics Association.

Businesses featured in this article