How to choose a good probiotic – part 2

How to choose a good probiotic – part 2

Saturday, 21 November 2015

There is no consensus among scientists or regulators as FDA which criteria should be met in order for a nutritional to be regarded as a Probiotic. However, there are certain fundamentals which are widely seen as a must for every Probiotic product. Here is the short list of the six scientific criteria defining what a Probiotic is:   

  1.    Resistance to gastric acidity The most immediate and greatest hazard probiotic bacteria   face is the extremely acidic environment of the human stomach. The ability to survive   gastric acidity is the first requirement for probiotic bacteria, if it is to be a benefit to the     host.

  2.  Bile acid resistance Bile acids are steroid acids found predominantly in the bile of     mammals and other vertebrates. The ability of surviving in an environment with bile acids is the second criteria for a bacterial species to be defined as a probiotic.

3.   Adherence to mucus and/or human epithelial cells and cell lines – Probiotic bacteria that attach themselves to the surface of the intestines have a continuous benefit to the host for several days – not only during food transit time.


4.   Antimicrobial activity against potentially pathogenic bacteria The potency of a probiotic bacteria to inhibit the pathogenic bacteria that creates a positive health benefit to the host. Importantly, a Probiotic should be efficient against pathogens, but NOT inhibit other beneficial bacteria in the intestines (for instance see the newest PROVIOTIC®).

5.   Ability to reduce pathogen adhesion to surfaces By attaching itself to the intestinal wall, probiotic bacteria eliminates the ability for pathogenic bacteria to attach themselves to the same surfaces.

6.   Bile salt hydrolase activity The ability for probiotic bacteria to alter the bile salts in the intestines, which potentially gives the ability to be more competitive in the intestines and creates greater benefits to the host.

All of the above criteria can be determined only after an in-depth research of the respective product. That is why the first question that we as consumers should ask is, whether that product has a comprehensive study behind and whether the producer is keen to publishing it. If either there is no research, or the reports are not made public, then we should ask ourselves if this product is really worth trying it and its claims for probiotic are trustworthy.