What should I look for in a high-quality probiotic?

What should I look for in a high-quality probiotic?

Roshini C. Rajapaksa, MD
Gastroenterology
When looking for a high-quality probiotic, you should talk to your doctor to ensure you are getting one that will be most effective for you. In this video, I will explain why conferring with your doctor is your best bet.
When you’re shopping for a high-quality probiotic supplement, which provides "good-for-you" bacteria that help with digestion, you'll need to rely primarily on information from the manufacturer.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require probiotics pills -- or any dietary supplement -- to be screened for safety and efficacy before going on the market. Rather, it is up to the manufacturer to make sure that the health claims are backed by evidence and that the products are safe.

Start getting to know the manufacturer by looking for a website. If you have any questions about how it manufactures the probiotic supplements, or about the evidence it’s using to make health claims, contact the company.

Many probiotics contain the beneficial bacteria Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. You may want to check to see if they are in the probiotic you are considering. Are there other bacteria, and if so, why did the manufacturer put them in there? You can also ask the manufacturer if they have reported any adverse health effects from the supplement to the FDA.

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.