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With all the information out there about probiotics, sometimes it’s hard to find the exact answer you are looking for. We have carefully curated the questions here to provide some key insights into probiotics in general and probiotic supplements in particular. These answers are provided by a combination of clinical nutritionists, industry experts and research scientists; all experts in the field of probiotics

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Most supplements are measured in milligrams. Probiotics, on the other hand, are measured in CFUs (Colony Forming Units). This refers to the amount of viable, live bacteria that are capable of dividing and forming colonies. CFU counts are generally stated in billions.

Your gut comprises about 70% of your immune system and is critical for brain function, to balance body chemistry, and for converting nutrients into a usable form the body can absorb. When your microflora (gut bacteria) is imbalanced, your health suffers. Probiotics are important for replenishing and restoring microfloral balance.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are believed to be good for overall health, and specifically for digestive health. To help alleviate the symptoms and conditions that harmful bacteria can cause, we need to maintain our beneficial bacteria. Known as ‘friendly’ or beneficial bacteria, probiotics produce a variety of compounds, including natural lactic acids that help to inhibit the growth of the harmful bacteria, thereby preventing them from gaining a foothold and causing illness. Probiotics can be found naturally in some foods, in fermented drinks, and in supplements.

Typical dosages vary based on the product, but common dosages range from 1 to 10 billion CFUs per day for children and from 3 to 20 billion CFUs per day for adults.

Not necessarily. Some probiotics are shelf stable and do not need to be refrigerated. But many probiotics do require refrigeration. What’s important to understand is that refrigeration doesn’t equal efficacy. If the label indicates CFU counts “at the time of manufacture,” it means that the amount of live bacteria the product contained when it was bottled is not guaranteed at the time you consume it. Look for products that guarantee CFU counts through expiration, instead, regardless of whether they need refrigeration.

Because of the unique and proprietary processing methods used in the manufacture of Kyo-Dophilus® Probiotics, the bacteria are stable at room temperature and therefore do not require refrigeration. Kyo-Dophilus selected bacteria strains are dormant and do not become active until they are introduced to moisture, as when consumed with a meal or liquid. Kyo-Dophilus guarantees that “at the time of expiry (or consumption),” you are getting the bacteria count (CFU) that is stated on the label.

Yes. Supplementing with probiotics will re-introduce bacteria into the gut. However, this effort is futile without prebiotics, which feed the bacteria and ensure that they flourish.

If you are new to probiotics, try supplementing every day to establish a healthy colony. But once it’s up and running, supplementing with prebiotics is critical to keeping bacteria healthy over time. Maintain health by supplementing with both prebiotics and probiotics regularly in order to keep the existing bacteria population intact.

Yogurt may be a healthy snack choice but, bacteria-wise, it doesn’t necessarily measure up to a comprehensive probiotic supplement. First, yogurt may not be as probiotic-rich as you think. Many yogurts on supermarket shelves are heat-treated (pasteurized) to give the products a longer shelf life which, unfortunately, kills off the live cultures. Plus, while most yogurt contains just three strains of probiotics, many supplements offer more. Finally, foods just don’t seem to have the amount of probiotics necessary to provide the benefits that supplementation can.

Taking a probiotic with an antibiotic has become so mainstream that it was published as a recommendation for practitioners in the Journal of Family Practice. The reason is rather intuitive: Antibiotics kill off the bad bacteria, but also much of the gut’s good bacteria in the process. This can lead to an off-kilter digestive tract, making probiotics highly beneficial in addressing antibiotic tummy-related troubles. However, we also recommend being consistent with your probiotic supplementation rather than just doing antibiotic “damage control.”

Check the product and its strains for specifics but generally speaking, yes!  Probiotics are safe, effective and often recommended for children due to their role in supporting the immune system, addressing skin issues and easing digestive woes associated with antibiotic usage.

It’s easy to assume that you only need to take probiotics when you’re feeling out of balance (i.e. when you’re overly stressed, you’ve just finished a round of antibiotics or you’re feeling run down). However, we recommend daily probiotic and prebiotic supplementation (and loading up on probiotic-rich foods) in order to keep your gut bacteria healthy ahead of any issues that arise and to support long-term health overall.

Want to get the most out of your supplement? Some research shows that probiotic survival was best when taken 30 minutes before or with foods or beverages that had fat content. The time of day isn’t as relevant as making sure you’re consuming your probiotic supplement with food.

While probiotics are generally considered to be safe, you may experience some symptoms such as mild upset stomach, diarrhea or flatulence and bloating, when you first start taking supplements or increasing your intake of probiotic-rich foods. These symptoms should pass after a few days once your body gets used to the new regimen.

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Find the Probiotic for you

Learn more about probiotics and what they can do for you and your family.
Get personalized information and options here.

Answer a few short questions to get started.
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