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Probiotics: How to Choose?

Dear Friends, With so much focus on keeping our immune systems tuned up right now, I wanted to give you some information on probiotics — a supplement we often overlook when thinking about immunity.  Probiotics help to restore and maintain healthy levels of good bacteria in the digestive tract, and that’s important for overall health. Good bacteria help form nutrients like vitamin K and several B vitamins and help to limit pro-inflammatory bacteria like E. Coli. Sufficient levels of good bacteria can help prevent upper respiratory infections and improve other conditions that make our immune systems more vulnerable like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, leaky gut, fatty liver disease, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis. But how do you choose a good probiotic when there are so many options?  Number of Strains: Studies show that taking multiple strains creates a synergistic effect in the body. Choosing a probiotic with at least eight strains from the following list is a good bet. 

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus

  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus LB-51

  • Lactobacillus gasseri

  • Lactobacillus plantarum

  • Lactobacillus reuteri

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus

  • Bifidobacterium lactis BB12

  • Bifidobacterium bifidum Malyoth strain

  • Bifidobacterium breve

  • Bifidobacterium infantis

  • Streptococcus salivarius

  • Bifidobacterium longum

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS1

  • Saccharomyces boulardii

Refrigerated or Not: Though there might be some benefit in taking probiotics that contain “ghost” or dead bacteria, most people really need living microorganisms. This means the supplement will require refrigeration or will need to be classified as shelf-stable.  Number of Microorganisms: Research shows that 20 billion CFU can be a good amount for maintenance when we aren't experiencing any health issues. When restoring the microbiome after taking antibiotics or treating a condition like ulcerative colitis, 100 billion CFU may be needed. For other conditions, somewhere between 40 and 70 billion CFU can do the trick. The recommended dose for kids is usually 5-10 billion CFU. Probiotics that I recommend are Ther-Biotic Complete from Klaire Labs, Ortho Biotic from Ortho Molecular, and UltraFlora Balance from Metagenics. These are professional grade supplements, so I trust that they have been stored and will be shipped properly to maintain effectiveness. I’m happy to order these for you so that you can save on overnight shipping costs or set you up with your own account through Wellevate so that you can restock your supplements whenever you like. I hope you and your special people are doing as well as possible and staying healthy. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. 


—Jen





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© 2020 by Jen Bookout  All rights reserved.

Jen Bookout, LAc, MTOM
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