These days, most of us are always on the lookout for a good bargain. We want to feel as though we’re getting the best “bang for our buck” without compromising on quality. However, when it comes to choosing a quality probiotic, less is definitely more when it comes to the number of probiotic strains in one capsule or container. Not all probiotics are created equal, and the stark reality is that there are many probiotics, particularly multi-strain probiotics, on the shelves that don’t offer any benefits at all. Whether you’re thinking about buying a probiotic or changing the brand you’re currently taking, it’s important to become a better-informed probiotic shopper and know exactly what’s in the bottle.
Probiotic Numbers Game
By far one of the biggest myths when buying a probiotic these days is that in order to have any real health benefit you need to look for high numbers of strains. These are known as multi-strain probiotics and they often contain upwards of 5, 12, or even more strains in one capsule. You’d think that because our gut is teeming with trillions of different strains of bacteria, it makes logical sense to take a multi-strain probiotic. As we wrote in Choosing a Probiotic, A Buyer’s Guide, that assumption is flawed.
Bacteria are antagonistic by nature, meaning that they don’t play well together and they will compete for survival. In fact, during the 2014 Probiota in Amsterdam, one of the world’s most renowned authorities on probiotics agreed with Natren founder Natasha Trenev’s long held philosophy that placing many strains in one container had no impact. Also, since probiotics are live microorganisms and require food and oxygen in order to thrive, there is a phenomenon we call the “closed-ended system” problem. (Myths about Probiotics, Myth 3) This occurs when live bacteria are placed into a closed-ended system such as a capsule/bottle and their resources (ie. oxygen, food) are limited. The bacteria will fight for the resources until they are depleted and once the resources are gone the bacteria begin to die. Don’t get caught up in the multi-strain hype. You can read more about it here.
Healthy Trinity Here at Natren, we only use three naturally occurring super strains of beneficial bacteria in our most potent probiotic, Healthy Trinity, and we have created a unique, technologically advanced process to keep each strain separate and non-competitive. We specifically selected each of the three strains for their ability to target and work in different sections of the GI tract, and especially because they are among the most scientifically researched species and strains for brain, digestive and immune health.
Lactobacillus acidophilus, NAS super strain is the first probiotic bacteria we selected and a very important probiotic found primarily in our small intestine. It acts as a line of defense against invading undesirable microorganisms. Like other probiotic bacteria, it helps regulate digestion, but most importantly, it assists with early food breakdown. In our blog Maintaining an Efficient Digestive Engine, we wrote that maldigestion of food can interfere with the digestive process and may lead to gas and bloating. Lactobacillus acidophilus, NAS are classified as facultative anaerobic bacteria since they can grow in both the presence and absence of oxygen. Harmful pathogens that require oxygen may be outcompeted by this strain.
The second probiotic bacteria we selected for Healthy Trinity is Bifidobacterium bifidum, Malyoth super strain and its role is to assist with nutrient utilization and absorption, production of B vitamins and promotion of regularity. While small numbers are found in the small intestine, the largest colonies reside in the large intestine where they thrive without oxygen and act as our waste and sanitation station. These colonies are similar to little warriors who protect themselves and us by producing acetic and lactic acids. This creates a hostile environment against foreign invaders who need alkaline environments in order to survive.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus, LB51 super strain, the third bacteria in Healthy Trinity, is also an anaerobic bacteria and can survive in both an oxygen and oxygen-free environment denying oxygen to harmful invaders who require it. We call this the “crowd control” probiotic because it specializes in sweeping food through the GI tract, thus promoting digestive motility and regularity.
By carefully selecting beneficial bacteria strains based on specific function, active sites in the GI tract and science, rather than filling the product with 5-20 potentially competitive strains, the result is a superior quality probiotic that truly benefits your digestive health.
How do our probiotic bacteria survive if bacteria are antagonistic? We use our unique oil matrix delivery system called The Trenev Process where each beneficial strain is micro-enrobed to keep the bacteria separate and non-competitive. Natren is the only manufacturer with this advanced technology. Healthy Trinity, along with our other probiotics, is manufactured right here in the U.S.A. Yet, our strains are world renowned for their safety, effectiveness and bile tolerance. And, unlike many other manufacturers, we guarantee each strain through to the expiration date on the bottle and we guarantee you will not be disappointed.
For more information about our probiotics, please call one of Probiotic Consultants at 866-4-NATREN.
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