Probiotics are the “good” bacteria which live in our bodies. However, wherever there is good, there has to be bad as well; bad or less good. Bacteria are good as long as they stay within certain parameters. When we take antibiotics to cure a certain disease, we kill “good” bacteria also and that may lead to other problems. The human body is the home of more than 100 trillion microbes meaning that we are 90% bacteria and 10% human. Pretty scary when you think about it, but on a second thought, you realize that without bacteria, we wouldn’t exist. This brings us to our topic. That large amount of bacteria is divided in “good” and “bad” bacteria.

When you start taking probiotics, your digestive tract improves and problems such as constipation or irritable bowel syndrome slowly get corrected. Also, probiotics help fighting lactose intolerance, food poisoning, harmful bacteria and they can improve your skin’s health.

Choosing a probiotic is strongly related to knowing how to read labels. Why? Because everything you need to know about a probiotic supplement is written on its label. For example:
    - Genus, species and strain. For example, for this probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG the genus is Lactobacillus, the species is rhamnosus and the strain is GG. Most of the probiotic supplements available on the market have the Genus Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium.
    - Number of organisms found in a one-time dose; the ideal amount advised by researchers is one that has 7 strains and at least 5 billion CFU=colony forming units.
    - Dosage.
    -“Viable through end of shelf time”. This means that you are making sure that the bacteria are still alive when you purchase it and it will remain alive until the product expires. There are labels which have encrypted “Viable at the time of manufacture” which means that the bacteria were alive when the pills were created, however there is no certainty that the bacteria will remain alive till the time you buy the product and you start consuming.
    - Validity.
    - It has to be mentioned that the capsules/pills will survive during their journey through your acidic stomach and reach their meant destination: your colon.

Stomach acid is very strong and it kills most of the bacteria we ingest every day. The capsules probiotics are encased in are usually designed to release only at a specific temperature and after a certain time.

However, there are some precautions you can take when ingestion probiotics in order for you to make sure that you will get all the benefits they are intended to offer. Even though some probiotics are advised to be taken with or after a meal, studied show that when the stomach is empty, it produces less acid. Besides this, the food inside the stomach is kept for about 60 to 90 minutes, while liquids spend only 15 to 20 minutes. This being said, we are encouraged to dissolve the content of a probiotic capsule in a bit of water and drink it on an empty stomach. Recommended Quality Probiotics >

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