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Many Probiotics Short on Bacteria

With claims that they improve digestion, bolster immunity, and fight acne, it's no wonder that probiotic supplements are big business. Newsweek reports that sales of these supplements have more than quadrupled in the last 10 years. I will admit, I'm a fan these friendly bacteria found in yogurt and miso, but it's the quality of the supplements that's raising eyebrows.

Many popular probiotic supplements were tested by Consumer Lab, an independent agency that monitors vitamins, herbal remedies, and supplements not regularly tested by the government. The lab's findings are a bit startling. Some of the products contain as little as 13 percent of the amount of "viable bacteria" claimed on the products' labels, although most products do contain one billion organisms — the amount needed to register some health benefits.

When it comes to misleading marketing with these supplements, much of the problem stems from the fact that the term probiotics has no legal definition and can be used loosely by manufactures. Of the supplements tested, ConsumerLab ranked Advocare Probiotic Restore, GNC Nature Brand Best Super Acidophilus, and Jarrow Formulas Jarro-Dophilus as having the highest quality. You can buy a full review from Consumer Lab for $12.

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Spectra Spectra 7 years
Besides yogurt and raw dairy (which you have to be careful with, as kia said), you can get probiotic benefits from eating lots of fruits and veggies because when the fiber/cellulose from those foods gets to your colon, beneficial bacteria can start colonizing in your gut and you can build your very own probiotic community within your system. Also, be aware that probiotics on their own aren't terribly effective unless you do eat a lot of fiber because those bacteria need somewhere to grow. Bacteria like a favorable growth environment, so if you start one, you'll have a great immune system.
kia kia 7 years
I consume raw dairy products from a trusted source that tests for the major harmful bacterium two days before I pick it up. The stuff is loaded with probiotics and delicious.
Raynne413 Raynne413 7 years
I take a good amount of Advocare products and love them.
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