Live Well: Immunity

A Step By Step Guide to Choosing Probiotics

Published: October 17th, 2012
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It seems like everyone is talking about probiotics these days.  Dr. Joseph Maroon of GNC’s Medical Advisory Board says this, “Probiotics work to support a healthy digestive balance.  They can reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in your GI tract by replenishing and maintaining the “friendly” bacteria.”  These friendly bacteria come in a variety of forms at GNC. Let’s walk through some FAQs (frequently asked questions) about probiotics and why you can benefit from them.

Why do we need probiotics?

The depletion of “good” bacteria can occur as a result of poor diet, taking antibiotics, stress, food poisoning, travelers’ diarrhea or poor overall digestive health.  Not only can “friendly” bacteria reduce bloating and stomach discomfort, they promote regularity and support immune health too.

Can you get too many probiotics?

Nope! Think of these good bacteria as little warriors going into battle.  The more of them you have, the fewer  unhealthy bacteria you have. If the health of your GI tract is compromised, your immune system can be impacted too.

Is more really better?

Taking more probiotics will depend on your goals. Here is a great outline to follow for dosage:

25 Billion CFU (colony forming units): Daily digestive support

50 Billion CFU: Mild-Moderate Need due to irregularity

75 Billion CFU: Heightened Need. This is best used after severe digestive
issues or antibiotic use.

Aren’t all probiotics the same?

Not all probiotics are created equal. They’re living organisms that have the potential to die off when not properly produced, stored, or packaged.  GNC’s proprietary blend of probiotics are clinically studied.  When you choose a GNC probiotic you’re choosing a scientifically validated approach to supporting GI health; no guessing here.  Also note that GNC probiotics contain FOS (fructooligosaccharides), a food source for living bacteria to sustain them before and after ingestion. 

What are probiotic strains and why are they important?

The strain of a probiotic can be likened to a job title. Certain strains have been shown to work more effectively than others just as some strains are hardier than others, etc.  The strain of probiotic is identified as L. acidophilus, B. bifidum, or B. lactis just to name a few.

Can’t I just take yogurt?

Yes, you can eat yogurt to receive good bacteria but at a significantly lower potency.  There’s no telling how many probiotic organisms have died off while still in the container because there is typically no testing for it.  Also, to receive 25 billion CFUs in yogurt form, you’d have to eat more than ten 4oz. servings of yogurt. And what do you do if you’re dairy intolerant? The choice is easy here…

The Point

The GI tract is important to your overall health; with probiotics you can provide the daily support it needs. Whether you prefer probiotics in the form of a chew, capsules, or powder, GNC has the delivery mechanism you need to get your GI in shape.


Which do you prefer: capsule, powder, chew, tablet, or yogurt?

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