Top 7 Myths of Probiotics Debunked

by: Brenda Kimble, Nutritionist/Wellness Blogger

If you’re familiar with probiotics supplements, you’ve probably heard every myth in the book about what these products are and what are they used for. With the world of microbiome testing and probiotics supplements just entering the mainstream, it’s hard to sort through the information. Sometimes it can be challenging to distinguish probiotics fact from fiction.

If you were looking up why to take probiotics and became alarmed by the results, don’t fret. We’ve put together a helpful list of the top 7 probiotics myths and debunked them for your convenience.

Probiotics Myth #1: Not Many People Take Probiotics Supplements

Probiotics supplements may not seem as popular as others, but they become more and more a common household item! In fact, probiotics supplements are some of the fastest growing natural dietary supplements available to consumers.

gut health diet
Take the time to Thryve Inside

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says probiotics are the third most commonly used natural supplement by adults in the U.S. [1].

If that’s not impressive enough, probiotics supplements have quadrupled in popularity from years 2007 to 2012. No wonder there has been an increase in microbiome testing research recently!

As scientists conduct more and more research involving the health benefits of probiotics, consumer interest continues to rise.

Probiotics Myth #2: Probiotics are Only Helpful for Diarrhea

Ingesting probiotics supplements regularly helps make diarrhea go away about one day faster, according to PubMed Health [2]. However, diarrhea isn’t the only health condition and gastrointestinal disorders probiotics appear to be useful for.

Probiotics supplements can help reduce symptoms related to [3]:

There are many conditions tied to poor gut health. That is why the first step is supplementing with beneficial bacteria. As research has indicated, these live organisms also improve:

  • Digestion of Food
  • Boost Nutrient Absorption
  • Strengthen Immune System
  • Help Prevent Infections
  • Unpleasant Side Effects of Taking Antibiotics
    • Cramping
    • Gas in Stomach
    • Diarrhea
    • Feeling Constipated

With growing interest in probiotics supplements, microbiome testing companies are raising funds to see what other benefits of taking probiotics are out there.

Research is in beginning stages but microbiome testing companies are finding promising results with probiotics supplements and:

  • Eczema
  • Hay Fever
  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Infant Colic

To say the least, probiotics can help with many different health conditions. The future of realizing the benefits of taking probiotics shouldn’t be shrouded in mystery but surrounded by excitement.

Probiotics Myth #3: All Probiotics Supplements Work the Same

Each probiotic manufacturing process is different, and probiotic strains vary from product to product. For example, Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a strain most effective for treating acute infectious diarrhea — and the bifidobacteria probiotics species seems to work best for alleviating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) [4].

Not only is each stomach bacteria unique but so is the intestinal flora in your microbiome. We all have personalized diets. Therefore, we need personalized probiotics.

To achieve this, Thryve uses a discreet At-Home Gut Health Test Kit to decipher which intestinal flora is causing your gastrointestinal distress. From there, Thryve formulates personalized probiotics supplements tailored to meet your needs and concerns.

Probiotics Myth #4: Probiotics Must be Kept in the Refrigerator

looking in fridge
Hope she’s not looking for probiotics!

Some probiotics require refrigeration, but shelf-stable probiotic blends do not.

They are distributed in a light-resistant container that should maintain the life of your probiotic cultures.

Certain probiotics strains, such as some spore-forming bacteria (Bacillus coagulans) and probiotic yeast, don’t require refrigeration regardless of how they’ve been manufactured.

Probiotics Myth #5: Shelf-Stable Probiotics Can Be Kept in Hot Temperatures

Shelf-stable probiotics are more resistant to room temperature and moisture than probiotics requiring refrigeration. However, probiotics supplements shouldn’t be exposed to hot temperatures above room temperature to reduce the chance of microorganism death.

To be on the safe side, keep shelf-stable probiotics at room temperature, about 70° F. Seeing as you can refrigerate probiotics supplements, storing them at even colder than 70° F is acceptable as well.

Probiotics Myth #6: All Probiotics Are Third Party Tested

Not all probiotics supplements are
tested for purity

Not all probiotics manufacturers pay for third-party testing agencies to check for quality and purity. In other words, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says the number and strain of probiotics listed on supplement facts labels aren’t always accurate.

When choosing probiotics supplements to maximize health benefits, look for brands tested for quality and purity by reputable third-party companies. 

Probiotics Myth #7: There Aren’t Minimum Probiotics Recommendations

It’s true that there aren’t official recommendations for probiotics supplements. However, Consumerlab.com recommends choosing probiotics supplements with at least 1 billion colony forming units (CFUs) per serving [5]. They even suggest up to 100 billion CFUs for certain health conditions.

Thryve has the CFUs you need to achieve your gut health and wellness goals. Don’t hesitate on your health today. Sign up for the Thryve Gut Health Program.

Thryve Probiotics Gut Health

Brenda Kimble is a nutrition coach and wellness blogger from Austin, TX. She is also a mother of 2 daughters and a son. Her life’s goal is to encourage herself and others to live a more balanced lifestyle, incorporating healthier habits and exercise practices, which she does by connecting with people in her industry through her writing. When she is not working, she enjoys yoga and spending time with her family.

Resources:

[1] “Probiotics: In Depth.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 31 July 2018, nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm.

[2] “Infectious Diarrhea: Can Probiotics Help against Diarrhea?” InformedHealth.org [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 4 May 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK373095/.

[3] Harvard Health Publishing. “The Benefits of Probiotics Bacteria.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-benefits-of-probiotics.

[4] Ciorba M. A. (2012). A gastroenterologist’s guide to probiotics. Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association10(9), 960–968. doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2012.03.024

[5] How Many Cells or CFUs Should My Probiotic Have?” ConsumerLab.com, www.consumerlab.com/answers/how-many-cells-or-cfus-should-my-probiotic-have/probiotic-cells-CFU/.