Probiotic Breakdown - which ONE to use & when

Can you guess which lifeform was the first to appear on planet earth? if you said bacteria, you are correct.

Bacteria are single cell organisms found literally E V E R Y W H E R E. Discovered in 1676, Bacteria come in all shapes and sizes and help break down the food that we eat, target toxins in the body and help to make nutrients in our food available to us for absorption. When we are in a state of stress, our body's ability to absorb nutrients, utilize our food for nourishment and eliminate toxins significantly lessens, making our body susceptible to inflammation, fatigue and disease.

 We know that it's essential to create, maintain and sustain a symbiotic relationship with the good versus bad bacteria and when we think bacteria we think gut microbiome.

An interesting timeline of events goes as follows:

1676—Discovery of bacteria by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 1881—Culture-dependent methods for stool analysis 1885—First human gut microbiome studied and it wasn't until the early 1990's that a scientist drew a connection between the use of antibiotics and the decline of good bacteria in the gut.

Side note, we have 5 microbiome sectors; the nasal passages, Oral cavity, Skin, Gastrointestinal tract and Urogenital tract; each having their own important bacteria colony.

Colonization of these five body parts begin at birth; factors such as the mother's diet and method of birth are of initial concern.

To understand bacteria in the body, you must first understand that the diversity of bacteria takes the lead. The more diverse the bacteria, the more protection your body has against disease and pathogen invaders. 

Let me take a quick break to steer us to a question you might be wondering.

what is the difference between a pre and pro biotic?

A pre biotic is found in breast milk, oligosaccharides aka certain vegetables and fruits such as bananas, leeks, artichoke, onions, kale etc, inulin, fermented foods and certain fats. Prebiotics are a form of soluble fiber that help feed good microorganisms. Pro biotics are found in protein, fats and yogurt and ARE living microorganisms.


Okay and we are back from our short break to continue to discuss bacteria, which one to use and when.

Let's begin with understanding the label.

  • CFU's refers to  ( Colony-forming units). You'll want to take note of two things;  Ensure amount of CFUs listed is guaranteed up until expiration date, not just at time of manufacture and  the available CFUs at time of consumption.
  • Next, Probiotics are broken down into genus, species and strain.

For example, we all know and love Lactobacillus.

Genus - Lactobacillus 

species - acidophilus

The strain is the tricky part as you have many different strains that most of us have never even heard of. Here are examples; 299V HEAL9 Lpc-37 8700 2 GR-1 GG

In summary, characteristic of a quality probiotic will showcase the following: 

1. Strain specified
2. CFU (Colony Forming Unit) labeled
3. Quantity is guaranteed through expiration

4. Storage conditions are listed



Lastly and more importantly, strains of probiotics and which ones do what.


Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07

Gastrointestinal, immune health, and recurring intestinal distress support1; different doses are suggested for children and adults2

Lactobacillus plantarum 299v

Helps support occasional irritation and bowel discomfort; promotes integrity of the gastrointestinal barrier3

Bifidobacterium lactis B420

Supports body weight maintenance4

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14

May help maintain healthy vaginal microflora and support urogenital health5

Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 and Lactobacillus plantarum


Helps support healthy nasal, sinus, and respiratory function6

Bifidobacterium lactis (Bi-07), Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, Bifidobacterium lactis (BI-04) and Lactobacillus paracasei (Lpc- 37)

Provides relief for abdominal discomfort associated with loose stools and occasional diarrhea7


Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 and Fructooligosaccharides (FOS)

Supports immune health and digestive support. Fructooligosaccharides is a prebiotic shown to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.1

Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001, and Saccharomyces boulardii

Provides support for immune health and occasional loose stools. May be ideal for patients who travel often.3

Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis (BB-12) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG

Strains are shown to support healthy microbial balance in infants and young children.4

Saccharomyces boulardii, Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07,Lactobacillus plantarum Lp-115, Lactobacillus salivarius Ls-33, Lactobacillus NCFM, Streptococcus thermophilus St-21, and Bifidobacterium lactis BI-04

Combination of strains provide multidimensional support for both the upper and lower GI tract for digestive and immune health.2

Lactobacillus salivarius UCC118

May influence tight junctions between intestinal cells and may beneficially influence immune cell signaling processes.5,6

sited: metagenics institute 


1 comment

Nicole please help! I’m lost lol should I take a pre and pro?

Diane August 04, 2022

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