Here’s something I bet you haven’t thought about today: Your probiotic strain. Many of us take a probiotic supplement, but do you know which strain it contains? Or how much of that strain? Or what that strain is good for? Or where it comes from? Probably not. There are many probiotic strains – and not all work the same, and not all for everyone. Some are stronger, some weaker, and some are blends that need to be used together for the best results.

Lactobacillus

One of the most commonly known – and used probiotics is also one of the strongest. This encompasses many types of probiotics – included acidophilus. The way it works is simple: This bacterium colonizes most densely in the small intestine, where it helps maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall, ensure proper nutrient absorption, and support healthy overall digestive function. Research shows that acidophilus also can help ease occasional digestive discomfort, as well as helping the vaginal health for women.

L. Fermentum

This strain comes from fermented foods – so it isn’t commonly found in pills. Sauerkraut, pickles, tofu, Greek yogurt, buttermilk, and other fermented foods contain this much-needed probiotic source. It produces superoxide dismutase and glutathione, both powerful antioxidants that help neutralize some of the toxic products made in the gut during digestion – helping fight against food poisoning.

L. Salivarius 

This stain is unique, as it can grow and prosper in less-than-great gut conditions.  It is found in the oral cavities (mouth, throat, and sinuses), intestines, and vagina, but grows best in the small intestine. This strain also helps keep the immune system healthy.

B. Bifidum

This probiotic strain is among the first to colonize in the intestines of babies and continues throughout life to be one of the main groups of good flora found in the large intestine. In addition to helping promote bacterial balance, it prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria, molds, and yeasts by naturally adhering to the intestinal mucosa better than other bacterial strains. B. Bifidum assists in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates, fat, and proteins during digestion. It also produces enzymes that break the larger molecules down into smaller components that the body can more efficiently use. It is also beneficial for traveler’s diarrhea.

B. Coagulans

This stain is great for overall digestive health, vaginal health, and relief from constipation. This is a lactic acid-producing bacteria strain, which helps us safely digest and process lactose products. It also helps our bodies process and store iron, calcium, phosphorus, and provides stimulation for gastric juices. We need this in order to produce sound bowel movements, so without it, constipation can take place.