As the research community continues to unlock the secrets of better digestive health, more and more probiotics supplements are flooding the market and confusing the masses.
That’s because their sole interest is money… NOT the consumer. These companies will go to great lengths to deceive you by creating fancy labels that are full of confusing scientific jargon and misleading information.
In fact, in 2015, the New York Attorney General accused several major retailers, including GNC and Walmart, of selling not only fraudulent, but potentially dangerous herbal supplements and demanded they remove the products from their shelves.
So how can you be sure that you’re not falling victim to a deceptive label and dishonest marketing? I’ll tell you the 5 things to look out for.
You’re Being Short-Strained.
You’ve heard the phrase “short-changed,” but with sneaky supplement makers, they’ll make sure you’re being short-strained, as well. That means they’re creating a product with higher quality strains, but are only including one or two of them. Though this may seem okay at first… when it comes to probiotics, quantity is just as important as quality. That’s because each strain fulfills a different function and when you’re only getting one or two, you definitely won’t be feeling the maximum effect.
Now, you also need to be aware of products that take the “kitchen sink” approach by just throwing everything in. Remember, not every strain has been clinically tested and by including a bunch of cheap, low-quality strains, you could still be throwing off the balance in your gut and probably won’t see any results.
So make sure when you’re choosing a probiotic, it not only has a wide variety of strains (the very best will have at least 10) but that they are only including those of the highest quality and that have been clinically tested. Anything less is not worth your time… or your money.
No Substrains = Subpar
Another thing you’ll find in the list of ingredients, along with the strains, are the substrains. These will be a combination of numbers and letters next to those intimidatingly long Latin words. Not only does this indicate a higher-quality strain, but it also means that they were clinically tested and proven to be effective.
If the label doesn’t include a substrain, it means that particular product is comprised of cheap, generic strains that have not been tested and are probably not very effective. You want to make sure to avoid these.
Beware the Proprietary Blend!
A lot of popular supplement brands will boast a “proprietary blend” on the label instead of an itemized list of ingredients, and while they may include a few higher-quality strains… what they’ll be missing are the dosages.
Essentially, a proprietary blend will tell you what’s in the supplement, but it won’t tell you how much and that’s a huge red flag. By not knowing how much of the strain is included, you can’t be sure it will be as effective or if it’s being “watered down” by fillers and lower quality strains.
No Prebiotics? Big Problem!
Probiotics contain the good bacteria that help eliminate the digestive imbalance in your gut that can cause gas, bloating, and irregular bathroom visits. However, prebiotics are a special kind of fiber that helps feed that good bacteria and keep them healthy and strong.
So when it comes to choosing the best possible probiotic supplement, you want to make sure to choose a variety that also contains prebiotic fiber. This will not only make sure the good bugs survive but that they also thrive.
At What Cost?
Unfortunately, not all probiotics are created equal and when it comes to a probiotic supplement, you get what you pay for. It might be very tempting to go for the cheapest variety you can find online or at the drugstore, but the fact is that higher-quality production is more expensive and therefore, so is the product
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to run out and buy the most expensive product out there, however, you should know that if it seems too good to be true… it probably is. Find a trustworthy brand with a clear label and quality ingredients and you’ll notice yourself feeling better almost immediately.
The Bottom Line
As the scientific community continues to discover more and more about the microbiome, the market will continue to produce more and more probiotics and unfortunately, many of them are just simply trying to take your money.
So to help put your mind at ease and to save you time (and a buck or two), we at Smarter Reviews have done the hard work for you. Based on our own strict criteria and ranking system, plus reviews from consumers, just like you, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best probiotic supplements around!