The Truth About Switching Probiotics on the Regular
All of us at LoveBug labs are incredibly passionate about gut health. We get exposed to cutting edge microbiome research and kept up to date on the latest developments related to gut flora. We’re surrounded by really smart people who make it their mission to be in the know about all things related to microbiome health.
There’s a lot of information out there about gut health and probiotics: some accurate and some not as accurate. Educating and surrounding ourselves with the best is great, but what good does it do if we don’t share that with you? It’s our mission to curate the hoards of articles, tips, research, and advice, then pick out what’s important so that we can bring it to you without the scientific jargon that might mask the message. Working together, we can make sure that our children and families are healthy from the inside out.
Quick recap: we’ve told you what probiotics are, and we’ve handed you our dictionary to gut health. We’ve answered: when is the best time to take probiotics, and we’ve discussed how an imbalance in gut bacteria can affect your mood and mental health. Perhaps most importantly in today’s world, we’ve documented how the overuse of antibiotics has created deficient microbiomes and the ways in which this affects your overall health.
So we know there are many health benefits of probiotics and probiotic-rich foods—everything from helping with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut, Crohn's, providing immune system support, and more. But what about this question, resulting from a common misconception: Should you change your probiotics every few months? Let's take a deeper look at why you may or may not want to think about switching probiotics and switch for good.
What's the problem with single strain probiotics?
Not all probiotic supplements are created equal.
One of the common reasons people are told to change their supplements is because a lot of probiotic products on the market today are single strain formulas.
Single strain probiotics are just what they sound like: only one strain of probiotic bacteria is contained in each dose (i.e. Lactobacillus acidophilus only). What’s the problem with that? Your microbiome is like an ecosystem in which diversity is required. Exposure to a diverse blend of the right strains of good bacteria will create a healthier microbiome. Like in nature, when certain species in an ecosystem are missing the entire system is compromised. However, unless you undergo an expensive gut flora analysis, it’s difficult to know which strain(s) your microbiome is lacking.
That’s why all of LoveBug’s formulations are multi-strain probiotic blends, each with specific strains geared to meet the needs of each stage in life. We’re committed to meeting the needs of everyone’s gut flora, and that means offering a scientifically-formulated, multi-strain blend.
Throwing as many different strains as possible together into one dose of probiotics sounds great, right? After all, we just said diversity is important to the microbiome ecosystem. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as merely gathering as many strains as possible and packing them into a pill. In fact, another reason probiotics can be inefficient is the presence of too many strains.
Like too many kids on a playground, having too many strains in a probiotic is asking for a fight. Probiotic strains can be competitive. Furthermore, when a single supplement contains too many strains, each one can be spread too thin to be effective. It takes a certain amount of each strain, paired with a proper delivery technology to get the probiotics past the stomach acid barrier and through your digestive tract to have an impact on your gut health.
Let’s talk CFUs.
In our article detailing what probiotics really are, we give you the skinny on CFUs or Colony Forming Units. (CFU: the count of live organisms present in each dose). For every probiotic blend, there is both a science and an art to creating the optimal CFU count.
Our high-quality probiotic supplements contain blends of well-researched strains that are best suited for the different stages of life. For example, two noted powerhouse strains for infants are B. infantis and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, are found in our ‘Tiny Tummies’ formula. (1) Meanwhile, our ‘Labor of Love’ blend contains the well-studied strains, B. lactis, L. rhamnosus and B. infantis, so that pregnant and nursing moms can begin seeding their baby’s microbiome. (2)
Ultimately, it doesn't matter how many CFUs are in your probiotic if they're getting killed off in the harsh acidic stomach environment. LoveBug's tableted probiotics are made using patented delivery technology that promotes 15x survivability compared to standard probiotic capsules—helping more of our friendly bacteria warriors make it past the stomach acid barrier to the gut. So one of our 10 Billion CFU tablets with time-release delivery technology would be the equivalent of a 150 Billion CFU capsule.
It’s what’s on the INSIDE that counts.
Just like in people, what makes probiotics powerful is what is—or sometimes what isn’t—included in the ingredients.
Parents today are savvy, and we love that. There’s nothing they wouldn’t do for their children, and that includes researching what’s in the products they give their families.
That’s why LoveBug is proud to note our probiotics are sugar-free. Did you know there are 66 forms of sugar? Some of these are creeping into probiotic blends in the form of sucrose, sucralose, cane sugar, and fructose. Why is this important? Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your gut. Consuming a probiotic that contains sugar could do more harm than good by keeping the bad bugs alive and well fed making it harder for the beneficial bacteria to survive and thrive.
LoveBug Probiotics: All the Right Stuff
LoveBug loves your family almost as much as you do. It’s why we’ve taken pride in doing the research and ensuring we take everyone's health care needs into account. All of our products are non-GMO, allergen free, and include NO chemicals, preservatives, or artificial colors or flavors.
Knowing all this, it isn’t so much that periodically switching probiotics is necessary, but rather choosing the one with the right strains, an effective delivery system, and the right stuff inside. In addition to taking probiotics, you can incorporate fermented foods and avoid foods that wreak havoc on the digestive system.
Here’s to your good gut health!
The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
- Yong, Ed. "Breast-Feeding the Microbiome." The New Yorker. Last modified July 2016. https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/breast-feeding-the-microbiome.
- Reynolds, Belinda. "Why Probiotics Should Be Part of Pregnancy Care." Holistic Primary Care. Last modified December 2016. https://www.holisticprimarycare.net/topics/topics-o-z/womens-health/1851-why-probiotics-should-be-part-of-pregnancy-care.html.
- "Hidden in Plain Sight." University of California San Fransisco. Accessed June 2019. http://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/hidden-in-plain-sight/#.XQPpqlNKhTa.