The information in this article and throughout Trio Nutrition’s blog is for informational purposes only, and should never be mistaken for professional medical advice.
You've heard of probiotics by now and the general benefits they have – gut health, protecting good bacteria – but what does it all mean? The world of probiotics can be overwhelming. If you read a probiotic supplement label, you’ll probably find yourself heading to Google for every other word. That makes it hard to sort through pages and pages of information, which is why we created this simplified guide for the top types of probiotics. After all, the words on a label shouldn't stand between you and the benefits probiotics may offer.
What Are 3 Types of Probiotics?
Probiotics are helpful, living bacteria that live in our digestive systems. They are necessary for good health and play a significant role in how our digestive systems work. Their impact isn’t restricted to just helping break down food; probiotics create a balance by keeping bad bacteria under control. Many things we consume, from antibiotics to liquor, reduce the number of good bacteria and create an imbalance.
There are different strains of probiotics, and each has its unique qualities and benefits. Here is a look at three types of probiotics and how they benefit you.
Lactic acid producing probiotics
One of the most common probiotics you’ll come across is lactic acid producing strains like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. There are other bacteria species in this family, which you may see with an L before the strain’s name, like L. acidophilus for Lactobacillus acidophilus.
These lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are often found in dairy based or fermented products such as yogurt and cheese. You’ll also find them in many probiotic supplements.
Benefits of lactic acid probiotics: These are readily available, so it’s easy to get them in your diet. Some of the many benefits are improved digestion and enhanced absorption of nutrients.
Downsides: Some probiotics colonize the gut and may provide ongoing, positive benefits. This type of probiotic is only effective for as long as it takes to pass through your system. You have to continually replenish them with diet or supplementation.
Spore probiotics stand out as one of the most resilient probiotic strains. An easy way to spot a spore-based probiotic is the name, which always starts with bacillus. Probiotics that end with this same term are not spore-based.
Spore-based probiotics can be found naturally in fermented foods or soil-harvested vegetables. You can also get them through probiotic supplementation.
Benefits of bacillus probiotics: Spore probiotics are known for being quick to colonize and tough enough to survive within the gut, even with limited supply. Some of their benefits may include promoting healthy digestion and bowel regularity.
Downsides: Our gut biome, which is the natural environment within our digestive tract, is unique. So these probiotics may not be helpful for everyone equally, and may even cause diarrhea or similar issues. They are also not recommended for those that are immunocompromised.
Soil-based probiotics (SBO) are strains of bacteria that are naturally occurring in the earth. They are commonly found in soil-harvested vegetables. SBO have been used to ferment foods for hundreds of years, and are considered a sturdy type of probiotic strain.
Soil-based probiotics are a part of the natural environment of the ground, which can be problematic because soil can become depleted. When that happens, the foods grown in them have less SBO to offer. You can also find SBO in some probiotic supplements.
Benefits of soil-based probiotics: Because of their natural environment, soil-based probiotics are hardy and can survive harsh conditions. Some of their benefits include helping reduce bloating, supporting digestion and bowel regularity.
Downsides: While some strains of this type of bacteria are able to colonize, other strains need to be taken regularly. To benefit from them, you need to consistently take them, similar to lactic acid probiotics.
Specific Types of Probiotics
Saccharomyces boulardii is often referred to as a friendly probiotic. It is a yeast that may used to treat disorders in the GI tract, such as diarrhea. You might also see it listed as S.boulardii. Trio Nutrition's Nirvana Kombucha is a probiotic with Saccharomyces boulardii.
Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus) is one of the most common strains of probiotic, which you'll find in Trio Nutrition's Pre Pro Live capsules. L. acidophilus naturally occurs in the body, but some medications may reduce the population.
Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) is also a healthy bacteria found in fermented food and is included in Trio Nutrition's Pre Pro Live capsules.
Benefit From Probiotics
Taking probiotic supplements may possibly be the easiest way to boost your level of probiotics and work on your digestive health. All the options on the market can make it feel overwhelming, so focus on finding a high-quality probiotic that includes multiple strains of probiotics and prebiotics. Prebiotics are used by probiotics as nutrition, so taking them together improves their effectiveness. And remember, consistency is key when taking probiotics. You’ll need to stick with them for long enough to count if you want to reap the benefits.