How to Choose a Probiotic

The world of probiotics can be intimidating at first. Now that you know the basics, we bet you’re wondering what all the lingo is about. What’s up with the billions, strains, and shelf stability? What are these words and ingredients I’ve never seen before? We’re sharing everything you need to know to make the best probiotic choice for your unique wellness needs.

What’s in a Billion?

Probiotics are available in potencies ranging from 1 million to 100+ billion. But what does that mean, exactly? The potency is measured in CFUs (Colony Forming Units), or active cultures. For example, if you choose a probiotic with 30 Billion CFUs, that means that each capsule contains 30 billion live microorganisms that will be delivered to your gut.

Genus, Species, and Strains 101

If it’s been awhile since junior high science class, let us give you a refresher on genus, species, and strains. They’re important aspects of decoding a probiotic supplement label and identifying the product’s health benefits.

Strain Graphic

The genus of a probiotic is the first word in the phrase and refers to the bacteria types themselves. The species and strain, which follow the genus, will point to the specific health benefits you can expect from that probiotic.

Choosing a probiotic with diverse strains can help support the varied environment in your gut, so opt for a product with a few different strains instead of just one.*

Breaking Down Good Bacteria

Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria are the most common genus types found in probiotics.

Lactobacilli are good bacteria predominantly found in the small intestine. Typically, they help maintain the healthy function of the small intestine and help support immune health and digestive balance.* You may often seerhamnosus, acidophilus, or gasseri paired with Lactobacillius on a label; these are specific species of probiotic bacteria.

Bifidobacteria are good bacteria typically found in the large intestine, or colon. They’re great at promoting regularity and are especially important as you age, since most adults experience a natural decline.* Bifidobacteria is often followed by a series of numbers that indicates the species and strain.

You’ll find various combinations of both Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria strains in Fortify™ Probiotics. For example, Fortify 30 Billion Age 50+ contains NCFM®, HN019™, Bi-07®, BI-04® strains of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli to support immune health, colon health, and digestive balance.*

probiotic names

Don’t Forget the Expiration Date!

While many probiotic supplements are shelf-stable and don’t require refrigeration, you will want to ensure it is guaranteed potency through expiration date to be sure you’re getting an active probiotic. Fortify’s innovative bottle technology helps guarantee that the product will deliver the promised amount of live probiotic cultures until the date of expiration without refrigeration.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to probiotics. There’s a lot to learn about these beneficial bacteria, so if you’re curious to learn more about how to decipher probiotic language, check out our comprehensive glossary for everything you need to know.

BI-04® and Bi-07® are trademarks of DuPont. In the USA, NCFM® is a trademark of the North Carolina Agriculture Foundation, Inc. NCFM®, BI-04®, and Bi-07® are used under license.

Bi-07® is a trademark of DuPont. Bi-07® is used under license.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
**Extra strength compared to Fortify 30 billion probiotic formulas.
†† Based on an IQVIA ProVoice survey of Primary Care Physicians, HOWARU B. lactis HN019 is the Doctor preferred probiotic strain for Regularity as compared to other strains in leading Probiotic brands, 52-week sales MULO, ending 11/3/2019; December 2019.*