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When To Take Probiotics
Posted by Dr. Ben Kim on Nov 05, 2005
I learned something interesting about probiotics this past week from a column in Alive magazine, a Canadian publication that can be found in most health food stores throughout Canada.
Francine Mondou, a microbiologist who specializes in manufacturing probiotics, suggests that it is optimal to take probiotics on a full stomach.
Her reasoning is based on the fact that an empty stomach has a very acidic environment - a pH of about 1.5 to 2.5. Right after a meal, the environment in the stomach becomes less acidic, rising to a pH of about 4.0 to 6.0.
In general, probiotic strains are able to survive for at least two hours in a gastric environment with a pH of 4.0. Ergo, taking probiotics on a full stomach increases the likelihood of the friendly bacterial strains surviving through the acidic environment of your stomach and reaching your intestines, where they can provide several health promoting effects.
Of course, not all bacteria are equal in their ability to survive in acidic environments.
If you are taking a probiotic supplement or thinking of starting on one, your best bet is to choose a product that contains a wide variety of bacterial strains to increase the likelihood of having beneficial organisms reach your intestines. And it certainly won't hurt you to follow Francine's advice about taking your probiotic after a meal.
In case you haven't been a subscriber to my newsletter for very long, the best probiotic blend that I have ever tried and use on a daily basis is found in a super green food mixture that my family uses daily.
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