Choosing the right probiotic product for you

If you are planning to consume a probiotic product to improve your health, it is important to make sure you choose the right one to get the desired results.

Choosing the right probiotic product for you
Picking the right probiotic product for you. Photo by Lisa Rohtopia / Unsplash

If you are thinking of consuming a probiotic product to improve your health, it is important to make sure you choose the right one to obtain the desired results, since the market offers a large number of options. For this reason, researchers from the Laboratory of Chemistry and Biotechnology of Dairy Products of the Center for Research in Food and Development (CIAD) give you some advice.


Look for a probiotic brand that is backed by scientific research. There are a few online sites where you can find some products that have scientific research evidence and have been clinically tested.

Colony Forming Units

A probiotic product must contain billions or trillions of colony-forming units, also called CFUs. Experts in the probiotic field suggest that probiotics should have a minimum concentration of 106 (one million) CFUs per milliliter or gram of product.


The dosage is the indication that will explain how much to take to get results. It is necessary to verify that the CFUs in each dose or serving of the product is in line with what the research says is needed to see the desired benefit or effect. Experts recommend consuming at least 108 to 109 (one hundred million to one billion) CFUs daily.


Probiotic products can be classified according to the diversity of probiotic microorganisms that compose them, as follows:


They contain a strain of a specific probiotic species. Example: Lactobacillus acidophilus A1.


Contain more than one strain of the same probiotic species or species that may be closely related. Example: Lactobacillus acidophilus A1, Lactobacillus fermentum B1, and Lactobacillus casei C1.


Contain strains of different probiotic species belonging to one or more genera. Example: Lactobacillus acidophilus A1, Bifidobacterium longum G1, Enterococcus faecium T1, and Saccharomyces boulardii H1.

Although a multispecies product is not necessarily more effective than a single strain product, different strains with different characteristics are more likely to colonize the digestive system. The probiotic effect could be enhanced due to synergism between the specific effects provided by each of the probiotic strains.

Probiotics with specific benefits

Probiotics that have been shown to provide health benefits include several species or strains; as mentioned above, probiotic products may contain a combination of these.

Recent research has shown that some strains are more effective than others in treating certain conditions. There is one particularly important consideration for probiotics: they are not all the same, so the effects are strain-dependent. Thus, closely related bacteria, even of the same species, may have different beneficial effects.

Therefore, it is possible to get better results by consuming probiotics that have already been shown to have specific effects against certain diseases, such as:

General digestive health

Bifidobacterium lactis CNCM I-2494 Bifidobacterium longum 35624
Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285
Lactobacillus casei LBC80R
Lactobacillus rhamnosus CLR2
Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938
Lactobacillus helveticus R0052
Streptococcus salivarius K12
Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745

Immune system stimulation

Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12
Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07
Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
Lactobacillus rhamnosus Lcr35
Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14
Lactobacillus acidophilus Lafti L10
Lactobacillus casei CRL-431
Lactobacillus casei sp. paracasei CNCM I-1518
Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-3856

Constipation relief

Bifidobacterium longum BL03
Bifidobacterium longum BB536
Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12
Bifidobacterium lactis HN019
Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010
Lactobacillus casei Shirota
Lactobacillus bulgaricus PXN 39
Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
Lactobacillus casei PXN 37
Escherichia coli Nissle 1917
Streptococcus thermophilus PXN 66

Efficacy against diarrhea

Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12
Lactobacillus casei sp. paracasei CNCM I-1518
Lactobacillus plantarum 299v
Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938
Lactobacillus acidophilus SD5212
Lactobacillus acidophilus La5
Lactobacillus helveticus R52
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
Enterococcus faecium SF 68
Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745

Increasing resistance against infections or allergies

Bifidobacterium lactis UABLa-12
Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12
Lactobacillus acidophilus A-212
Lactobacillus rhamnosus A119
Lactobacillus acidophilus CUL-60
Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1
Lactobacillus acidophilus L-92
Lactobacillus johnsonii EM
Lactobacillus gasseri TMC0356
Lactobacillus rhamnosus Lcr35
Lactobacillus gasseri EN153471
Streptococcus thermophilus A-336