Before buying lactic acid bacteria preparations you should always check:
1. The origin of the bacteria. Are they human specific or derived from the dairy industry?
2. Strength. Minimum 1E9 cfu/g/day is needed.
- The percentage (e.g. 1.5%) is irrelevant unless the strength is given.
- 1E11 cfu/g is not possible, because the bacteria would not be stabile. Impossible and too expensive to realize.
- If less than 1E8 cfu/g we recommend that you buy yoghurt.
- If too concentrated (more than 1E10 cfu/g) the bacteria are stabile only at temperatures below -30°.
- Bacteria less than 1E8 cfu/g are stabile but effective enough only if you take more than 10 g a day.
- If the product contains any preservative you can be sure that the bacteria are not stabile in the given concentration. This applies to most dairy bacteria.
- Tablet manufacturing process destroys 95% of the bacteria due to the pressure and the temperature.
- Blister packaging destroys 80% of the bacteria due to the heat created during the process.
4. Carrier (prebiotic)
- The carrier has to be as simple as possible.
- Too many substances lead to an increased buffer effect and the product is no longer as effective.
- The interaction of bacteria and carrier has to be tested in relation to the pH level and effect of the product.
- Vitamins and bacteria are incompatible.
- The mixture does not require starch in vivo, only in vitro.
- The relative humidity has to be below 4%, otherwise the bacteria will not keep long.
- Inulin should be avoided because it increases the growth of both pathogenic bacteria and bifidobacteria.
5. Does the manufacturer have independent test results showing:
- The impact of the bacteria on the carrier in vivo and in vitro
- Stability in vivo and in vitro.
- That the bacteria produce lactic acid, interferon, interleukin, H₂O₂, natural antibiotics etc.
- Note that many manufacturers refer to tests that they have carried out using strong mixtures, but dilute the mixture before launching the product.
- Stability has to be ensured during the whole process.
6. Have the bacteria been registered according to the Budapest agreement (1977) as the law requires?