Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, was wise beyond his years for many reasons, including when he proclaimed that health begins with the gut. Along those lines, there's no question that probiotics are the talk of the town, and for good reason: When it comes to overall health and wellness, one of the single most important things you can do is nourish and protect your gut.
No wonder a probiotic supplement is consistently ranked as one of the top five most popular among all dietary supplements. Despite the fact that the term "probiotics" is part of our everyday vocabulary and most people use a probiotic supplement daily (and you should), you may be wondering what are probiotics, what do probiotics do, and what are some common probiotics benefits?
Simply put, probiotics are friendly, living microbes that help us stay healthy. Since most (but not all) probiotics are bacteria (such as lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteriam), you'll often hear people refer to probiotics and probiotic supplements as "good bacteria."
Did you know you carry about 4 pounds of microbes (bacteria, yeasts, fungi, etc.) in your gut? It's true; your digestive tract houses roughly 100 trillion microbes. Considering there are over 30 trillion cells in the human body, that means you are over 3 times more microbes than you are cells. From a DNA perspective, the genes of these microbes exceed our human DNA by a factor of 100!
When it comes to probiotics benefits, the most widely accepted core benefit of probiotics is that they support a healthy balance of gut bacteria (also referred to as the gut microbiome, microbiota, and microflora).† Why is this so important? While each of us has both "good" and "bad" bacteria and other microbes, maintaining a healthy balance is critical. Yet, the gut microbiome can be challenged by many everyday factors, including:
On top of that, there are two common and highly regarded probiotics benefits:
What's more, science has begun unraveling quite a few more potential probiotics benefits, such as boosting mood, balancing stress and anxiety, improving cognitive function, helping with weight management, improving appetite control, enhancing recovery and sports performance, and more.†
Unfortunately, the common probiotic-rich foods are fermented foods, which are not all that common in most people's diets. On the flipside, the laundry list of factors that can disrupt the gut microbiome are overwhelmingly common. That's a surefire recipe for a disturbance in the balance of gut bacteria, and that makes a probiotic supplement an obvious top choice for getting more probiotics into your body and for supporting a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
In addition to probiotics, you may have also heard the term prebiotics. What's the difference between a prebiotic vs. probiotic? Should you be looking for a probiotic supplement that also contains prebiotics?
In scientific speak, a prebiotic is "a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit," such as beneficially changing "the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microflora."† In other words, prebiotics are indigestible compounds (like fibers and polyphenols) that are fermented by gut bacteria and selectively stimulate the growth of healthy gut bacteria while helping reduce the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
Say what?! In simple terms, prebiotics are like fuel for healthy gut bacteria and serve as food for probiotics. In a nutshell, prebiotics help increase levels of "good" bacteria while helping reduce the amount of "bad" bacteria, which promotes a healthy balance of gut bacteria.†
But that may not be the only set of tricks up the sleeve of prebiotics. You see, probiotics "feed" on prebiotics via fermentation, and a byproduct of this process is the production of short-chain fatty acids (such as butyrate, acetate, and propionate), which fuel the immune system, stimulate the production of appetite-suppressing hormones, support healthy mitochondria, and offer neuroenhancing effects.†
So, when it comes to a prebiotic vs. probiotic supplement, what's more important? They BOTH are! In fact, when you combine prebiotics with probiotics that work synergistically with one another, your probiotic supplement becomes what's referred to as a synbiotic. Some researchers have gone so far as to describe the combination as a "fountain of life."†
This is a GREAT question. As you might have guessed, not all probiotic supplements are created equal…
For starters, by definition, probiotics must be alive when you take them. Unfortunately, a substantial number of conventional probiotics are DEAD before you take them due to poor manufacturing practices and storage conditions. On top of that, because probiotics are extremely sensitive to stomach acid and bile, research shows that, on average, as little as 10 – 25% of probiotics may actually reach the gut—which is where they need to be to flex their figurative muscle.†
Along those lines, you want a probiotic supplement that contains probiotics that are protected by acid-resistant technology (to protect them from stomach and bile acids). For example, Microencapsulation Technology™, which wraps probiotics in an acid-resistant coating, has been shown to significantly increase the viability and activity of probiotics.† Also, certain probiotics (such as strains from the Bacillus family) are naturally heat-stable and acid-resistant, making them great options as well.
What's more, not all probiotics are the same, and along those lines, you have to match the benefit you want to a specific probiotic. Having said that, most people who are looking for broad-spectrum support (supporting a healthy balance of gut bacteria, a healthy digestive tract, and a healthy immune system) will be best off using a multi-strain probiotic.†
Also, the total amount of probiotics matters (measured in colony forming units, or CFU). According to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics, a minimum of 1 billion CFU (per probiotic) is a good starting point, and generally speaking, more is typically considered better.†
You'll be delighted to know Pro-X10 advanced probiotic supplement meets all these criteria and more. For starters, it features the acid-resistant Microencapsulation Technology™, which has been shown to significantly improve viability and delivery of live probiotics.† It also features Bacillus subtilis (DE111®), a heat- and acid-resistant soil-based (SBO) probiotic, as well as several other research-backed probiotics:
That's right, Pro-X10 advanced probiotic supplement provides 10 CFU daily of SIX "super strains" of probiotics, which help ward off bad bacteria, rebalance the gut microbiome, enhance digestion, and support healthy immune system function.† But there's more…
Pro-X10 advanced probiotic also features PreforPro®, a next generation prebiotic that is unlike other prebiotics that require large servings and several days to begin working. PreforPro® is a non-fiber prebiotic that works in small amounts (15 mg/day), to help support the growth of a broad spectrum of probiotics while simultaneously crowding out harmful bacteria—in both the small and large intestines.†
We truly believe Pro-X10 is the best probiotic supplement available and sets the bar for quality and value, and we're confident you'll agree!
Pro-X10 is an advanced probiotic supplement that promotes a healthy balance of gut bacteria, supports a healthy digestive tract and bowel regularity, and supports a healthy immune system.† This synergistic synbiotic formula combines probiotics and prebiotics for advanced gut health benefits.†
Here are some of the key ingredients in Pro-X10: