When comparing probiotics, there are two vital pieces of information on the label that you need to pay attention to: the type of probiotic strain and the number of colony-forming units, or CFUs, it contains. Even more importantly, you should be able to easily find clinical research demonstrating the efficacy of the product’s formulation.
What are CFUs?
CFU stands for colony-forming unit, which simply refers to the number of live and active micro-organisms that can be found in each serving of the probiotic you are taking. Accurately quantifying a probiotic’s CFUs is crucial, as it is the quantity of living bacteria which plays a role in determining the efficacy of the product. Often probiotic products will be dosed at CFU levels shown to have a beneficial effect in human clinical trials and research, but a percentage of the quantified bacteria will die off before the product reaches the consumer. Many different factors can lead to bacteria death, including improper storage, manufacturing, and temperature fluctuations during shipping.
How many CFUs do I need?
There is no simple answer, and many of the numbers out there are best-guesses and estimations. Professor Claudio De Simone, MD, PhD, who is an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of intestinal microflora and the inventor of the proprietary formulation used as the foundation for STRONG, says that the lack of adequate probiotics on the market inspired him to create the De Simone formulation, which is one of the most widely studied probiotics on the market with over 70 published clinical trials and 200 appearances in scientific publications.
When choosing a probiotic, it’s important to note that not all brands tell you how many CFUs you are receiving per bacterial strain, and that some of the brands that do list this information don’t have the science to back it up. The way that bacterial strains interact with each other plays a huge role in the efficacy of a probiotic. Some bacteria have a symbiotic relationship and literally rely on each other for survival, while other bacteria are predatory and can make an environment unliveable for different bacterial strains. Choosing which bacteria to put into a probiotic supplement (and which bacteria to put into your gut) is a decision that should be based on scientific research, not random selection.
Many probiotics list the number of CFUs that were present during manufacturing, but don’t take into account the fact that probiotics are living microorganisms and can die off very easily if not stored in the proper conditions. Heat, moisture, light, and air can all have an impact on CFUs, and if probiotic bacteria aren’t alive when you consume them, they will not have an effect on your gut health.
Lyvecap STRONG is stored and shipped cold, keeping all 200 billion bacteria alive. You can even keep it at room temperature for up to 7 days without losing any CFUs. Lyvecap not only delivers the exact CFUs that we promote on our label, we also deliver the results of our research — that the bacterial strains in our probiotic are brought together to act in synergy and truly make a difference.
Takeaway: It’s not random, it’s research.