Probiotic myths: the best probiotics are kept in the fridge

Healthy bacteria, known as probiotics, within the gut

The belief that the best probiotics are those that need to be refrigerated is now old hat. There are few reasons why refrigeration is necessary for a probiotic nowadays because freeze drying techniques have been improved, plus new more robust strains of probiotic have been discovered through the intensive R&D that has gone into the probiotic industry.

A much more reliable indicator of the quality of a probiotic is the amount of research that has been conducted into it, with clinical trials proving the effectiveness of the bacteria regarded as the gold standard.

The top 10 best probiotics (ie most proven in clinical trials) are:

  1. rhamnosus GC
  2. boulardii (sold most widely as Florastor)
  3. plantarum 299v (sold most widely as Culturelle)
  4. infantis 35624
  5. reuteri DSM 17938
  6. lactis BB-12
  7. acidophilus NCFM
  8. acidophilus La-5
  9. reuteri RC-14 and L. rhamnosus GR-1 combined
  10. VSL#3

So while some good-quality products may be kept in the fridge, this storage method certainly doesn’t make a probiotic ‘superior’ or denote the ‘best’. Of the 10 most researched probiotic supplements in the world, only one (VSL#3) requires refrigeration.

Information supplied by Optibac

The Natural Health Hub specialises in probiotics, offering a full range of different probiotics tailored for particular needs. For more information head on here.

Read more on how it is the strain of a probiotic that is important, rather than merely its family

For more advice on the benefits of probiotics and choosing the right one for you, pop in any time. Alternatively, for a full consultation on your gut flora and probiotic needs, visit our naturopathic nutritionist Rhi Hepple