One of the Most Important Relationships You’ll Ever Have
When we hear “relationship,” our minds typically turn to our partners, parents, children, or even to our closest friend. But we’re actually referring to the crucial relationship you have with the 39 trillion bacteria in your digestive system.
You and your bacteria buddies exist in a state of codependence: You provide them with a place to live and nurture them regularly by feeding them—we hope—a balanced diet complete with dietary fibre. In return, they protect your digestive system and perform a variety of biological functions relating to cognition, immunity, and even the prevention of certain types of diseases.
Probiotics are used to further support the good bacteria in your digestive tract. Their therapeutic benefits have been well-documented. But getting the most out of these benefits is highly influenced by two factors:
Temperature: Keep Your Probiotics Cool
All probiotics slowly weaken with time, but keeping them cold extends their lifespan, while warmer temperatures can speed up deterioration.
Some of the more beneficial strains, such as Bifidobacterium, are particularly sensitive to warmer temperatures. A peer-reviewed study of 16 different strains of this important genus clearly demonstrated accelerated deterioration rates at higher temperatures. At room temperature (25 °C), one strain of Bifidobacteria in particular experienced up to a 76% mortality rate in the first 90 days.
Safe Passage: Choose Enteric-Coated Probiotics
Before probiotics can do their job, they must survive the journey past your destructive stomach acids, to make it down to your intestines where they can do their work. Survival is highly dependent on the composition of the capsules protecting them. An in vitro study demonstrated enteric-coated capsules protect probiotics in these conditions, keeping them fully viable and 100% effective.
Keep your special someone warm, your probiotics cool in the fridge, and both off the shelf!
- Simpson, P.J., et al. “Intrinsic tolerance of Bifidobacterium species to heat and oxygen and survival following spray drying and storage.” Journal of Applied Microbiology, Vol. 99, No. 3 (2005): 493–501
- Kuate, S., et al. “In vitro comparative study of the survival of probiotic capsules in a simulated gastric environment.” NHP Laboratories Inc. (2017) [internal publication].