Sunday, November 14, 2010

Probiotic Capsules: A New Pharmacy Section in the Supermarket.

I'm suddenly seeing a great number of probiotic products on the supermarket pharmacy section shelves.  Looking through the claims and labels, these products are overwhelmingly similar to health food store offerings with one exception.  They are not refrigerated. 

Consumer reports did an analysis of probiotics some years back and found that the die off from manufacture date to purchase time was pretty extraordinary.  An equivalent metaphor would be packaged fish.  It might be possible to package fish well enough that they wouldn't start to stink, but that would be a pretty gamey fish by the time you got it. 

For any and all of you considering probiotics, either go to a refrigerated product or use the yogurts in the dairy aisle.  Ounce for ounce probiotic capsules are more concentrated, but we generally eat far more yogurt at a sitting.  So they work out to be equivalent.  Consumer reports found that all yogurt brands continued to have live bacteria. 

If you are determined to buy probiotics, consult someone like me.  I can at least tell you what brands are doing independent testing at the consumer end to make the little guys are still alive. 

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