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Digestive Health and Wellness

Probiotic Truths Be Told

The International Probiotic Association (IPA), a non-profit association, communicates accuracy to bust myths and ensure you are best informed about probiotics


George Paraskevakos

Executive Director, International Probiotic Association

Myth 1. Probiotics are not defined

Fact: They are defined as “live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host” (WHO, 2001). Probiotic labels should include: the full name of the probiotic(s) they contain (genus, species, and strain); dose (colony forming units, or CFU/capsule or CFU/g); expiry date; and storage conditions. 


Myth 2. Probiotics are all the same

Fact: They are not the same. Probiotics are as different as all the makes and models of cars that we drive, having different effects that vary from strain to strain. For example, Lactobacillus IPA 101 refers to Lactobacillus as the genus, IPA as the species and 101 as the strain. This probiotic example is different from Lactobacillus IPA 102, where 101 and 102 refer to the specific strains.

Choose specific probiotic strains based on your specific desired effects. There is no single probiotic that can cover all of the health benefits that they can offer. 

Probiotics can support digestive health, microbiome balance, immune health, nutrient absorption, and vitamin production. Specific probiotics may help manage digestive issues (IBS), reduce risk of common infections, reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, reduce the risk of pediatric acute infectious diarrhea and colic, and much more.

Bio-Kult is the original multi-strain Bio-Kult product containing 14 probiotic strains for everyday use.

Myth 3. All fermented foods are probiotics

Fact: Traditionally fermented foods and beverages (kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.)  contain live microbes, but they typically do not meet the probiotics definition. This is often because their health effects have not been confirmed and the microbes are not clearly identified.  

Myth 4. More probiotics are better

Fact: Higher dosage and more strains in probiotic products do not always lead to higher quality and greater effect. Select probiotic products that contain specific strains and the doses studied for the desired effect. 


Myth 5. Probiotics are not backed by science 

Fact: Thousands of studies have been conducted on probiotics. This research identifies health benefits, actions, and the dose needed to provide specific benefits.

Myth 6. Probiotics are only beneficial to people with health issues 

Fact: Gut microbiota are affected by stress, diet, activity, and more. Therefore, they may benefit people of all ages with various health issues, and they can also benefit anyone wanting to stay healthy and maintain the balance of their gut microbiota.  

Bio-Kult can be used on a continuous basis or for a short period of time, e.g. when taking antibiotics.

Myth 7. Probiotics change your gut immediately 

Fact: The health benefits from probiotics can take two to three weeks or more to take effect. Daily probiotic use is important to maintain the health benefits of the probiotic. 

Myth 8. Probiotics are boring

Fact: They are incredibly interesting, and scientists continue sharing more about what these cool microbes can do and how they benefit us!


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