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Probiotics Demystified - Which Probiotics Should I Choose?

Updated: May 9

Have you ever gone to your local shop and picked up a box of probiotics because they are ‘good for your gut’?

Well you aren’t wrong, they can have some incredible benefits on not just our gut, but our overall health.

But here’s a probiotic fact for you… different probiotic strains are useful for different symptoms. Comparing different species is like comparing horses and dogs. So you’ve got to know why you are taking them to help identify what improvements you are looking for. Otherwise, how will you know if they are of any benefit to you?

Here’s another fact…

There’s no evidence to show that healthy people will benefit from taking probiotics.

So, if you do have symptoms and want to give probiotics a try, how do you know which ones to choose? Before I give you some examples here’s the low down on what the different parts of the probiotic names mean. I’ll use my eczema favourite Lactobacillus salivarium LS01 as the example

Genus Lactobacillus

This is your ‘family’ of organisms, with everyone in this family being similar. E.g. mammals or reptiles.

Species Salivarius

These are the different types of microorganisms in the genus family. For example, under the mammal genus, you have horses, dogs, cats, monkeys and humans. Under the Lactobacillus genus, you have salivarius, acidophilus, iners, casei… and a load more.

Strain - LS01

This is the important part – it’s these individual strains which make each probiotic supplement different. If we take horses as an example, each strain would be a different breed so shetland, shire, thoroughbred etc.

So for eczema sufferers, choosing Lactobacillus salivarius LS01 over Lactobacillus salivarius LS03 is key. But acne sufferers on the other hand may want to look for Lactobacillus salivarius LS03.

There are hundreds of probiotics out there. It’s a complete minefield. What’s key is finding those specific strains, which have plenty of research behind them to support their claims.

large and small horse
It’s just one tiny difference, but if we go back to the horse analogy… there’s a huge difference between bringing a Shetland pony and a large horse home!

So with that in mind, here are some key probiotic strains for different symptoms

Increasing iron absorption - Lactobacillus plantarum 299v

Reducing the frequency of asthma incidences- Bifidobacterium breve B632

Colicky babies - Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis

Reducing IBS-D symptoms - Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG

Protecting infants against eczema development - Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001

Supporting psoriasis - Lactobacillus pentosus GMNL-77

Acne - Bifidobacterium breve BR03

And that's just a few. For many conditions, it's a combination of different strains that have proven to be the most effective. This is where working with a qualified Nutritional Therapist comes in useful... I do all the hard work for you to find the right probiotic for your symptoms.

To discuss if probiotics would be a good option for you, pop me an email at and we can have a chat.

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