What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are foods or supplements that stimulate the growth of probiotic bacteria. Foods high in prebiotic nutrients include: garlic, jerusalem artichokes, leeks, asparagus, onions, oats, cocoa, and chicory.
Our probiotics contain two prebiotics: Lactostim, a prebiotic comprised of lecithin and oleic acid that works by emulsifying fats and rehydrating the bacteria so they can start propagating faster in your digestive tract and sodium alginate which works double duty as both a protector and a food source for our probiotics.
Do fructooligosaccharides benefit probiotics?
Yes. Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are prebiotic carbohydrates that stimulate probiotic growth. Some foods rich in FOS are artichokes, garlic, chicory, onions, and bananas.
As a soluble fiber, FOS absorbs water to help your body maintain regularity. Additionally, some fructooligosaccharides are low-calorie sweeteners that can be used as a sugar alternative; however, they can cause gas in some individuals when taken as a supplement.
How do Probiotics Work?
Probiotic bacteria attach to the soft lining (wall) of your intestinal tract and help reinforce the healthy structure and function of your GI system.
Lactobacillus probiotic strains colonize best in the small intestine whereas Bifidobacterium probiotic strains primarily grow within the large intestine (colon).
Beneficial bacteria repopulate your digestive tract with billions of living organisms that support healthy digestion, elimination, and encourage the optimal absorption of vitamins and minerals
Should I take probiotics with or without food?
Typically, you want to keep probiotics separated from food by about 30 minutes because most probiotic supplements do not have a method to protect the bacteria through the acidic environment in the stomach. Instead, many proiobitic manufacturers rely on excessive overage or select strains with mild acid tolerance.
Yet, even in the best case scenario, 99% of these bacteria die in the stomach, long before reaching your small intestine.
Because of this failure rate, many probiotic companies recommend taking their supplements 30 minutes before a meal with a glass of water. The stomach digests liquids in 15-20 minutes because they don't require a lot of acid or digestive effort which minimizes the bacteria's exposure to stomach acid.
On the other hand, it takes closer to 60-90 minutes for your body to begin digesting food which is a lot more time for unprotected probiotics to spend in the stomach. More time spent in the stomach during the digestive process means fewer probiotic bacteria survive. Because the majority of probiotic activity occurs outside the stomach and in the intestinal tract, you can see why they make this recommendation.
However, when using our probiotics, it does not matter whether or not you take them before, during, or after mealtime.
How do we do it?
Our patented delivery system utilizes dehydrated sodium alginate to ensure that all the bacteria and enzymes pass through the stomach unharmed with or without food or drink.
If you're unfamiliar with sodium alginate, it helps to think about seaweed -- not the sushi kind, but the type that gets washed up on beaches and wrapped around your ankles in the ocean. You know how it's slimy and mildly gross to touch? Sodium alginate is responsible for that slimy texture seaweed is known for!
In an acidic environment, sodium alginate forms a gel matrix (a fancy word for that slimy feeling you're familiar with), creating a protective barrier between the probiotic bacteria in one of our capsules and the hydrochloric acid produced by your stomach. Once it's past the stomach and in the pH-neutral environment in your small intestine, the protective barrier dissolves, safely releasing the probiotic bacteria deep into your digestive tract where they can proliferate and promote the healthy function of your digestive system.
Can I take probiotics with antibiotics?
Yes, you can absolutely take probiotics with antibiotics!
When should I give probiotics with antibiotics?
While you can take antibiotics and probiotics at the same time, we recommend separating your probiotic supplement from your antibiotic by two hours.
This separation will reduce the number of beneficial bacteria in your probiotic being killed by the antibiotic in your digestive tract.
How long should I take probiotics after antibiotics?
We recommend continuing to take a probiotic for approximately two weeks after your antibiotic regimen has completed. We recommend Theralac because our blend of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria probiotic bacteria will colonize your entire digestive tract.
You can continue to support the growth of beneficial bacteria after antibiotics by eating a diet rich in high-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables.
Why should I take a probiotic after antibiotics?
You take a probiotic after antibiotics because an antibiotic will kill both the good and bad bacteria throughout your digestive tract. Beneficial microbes like probiotic bacteria support the healthy structure and function of your digestive tract and help your body digest food and absorb nutrients. Introducing a probiotic either during or after an antibiotic regimen will support microbial balance.
Is probiotic deficiency common?
Yes! In fact, Probiotic deficiency is more common than you think! Numerous lifestyle factors can influence the balance of beneficial bacteria in your intestinal tract including, but not limited to: stress, poor diet, alcohol, travel, and aging.
To be honest, it's hard for a modern person not to have some kind of probiotic deficiency!
How do I fix a probiotic deficiency?
First and foremost, we recommend a diet rich in high-fiber foods. While taking a probiotic supplement may help, you have to remember that probiotic bacteria eat the same food we do. If you're not eating well, neither are the bacteria in your gut.
By adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, you can improve the quality of life for your indigenous beneficial bacteria. Most prebiotics are fiber-based as well so increasing your fiber intake will provide additional prebiotic nutrition for your probiotic supplement of choice!
How is My Order Shipped?
We provide same day shipping for all orders placed before 3:00 P.M. Central Time. We ship using USPS Priority Mail so your order will arrive as quickly as possible. Typically, shipments arrive within 2 - 3 days.
During the holiday season, postal carriers see a massive increase in volume which may lead to delays.
We provide tracking information for all accounts that have an associated email address so you can keep tabs on when your supplements are scheduled to arrive. If you do not see this email, check your spam folder.
If you wish to have your order shipped via UPS or have another special request, such as C.O.D., please call Customer Service to place your order. We're happy to ship internationally however additional shipping charges may apply.
What is Totally Inert Packaging?
Totally Inert Packaging (TIP) is our multi-step approach to ensuring guaranteed potency through expiration for all of our probiotic supplements.
We take these steps because it's important to minimize exposure. Because probiotic bacteria are living organisms, they have the same requirements for life as you or I -- without oxygen and water, probiotics cannot grow.
Most probiotic bacteria have been freeze dried during production to keep them in metabolic stasis. As we introduce moisture and oxygen, the once dehydrated probiotic bacteria wake up and begin reproducing or colonizing.
You want the probiotic bacteria to grow and colonize in your gut, not on the shelf.
Therefore, preventing the ingress of moisture and oxygen during storage is essential to ensure that your supplements remain potent through their expiration date.
After encapsulation, we pour our probiotic capsules into a glass bottle. We specifically use brown glass bottles for two reasons:
- They block UV light
- They allow less external moisture contamination
Probiotic bacteria are as sensitive to UV radiation as you or I and amber glass bottles block more UV light than clear, green, or blue glass bottles. Additionally, glass bottles have a lower moisture-vapor transmission rate. What this means is that water can more readily pass through a plastic packaging barrier and increase the relative humidity inside a plastic bottle.
Next, we add moisture and oxygen dessicant packets followed up by a pure nitrogen flush of the inside of each bottle.
These packets absorb whatever leftover excess oxygen and moisture remaining inside the product after we flush the bottles with pure N2. By minimizing the oxygen and moisture content, we can guarantee that the probiotics within will remain inert until you're ready to start taking them!
Lastly, we apply a double seal complete with another set of moisture and oxygen barriers to finish our TIP process.
By limiting their exposure, we can guarantee that our supplements will remain stable and potent through expiration.
Do you ship with ice packs?
We do not.
To study the effects heat has on our products, we placed a bottle of Theralac in a 100 degree F temperature controlled environment for 14 days and determined that it remained above its guarantee. Therefore, it is our conclusion that 2-3 days spent in transit isn't enough time to irreparably damage the probiotic organisms within our supplements.
It is important to note that probiotics do not go bad or spoil like a carton of milk would in high temperatures. Our Totally Inert Packaging, which includes amber glass bottles, anti-oxygen and anti-moisture desiccant packets, a nitrogen flush, triple seal, and rayon wadding provides optimum stability and freshness.
Additionally, to counteract any potential loss of viability from improper storage, we blend our probiotics with vast overage in bacterial counts to guarantee that we can deliver the full listed potency throughout the entire two-year shelf life. We have been posting online, third-party lab test results verifying potency online since 2003 and you can check the official bacterial count for your lot here.
With 15 years of third party testing and experience shipping worldwide, we 100% guarantee potency through expiration when our products are shipped without an ice pack.