If you’re new to the world of probiotics and gut health, one of the first questions you might have is do probiotics need to be refrigerated? The short answer is yes, but keep reading to learn more.
Known as a remedy for gut health, Probiotics are good bacteria that our body needs. These live microorganisms protect our body from infections and illnesses. It can tame diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome or other chronic digestive issues. Not only that it’s good for the digestive health, they can also help promote healthy teeth and gums.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria. Our bodies and those good bacteria are great together. We need them as much as they need us. It can enhance our immunity, improve our mood, and decrease skin problems like allergies and eczema.
There are 500 different types of probiotics inside out body.
Some of the friendly bacteria are lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus bulgarius, lactobacillus reuteri, streptococcus thermophiles, saccharomyces boulardii, bifidobacterium bifidum, and bacillus subtilis. These probiotics are found in foods such as yogurt, cultured vegetables like kimchi, raw cheese, apple cider, pickles, and olives.
Bacteria cells in a human body three times more than human cells. That is why, if you look closely, a probiotic product contain millions of live microorganisms.
Should Probiotics be refrigerated? The answer is, yes.
Although not all of them, Probiotics are kept in refrigeration areas to increase its life. Most commonly probiotics are fragile to excess heat. Studies show that commonly used probiotic require close supervision from the production, delivery, up to its storage in order to keep them alive. However, several types of Soil-Based Organism probiotics, Bacillus probiotic, and other naturally resistant strains.
Improper storage is one factor that causes the good bacteria to die. The number of colony forming units decreases over time that’s why manufacturers set a date when it’s best to intake. Elements such as heat, moisture, light, and oxygen affect the stability of bacteria. If they failed to survive these challenges, the less they perform their work. That is why choosing the bacteria is so important, each will have a reaction to different threats before it can reach its destination.
Most probiotic products in any form require refrigeration. Similar to the reason why we put our food in the refrigerator, to slow its maturation. Many bacteria are damaged or die off before they can do their work in the human’s intestine. Transporting products away from refrigeration can decrease or lose its potency.
Microorganism has a life cycle, from growing, feeding, until it’s dying stage. Leaving it at a warm temperature can mature the bacteria rapidly. They can lose their beneficial properties and eventually die off. The four stages of the probiotic life cycle are:
- Lag Phase – it’s where the bacteria grow and adapt their environment but are not able to divide.
- Growth Phase – it’s where the bacteria can replicate and create metabolic waste. This is a sensitive stage as bacteria are prone to harmful environmental conditions.
- Static Phase – it’s where some bacteria grow and some died. The nutrients that need to replicate are coming off short which result in the blocking of growth.
- Death Phase – it’s where the bacteria stop growing and die off.
Are there probiotics that don’t require refrigeration? The answer is, yes again.
Probiotic that doesn’t need refrigeration are those from the lag phase. They are not actively divided until they reach their destination, which means there is not metabolism to slow down. They can increase their life even at room temperature. Bacteria in the lag phase can adapt to an acidic environment which gives them higher survival rates compared to refrigerated bacteria.
Factors Affecting Probiotics
Refrigeration is very important to keep the viability of Probiotics. A temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit can decrease their population up to 10 to 15 percent, and above that is a doubled-loss.
Moisture stimulates bacteria that will start the process of degradation. Manufacturers sealed their product at low humidity to avoid exposure to air which causes the bacteria to deteriorate.
3. Manufacturing Damages
If the exposure of bacteria is during the manufacturing process, longevity to heat will kill delicate bacteria. To avoid this, manufacturers use microencapsulation to prolong the bacteria outside refrigeration. But later found out that these process actually destroys bacteria. This only proves that some bacteria without refrigeration will lose its number.
Deep-freezing the bacteria can protect probiotics. Culturing them involves strict water content for maximum survival. With less water creates low moisture content.
2. Colony Forming Units (CFU)
Loading products with more number of colony forming units can have more possible survivors. Though an issue of having excess dosage need to consume leaves hanging. They have been thinking if it can affect or carry potential harm to users.
3. Symbiotic Formulations
Another solution is to combine probiotics that are naturally compatible with each other. SBO Probiotics are appeared survive among probiotic communities.
Is probiotic for everyone?
If you are curious if taking probiotics are for all ages, then it’s true. Everyone can have probiotics. Especially when you are not feeling well, daily consumption of probiotic products can give you a healthier lifestyle.
Taking probiotics is part of a healthy living. So why not add it to your daily diet? Isn’t that a great idea? But how?
You may add little portion every now and then to your food intake. And if you see any changes in your digestion or overall health, then you are on the right track. There are a variety of probiotics that you can add to your favorite foods. Yogurt, fermented cheese, and fermented vegetables are some food containing prebiotic. But take note that it’s important that you know that probiotics do not claim proof of effectiveness. You should see your personal doctors to give you advice on this matter.
Probiotics don’t work like magic. Restoring it your body to make your healthy takes time. If you have some digestive problems and you think that consuming probiotic can work overnight, it’s not going to happen. Probiotics task is to grow more good bacteria in your body to help your gut grow in its own good environment.