Are multi-strain products better than single-strain probiotic products?

Multi-strain products containing several strains in high doses do not necessarily have a better effect than a single-strain product. Important criteria when choosing a probiotic product are:

• The probiotic bacteria must be defined on strain level

• The probiotic product must have been tested in human clinical studies, with the same dose and with the same bacterial strain(s) as in the commercial product.

What are the health benefits of probiotics?

Probiotics have shown beneficial effects in gastrointestinal disorders such as colic, constipation, and diarrhea. Promising results have also been shown for the maintenance of a normal immune function and protection against infections. Further, probiotics have  shown benefits in oral health. BioGaia offers clinically-proven and user-friendly probiotic products to consumers world wide. Due to the regulatory situation we cannot communicate the effect of our products or claim health benefits. In Europe the use of nutrition and health claims is regulated by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and today there are no approved health claims for probiotics.

Why is it important to define a probiotic bacteria on strain level?

Bacteria are classified into genus, species and strains. Probiotic strains of the same species have different characteristics, and may therefore have different health effects. For example, clinical studies with the two strains, Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 and Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938, have shown different effects in clinical studies. That is why a probiotic product must be defined on strain level.

What is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. Prebiotics are fibres and carbohydrates that stimulate the growth of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria that can be found in dietary supplements and sometimes in dairy products. Probiotics are defined as ”live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” (WHO/FAO 2002, Hill C et al. 2014). An important criterium for qualifying as a true probiotic is that health benefits have been proven in clinical studies. Furthermore, a probiotic product must contain the same bacterial strain(s) and the same dose that was used in the clinical studies.