How To Tell If Probiotics Are Alive; The Biology Of Probiotics

How To Tell If Probiotics Are Alive

One of the essential parts of human life is medicine. Humans have always been interested in studying their physiological processes and creating drugs to fight illnesses or make us healthier. One of the most significant advancements in the latter is probiotics.

Probiotics help with the bacteria in our bodies, making our digestion and other physiological processes run more smoothly. 

Let us look at this exciting topic and see how probiotics work with humans and how we can use them for a better future;

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How To Tell if Probiotics are Alive

A standard label will have the name of the specific probiotic, storage and usage instructions, the dosage, and expiration date. Some companies will indicate the expiry date as “use-by date,” and you know the probiotics are still alive if they haven’t expired. You also need to ensure they have the right storage conditions to stay alive.

More about Probiotic Storage and Use

Probiotics have become a prevalent dietary supplement in the US and other parts of the world. This is mainly because scientific research has shown support for their use and benefits to humans.

Consumers buy and use probiotics for a long list of health benefits since it is now clear that they work. 

As a retailer, you need to understand some critical facts about these dietary supplements to store them correctly and prescribe them as you should to your customers. Here is what you must know, as a retail buyer for probiotics;

1. Probiotics are living organisms

Like humans or horses, probiotics are alive, and they need a specific set of conditions to survive and remain usable. 

If you don’t meet these conditions, the probiotics will die, and the remainder will not be as effective as they could be.

Two of the most essential aspects of probiotics are temperature and humidity. Some probiotics need refrigeration to stay alive, while others are okay at room temperature. You need to know all these and store them accordingly as a retailer.

Contact the manufacturers or brands themselves to get ample storage and handling instructions for the warehouse, during shipping, and on your shelves. This will ensure the product stays viable and your customers are safe.

2. Probiotics offer different health benefits

When most people think of probiotics, they imagine how they help with digestive health, but there is more to probiotics than this. Some probiotics can help with immune system function, heart health, and brain health.

As a retailer or consumer, you must know what probiotics you want so you prescribe or get the correct ones and get the benefits you want. 

3. Probiotics have a proper labeling system

All probiotic labels have three units, identity, viability, and quantity, to make everything clear. As a retailer, you must ensure that your products meet these requirements, so your customers know what they are buying. 

Labeling is critical in medicine since mistakes can cause serious health repercussions to a user. A probiotic label should identify the genus, species, and strain for each organism to know the specific benefits to expect from a product.

The FDA requires supplement labels to measure ingredients by weight, but you should provide the number of live organisms in a product. The number is often in the millions, and the units are CFUs, Colony Forming Units.

Some brands will number the organisms at the time of manufacture, but this can be misleading since probiotics can lose activity. Confirm with your supplier that the amount is accurate within the expiry dates.

What Happens To Your Body When You Take Probiotics?

Probiotics are very popular, and you must have heard about them from a friend or your doctor at this point. 

You must know they have a significant favorable influence on your stomach but have you ever thought about why this is so?

Let us break down the biological functioning of probiotics and the human body to see what happens to you when you ingest probiotics;

Probiotics are live bacteria that primarily help support gut health. When you ingest probiotic supplements, you add more good bacteria to your gut. Increasing the good bacteria count will help keep the harmful bacteria under control. 

Probiotic supplements and food will help manage dysbiosis in your body by adding suitable bacteria species to your stomach, which will help promote healthy digestion. Having a healthy digestive system means that you will have fewer problems with your stomach.

If you have issues like diarrhea, constipation, and bloats, you need a healthy microbiome concentration in your stomach to help out. 

These organisms in your body could improve your mood since the stomach relates closely to the brain.

Probiotics will metabolize differently in people because they are alive, and their colonization depends on their environment. 

Probiotics may take longer to show effects, depending on your gut composition, and they could affect you negatively at the beginning of the treatment.

This means that the longer you take a probiotic, the more the bacteria will grow in your gut; thus, you will have more effects with time. 

Even if you have some adverse effects, it is vital to stay on the supplements and allow your body time to adjust before everything gets better.

Before taking any supplements, you need to visit your doctor or a specialist to get their professional opinion. 

They will assess your situation and tell you if you should use probiotics and which supplements will be the best for you.

Probiotics can be harmful, and your doctor will know to warn you about them before you get sick. The effects of probiotics can manifest as soon as 24 hours after the first dose in some people.

For others, it can take months for the effects to settle and grow a decent amount of bacteria. The time might be different, but you will feel some physical changes once you get into your window.

Regardless of your condition, stick to your doctor’s prescription and dietary plan. Supplements should not replace food; they add to your usual diet. Stay on a healthy diet with lots of fiber, and you should be okay.

How Do You Know Probiotics Are Working

Once you have paid a lot of money for supplements, you need to know it is working for you. It would be disappointing to know that you spend your money on something that doesn’t have any health benefits, so you must have a way to know if the supplements work.

When dealing with probiotics, several factors can affect how well they work. These factors include the type of probiotics, current health status, dosage, time of consumption, storage, and overall quality.

Even on the same dosage, probiotics will work differently among people, and the subject’s factors will affect how well the probiotics work. Here are some indicators that probiotics are working in your body;

Good bowel movements and correct weight

Going to the bathroom each day without having diarrhea or constipation implies an improved way of handling your food; thus, the probiotics will be doing their job. 

Probiotics are supplements, so using them along with the proper meals and fiber will give a combination that makes it easy to digest your food. You would take in the food better and gain weight if you had a problem before. 

Improved digestion

If the probiotics are working, you will feel your gut is more relaxed and comfortable. You will have fewer or no stomach aches since there will be enough microorganisms to digest the food in your intestines properly.

More energy

As a result of the improved digestion and mineral absorption, you will have more energy in your body; thus, you feel more vibrant. Feeling energetic will make a big difference in how you think, carry yourself, or work; thus, you will do better.

Less stress

Your digestion has a significant effect on your stress levels, and when you can handle the digestion efficiently, it will ease your stress. This will make you more comfortable mentally and emotionally.

Stronger immune system

Having a healthy probiotic supplement will help you produce more healthy bacteria in your body. This will make your immune system more robust, and it will be able to eliminate harmful bacteria that would make you sick.

The body needs the energy to produce white blood cells that fight infections. A sound and efficient digestive system will produce more energy for the body to use in cell division; thus, you will have more white blood cells and better immunity.


The only way to know if probiotics are alive is by checking the expiry date. If you follow the storage instructions, any probiotics will be alive within the expiry window. Probiotics can be inactive, but certain conditions will activate them and make them work. 

Supplements are a form of medication, so you should get your doctor’s professional opinion before buying probiotics. If you use them correctly and eat a healthy diet, you should see the positive effects of probiotics in a few days.