When most people think of bacteria, they tend to assume that all bacteria is harmful to the body. However, they would be mistaken. Probiotics are essentially a healthy form of bacteria or yeast that can benefit the body and promote health. In most cases, they are used to help healthy digestion and boost the immune system. There are a lot of different types of probiotics, and it can be helpful to understand what different probiotics can do for your body. Probiotics can be found in almost all conventional foods like yogurt and people have become increasingly interested in how they work. This article will specifically look at refrigerated probiotics and what they can do for your health.
What are Refrigerated Probiotics?
Refrigerated probiotics are probiotics that are kept at cooler temperatures. Not all probiotics need refrigerating, and it typically depends on the bacteria that they contain. For many probiotics, however, refrigeration is essential as it has been found that improper refrigeration can lead to the dying of the bacteria making the probiotics less effective. About 85% of probiotics require refrigeration, and it is essential that they are kept chilled during and after transportation. Many probiotics are sensitive to certain elements like light and heat and if they experience too much of a specific element the bacteria within the product may die. In some cases, the bacteria can even be activated by excess moisture if they are not refrigerated properly, again, making them less effective. Among refrigerated probiotics are products such as yogurts and drinks which all also require refrigeration.
Keeping this in mind, refrigerated probiotics are not a category of probiotic all by themselves because all probiotics should be refrigerated to some extent. They all contain bacteria and should be treated with the same care as you would treat a fruit or vegetable. Any exposure to heat or higher temperatures will result in them maturing faster and will kill them (or activate them which is also bad for preservation). Just like when you leave fruit in the heat they will ripen and eventually rot, it is the same principle. In most cases, you can see if a probiotic needs to be refrigerated. If the label does not mention anything about refrigeration, you can probably leave it out of the fridge.
How are They Made?
As it has been previously mentioned above, probiotics are healthy bacteria that reside in the intestines and gut, and they have some benefits towards the health of the body, mainly being associated with healthy digestion and better circulation. The way that refrigerated probiotics are made is a complex process, and the process differs for powered (non-refrigerated) and refrigerated probiotics. This is because the bacteria has to be suspended differently depending on how the probiotic will be stored and most refrigerated probiotics will be contained in a milky, dairy-type product like yogurt.
The process begins when the bacteria is grown and fermented, and this is usually done in a dairy product like milk because this is something that the bacteria like to feed on. The process can take up to a maximum of seven days depending on the bacteria they are trying to grow. As technologies advance the use of dairy-free products is becoming a possibility, and this would be of great benefit to both vegans and individuals who are intolerant in some shape or form. The dairy-based mixture is then placed in a centrifuge which spins and separates the particles based on their weight, allowing the good bacteria to be separated from the molecules in the food they were eating. The bacteria is then placed into capsules or foods (like yogurt), and they must remain chilled to keep the bacteria alive. Dead bacteria have no health benefits and are useless/a waste of money. There are many different companies that make probiotics differently, and there are hundreds of brands.
What Makes them Better than Standard Probiotics?
Arguably there is not a lot of difference between refrigerated probiotics and non-refrigerated probiotics. However, there are arguments for both sides. One of the arguments suggests that all probiotics need to be chilled to preserve the bacteria which will allow for maximum effect when it comes to their health benefits. The bacteria is going to be it’s most effective when it is alive, and through refrigeration, you can prevent the bacteria from maturing and dying just like every other organism. If the bacteria is preserved in a chilled state, it will stop them from feeding and going bad, making them a better option for promoting health. However, many people argue that individuals will be perfectly fine consuming blister packed probiotics that are not refrigerated because the bacteria is suspended in a frozen state. This means that even if they are not refrigerated, they will still have the same effect even if they were chilled. It depends on a personal decision as to what probiotic you choose, but there seems to be a wider agreement on the idea that refrigerated probiotics tend to help the bacteria last longer.
Brands of Refrigerated Probiotics and CFU
There are hundreds and thousands of probiotic brands that are available to individuals who are looking to improve their health and digestive system. It can be difficult deciding which one to pick because there are so many and all of them claim to be better than one another. However, even though they all claim to be different, they are not because they all use relatively the same type of bacteria. It more or less depends on your immune system and how you react to a certain brand which will allow you to decipher which one works best for you.
There have been a lot of questions about the idea of colony forming units (CFU) and how many you should aim to consume. CFU is the measurement used to measure some bacteria present in each supplement, and some people argue that the more bacteria you consume the healthier you will be. However, this is more to do with the way these probiotics are marketed and the bigger the number, the better the sales pitch. In fact, research has found that different types of bacteria are more beneficial than more bacteria, so you need to look for brands that contain multiple strains in their products. However, each probiotic supplements should contain over 2 billion organisms, and any less may have little effect.
The Benefits of Refrigerated Probiotics
There are loads of scientifically proven benefits to taking refrigerated probiotics, and it is the exact reason why millions of people take supplements on a daily basis. One of the main advantages that probiotics provide is that they help promote healthy digestion and immunity. These benefits are fantastic for promoting a healthy life and can aid the side effects of other prescribed medication, which is something that is used in the medical field quite frequently. Here are several public benefits to using and consuming refrigerated probiotics.
One of the main advantages of refrigerated probiotics is the fact that they can aid your digestive system. There has been a significant amount of evidence that has found refrigerated probiotics help the digestive tract absorb nutrients and break down specific foods and they are often prescribed to IBS patients. They have also been used as a way to combat the side effects of medication on the digestive tract. Certain medications can destroy the healthy bacteria in the gut leading to diarrhea and constipation, and through refrigerated probiotics, they can be replenished relieving the distress. In general, refrigerated probiotics can bunch up and leave little room for “bad” bacteria to build up in the intestines, leading to a healthier body. They also in scientific terms have been proven to pass on their good DNA to other immune cells.
Weight loss has been seen to be an effect of refrigerated probiotics, but it is not entirely clear how it is associated. A study in Stanford found that there is a different type of bacteria in the gut and intestines in obese individuals, implying that the bacteria in the body has a role to play in the development of weight and fat. A follow-up study found that people who consumed refrigerated probiotics lose weight around their stomach. Although there is no causal relationship, there seems to be some connection.
Immune System Boosts
Consuming refrigerated probiotics is an excellent way to improve your immune system. The addition of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract can help improve the body defense mechanisms preventing disease and infection. This was found to have legit effects in a study of students. They found the probiotics could increase lymphocytes which are an immunity produced bacteria. Having a stronger immune system is an excellent and efficient way to fight disease and combat certain illnesses. Through the use of refrigerated probiotics, you will be able to boost your immune system and live your life with less of a risk of developing some health related issue.
Because the bacteria are present in the intestines, they have been seen to benefit the urinary tract health which can prevent problems and is often used as an addition to antibiotics when an individual is being treated for a urinary tract infection. This is incredibly beneficial because urinary tract infections are extremely common and they affect millions of people on a yearly basis. There are many ways you can get an infection, but through the application of healthy bacteria in the gut, the infection can be cleared (with the help of antibiotics).
Millions of people around the world suffer from allergies, and you can have an allergy to just about anything. There has been an association between the consumption of refrigerated probiotics and the reduction in allergenic symptoms. The specific allergy that is affected is seasonal allergies, like hay fever. A quality study has found that pregnant women who took probiotics gave birth to children with a 30% reduction in eczema, which is an early sign of future allergies. The research into probiotics and allergies is still in its infancy, but there have been suggestions towards a correlation.
How should you Store Refrigerated Probiotics?
No matter what type of probiotics you buy, refrigerated or not, they will still need to be kept cool and dry so the bacteria is not killed before you can consume it. There have been some studies that have inferred that the bacteria in a lot of shop-bought probiotics dies before it even reaches your intestines and some studies found that 90% of the bacteria is killed during transportation and manufacture.
It is so important to store your probiotics in a cold environment, especially if the product is specifically designed to be refrigerated. The bacteria will begin to die if they are exposed to high temperatures and moist environments, and it is recommended that you keep the refrigerated probiotics in storage that is below 39 degrees Fahrenheit to preserve the bacteria inside the product. It is also suggested that the environment you store the probiotics in is relatively dry because moisture activates the bacteria. This is important when you are consuming and opening the product because as soon as you use the container, the bacteria will become exposed leading to deterioration. When opening, ensure you are in a dry environment with low humidity.
Refrigerated probiotics are an excellent way to improve your health and boost your immune system. Refrigerated probiotics are not so different from other probiotics, and they contain billions of bacteria that can help your digestive tract. Although there is a declining number of refrigerated probiotics, the majority of probiotic brands should be kept in a cool and dry environment regardless because heat and moisture activate the bacteria, reducing their effectiveness.
The process of making probiotics is complicated, and the industry is slowly moving towards the blister packet methods in the hope that they preserve the bacteria for longer. In general, probiotics have some health benefits, including a boost to immunity and improvement in the digestive tract, preventing urinary infection and obesity. Refrigerated probiotics are not expensive and can be bought almost anywhere. Hopefully, this article has been helpful.