It seems that nearly everyone has taken, is taking, or is considering taking probiotics these days. In the last ten years, in concert with our growing understanding of the microbiome and its importance in health and wellness, the probiotic market has boomed. But all probiotics are not created equal, and in spite of the fact that there are many probiotics to choose from, quality and efficacy are never guaranteed. In fact, the preponderance of probiotics nowadays has made it difficult to choose one that’s really good. Today, I’m sharing my current favorite, H2PRO Probiotics.
When it comes to probiotics, there are a few issues to keep in mind. First, probiotics contain differing amounts of live bacteria. A prescription strength probiotic might contain 450 billion live bacteria per serving; this is sometimes far too aggressive for folks who aren’t coping with a chronic illness or serious bout of GI distress (and even for those who are, that dosage can be too high). For most people, a dosage of 5-10 billion organisms is appropriate (though of course this is a question to run by a healthcare practitioner if you have any doubts).
Second: most probiotics do and should contain Lactobacillus acidophilus, a “good” bacterium that is particularly helpful with digestive health. For those who are battling constipation, a strain of Bifidobacterium lactis can also be very useful. Some recent studies have suggested that L.Reuteri may be beneficial for womens’ health (read: protective effect against UTIs and yeast infections), too.
Finally: it’s important to note that a good deal of beneficial bacteria are killed off by the hydrochloric acid in our stomachs (designed to kill off harmful pathogens, of course, but it takes down both the good bugs and the bad). This is why a probiotic supplement can be more therapeutic and beneficial than eating fermented foods. Not that fermented foods aren’t excellent, of course; they’re tasty and some of the good bugs do scoot through. But if you’re really hoping to manage dysbiosis, or restore your gut after a course of antibiotics, probiotics that have been crafted to withstand digestion are more effective.
H2PRO, a line of probiotics formulated by family physician and nutritionist Dr. Alan Baumgarten, addresses all of these concerns. It features 7 billion CFUs (colony forming units), a mixture of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus paracasei, and two strains of Bifidobacterium lactis. And when I asked the company about the issue of digestion and bacterial survival, Dr. Baumgarten responded himself, and quite thoroughly!
“The Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria probiotic species used in H2PRO are acid resistant and have the highest survivability in the acid environment of the upper gastrointestinal tract,” says Dr. Baumgarten.
The probiotics in H2PRO are lyophilized, meaning they are freeze-dried from a frozen state to a gaseous state and all the moisture from the cells is removed. This unique process produces microorganisms of excellent quality, higher acid-resistance, and a longer shelf-life.
“The acid resistant Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria probiotic species used in H2PRO, when combined with the lyophilizing process, has been show in several research studies to have the highest survivability rates when passing through the acid environment of the stomach and the bile acids of the duodenum,” points out Dr. Baumgarten.
The probiotics in fermented foods, on the other hand, have a considerably reduced survival rate when passing through the high acid of the stomach when compared to probiotics specifically chosen to survive this environment.
This level of passion and detail isn’t surprising; H2PRO has grown out of Dr. Baumgarten’s own experiences working in family medicine. He noticed that patients who were prone to chronic colds and other symptoms of low immunity seemed to benefit from probiotics and set out to develop a line of products that would make it easy and effective to incorporate probiotics into daily life. H2PRO was born, debuting in Dr. Baumgarten’s home town of Asheville, North Carolina. It’s now available everywhere via Amazon.
H2PRO kindly sent me samples of the Immune Health formula, which is available bottled or in packets, and contains boosts of Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, glutamine, and Zinc (all implied in immune health). The formula is completely vegan (including the Vitamin D3, which is pretty rare!). It has a neutral taste (slightly sour, but no more than a spritz of lemon in water). It comes in convenient packets making it super easy to take with you on the go and simply empty into a midday glass of water. I also love the packet idea because it makes it easy to take probiotics to the gym, or to travel with them (travel is a particularly wise time to take probiotics, since it can throw digestion out of whack).
H2PRO suggests sprinkling the packet over food or mixing into any beverage. (Take care not to mix the probiotics into hot drinks, as the heat can damage bacterial strains; try placing the probiotics only in drinks that are less than 102 degrees.) I’ve loved mixing a packet into my morning smoothies, or into a glass of almond milk or juice as a little snack.
I haven’t yet been felled by a fall cold yet, which may just be good luck, but I love knowing that I may be giving my immune system an extra boost with this high quality product. I’ve tried many probiotics, but I feel particularly impressed by this one—especially the founder’s extensive involvement with the brand. And it’s a relief to know that all of the ingredients are vegan, too; it can be difficult to find probiotics that are.
If you’re interested in exploring H2PRO, you can check out the company’s website. It contains extensive information about the brand and its conception. You can also check out the H2PRO Facebook page, the company’s Twitter account, or their Pinterest page. And when you’re ready to experience the product, the Amazon store is the place to find it!
Big thanks to H2PRO Probiotics for sharing their supplements with me and my readers. Here’s to a healthy winter, for all of us.
I’ll be back on Thursday with a perfect autumn breakfast porridge recipe. Till soon!
This is a sponsored post for H2PRO Probiotics. However, all attitudes and opinions expressed are my own.