Misleading & Sneaky: A Probiotic Supplement Label Tricks How-To Guide

7 minute read

Probiotics are a beneficial supplement to support digestive and overall health. These supplements help support the natural community of microbes already living in your gut, leading to all sorts of helpful results.

The main concern when it comes to choosing a probiotic supplement
is making sure you get the best sort possible, and for this, we rely on label information. When it comes to choosing a high quality, multi strain probiotic, you need to know what the label is really saying.

Motivated to Mislead

A balanced microbiome ensures that digestive processes run smoothly and that your immune system gets all the support it needs. Because of the overall benefits that probiotics deliver, supplements are flooding the shelves, which means there are multiple options to choose from.

Some labels are misleading and inaccurate, causing you to end up with a poor product. The last thing your gut wants or needs is a substandard probiotic; it could actually be harmful to your health instead of beneficial.

Some producers of probiotics, and subsequently their labels, may only be looking to make money. Since there is a lot of money to be made off this booming industry, labels are designed to be fancy and eye-catching, sometimes at the expense of accuracy and full disclosure.

This leads to confused consumers trying to process all the different jargon and informational facts. When it comes to health supplements, accuracy is critical, and misleading just won’t work.

Looks Can Be Deceiving

How do you avoid falling prey to dishonest marketing ploys? There are a few important tips to help you navigate through probiotic supplements. Knowing what to watch out for will ensure you get a quality probiotic supplement and not just the latest gimmick.

1. Getting “Short-Strained”

Many supplements are produced boasting high-quality and high potency bacterial strains, and, while this can be true, you need to pay close attention to the type of strains. Often, these companies only give you one or two. When it comes to probiotics, though, quantity can be just as important as quality.

Your gut consists of thousands of strains. Every bacterial strain performs different functions and delivers different benefits. Also, many strains require the presence of another to perform certain actions.

The result is that without multiple strains in your probiotics, you will not get all the potential benefits.

On the other side of this, you also need to be aware of products with too many strains. If the label is showing you everything but the kitchen sink, chances are you are getting quantity but low-quality. Cheaper strains likely have not been tested fully and can throw the balance of your gut off.

A proper probiotic supplement label will show a variety of strains. At least ten different bacteria are recommended and each of these will be of a high quality, clinically tested, and formulated in the product to achieve an optimized balance with the other strains present.

2. Look Out for Substrains

As you scroll down the list of ingredients on your probiotics label, you need to look for substrains as well as strains. A substrain can be identified by the number-letter combinations posted directly after the tongue-tying scientific name.

The presence of this information on the label indicates that the strains are high quality and clinically tested. These are going to be more effective probiotics.

Without the substrains, you will be getting cheaper, generic probiotics that may help your wallet, but will not help your gut.

3. Pay Attention to Blend

Many supplements will boast a “proprietary blend” on the label rather than an itemized list. The list will tell you that high-quality bacterial strains are included, but you have no information about quantity. And that is a probiotic supplement no-no.  

The problem with not knowing the quantity is that a large portion of that proprietary blend could actually be fillers and lower-quality strains. If the big names dupe you into buying an inferior mixture, your gut will pay the price.

4. Missing Prebiotics Is a Problem

Prebiotics are essentially food for probiotics. There are certain ingredients that your gut bacteria thrive on, which means enhanced gut health for you.

A healthy and balanced gut microbiome prevents bloating, gas, constipation, and other digestive maladies, so you want them to be happy and strong. The label of any quality probiotic supplement needs to have prebiotic fiber listed, so you know that your friendly flora will be getting all the nutrition they need.

Just as a balanced diet keeps you in optimal health, prebiotic strains keep your gut flora fighting fit.

5. You Get What You Pay For

Buying natural dietary supplements is not always cheap, so you should be prepared to spend. As with all products, you get what you pay for.

Lower prices may keep your bank account happy, but your bacterial friends will be miserable. Pricing is important and the quality of your probiotics is intricately linked to the price tag on the label.

This doesn’t mean you have to run out and buy the most expensive pre and probiotic supplements, you just need to be aware of those “too good to be true” deals. A quality product will boast a label with ingredients clearly listed.

Companies want to sell their products, and marketing ploys are one of the best ways to get consumers like you to pick their item over another. Probiotic supplements are important and poor quality can have a negative impact on your health, so these ploys are best avoided.

Knowing what to look for and how companies falsely promote their product will keep you and your gut safe.

What a High-Quality Probiotics Supplement Label Looks Like

A quality probiotic supplement contains a great assortment of high-quality probiotic strains, with quantities and substrains listed. The prebiotic fiber gets its own special mention and all other ingredients listed are natural.

No confusion, no misleading information, just the facts you need and the diverse probiotics your gut wants.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to quality ingredients, the products should be able to speak for themselves. There is no need for cheap gimmicks and misleading text. 

With the popularity of probiotics rising, more products are sure to enter the market, making your decision even more challenging. The tips given above will help you narrow down the search, so you can be assured of a quality and health-promoting probiotic supplement.