A healthy diet and regular exercise are key to digestive health, but supplements can help fill nutritional gaps, ensuring your gut gets the nutrients needed for optimal health. Unfortunately, some supplement labels misrepresent what’s inside, so it is important to understand your supplement label to make sure you are getting optimal support.
You’ve started your digestive health journey and made the decision to add some essential support to your routine. But with so many probiotic options out there, how can you be sure of which supplement to pick?
When you have the right information, you can make good purchasing decisions and be assured you will use your supplement effectively and safely. To get this information, you need to look no further than your probiotic supplement label.
Suggested use: The FDA regulates supplements in the same way as food, so every label must provide information about suggested use or servings. This ensures you take the recommended amount for effective results and optimal health.
Cautions or warnings: Any cautions or warnings pertaining to the ingredients need to be clearly printed on labels to let you know of any precautions when taking this supplement.
Storage: Every supplement should provide storage information to help preserve the quality and potency of the supplement and for safety. This will ensure its effectiveness and freshness for optimal health results.
1MD Nutrition’s Complete Probiotics Platinum® features all of these important details on the box and right side of the bottle:
Suggested Use: As a dietary supplement, adults take one (1) capsule once (1x) daily on an empty stomach or as recommended by a healthcare practitioner. Those with sensitivity concerns may prefer to take with a small meal.
WARNING: Consult a healthcare practitioner if you are pregnant or nursing, have a serious medical condition, or use any medications.
KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. DO NOT USE IF SAFETY SEAL IS DAMAGED OR MISSING. STORE IN A COOL, DRY PLACE. COLOR MAY VARY.
Expiration date: An expiration date is essential to ensure that your supplement will maintain the claimed potency until the date provided.
Dietary seals: While the format in which this information is displayed may vary, it is essential for all dietary restrictions and allergen information to be addressed clearly on the label.
Quality standards: You can confirm the quality of your supplement by checking for the GMP logo. This assures that your supplement was made according to the current FDA good manufacturing practices (cGMPs).
Manufacturer information: A quality supplement will provide the manufacturer's information, including phone number, email, and website so that you can reach out to them with any questions or concerns about their product.
FDA compliance: Including a statement like the one below tells you that the manufacturer is compliant with FDA regulations and that the company has integrity for its products and statements.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease
Failure to include this statement would be a red flag that the company is not following basic regulations to ensure their product is safe and effective.
Now that you know all the important general information to look out for, you can take a deeper dive into the supplement. What ingredients are included, and how will this product benefit your health?
You’re looking for a high-quality probiotic supplement from a trustworthy manufacturer. There are key features you want to identify on the label to get what you want.
The label should include a:
♦ Functional description or summary of how the product supports your health
♦ Health function category to identify the main health attribute of the product
♦ Highlighted function claims that feature the key health benefits
When looking at Complete Probiotics Platinum®, the functional description can be found on the box, while the category and claims can be found on the box and bottle for a quick reference.
Complete Probiotics Platinum® is scientifically-formulated to deliver 51 billion CFUs in every serving of 11 carefully-selected probiotic strains, nourished by an effective dosage of NutraFlora® prebiotic for optimum digestive, immune, and whole-body health.
OPTIMAL DIGESTIVE & IMMUNE HEALTH*
51 Billion Potent Colony-Forming Units
11 Robust Probiotic Strains
With NutraFlora® Prebiotic
The next component to check is ingredients. Every supplement should include a supplement facts table listing every ingredient, the amount per serving, and the %DV (the percentage of the daily recommended value, this amount of a given ingredient is).
Don’t worry if you do not see anything listed under the percentage daily value column. This is nothing to worry about and simply means that the FDA has not made an official recommendation for how much of this nutrient you should have.
When it comes to probiotic supplement ingredients, there are two things to look for:
♦ Colony-Forming Units: CFU count refers to the number of live, active microorganisms per capsule. The number of probiotics a person needs will vary, but a daily dose of between 10 and 20 billion CFUs is considered safe and effective for digestive support.
♦ Strains: There are also numerous probiotic strains that can be included in a supplement, each with its own health benefits. Depending on what support you are looking for, choose a probiotic supplement with the strains you need.
Complete Probiotics Platinum® includes 51 billion CFUs of 11 different strains for a comprehensive approach to digestive and immune system support.
♦ Complete Probiotic Blend includes 11 potent strains from the lactobacillus and bifidobacterium families, found naturally in the digestive tract. These strains can help support microbiome balance, proper digestion, and overall health.
♦ NutraFlora® Prebiotic includes short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides to provide optimal nourishment for gut bacteria.
But what if you are looking for more targeted support? This is when you will want to look for specific strains.
Just look at the labels of two of 1MD Nutrition’s targeted formulas. Along with the Probiotic Blend of 13 probiotic strains, BiomeMD® and BiomeMD® for Women feature additional probiotics for more targeted benefits:
♦ Bifidobacterium lactis UABla-12™ (found in both) is a trademarked, scientifically-studied probiotic which helps promote intestinal microflora balance, to support digestive health and immune system function.
♦ Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS®-1 (found in BiomeMD®)is a trademarked probiotic that supports digestive comfort, helps reduce occasional bloating, and promotes healthy bowel movement.
♦ UREX™ Probiotic Blend (found in BiomeMD® for Women) featuring clinically-studied strains, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1®and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14® , provides targeted feminine care by promoting healthy vaginal bacterial balance, and healthy urinary tract function support.
No matter which probiotic supplement you are purchasing, always choose one that does not contain any unnecessary fillers or additives. You can find these additions in the ‘other ingredients’ section of your label. Some help bind the ingredients together or make up the capsule, like vegetable cellulose or silica, but others are unnecessary and should be avoided.
I have a strong appreciation for the benefit that naturally-sourced supplements have for digestive health, but you want a supplement you can trust. 1MD Nutrition® understands the role that labels play in helping you make a choice and makes that choice easy for you. Just take a look at any of our probiotic supplement labels — all the information you need, and all the ingredients your digestive system wants!
Dr. David Kahana
Dr. David Kahana is board certified in Pediatrics and Gastroenterology through the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP), as well as Medical Nutrition through the National Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists.