You may already know about the benefits of probiotics and have even included them into your daily routine. The popularity of this collection of good bacteria help to support how the gut functions and aids digestion.
It’s safe to say, that you are completely spoilt for choice when it comes to probiotics. But this can also have its own problems as finding the best product for you can feel overwhelming. With this in mind, we plan to use today’s blog post as an opportunity to find out more about probiotics and exploring which strains should be refrigerated. Different probiotic formulas require you to store them in various ways, it is also important to remain mindful of other factors that can affect the potency and survival of probiotic strains, such as.
- pH of the environment during formulation
- Strain type of probiotic
- Life stage of probiotic strain
- The type of packaging
- Level of humidity
- Other ingredients blended into the formulation
These are important factors when the probiotic is consumed in capsule form, you can also benefit from probiotic enriched foods, such as yoghurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. These, however, have a shorter lifespan than capsules or powder form probiotics and do need to be stored in a fridge to remain fresh.
Which probiotics do not need to be refrigerated?
The most common strain of probiotic that doesn’t require refrigeration is Bacillus coagulans. As for other strains, whether they need to be refrigerated mainly boils down to the formula and how they are stored. You’ll find many products contain a shelf-stable technology ensuring they are able to be stored in a cupboard out of direct sunlight. This technology is often connected to probiotics being freeze-dried; this is when every ounce of water is removed helping the probiotics strains to remain dormant until reaching the gut. This also helps protect the lifespan of these probiotic strains whilst maintaining their highest potency and ability for the live micro-organisms to reach the gut whilst still alive.
Do all probiotics have to be refrigerated?
No, all probiotics do not need to be refrigerated. As I have already explained, there are many ways probiotics strains are able to deliver optimal results without being stored in the fridge. Apart from the freeze drying and shelf-stable technology, there are some other ways probiotic manufacturers are able deliver non-refrigerated products.
Including more colony forming units (CFU)
These colony forming units are live microorganisms that can come as an average between 1 to 10 billion per serving. CFU are added to a probiotic blend to help slow down the rate certain probiotic strains die. By adding more CFU, it will result in the product becoming difficult to digest so always ensure you check the information of your product, which is often found on the packaging. If you ever have any concerns, try consulting with your doctor to find the product most suitable for your needs.
Including soil-based organisms (SBOs)
Some manufacturers favour using probiotics that can naturally shelf-stabilise. These are also known as soil-based organisms (SBO) which is the bacteria found in soil. You’ll find its regular job is to ensure the health of plants, vegetables, and fruits. Luckily for us, these benefits have been transferred into probiotic formulas which will not only support the lifespan of the product, but also help to build a healthy and strengthened immune system.
These factors, and the others previously spoken about help ensure probiotics are formulated in various ways ensuring finding a product suitable for your lifestyle is an easy task.
Which probiotics are better refrigerated or unrefrigerated?
Figuring out which probiotics are better being refrigerated or unrefrigerated is determined by the formula the strains are blended in to. The role of a probiotic is to reach the gut still alive, and this can be supported with the different methods I have mentioned above. Whether the probiotics need to be refrigerated or unrefrigerated, it is important to bear in mind that probiotics do not last well in heat and humid environments. Many probiotic strains cannot tolerate the heat, these strains are, Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus. All of which require refrigeration to help deliver optimal results, while others are capable of surviving stored in a cool, dark cupboard, away from rooms that fluctuate with heat, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
What happens if I don’t refrigerate probiotics?
If you don’t refrigerate probiotics that require it, you’ll find the lifespan of the probiotic strain is reduced, with the potency dying in a matter of days, sometimes weeks. This will result in the probiotics becoming rendered useless and unable to deliver the benefits needed to reach the gut. By taking probiotics that are in the latter part of their life cycle simply results in them becoming more vulnerable to the exposure from the stomach acid.
By keeping probiotics refrigerated that need to be stored in the fridge will support the different life stages and aid a full dosage of live microorganisms reaching the gut still alive.
How long can probiotics be left unrefrigerated?
Luckily, you have a few days for the probiotics to survive if not stored in the fridge. As I have already mentioned however, if the formulation requires refrigeration, it is important to ensure they are stored correctly to help deliver results. If you are wanting to store your probiotics unrefrigerated it is a case of finding the best product that, instead, comes in freeze-dried capsule form. If you are finding it difficult to determine which type of probiotic will work in you, seek the help of your doctor or medical professional.
There you have a little more insight into probiotics, and which should be refrigerated. Don’t hesitate to get in touch over on Instagram, you’ll find one of our health experts in the direct messages who are always happy to help.