1. MYTH: PROBIOTICS ARE ALL THE SAME
Scientists agree that not all probiotics are the same. Probiotics have different effects that vary from strain to strain. For example, lactobacillus IPA 101 refers to Lactobacillus as the genus, IPA as the species and 101 as the strain. This probiotic example is different from Lactobacillus IPA 102, where 101 and 102 refer to the specific strains. Even at the level of the strains, probiotics have distinct differences. It is important to select specific probiotic strains for specific desired effects.
2. MYTH: ALL FERMENTED FOODS ARE PROBIOTICS
Live microbes present in traditional fermented foods and beverages such as kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi typically do not meet the required evidence level for probiotics, since their health effects have not been confirmed and the mixtures are largely uncharacterized.
3. MYTH: MORE IS BETTER
Higher dosage and greater number of strains in probiotic products do not always lead to higher quality and effect. It is especially important to select probiotic products with specific strains and doses that support the desired effect.
4. MYTH: PROBIOTICS ARE NOT BACKED BY SCIENCE
PubMed (June 2020) listed 28,2525 references about Probiotics and 3,024 Probiotic clinical trials and studies. “Over 1,619 clinical studies with probiotics were registered at clinicaltrials.gov and/or International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP), addressing over 700 different diseases and health conditions”. Ref.: Dronkers, T. et al. Heliyon 6 (2020) e04467
5. MYTH: PROBIOTICS ARE ONLY BENEFICIAL TO PEOPLE WITH HEALTH ISSUES
Gut microbiota can be affected daily by stress, diet, aging. Therefore, probiotics may benefit people with various health issues, and can also be helpful for people seeking to stay healthy and maintain their balance of gut microbiota.
6. MYTH: PROBIOTICS CHANGE YOUR GUT IMMEDIATELY AFTER TAKING THEM
For probiotics to begin delivering their health benefits, it can take two to three weeks or more to feel the effect. To maintain the health benefits of the probiotic, remember that daily use is needed.
7. MYTH: PROBIOTICS ARE UNSAFE
In general, probiotic side effects tend to be exceedingly rare. Some transient effects such as bloating, or discomfort may occur. Serious side effects are extremely rare for probiotics. Adverse events after consumption of probiotics have been reported, but they are rare and limited to people with underlying disease. Nevertheless, strains of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Saccharomyces have been used safely even among vulnerable populations, such as preterm infants, patients with HIV, or cancer. Ref: Safety assessment of probiotics for human use Sanders, M.E. et al., 2010. Probiotics for human use 2018. Sanders, M.E., et al.; Improving End-User Trust in the Quality of Commercial Probiotic Products 2019. Jackson, S. S. et al.