How Many Probiotic Strains Should You Take?

In this probiotic strains guide, I will be sharing some advice on choosing a probiotic-based on the probiotic strains.

By the end of it, You will see why I think that some multi strain probiotic supplements are not the best option for most people.

Let's start with what probiotics are.

What Are Probiotics?


FlowFlora Has 4 Probiotic Strains

There are bad bacteria and good bacteria in this world with both having vastly different effects on the human body once they are in the human microbiome.

Food poisoning for example is sometimes caused by bad bacteria entering the gut and releasing toxins that create a host of unpleasant symptoms. Good probiotic bacteria strains entering the gut can have a whole host of benefits.

Some probiotic supplements like Culturelle have one single Lactobacillus Rhamnosus strains whereas other Garden Of Life Colon Care claims to have up to 33 different probiotic strains.

It can be confusing for newcomers when deciding on how many probiotic strains they should take for whatever health problem they are trying to solve. Probiotic strains are not a one size fits all solution but different studies show various benefits for individual strains.

7 Types Of Probiotic Strains

Probiotics are microbial organisms that can be found in both bacteria and yeast. Fermented foods like Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Miso Paste, Kefir, and Kombucha are all packed with probiotic bacteria but be careful to avoid foods pickled in vinegar which may kill off any good bacteria. Here are the 7 types of probiotic strains.

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When checking the ingredient label on your probiotic supplement then the chances are you will Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium listed on the label. These probiotic strains have been studied scientifically and have the best benefits compared to the others.

Lactobacillus bacteria is a type of lactic acid bacteria that in foods like yogurts comes from the Lacto fermentation process.

There are various types of lactobacillus strains and they are all important for the overall health of the human body.

They can help via the gut & brain axis, gut & skin axis, help crowd out bad bacteria I talked about earlier, and more.

Bifidobacterium on the other hand isn't the same as the lactobacillus bacteria because it isn't made from lactic acid. Bifidobacterium is however important acids like short-chain fatty acids that are important for the gut barrier function that is important for conditions like leaky gut.

How Many Probiotic Strains Should You Take?

Choosing a probiotic supplement purely on the number of probiotic strains is a bad idea and not something I would recommend you do.

In my probiotic guides when I choose the best probiotic for a condition I first read through the medical studies to check what probiotic strains do for each condition.

As an example, Lactobacillus Plantarum had a study carried out on zebrafish that showed benefits for anxiety.

If you wanted to choose a probiotic strain for anxiety then it would be far better to choose a higher CFU count of this individual strain that a probiotic supplement with a bunch of random strains not studied for anxiety.

If you wanted a probiotic supplement for weight loss, then L. Plantarum wouldn't be a good choice because of the lack of studies.

What Billions CFU Should You Take?

The CFU count stands for colony-forming units and this is a method used to check how strong a probiotic supplement may be.

It's much better to have a lower billion CFU count of a strain that has been studied for your condition that a high billions CFU with probiotic strains that don't.

To answer the question of how many probiotic strain you should take isn't as simple as spitting out a number.

Final Thoughts

This guide has shown that you should take some time to research a probiotic before using it and that multi-strain probiotics can sometimes be a bit of a scam.

My blog makes it easy to research individual probiotic strains since I have already compiled the studies in an easy-to-read blog post format. I also have written many best probiotic guides based on real scientific research.

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