What are probiotics and how they can help you?

General overview

  • Probiotics are live microbial food supplements that can benefit overall health by enhancing intestinal microbial balance

  • Benefits include: improved intestinal tract health, enhanced immune system, improved bioavailability of nutrients, reduced lactose intolerance and reduced risk of certain types of cancersProBiotic
  • Exact mechanism is unclear; however it appears that probiotics help modify the gut pH (acidity), produce antimicrobial compounds and help stimulate immune related cells
  • Probiotics are mostly found in dairy products such as yogurt as well as commercial supplements
  • Daily consumption is recommended for optimal results

Use in Sport

  • May be beneficial if you have history of gastrointestinal problems with heavy training or around competition time
  • Daily supplementation or consumption 2 weeks prior to travel, competition or increased training load will help allow time for the ’good’ bacteria to colonize the intestine


  • Two most commercially used types are: lactobacillus acidophilis and bifidobacterium bifidum and are found in most yogurts
  • it is generally accepted that the greater the number of strains and quantity of each strains in a yogurt or supplement the more effective the product.PB8 ProBiotic

Shelf-life and storage of probiotics

  • Shelf-life is ~3-6weeks if kept at 4°C
  • Dried supplement shelf-life is ~12 months, however levels drop over this time period
  • Probiotic bacteria count in food products varies considerably; some research has even shown some commercially available products contain no live bacteria

Current Research is analyzing industry standardization, uniformity in dosages per serving and  different strains of bacteria

Celine Evans, RD
(778) 531 4360