Many Probiotic Supplements Fall Short on Listed Amounts of Helpful Organisms
Nov 25, 2013 - 5:01:02 PM
"Consumers who don't do their homework with probiotics might not get what they want or think they're paying for," says Tod Cooperman, M.D., President of ConsumerLab.com. "Not every product has what it claims and even those that do may not have the right type and amount of organisms for a specific condition."
Probiotics represent one of the largest and fastest-growing segments of the dietary supplement market, with 2012 sales up 24.5% to $947 million in the U.S., according to Nutrition Business Journal. A survey of over 10,000 supplement users by ConsumerLab.com in November 2012 found probiotics were used by 37.4% of women and 30.5% of men. Probiotics are also one of the most expensive dietary supplements, with a daily dose often costing more than one dollar.
In its new test report , ConsumerLab.com discusses the specific species of bacteria and yeasts used for the treatment of diarrhea, bowel pain, vaginal infection, cold and flu, and even anxiety. ConsumerLab.com found products listing anywhere from one to over 30 different strains ofLactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus, or Saccharomyces (a yeast). The quantity of organisms in products for people ranged from one hundred million to more than 900 billion in a daily dose, a difference of nearly 900,000%. Much lower amounts of organisms were found in pet probiotics -- amounts so small that the cost to obtain 1 billion cells (which was as little as just 1 cent for some products for people) was $120 for one pet product.
A disturbing trend identified by ConsumerLab.com among probiotic supplements is the inclusion of footnotes on labels qualifying the listed amounts of organisms to be "At time of manufacture." This disclaimer holds no value with the FDA, which expects products to contain 100% of what they list. Dr. Cooperman suggests that "Supplement companies must not only be accountable for what they claim on their labels but need to make sure their products are properly transported and stored all the way to the consumer." Probiotics are particularly sensitive to their environment. Once purchased, consumers should store probiotics in sealed containers, away from heat, light, and humidity. Some probiotics require constant refrigeration, even if the bottle hasn't been opened.
The complete Probiotic Supplements Review is available at https://www.consumerlab.com/
ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Membership to ConsumerLab.com is available online, providing immediate access to reviews of more than 1,000 products from over 400 brands. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. ConsumerLab.com is affiliated withPharmacyChecker.com , which helps consumers evaluate online pharmacies and compare drug prices, and MedicareDrugPlans.com, which reviews and rates Medicare Part D plans.
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