How do I know if my probiotic capsule delivers live Lactobacillus bacteria?

Due to a short shelf life, many probiotic products may deliver dead probiotic cultures. This may explain why you used so many probiotics but you still do not feel that you have got benefits.

Therefore, it is important to know if your probiotic pills actually deliver viable Lactobacillus bacteria.

To determine the viability of the probiotic cultures in a capsule, you can perform a simple test using milk.

Here are the steps:

  1. Take 1 cup of milk. It can be whole milk, low fat milk, or skim milk. Microwave it for 45 to 90 seconds to heat it to boiling. When you see the milk begins to boil, stop the microwave.
  2. After cooling, skim off the top layer of milk "skin" that has formed on top of the milk.
  3. Add 1 capsule of probiotic powder by cutting it open with a pair of scissors.
  4. Mix the milk and probiotic powder well.
  5. Place the cup into a yogurt maker or an instant pot with the yogurt setting.
  6. Incubate the mixture for 8-10 hours after you press the yogurt button.
  7. Check if the milk has turned into yogurt with a sour taste. If it has, it indicates that the probiotics in the capsule are viable. If the milk remains unchanged and does not taste sour, it suggests that the probiotic cultures in the capsules may be inactive.

Yogurt cup.jpg

It's important to note that probiotics can have a short shelf life and may lose viability if exposed to unfavorable conditions.

If the probiotic cultures of one capsule are dead, you can dispose the whole bottle because their shelf lives are the same. Taking dead probiotics will not provide any benefits.

If the probiotic cultures are alive, you can keep the bottle in a refrigerator for long-term storage. This is especially important in the summertime or in the South where all seasons are hot.

Normally, the starter cultures for yogurt are a combination of two strains: Lactobacillus delbrueckii spp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus salivarius spp. thermophilus. Using other starter cultures, like those found in a probiotic capsule, your yogurt may be taste and smell a little different.

This yogurt is for testing use only. Please do not eat this testing yogurt even if it smells and tastes good. Please dispose it because there could be other bacteria blended in the formula.  For safety reasons, please dispose it after the test.

Dec 16, 2023

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