How to choose probiotic drinks? Don’t be fooled by [tens of billions of active lactic acid bacteria]

Specially Invited Expert: Mao Xueying

Associate Professor and Doctoral Supervisor, School of Food Science and Nutrition Engineering, China Agricultural University

Nowadays, there are many kinds of lactic acid bacteria beverages, and consumers are dazzled by various brands of [probiotics] [lactic acid bacteria].

What is the relationship between probiotics and lactic acid bacteria? What is the difference between active lactic acid bacteria and inactive lactic acid bacteria? Can the [0 fat] advertised by merchants really lose weight? For this [alien bacteria protrusion] beverage, let’s ask experts to say it to us.

Selection is very important for strains.

There are a wide variety of lactic acid bacteria beverages of different brands in supermarkets, and the strains marked on the commodities are different, which are always [rich in tens of billions of active lactic acid bacteria].

Are these drinks really useful?

We must make it clear that not all lactic acid bacteria are [probiotics]. Only living lactic acid bacteria that reach the intestinal tract in sufficient quantities and play a beneficial role in human health can be called probiotics.

Compared with common lactic acid bacteria, probiotics have stronger gastric acid resistance and bile salt resistance, can tolerate various unfavorable environments, and colonize in human intestinal tract to play beneficial roles:

    Inhibit the growth of harmful flora; Regulate the balance of intestinal flora; Improve the body’s immunity.

At present, the common strains in probiotic products are mainly Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, etc. These strains have strong acid resistance, can reach intestinal tract alive, and have the effect of promoting body health.

No matter how much it contains, [activity] is the key.

Whether it is [accelerating intestinal peristalsis] or [promoting intestinal detoxification], whether the active lactic acid bacteria beverage is effective depends on the activity and quantity of bacteria contained in the product.

Only live probiotics can colonize in the intestinal tract, which is the basis for their efficacy. Although the number of live bacteria in some lactic acid bacteria beverages can reach a certain [huge] number when they go off the production line, the number of live bacteria will inevitably be consumed after the long process of storage, sales and reaching the intestines and stomach of consumers.

Judging from the probiotic research report, it is necessary to reach 10 to the 7th power or even 10 to the 8th power, that is, millions to tens of millions of probiotics, in order to ensure sufficient activity. However, everything should be moderate, and the more the human body absorbs, the better, as long as the number of live bacteria can reach a certain order of magnitude when drinking.

At present, many lactic acid bacteria beverage packaging will indicate that the product is a combination of multiple flora. Experts said that the specific drinking effect depends on the symbiotic ability between strains, and the overall number of living bacteria can reach a certain number and play a role.

Therefore, consumers do not need to simply pursue the number of strains in lactic acid bacteria beverages.

How to choose probiotic drinks?

1. Identify the name: [lactic acid beverage] ≠ [lactic acid bacteria beverage]

Although there is only one word difference between the two, it is not a commodity at all.

There is no lactic acid bacteria in the blended lactic acid beverage and it does not go through the most important [fermentation] process in the lactic acid bacteria beverage. In fact, it is just [sweet water] blended with water, milk, white granulated sugar and other raw materials.

As to whether it has been [fermented], when consumers choose and buy, they can not only look at the name of the product, but also look at it from the ingredient list: if the name of the added strain is not indicated in the product, it is definitely not lactic acid bacteria beverage.

2. Choose one that is stored at low temperature.

It is not difficult for intentional consumers to find that lactic acid bacteria drinks are also placed in the normal temperature area of supermarkets. Their packaging is relatively small, and compared with the price, they are also cheaper than those [big guys] in refrigerators.

In fact, lactic acid bacteria beverages are divided into active and inactive categories. Although the taste of the two is similar, the products stored at normal temperature are sterilized and the beverages do not contain live probiotics.

Therefore, although they are both lactic acid bacteria beverages, if we think of the function of regulating intestinal balance, we should still choose active lactic acid bacteria beverages refrigerated at low temperature.

For the two, the simplest way to distinguish is to see if it is clearly marked that refrigeration is required.

Moreover, once the commodity goes off the production line, the active lactic acid bacteria in the beverage also begin the process of gradual attenuation. Low temperature refrigeration at 4 ~ 6 degrees Celsius can effectively delay the death rate of living bacteria and ensure the number of living bacteria in the product.

We often see some supermarkets place active lactic acid bacteria beverages that need to be refrigerated at normal temperature in order to promote sales. Once such a situation occurs, it is better to give up decisively and buy them elsewhere.

3. The shorter the shelf life, the better

When we buy milk, we all know that the shorter the shelf life of milk, the better the nutrients will be preserved.

By the same token, because when we buy lactic acid bacteria drinks, the most important thing is the word “live”. Even if it is stored in cold storage, the longer it is stored, the lower the number of surviving strains will be.

In order to ensure the quality of living bacteria, it is suggested that we also select fresh products that are relatively close to the production date.

How to drink probiotic drinks?

1. Drink in moderation: [0 fat] Not losing weight,

Some women who love beauty take a fancy to the [0 fat] of lactic acid bacteria beverage and regard it as a sharp weapon to lose weight, feeling that they can drink it at will.

I wonder if you have noticed that although the fat content in the ingredient list is zero, the energy value is not low.

Take a brand known as [0 fat] 400 ml active lactic acid bacteria beverage as an example, the energy value per 100 ml is 292 kilojoules, and the nutrient reference value is 4%. If the whole bottle is drunk, the energy provided by a small bottle of beverage exceeds 16% of the energy of the whole day. How about it, isn’t it very shocking?

In fact, it is not only fat that provides energy, but also carbohydrates that cannot be ignored. If you can drink it hard just because you are sure of [0 fat], you will get fatter and fatter!

2. Can’t replace milk/yogurt

Many parents think that lactic acid bacteria beverage is sour and sweet, and it also contains milk ingredients, which should be similar to yogurt, and even replace milk, yogurt and other dairy products with it.

Little imagine that this is greatly unfavorable to children’s growth and development. Children need protein, fat, minerals and other nutrients for their growth, and the main function of lactic acid bacteria beverage is to balance intestinal flora, of which the protein content is generally only 1%.

The protein content of yogurt should not be less than 2.3%, the protein content of milk can reach 2.8% or even higher, and it also contains calcium and other nutrients, which cannot be compared with other milk beverages.

If milk drinks are used instead of milk and yogurt for a long time, it is extremely easy to cause protein and calcium deficiency in children.

STEP 3 Avoid heated drinking

When the weather is cold, some people will put the active lactic acid bacteria beverage in the microwave oven or soak it in hot water before drinking it.

In fact, for lactic acid bacteria beverages, the most important point is not to heat them for drinking, because once heating will lead to the death of living bacteria, drinking will not play a role in balancing intestinal flora.

4. It is not suitable to drink on an empty stomach.

Because the pH value of gastric acid is low on an empty stomach, it is not suitable for lactic acid bacteria to survive.

5. Avoid taking it with antibiotics

Antibiotics will inhibit the activity of lactic acid bacteria and probiotics, so please try to avoid taking them together.

Responsible Editor: Fu Ting

The article was reprinted by Clove Garden authorized by the author.