Now, prepare for a little bit of sticker shock, because CFUs are often counted in the billions—mind you, we probably already have trillions of different bacteria living inside our body, but sometimes we can all use a little extra support.*
Why Are CFUs Important in Probiotics?
When choosing a high-quality probiotic supplement, CFUs are just part of the picture. According to our Senior Scientist Arianne Vance, “the quantity of CFUs in a supplement does matter, but when it comes to choosing a probiotic, it's important to look at the quality of the evidence rather than just the quantity of CFUs.” Because some benefits of probiotics are strain-specific (meaning different strains provide different benefits), “it's best to look for supplements that contain clinically-studied strains at clinically-studied dosages.” FYI: our Synbiotic+ has clinically-studied ingredients.*
Keep an eye on transparency as you shop—the CFU listed on the label can indicate how many CFUs are alive at the time of manufacturing or how many live CFUs are present at the end of a product’s shelf life. That’s important because some of the probiotics in a supplement may naturally die over the course of a product’s shelf life. (5)
Another factor to consider alongside CFU count is bacterial strain. Because science shows that some probiotics benefits are specific to certain strains, we can’t assume that all probiotics provide the same benefits. A good rule of thumb when shopping for a probiotic supplement is to look for clinically-studied strains listed on the supplement label. Add prebiotics to the mix and you've got a recipe for great gut health (hint: Synbiotic+ includes those two, but more on that later).*
How Many CFUs Are Enough? Does it Matter?
Now that you understand what CFUs are, you might be wondering: how many should I be taking? Ultimately, the answer is personal, but we can provide some guidance. Many probiotic supplements for adults contain 1 to 10 billion CFUs per dose, but some contain 50 billion CFUs or more! However, higher CFU counts don’t necessarily improve the product’s benefit. (5) The strains included, and the quality of clinical evidence behind those strains, is likely more important than the CFU count alone.*
CFUs in Ritual’s Synbiotic+
You might have heard about our gut health supplement, Synbiotic+. We’re passionate about it because, as a 3-in-1 pre-, pro-, and postbiotic supplement, we think it really hits the bullseye when it comes to quality, scientific evidence, and CFU count. Synbiotic+ is formulated with 11 billion CFU of LGG® and BB-12®, two of the most clinically studied probiotic strains in the world, to support a balanced microbiome. It also contains PreforPro®, a prebiotic which supports growth of beneficial bacteria. To round out Synbiotic+’s benefits we included a postbiotic called Corbiome® Tributyrin which helps support a healthy gut lining and provides a major energy source for the cells that line the colon.*
As with all Ritual products, Synbiotic+ is Made Traceable® with quality and transparency in mind, so you know what you're putting into your body when taking everyday supplements.*