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Question:
With probiotics, how many CFUs should I look for as the dose? Is more necessarily better?

Answer:
As a general rule, a probiotic should provide at least 1 billion CFUs (colony forming units, i.e., viable cells), with doses typically ranging between 1 billion and 10 billion CFUs daily for adults. This is explained in the Probiotic Supplements Review, which includes ConsumerLab.com's tests of popular probiotics. There are some exceptions to this: Doses as high as 100 billion CFUs or more are used in some situations, while doses for children and infants are sometimes below 1 billion. 

The specific dose will depend on the probiotic strain and the purpose for which it is taken. You can look this up in the "What to Consider When Using" section of the Review, where you will find the dose and strain(s) used in preventing/treating antibiotic-associated diarrhea, IBS, anxiety, depression, allergies, and more. Details about the actual studies are found in the "What It Does" section of the Review.

The following CL Answers may also be of interest to you:

How do I choose the best probiotic supplement? There are so many different strains of bacteria! >>

I am curious why some probiotics do not require refrigeration even though they contain some of the same bacteria in probiotics that require refrigeration? Which probiotics need to be refrigerated? >>

Do probiotics have to be enterically coated to be effective? >>

Do probiotics that come in different forms, like gum or lozenges, really work? >>

When is the best time to take probiotics to prevent diarrhea from antibiotics - before, during, or after the course of antibiotic treatment? >>

The probiotic I am taking looks pink. Does this mean it is spoiled or no longer "active"? >>

What is Lactospore? I see it is an ingredient in some probiotic supplements. >>

Have you heard of the probiotic, Keybiotics? Does it do what it claims, and is it worth the money they charge? >>

I eat one to two cups of Greek yogurt every day. Do I still need to take a probiotic supplement? >>

What are prebiotics? Is it important to look for them when choosing a probiotic supplement? >>

Do any supplements help for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? >>

Is it best to take probiotic supplements with or without food? It seems like everyone has a different recommendation. >>

Can probiotics reduce anxiety? >>

Do probiotics really help prevent or treat vaginal yeast infections? >>

Can probiotics help lower cholesterol? >>

Which supplements can help to lower blood pressure? >>

Which supplements can help with indigestion and/or heartburn? >>

Are enterically coated supplements better than non-enterically coated ones? >>

Do any supplements help with seasonal allergies? >>

Do any supplements help relieve stress? >>

Do vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements lose effectiveness with exposure to high temperatures and is it safe to order supplements by mail in the summer? >>

Is it okay to crush a tablet and consume the powder or add the powder to food, rather than swallowing the tablet whole? >>

Which supplements have been shown to be helpful for autism? >>

Do any supplements help with gum disease or periodontitis? >>

Which "whole food" multivitamins are only from foods and don't include synthetic vitamins? What can you tell from the labels of these products: Complete Foods Nutrition-OctoMega MultiVitamin; Sunwarrior Raw Vitamins; Garden of LIfe-MyKind Organics; Nature's Brands-PhytoVitamins; Doctors' Research MultiVitamin? >>

Which supplements can help keep my heart healthy? Are there any to avoid? >>

How much should I expect to pay for supplements? Are higher-priced supplements any better than low-priced brands? >>


See other recent and popular questions >>
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This CL Answer initially posted on 4/9/2016. Last updated 8/2/2017.
ConsumerLab.com members may submit questions to CLAnswers@ConsumerLab.com. We read all questions and try to answer those of popular interest.

 
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