CFU in probiotics How many CfUs is a good probiotic

CFU in Probiotics | How many CFUs is a Good Probiotic

Probiotic supplements have already taken the world of health to storm, promising us several health-promoting capabilities for gut health and overall well-being. But when it comes to selecting a probiotic, one question often arises: how many CFUs (Colony-Forming Units) are considered good?

Most probiotics companies mark the CFU count as a measure of quality and potency. The higher the CFU, the more potent the probiotic is. But is it true? 

This article will delve into the core of what CFU is and why it is essential for the potency of a probiotic. Let's get started. 

What Does CFU Mean in a Probiotic? 

As its core, CFU, colony forming units, refers to the number of viable microorganisms present within the probiotic supplement. Since they are viable, the supplements are added with or made with extra care to retain their viability till expiry. 

The microorganisms are the bacterial or yeast strains that provide the necessary gut health function on ingestion. 

CFUs offer insight into the concentration and potential effectiveness of these beneficial bacteria. Most probiotic supplements range from 250 strains to 1 billion. However, more is needed to assure you the quality and effectiveness of the supplement do not solely rely on CFU only. 

It is more pronounced a balance of strains that works best for each individual.

How Many CFUs is a Good Probiotic?

Do you know what the normal range of Probiotics is? 

When it comes to finding the optimal CFUs in a good probiotic, one thing should be kept in mind, and that is: it isn’t one fits all supplement. The appropriate CFU count can vary based on individual needs, health conditions, and the intended purpose of taking probiotics.

A count of 1-10 billion viable strains in a supplement is often considered sufficient and safe. 

However, for antibiotic recovery or gastrointestinal disorders, the need for strains might increase from 20-50 billion CFUs as present in Probiotic 50 billion. 

Is 50 billion CFU Probiotic too much?

50 billion CFU Probiotics is generally considered a higher count. While it may seem high, it is crucial to consider the factors where this high count would turn inappropriate or sometimes the only solution. For example, 50 billion CFU is good regarding antibiotic resistance and gastrointestinal disorders. 

However, people with a balanced gastrointestinal ecosystem might get an imbalance with this high CFU. Therefore, it is best to get healthcare guidance while choosing your CFU in probiotic supplements. 

When To Choose Lower CFU

Where often a higher CFU count supplement is considered a choice, there are certain conditions where choosing a lower CFU in a probiotic is the only option.

One condition is the young age.  For children and infants, lower CFU counts are generally recommended since the developing gut microbiota of children needs a slight moderation to work at best. 

The other condition is the people who are sensitive to high levels of CFU. In such cases, starting with a lower CFU count can help acclimate the gut to introducing beneficial bacteria more gradually. This allows your body to adjust and reduces the likelihood of experiencing digestive discomfort or excessive gas during the initial stages of probiotic supplementation.

What are the Common Strains in CFU Cell Probiotics

The most common bacterial strains ( Good Bacteria: Best Probiotic Strains for Gut Health) added to probiotic supplements are solely chosen based on their gut health effects. Following are some strains that are known for their  gut-support potentials: 

  1. Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotic 
  2. Bifidobacterium bifidum probiotic 
  3. Lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic 
  4. Bifidobacterium longum probiotic 
  5. Lactobacillus casei probiotic 
  6. Lactobacillus reuteri 
  7. Bifidobacterium breve

common strains found in CFU

How many Probiotics CFU Should a Woman Take Daily

The recommended daily intake of probiotics for women's gut health (Probiotics for Women)  can vary depending on individual needs and health conditions. However, a general guideline is consuming 1-10 billion CFUs (Colony-Forming Units) of probiotics daily. 

How to Tell if the CFU in Probiotics is Working

Checking the effectiveness of viable CFU in probiotics could be a daunting task if it is to be done directly. However, there are a few indicators (Signs Your Probiotics Are Working) that will help you find the efficacy: 

  • Improved Digestive Health 
  • Enhanced immune function
  • Reduced gastrointestinal issues 
  • Better overall wellbeing 

If all these are checked, you are on the right path. 

How to Best Store Your Probiotics to Maintain the CFU Promised on the Bottle

As the added strains are viable, it is necessary to ensure the proper storage of supplements in appropriate conditions to retain the added strain viability. Here are some tips for maintaining the CFU promised: 

  • Refrigeration
  • Read the label carefully. Certain strains survive best at low temperatures, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. So, if your supplement has any of them, it is best to keep them in refrigerators. 

  • Avoid moisture 
  • Certain strains completely lost their functionality on moisture. Therefore, keep them in airtight bottles and avoid taking them out with wet hands. 

  • Keep a check on the expiry. 
  • Avoid bulk storage of probiotic supplements as you might reach their expiration till total consumption. Checking the expiry dates is the best approach to ensure that you ingest highly potent and effective strains each time you have your supplement. 

  • Temperature stability 
  • Some probiotics are formulated to be stable at room temperature without refrigeration. These products usually contain more heat-resistant strains and can maintain their potency outside the refrigerator.

    Generally, Canadian online supplements assure you of the shelf life viability of probiotic strains due to their fine packaging and GMP-compliant guidelines which assure the quality of products or efficacy of strains till the expiration. 


    In conclusion, the CFU (Colony-Forming Units) count in probiotics is essential when selecting a suitable supplement. While higher CFU counts are often associated with greater potency, it's crucial to remember that the efficacy of probiotics is not solely determined by CFU alone.

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