A Guide to Shopping for Probiotics From the Founder of Nouri
- Written By:Alexandra Perron, Managing Editor
At just 26 years old, Caroline Beckman is already a wellness industry veteran. She started working in product development as a founding employee of Suja Juice when she was just 18 and hasn't looked back. Her latest venture, Nouri, was born out of her own struggles with gut health. “I was personally battling with immunodeficiency and a lack of energy,” says Beckman, Nouri's CEO and Founder. “As I peeled back the layers, I learned those issues were stemming from my gut.” She also realized she wasn’t alone in her struggle — the US spends $136 billion a year treating gut-related diseases.
“I looked everywhere on the market for a solution only to discover that the solutions spoke to a reactive market,” says Beckman. “I realized there was an opportunity to empower individuals to take a proactive approach to their gut health.” Working with Dr. David Keller, Nouri’s Leader of Research, Beckman launched Nouri’s first product: a proprietary probiotic blend encapsulated with plant-based omegas 3, 6, and 9. The goal? To give your gut, brain and body a boost in one go. “I like to think of the gut as the cornerstone of personal health and wellness, and if it’s not operating properly, it’s really hard for the rest of the body to function as well,” she says.
Despite all of her research, Beckman knows that navigating the world of gut health and probiotics can be intimidating, especially with all the options lining shelves and flooding our Instagram feeds. We asked her to put together a guide to help when it comes to finding the right probiotic for you. Ready?
1. Pay Attention to CFU
Probiotics are living bacteria, which means that it’s possible for some of them to not survive the entirety of shelf life. The CFU (“colony forming units”) count you’ll see on a label tells you exactly how much bacteria is in the product. Some products have a guaranteed CFU count “at time of manufacture,” which is when the product is first made. Quality products, however, will have guaranteed CFU count throughout the entirety of shelf life. This ensures that you will get an effective amount, even on the final expiration date.
2. Take Note of “Survivability”
You do your job by buying and remembering to take the probiotics, but that is only the beginning of the journey for these good, living bacteria. You want them to be able to survive harsh internal conditions such as stomach acid and bile, in order to get further along in the gut where they can do their work. Standard capsules dissolve quickly in the stomach and can’t fully protect the encapsulated bacteria. Capsules with a delayed-release technology are made to protect the probiotics longer so that they potentially increase probiotic survival.
3. Look for the Strain Level on the Label
There are three parts to a bacterial name: genus, species and strain. Take one from Nouri’s Digestive Health product as an example, named Lactobacillus acidophilus UALa-01. The genus (“Lactobacillus”) is a very broad category that has hundreds of species within it. The next part called the species (“acidophilus”), narrows it down but there are still numerous strains within a particular species. That is why the last part is so important — the strain (“UALa-01”) level identification. Each strain is genetically unique and the benefits of one strain may be very different than those of a similar sounding strain. This particular strain is backed by almost 40 years of rigorous clinical trials and has been proven to support digestive and immune health.
4. Refrigerated vs. Shelf-Stable Probiotics
Some probiotics are very susceptible to temperature and do not survive unless they are kept cold through the shelf life of the product. This can pose challenges in everyday life, such as when traveling and remembering it’s in the fridge and taking it daily. Other probiotics, like Nouri, are shelf stable, and can be stored at room temperature.
5. Try to Get More Bang For Your Buck
Many probiotics on the market contain only probiotics, but when you’re making the effort to buy and take a supplement, why not get more bang for your buck? Nouri’s 2-in-1 capsule combines two functional ingredients: probiotics and plant-based omega oil so you’re getting more out of your healthy habit each and every day.
Nouri is available at dailynouri.com and at Whole Foods.