Do probiotics survive our stomach acid?

A question often asked is whether probiotics survive the harsh stomach conditions and reach the small intestine.  

It can be difficult to know what to look for when choosing a probiotic supplement. In this article we help guide you in the right direction. An effective, well tested, and researched probiotic will promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria which is linked to a wide range of health benefits.

The problem with the stomach:

The stomach is a difficult environment for an organism to survive in due to its acidity.  For a probiotic to be effective it needs to survive these conditions and make it to the small intestine alive.

There are several ways the challengers of the stomach acid can be overcome. At Head East we have designed our probiotics to ensure maximum bacterial survival and absorption through careful strain selection and an effective delivery mechanism as outlined below.

How our probiotics survive stomach acid:

The stomach is a constantly changing environment. It's PH continually changes in response to factors such as the time of day and the presence of food. We recommend taking our probiotics in the morning because this is when stomach acid is at its weakest, therefore enabling maximum bacterial survival.

The choice of strain is a very important consideration when choosing a probiotic as some strains are more resilient than others. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species, as found in Head East probiotics, are naturally robust strains and show good survivability in acid conditions.

Finally, the  delivery mechanisms plays an important role in the effectiveness of a probiotic.  At Head East we package our probiotics in a superior capsule format. Our probiotic capsules remain intact in the stomach but dissolve in the small intestine.  This is because our capsules disintegrate more slowly than conventional capsules which enables the probiotics to survive transit through the touch conditions in the stomach. Don’t just take our word for it, in vitro studies show the capsule contents are protected for at least 30 minutes at a gastric pH of 1.2 and release fully at an intestinal pH of 6.8.

Get started on your probiotic journey:

Interested in starting probiotic supplementation? Read more about the Head East range here.