Probiotics: Do They Need to be Refrigerated?

Probiotics are essentially living microorganisms which when consumed, confer many health benefits to an individual’s body. Probiotics are common in dietary supplements, yoghurts, and a host of other fermented products.

These helpful bacteria are suitable for digestive, urinary, and vaginal health complications, diarrhoea caused by antibiotics, and irritable bowel syndrome. This piece walks you through the best way to safely store probiotics through refrigeration.

Do all the probiotics need refrigeration?

The criteria on whether to refrigerate or not is pegged on the strain composition present in the probiotic. Exposure to elements such as light, heat, oxygen, moisture can affect the longevity of some probiotic compounds.

Bacterial strains such as bifidobacterium, Casei, and Lactobacillus have minimal tolerance to heat, oxygen, light, and moisture and will generally require refrigeration to prevent the bacteria’s degradation. Soil-based probiotics tend to have superior resistance to natural elements.

Most manufacturers provide information on the refrigeration needs of probiotics on bottles or packaging material, so be sure to check the label on best storage practices.

Are refrigerated probiotics better?

Whether to refrigerate and or not depends on the sensitivity levels of the different strains present in the probiotic. Products made using freeze-drying technologies then packaged in moisture-tight containers do not require refrigeration.

Why refrigeration?

Manufacturers often employ complex production processes to ensure that delicate microorganisms present in probiotic products have adequate protection from heat, moisture, light, and oxygen.

Refrigeration during shipping and storage boosts the survival rate of delicate probiotics and ensures they remain in a viable working condition. Though some probiotics have a natural resistance to heat and moisture, most strains will require refrigeration to survive.

What is the best way to store probiotics?

While refrigeration is helpful to most probiotics, those classified as shelf-stable also need careful handling. Below are some good practices on how to effectively store your supplemental probiotics.

  • Always store your products in a cool, moisture-free cabinet
  • Ensure your probiotics are tightly sealed in their original package at all times
  • Avoid keeping your supplements in your bathroom or kitchen cabinets to minimize exposure to heat and dampness.

Can probiotics expire?

Do probiotics expire if refrigerated? Probiotics, like most living organisms, only exist for a limited time. These microorganisms work best when alive and in good condition; therefore, it is vital to use them before the expiry date.

Information such as the packaging and best-by date is usually provided on the storage containers and is often the best way to confirm the usable status of your supplements. Poor handling and storage can kill all microorganisms, thus rendering the supplement ineffective before its expiry date. If the expiry date is missing, experts recommend using it within two years of the manufacturing date.

High-end probiotics have a long shelf-life, clear guidelines on dosage, and a well-balanced strain of microorganisms to achieve the desired goal. How you handle probiotics from shipping to storage can significantly affect the product’s useful life. Visit sites like Probulin for more information on how to take your probiotic supplements safely.

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.

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