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How To Properly Store Your Probiotics

Properly storing probiotics may help you get more of their health benefits, such as better digestion and healthier immune system. But many people ask whether storing the product in the fridge would help extend the life of "good" bacteria.

The answer will depend on what kind of probiotics you buy since it could either be refrigerated or a shelf-stable. But it is important to know that both options provide the same health benefits. 

Some probiotics require refrigeration because of the sensitivity levels of certain strains on the product. For example, the popular Lactobacillus delbrueckii is known to be highly sensitive to some processing methods like freeze drying, according to mindbodygreen

Experts recommend that consumers always check the label for storage instructions provided by the manufacturer. Another easy way to know how to store probiotics is by checking how the product was stored when you bought it. 

If it came from the refrigerated section or it came to the store in an ice pack, the product needs to stay refrigerated when brought home. But some probiotics are shelf-stable, which means they can be stored in non-refrigerated areas.

How To Extend Probiotics Shelf Life? 

Experts recommend that shelf-stable probiotics should remain in the original package or bottle if not consumed. Manufacturers use certain materials, like glass or plastics, to prevent humidity and other environmental factors that can kill the bacteria and reduce the product’s health benefits. 

You can also store probiotics in a cool, dry place for longer life. It is important to make sure the container or package is tightly sealed to retain its quality. 

Some people may put probiotics in a medicine cabinet in the bathroom. It may expose the good bacteria to heat and humidity when people shower with hot water.

Aside from knowing whether the probiotic product needs to be refrigerated or comes as shelf-stable, a health expert said people should always check the packaging or container for its expiration or best-by date. 

That will help determine if probiotics in the product are alive or dead. Without the living good bacteria, the product may not provide any health benefits, according to Bindiya Gandhi, an American Board Family Medicine–certified physician with training in integrative and functional medicine.

Fridge Some probiotics require refrigeration because of the sensitivity levels of certain strains on the product. Pixabay