There are a number of key factors upon which probiotics may differ including:
- The individual species and strains that are included in products
- Manufacturing processes and quality assurance system
- Pharmaceutical formulation (such as encapsulation and enteric coating)
- The number of CFU’s contained in the product according to the labelling and after storage
- Evidence of clinical efficacy
- Approved health claims
Where some health effects from probiotics are considered to be core benefits, others are more specific.
Importantly, the clinical benefits of a probiotic may not be realized if it does not reach the site of action at the minimum dosage required (10 billion CFU).14
In the case of probiotics, the scientific evidence only supports certain formulations/brand names of the probiotics.