b'to boost that amount. Studies show that you can safely take up to 10 billion CFUs of supplemental probiotics for conditions like IBS, eczema, or weakened immune function.Your gut bacterial balance is much more than just a numbers game. What really matters are your health goals and whether or not the specific probiotic strains in a supplement will target those goals. Regardless of the CFU count or the number of bacteria listed on the labels, the critical factor is whether or not the bacteria is viable and able to survive the journey to the colon.Not all probiotic manufacturers guarantee that the bacteria in their products are live and viable at the time of consumption. Without this type of assurance, its hard to tell exactly how many bacteria cells, if any, are alive when you swallow your supplement. Its also important to make sure your supplement is resistant to stomach acid. This will ensure that the bacteria will survive the journey through the stomach and into the intestines.While some probiotics require refrigeration, that can invite moisture which can undermine viability and degrade the product. Good quality shelf stable probiotics however are designed to protect the beneficial bacteria and remain viable for an extended period of time. To maintain potency, store shelf-stable probiotics in a cool, dry cabinet away from sunlight. know your StrainsThere are dozens of friendly bacterial strains found in commercial probiotics, and they all help the body in different ways. Here are some of the most beneficial for a healthy gastrointestinal tract and more:probiotic Strain What it DoesBifidobacterium bifidum Strengthens gastrointestinal immunity.Bifidobacterium breve Reduces intestinal inflammation and boosts the immune system.Bifidobacterium infantis Improves IBS symptoms and helps eliminate E. coli in the gut.Bifidobacterium lactis Promotes good colon health.Bifidobacterium longum Enhances immunity. Effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. May also reduce LDL cholesterol levels.Lactobacillus gasseriProduces vitamin K, lactase, and anti-microbial substances. May (formerly calledhelp people with lactose intolerance digest dairy foods. Helps prevent L. acidophilus indigestion and diarrhea, as well as vaginal yeast infections. L. gasseri)also shows promise in healthy weight management. Lactobacillus rhamnosus Boosts cellular immunity. Reduces IBS symptoms and helps prevent recurrent bacterial vaginosis. 10the G o od Gut'