Culturelle is a probiotic supplement. Probiotics contain healthful microorganisms (bacteria) which can help restore or improve gut health and immunity. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine states that probiotics are typically found in foods such as yogurt, miso, fermented and unfermented milk, tempeh, and some soy and juice drinks. Culturelle contains the microorganism Lactobacillus GG. Amerifit Brands, makers of Culturelle, touts Culturelle as the most clinically researched and affirmed strain of probiotic for immune, digestive and overall health. Amerifit also indicates that Culturelle can be used to replenish beneficial bacteria after a course of antibiotic therapy and to protect against traveler's diarrhea.
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Culturelle aims to restore balance in your body's digestive system by replenishing the gut with over 10 billion bacteria per one daily capsule. Culturelle and its contents, Lactobacillus GG, have been the focus of numerous clinical research studies. Rosemary J. Young, R.N., M.S. at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, has overseen many clinical trials which have proven the effectiveness of Lactobacillus GG. Ms. Young notes that Lactobacillus GG has had a positive impact on improving traveler's diarrhea, eczema associated with food allergies and diarrhea from antibiotic use in children. Additionally, Sherwood L. Gorbach, M.D., a professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Tufts University School of Medicine, endorses Culturelle as an excellent method of creating an intestinal barrier against harmful bacteria and viruses while maintaining overall health and well-being.
Culturelle is packaged in a yellow box with green labeling. Culturelle is available as an oral capsule containing Lactobacillus GG encapsulated in a cellulose gelatin. Each capsule is individually wrapped in protective foil, and capsules can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator or the freezer. Culturelle is also packaged in single-dose packets for children, and has similar storage requirements.
There are five different Culturelle products, ranging from 30-count boxes (a month's supply) to a shortened duration therapy of 10 days (a 10-count box). A Digestive Health blend of Culturelle is also available with inulin (a non-digestible prebiotic) and as a diary-free version for those who are sensitive to dairy, lactose intolerant or are simply looking for an alternative to the traditional formula. Culturelle is also formulated as a dairy- and gluten-free version for children who weigh over 100 lbs. This Culturelle product comes as a powder pack. Odorless and tasteless packet contents can be added to food or drink.
Culturelle can be taken at any time of the day, with or without food. If you have difficulty swallowing capsules, empty the contents of Culturelle into any cool beverage or food (hot beverages and foods may destroy the health benefits of Culturelle). Culturelle's manufacturer recommends taking this supplement daily to achieve maximum benefits. You may experience mild bloating, digestive gurgling or gas within the first few days of taking Culturelle. Amerifit Brands reports that these side effects are part of the normal process of changing your digestive system's environment.
Culturelle can be purchased over-the-counter at most pharmacy retailers, natural foods and grocery stores. Look for these products in the "digestive aids" or "digestive health" sections of stores. The manufacturer has a website for those looking to find a local retailer or for ordering online (see Resources).