Today the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported on some of the latest probiotic information. They noted that the sales of probiotics by the unregulated supplement industry climbed to $243 million in 2005.
More relevant, the paper listed two reports which tested commercial probiotics for their viability.
1 - Bastyr researchers published a report showing 4 out of 20 commercial products did not contain viable Lactobacillus. In addition, 30% of the products contained contaminants. Finally, only one of the products contained all of the ingredients listed on the bottle. The research results note that "one product found to be a viable, non-contaminated supplement identified as the organism advertised on the bottle was also the most expensive per capsule."
Failed products: Nature's Bounty Acidophilus, Natrol Acidophilus, Twin Lab Yeast Fighter, Natural Brand Acidophilus
The full report may be read here: http://www.ispub.com/ostia/index.php?xmlFilePath=journals/ijam/vol1n2/lacto.xml
2 - www.consumerlab.com tested 13 commercial products and found similar results. Four of the 13 products did not contain the 1 billion organisms per dose considered to be a minimum. In addition, a fifth product, had the 1 billion minimum but claimed to have 30 billion. For full information, please read the original report.
Failed products: Advocare Probiotic Restore, DDS Acidphilus with FOS, Nature's Secret Ultimate Probiotic, Rite Aid Acidophilus, Flora Source (had 1 billion but not the claimed 30 million)