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You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz around the amazing benefits of probiotics. The various “good” bacteria in probiotics are credited with everything from improving gut health to promoting radiating skin.
But consumers should be cautious, because not all probiotics are created equal. Many of the readily available probiotics use weak or even dead strains, rendering the supplement nearly useless. Many of the store-bought, low-end probiotics contain fewer Colony Forming Units — which you might see on the label as “CFUs” — whereas effective probiotics often contain higher concentrations.
There’s a test you can do at home to see if your probiotics are actually working — all you need is a glass of milk. Dubbed the “Milk Test,” it can reveal if the probiotics create enzymes when added to milk. If the probiotics can’t produce enzymes there, then they’re unlikely to produce enzymes in your stomach.
This simple experiment is broken down into three steps:
Step 1. Pour 4 ounces of cold milk into a glass, then add two capsules of any probiotic.
Step 2. Let the glass sit at room temperature for 48 hours.
Step 3. When the time is up, check to see if the milk has curdled or turned into a thick, yogurt-like consistency. If so, it’s a likely sign the probiotics are working.
Keybiotics, one of several probiotic brands pictured and mentioned in the video embedded within this article, shares common ownership with Vital Updates.
Danielle Tarasiuk is a multimedia journalist based in Los Angeles. Her work has been published on AllDay.com, Yahoo! Sports, KCET, and NPR-affiliate stations KPCC and KCRW. She’s a proud Sarah Lawrence College and USC Annenberg alumn.