What is IPRO?
IPRO (International Probiotic Standards) is a certification specifically designed for probiotic ingredients and finished products.
IPRO helps companies be more transparent in how their probiotics are manufactured, handled, tested, stored, shipped, and labeled.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria naturally found in the body, especially the gut. The word comes from the Greek “pro,” meaning “promoting,” and “biotic,” meaning “life.”
We can consume probiotics from foods, such as yogurt and fermented foods, or from supplements. Getting enough probiotics is important for maintaining a healthy balance between good and bad (disease-causing) bacteria.
A bacterial imbalance, or dysbiosis, has possible links to diseases of the intestinal tract, including ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, and Chron’s disease, as well as obesity and diabetes. Learn more about diet and inflammatory bowel disease.
Probiotic Health Benefits
Different probiotics work for different health conditions. In general, having good probiotic bacteria in your body is linked to numerous health benefits, including:
• Reduced inflammation, a leading driver of many diseases
• Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in people with clinical depression
• Lowered total and LDL cholesterol levels
• Modest reductions in blood pressure
• Enhanced immune function and reduce risk of infections, including the common cold
• Improved skin health, including usefulness for acne, rosacea, and eczema
How Much Do You Need?
There are many different probiotic organisms, so there is no set dosage. Some probiotics are dosed by weight or by the number of live organisms they contain (typically measured as Colony Forming Units [CFUs]).
When starting any new supplementation regimen, we recommend asking your healthcare provider for advice.
Probiotics are live microorganisms, so companies must have tightly-controlled quality systems in place.
Products are tested by IPRO-approved laboratories as part of a quality assurance/quality control system. IPRO tests for microbes, heavy metal count, disintegration for capsules and total probiotic count.
We review the testing documentation, product label, quality system records, and facility accreditations to make sure all manufacturing and testing was done to a high degree of quality. Then, we evaluate the results against the IPRO testing standards to make sure they meet the criteria to get certified.
The specific testing limits can be found in IPRO Product Reports.