Oz has spoken again! This time the good doctor sheds some light on a common health scam involving probiotics. Dr. Oz has been a great proponent of probiotics to support healthy digestion, immunity and overall health, but in the video segment below he exposes how some probiotic companies can swindle unsuspecting shoppers. Dr. Tod Cooperman of Consumer Labs reveals that the amount of probiotic bacteria that some products claim often does not match the actual amount detected. In fact, some test results showed that some probiotic products can contain as little as 7% of the label claim of colony forming units (CFU) or live probiotic cultures. Talk about a rip off!

The trick is that many probiotic companies still claim the number of total probiotic bacteria at “time of manufacture.” While these products may have started with a certain amount of probiotics, the live bacteria can actually die off before the product ends up in your hand. Now this doesn’t mean there aren’t good probiotics out there, you just have to know what to look for. I’m so excited that Dr. Oz is bringing this up and raising awareness about these powerful good bacteria, but there’s a little more to this story, so here’s my 2 cents.

First, Dr. Oz left something critical out – probiotic shopping tips. Instead of choosing products that list the number of their live bacteria “at time of manufacture,” be on the look-out for probiotics that guarantee their potency until time of expiration. Quality products like the Vital Flora line of probiotics claim only the potency that they can guarantee until the product’s expiration date. No sneaky label tricks there.

Second, in the segment Dr. Cooperman says that we should consume at least 1 billion live bacteria each day. In my humble opinion, that is nowhere near enough! In my latest PBS Special, The Road to Perfect Health, I talk about the benefits of probiotics, and the absolute minimum I recommend is 15 Billion live bacteria per day. When it comes to probiotics, more is better. And guess what, after age 50 probiotic levels, especially Bifidobacteria, start to decline. If you’re fifty or older, you should double that dose to 30 Billion per day to maintain good digestive and immune health.

So that is as they say “the rest of the story” about this probiotic scam. The key here is to be a smart shopper – diligent label-reading is an absolute must. So take your probiotics daily to support optimal health and don’t fall victim to these tricks.