Names of Probiotics

Names of Probiotics


Basic Name is Composed of Two Words.

name, genus and species
Many probiotics just list bacteria names consisting of two words that contain all letters, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. These refer to the genus and species. To better understand, here is an example. A dog and a jackal are of the same genus whereas a dog and a wolf are of the same species. So the differences between Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are similar to the difference between a dog and a jackal. Differences between Lactobacillus casei (in short; L. casei) and Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus) are similar to the differences between a dog and a wolf. Therefore, the difference between L. casei and L. acidophilus is analogous to a dog versus a wolf.

Numbers After the Names

names including strains
There are so many different kinds of dogs. What if you want to identify a dog as a poodle or a bulldog? They are different even though they are both dogs. If you want to identify probiotics in such a way, the word order would be genus, species, and lastly the strain, if applicable. In "Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1", the third word is the "strain" and usually is followed by numbers. 

Strains Show Different Effects

"Probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus showed effectiveness. ” "Which strain was that?"
Every strain shows different effects on your body. Therefore, it is important to know the exact strains in the product. Of course, it cannot be said that the probiotics showing only two word names are all bad. The issue is that you don't know which strains are in the products and you, as the consumer, cannot make educated decisions. Many products contain generic forms of strains that have not been clinically studied or proven, and are generally cheaper. All the pre-clinical and clinical tests are performed on the bacteria with specific strains. It is better to buy products that clearly identify the strains if you want to get the exact effect you expects, according to pre-clinical and clinical tests. 


  1. Lactobacillus. (2016, May 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:57, May 26, 2016, from