Bacterial strains in probiotics

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I read that probiotics can help with a lot of things aside from digestion. It could even help with mood, cognition, etc. I only have a very basic and superficial understanding, so bear with me, but in studies they do with probiotics they always list the genus, species, maybe subspecies, AND the specific strains.

Secondly, on a separate search I had read that in looking for probiotics, aside from the CFU and the diversify of specific species used, the specific strains matter and it’s great when the company lists them.

I asked a company who sells a probiotic product I was interested in which strains they use in it and they said they couldn’t tell me because it’s proprietary. That surprised me a little bit because, while I expect a formula with specific amounts or ratios to be proprietary I don’t expect strains to be, especially if we assume that one strain can be very different from another and thus offer different health benefits.

1- Are strains really proprietary?

2- How different IS one strain to another really and why?

In: Biology

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