Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Leave Probiotics Testing to the Pros

Dear Dr. Walt,

Many websites recommend a “Milk Test,” as a way to test the quality of the bacteria in over-the-counter probiotic supplements. What do you think?

—Farmer in Kansas

Dear Milker,

According to the experts at one of my favorite natural medication Web sites, ConsumerLab.com, “The ‘milk test’ described on websites will not reliably tell you if a probiotic supplement contains viable organisms or not.”

However, ConsumerLab does do independent quality tests of probiotics every two years and they publish their results online.

The products are purchased off the shelf and are tested in expert microbiology laboratories.

The products are also tested for possible contamination with mold, yeast, and pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria.