Do probiotics need to be refrigerated?

Do probiotics need to be refrigerated?
Do probiotics need to be refrigerated?

It’s no secret that probiotics (live bacteria in the gut, also available as dietary supplements) are packed with health benefits.

They are known for their ability to increase nutrient absorption, fight inflammation, and improve digestive health.

However, because probiotics are living microorganisms, storing them properly is critical. Because probiotics come in refrigerated and shelf-stable varieties, it’s not always easy to remember whether yours should be placed in the refrigerator or in a drawer or on a counter at room temperature.

This article explains whether probiotics should be refrigerated and provides simple tips to maximize their shelf life.

Some probiotics need refrigeration

In order for probiotics to provide health benefits, they must be able to survive from the point of manufacture to reaching the intestines.

Many factors affect the survival rate of probiotics, including the moisture level, temperature, and pH of your environment.

Certain strains are more heat sensitive and can die quickly if exposed to high temperatures.

Other strains, such as those in the Bacillus genus, can more easily withstand harsh environmental conditions and are thought to be more stable.

For this reason, many manufacturers recommend refrigerating certain types of probiotics, which may help keep the bacteria alive longer than storing them at room temperature.

Also, many foods that contain probiotics can go bad if not stored at the right temperatures, including dairy products like yogurt or kefir.

On the other hand, some shelf-stable varieties of probiotics are freeze-dried and placed in containers designed to protect against heat and moisture, so they may not need refrigeration.


While some probiotic strains are shelf-stable, others may require refrigeration to extend their shelf life. Certain probiotic foods, such as yogurt and kefir, also spoil if not refrigerated.

How to determine if probiotics should be refrigerated

Generally, most supplement manufacturers will indicate on the label whether probiotics are shelf stable or require refrigeration. If the label doesn’t have specific storage instructions, your probiotic is likely shelf stable and doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

Another way to determine if you should refrigerate your probiotics is to consider how they were stored at the time of purchase.

For example, probiotics that require refrigeration can usually be found in the refrigerated section of the store or drugstore.Alternatively, if you buy a dietary supplement online and it’s shipped in an ice pack or insulated cooler bag, it’s probably best to refrigerate it once it arrives.


Most probiotic supplements include storage instructions on the label. Probiotics stored in the store’s refrigerated area or shipped with an ice bag may also need to be refrigerated.

How to maximize the shelf life of probiotics

There are several simple steps you can follow to maximize the shelf life of your probiotic. First, read the label carefully and practice proper storage by following the instructions provided.

If your probiotics come in a blister pack, instead of putting them in a bottle or weekly pill box, keep them in the pack until you’re ready to take them.

Unlike pill bottles, which are opened and closed frequently, blister packs protect individual capsules from heat and moisture, which can ultimately extend their shelf life. useful life.

Finally, it’s important to use probiotics before their expiration date to ensure maximum potency and potency.

Although expiration dates vary by product, most shelf-stable probiotics should be used within 1-2 years.

Practicing proper storage techniques, keeping capsules in a blister pack, and using probiotics before their expiration date can help maximize their shelf life.


Certain types of probiotics are more resilient to heat and environmental stress than others.Therefore, some strains require refrigeration while others are considered shelf stable.

Be sure to check the label for storage instructions on your supplement and use some of the tips above to maximize shelf life.

Read also: Are probiotics useful for constipation?

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