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Probiotic Storage Mystery : Should You Refrigerate or Keep at Room Temperature?

Probiotics is a popular term in the health and nutrition industry which are nothing but live bacteria which reside in the gut and also are available in the supplement form. Probiotics are famous for their ability to fight inflammation, increase absorption of the nutrients and to improve the digestive health.(1, 6)

As probiotics are live microorganisms, it is important to store them properly.  Probiotics are available in both shelf-stable and refrigerated forms so there is always confusion whether to refrigerate or not to refrigerate the probiotics or to keep them in room temperature on your shelf.

In this article, we will unveil the probiotic storage mystery and discuss if they need to be refrigerated or not and different ways to increase their shelf life.

There are Some Probiotics Which Need To Be Refrigerated

To avail the complete benefits of probiotics, they should be able to survive from the time they are made to the time they are consumed. There are multiple factors, which impact the survival rate of probiotics, such as temperature, moisture content, and pH of the surroundings.(2)

Certain probiotic strains are more susceptible to heat and can perish quickly if subjected to high temperatures. Some strains of probiotics like Bacillus genus are easily able to tolerate the 0harsh environmental factors and are hence thought to be more stable.(3, 4)

This is why it is recommended to refrigerate some forms of probiotics to help keep the beneficial bacteria stay alive for longer time.(5)

Additionally, there are many foods which have probiotics in them and can turn bad if they are not stored at the correct temperature, such as dairy products like kefir or yogurt.

Whereas, a few of the probiotics, which are the shelf-stable varieties are freeze-dried and packed, such that it is protected against moisture and heat and do not need refrigeration.

How to Find Out If The Probiotics Should Be Refrigerated Or Not?

The answer to this question is printed on the label of the supplemental probiotics itself if they need to be refrigerated or can be kept stable at room temperature. In case of absence of any specific instructions on storage, it likely means that your probiotic can be kept at room temperature.

One more method to find out if probiotics need to be refrigerated or not is to see how they were stored before buying them. If probiotics need to be kept in the fridge, then they are usually kept in the refrigerated section of the pharmacy or store. Likewise if they are kept on a shelf, then it means they can be stored at room temperature and do not need to be refrigerated.

Ways to Increase the Shelf Life of Probiotics

There are many ways by which the shelf life of the probiotic can be increased such as:

Reading the instructions on the label thoroughly and doing as it is written helps in maximizing the life of probiotics. If the probiotics are contained in blister pack when purchased, it is better to keep them in the same pack till the time one wants to consume them. Blister packs help in protecting the separate capsules from exposure to humidity and heat and help in increasing their shelf life.

Finally, just as with anything probiotics should also be used within expiration date for better effectiveness and potency. Many of the shelf-stable probiotics can be used within 1 to 2 years.


As mentioned in this article, there are some types of probiotics which can withstand the heat and environmental factors more when compared to others. Likewise some probiotic strains need to be refrigerated, whereas some are shelf stable. Always check the label for storage instructions and follow them to utilize them to the maximum for your health.

Other than buying supplements, one can increase their probiotic intake by making some changes in the diet and eating fermented foods that are rich in probiotics, such as kombucha, Tempeh, sauerkraut and pickles which are rich in probiotics and nutrients.(6, 7)


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 24, 2023

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