Probiotics are the live microorganisms found in dietary supplements and foods such as yogurt, pickles, and other fermented products. They’re proven to help the body maintain a healthy community of microorganisms in the gut, called microbiome, and even help the body return to a healthy state after being sick. In recent years, gut health-minded individuals have turned to probiotic supplements to improve the amount of “good” bacteria that make up their microbiome. These days, there are more and more options to choose from at the health store. So which are the best probiotics supplements on the shelves, according to experts?
The best probiotic supplements may help with everything from mood improvement and weight loss, to preventing dementia. Scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine conducted a study on mice by feeding them a probiotic bacteria found in live-culture yogurts called Lactobacillus. The team found that the rodents’ depression-like symptoms were largely reversed by consuming the yogurt.
Another study out of University College Cork in Ireland shows that memory problems were reversed after old mice were given “friendly” bacteria. Their research suggests that gut-boosting yogurts could help to ward off Alzheimer’s disease, leading to possible developments for the prevention of dementia.
A National Health Interview Survey shows that about four million U.S. adults use probiotics or prebiotics on a monthly basis. Among adults, probiotics or prebiotics were the third most commonly used dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals, according to the National Institutes of Health.
While researchers are working hard to learn more about the mysterious and incredible microbiome, much is left to be discovered about which probiotics are truly ideal for our bodies. StudyFinds set out to find the best probiotic supplements as reviewed across expert websites. For our findings, we visited 10 leading health websites to see which probiotics were most recommended.
The List: Best 5 Probiotic Supplements, According To Experts
1. Garden of Life
Garden of Life’s Probiotics Once Daily provides 30 billion CFUs of 14 probiotic strains, including Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus casei. Garden of Life ranked high among most expert’s lists due to its non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and vegetarian formula.
“This once-daily, no-refrigeration-needed probiotic packs in 16 strains of friendly bacteria to support good digestion, boost your immune health, and support a healthy environment,” Prevention writes.
Customers also particularly like Garden of Life for its a once-a-day pill, requiring just a single capsule in the morning to get your day off to a healthy start.
“Now, we are not saying that this is a miracle supplement. But when used in conjunction with other health-boosting measures you can potentially start living a vastly happier and healthier life,” Discover Magazine writes in its review.
2. Renew Life
Renew Life is also well known for its top-notch line of probiotics geared toward specific groups based on age and sex, offering the perfect blend of probiotics for a variety of customers. “With over 25 billion live cultures and 10 probiotic strains, this probiotic health supplement is perfect for anyone looking to improve their digestive health without having to break the bank,” Discover Magazine writes.
Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic contains 6 billion colony forming units (CFU) of Saccharomyces boulardii, which is proven to rebalance the gut microbiome after antibiotic-associated diarrhea, according to Very Well Fit.
“In many cases, Saccharomyces boulardii needs to be refrigerated, but the Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic is shelf-stable, meaning that you don’t need to keep it chilled, making it easy to take with you when you travel,” the publication adds.
Florastor features a large, effective probiotic strain specifically made for increased intestinal coverage, in addition to being GMO-free, gluten-free and vegetarian.
“It’s one of the two most effective for antibiotic-associated diarrhea and C. diff infection, a relatively common infection that follows the use of specific types of antibiotics and can be challenging to treat,” Dr. Melina Jampolis, a board-certified physician tells Forbes Health.
The easy to digest capsules don’t require refrigeration and come in a convenient pack of 100.
Align is a formula-patented brand that contains a probiotic strain that has been researched for its role in digestive health, making it one of the most science-backed brands.
“Align is arguably the most clinically studied brand on the market that shows beneficial effects,” Forbes Health says in its review.
The probiotic is highly rated for helping relieve abdominal discomfort, gas and bloating.
“All you need to do is twist the capsule and dump the contents onto your morning breakfast or drink. Within days you will start feeling your best (assuming your digestive system was the culprit of you not feeling amazing) and have the energy you need,” Discover Magazine says in its review.
Healthline ranks Culturelle’s digestive daily probiotic supplement as best overall on its list, touting it for its high-quality, middle-of-the-road price, and third-party testing. “One capsule of Culturelle Digestive Daily probiotic has 10 billion CFUs of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a probiotic strain that may benefit a number of health conditions like diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), plus 200 mg of the prebiotic inulin, which fuels beneficial gut bacteria,” their review says.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is also a key selling point for Culturelle because of the amount of research backing its effectiveness. Forbes writes: “The strain in this probiotic is one of ‘the most studied,’ says Taylor Wallace, Ph.D., principal and CEO of food science and nutrition research firm Think Healthy Group and a Forbes Health Advisory Board member. ‘It’s very effective.'”
- Sports Illustrated
- Women’s Health
- Live Science
- Very Well Fit
As always, before making any change to your dietary routine or taking any supplements, you should speak first with your doctor.
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.