Gut health has become an extremely popular topic in recent years, and it makes sense because poor gut health can lead to autoimmune conditions, arthritis, and more. And if we’re going to talk about gut health, we need to talk about probiotics – the good bacteria that help to promote gut health. You’ve likely seen yogurt commercials advertising the fact that their products contain probiotics, but if you’re not a yogurt lover, and you don’t feel that you’re getting enough of this important gut bacteria through your diet, what are you to do? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, we searched the web to find the top five best probiotic supplements and we’ve listed them here for you.
If you’re carrying around some extra weight on your frame, research shows that taking probiotics may help you to experience less respiratory issues. In the study, researchers examined the daily health logs of 220 patients in a double-blind placebo-controlled study focusing on probiotics and weight loss. Study authors looked for any instances of coughing, sore throat, or wheezing — which may reveal an upper respiratory infection. And the results? Participants taking probiotics during the experiment had a 27-percent lower rate of developing breathing problems in comparison to those taking a placebo. Participants 45 years and older experienced the largest benefit of taking probiotics, as well as those who were obese. And if you need another reason to take probiotics, one strain in particular may prevent brain degeneration.
Research shows that a certain probiotic can prevent neurodegeneration in a species of worm that is critical to the study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a team of researchers from Canada’s CHUM Research Centre (CRCHUM). ALS, if you’re not familiar, is a neurodegenerative disease which breaks down nerve cells and ultimately limits the functionality of muscles. In the study, researchers set out to study ALS using C. elegans worms — which serve as an animal model of neural decline. They may just be worms, but they share 60 percent of their genetic makeup with humans. Scientists genetically-modified them to have ALS-associated genes. To test the effects of different probiotics, Labarre tested 13 different strains and three different combinations. One called HA-114 demonstrated something unique. The mechanism of action was neuroprotective, reducing motor disorders in worm models with both ALS and Huntington’s disease, another neurodegenerative disease. Amazingly, researchers found that when adding probiotics to the diet of our animal model, we notice that it suppresses the progression of motor neuron degeneration.
Now that you know the importance of probiotics, you’re probably ready to start supplementing with them. Below is our list of the consensus best probiotic supplements. Of course, we want to hear from you. Which probiotic supplement keeps your gut health in check? Comment below to let us know!
The List: Best Probiotic Supplements, According to Experts
This trusted supplement brand has landed in many of our supplement articles; and a variety of their probiotic offerings made experts’ lists. They claim to offer only “clean, traceable, clinically studied ingredients in the most sustainable way possible.”
Medical News Today recommends for males, the Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Men. “Garden of Life claims this product may suit men’s health needs by supporting the gut, prostate, and heart. Alongside 31 bacteria strains, the product contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and a dairy-digesting enzyme blend. As a raw food, this product is not cooked or treated. This product is suitable for vegetarians and free from gluten, soy, binders, fillers, carriers, and GMOs. The recommended dose is three capsules daily, each taken at separate times with or without food.”
“Garden of Life offers a probiotic formulated for men’s digestive and immune systems,” writes CNET. “With an impressive 15 strains, the capsules are also non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and vegetarian. The Once Daily Men’s supplements are designed to aid in colon health and reduce bloating, cramping and gas. In addition to the probiotic cultures, each capsule contains 407 mg of a prebiotic fiber blend, including organic potato and organic acacia fiber. One bottle contains 30 capsules. Take these daily probiotics with or without a meal.” They do note, however, that these are not for children.
If you’re looking for mood support, MBG Health recommends Garden of Life Mood+. “Yes, your gut health can have an influence on your mood, too. This supplement specifically contains clinically studied L. helveticus R0052 and B. longum R0175, demonstrated to support emotional well-being. What’s more, it contains adaptogenic ashwagandha, which aids with stress management.” They note that it “supports digestive balance, promotes well-being, and has a unique blueberry blend,” but there are also cons, including the fact that these are “not suitable for vegans,” and that there is a lack of information about most of the strains contained in the product.
This brand, according to their website, is the most trusted probiotic brand in America, uses the most clinically studied probiotic strain, and is the number one pediatrician recommended brand. They offer many women’s and family health products all centered around gut health.
For the best probiotics to take with antibiotics, Medical News Today recommends Culturelle Probiotics: Ultimate Balance for Antibiotics. “Culturelle claims that these probiotics may help reduce side effects when taking a course of antibiotics, specifically digestive issues such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating.” They note that “This probiotic contains 20 billion CFUs of Lactobacillus rhamnosus…The capsules are vegetarian and free from tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, and egg.” They also mention that the capsules do not need to be refrigerated.
CNET recommends Culturelle Pro Strength Daily Probiotics. “Culturelle probiotics are for anyone over 12 years old looking to boost their gut health. The capsules contain one of the most researched strains of bacteria — Lactobacillus rhamnosus — to aid in healthy digestion and bacteria balance…Each package contains 60 capsules — two months’ worth of probiotics. It is important to note that these probiotics are not delayed release, meaning that the capsules will be absorbed right away in the stomach and not in the small intestine.”
Listed as their best overall probiotic, Healthline chooses Culturelle Digestive Daily Probiotic Capsules. “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, such as diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. This supplement also contains 200 milligrams (mg) of the prebiotic inulin, which fuels beneficial gut bacteria…Culturelle guarantees that the stated number of CFUs on the box is viable through the expiration date of the product, something the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends customers look out for.” Additionally, they mention that “While products are not routinely tested for purity and potency by a third-party lab, the company states that it takes multiple measures to ensure quality and safety.”
Align aims to improve “your overall gut health and daily wellness,” according to their website. And they want to do this not only through their products, but through education as well. They offer many “Probiotics 101” articles on their website to teach people about probiotics and gut health.
Prevention lists this as their best overall probiotic: “This ever-popular probiotic supplement is a favorite among gastroenterologists thanks to strains like Bifidobacterium 35624, which supports healthy digestion and can help with occasional gas and bloating. It’s a well-studied probiotic for gut health, Dr. Rajapaksa says, and Amazon reviewers are big fans. ‘I no longer bloat and my bathroom problems totally disappeared,’ one raves.” For pros, they list that it’s #1 doctor and gastroenterologist recommended, Gluten-free, Soy-free, and Vegetarian. They only con they listed was that some reviewers said the packaging was bulky.
Forbes mentions a doctor’s opinion: “Michael Bass, M.D., a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine (with a sub-specialization in gastroenterology and hepatology) and medical director of Oshi Health, also recommends Align. ‘With Align, you know what you’re getting,’ he says. ‘The bifidobacterium species [used in the probiotic] has a great deal of data backing its use.’”
Healthline writes, “Align is a physician-trusted brand that contains Bifidobacterium longum 35624, formerly known as Bifidobacterium infantis 35624, a probiotic strain that has been researched for its role in digestive health, including IBS symptoms…This product’s label states that each capsule contains 5 billion live bacteria at the time of manufacturing and 50 million CFUs until the ‘best by’ date.” And “Because it doesn’t require refrigeration, it’s a good option if you travel often or prefer not to worry about storing your probiotic supplement in the fridge.”
This company has been around for over 50 years and their supplements populate most grocery and drug store shelves. They’re a family-owned business and their products range from probiotics, to BCAAs, to dried fruit and everything in between.
“That’s right, your mouth has a microbiome, too,” writes MBG Health, and it’s why they recommend NOW OralBiotic Lozenges. “This probiotic supplement features Streptococcus salivarius K12, a strain shown to help the body’s natural defenses starting with the mouth.” As far as pros, they like that this supplement supports oral microbiome and that it offers a unique delivery format. For cons, they list the fact that it contains milk, that it’s not suitable for vegans, and that it contains a long list of ingredients. They do mention, however, that it’s gluten, soy, and nut-free. So, if you’re looking for a different way to get your probiotics or you simply struggle to take pills, this may be a good option for you.
Forbes recommends Now Probiotic-10. “The blend in this particular probiotic offers ‘a balanced spectrum of live organisms’ that naturally occur in the human GI tract, according to the company.” They note that this is an affordable option that is free of dairy, soy, and gluten, but they also share that the company “warns of melting or damage to the product if left outside during warmer months.”
Healthline writes, “NOW uses DNA fingerprinting technology to guarantee the identity, potency, and purity of the bacterial strains used in its probiotic products. This testing also helps identify potential bacterial contaminants in the products prior to manufacturing…Additionally, NOW’s facilities are certified by UL Solutions (previously Underwriters Laboratories), an independent certification safety company that ensures safe manufacturing and storage practices. This probiotic is processed in an allergen-free facility, so it’s suitable for those with allergies.”
According to the website, this company started because the founder was looking for help in solving her own gut issues. That was 25 years ago, and this company is still going strong. Though they focus on gut health, they do also offer a variety of other supplements as well.
Byrdie writes, “A major obstacle when it comes to staying consistent with taking probiotics is that many of them need to be refrigerated. Refrigeration keeps bacteria viable and supports overall efficacy. Finding a probiotic that ensures potency not just at the time of manufacture, but at the time of purchase is difficult…Renew Life’s On The Go Probiotic takes away the stress of refrigeration. Renew Life’s Extra Care probiotics provide 50 billion live cultures from 12 different probiotic strains, designed to re-establish digestive balance. Ensuring quality and potency through expiration, Renew Life’s capsules are designed to be delayed-release, making sure the contents make it past the acidic environment of the stomach. As a bonus, these probiotics do not need to be refrigerated, a plus when shipments might be delayed, routines are disrupted by travel or emergency times without refrigeration.”
“As we age, the amount of Bifidobacterium species in our gut decreases, per a 2017 study—but this supplement is designed to fight back,” writes Prevention. “Formulated with 30 billion CFU of Bifidobacteria strains (plus a healthy dose of key Lactobacilli strains, too), it’s especially helpful for older adults. ‘My body is stronger, I am more focused on things I do during the day, and I am in a better mood,’ one reviewer reports.” They like that this product is clinically studied and that it’s gluten, dairy, and soy-free. They do note, however, that it does have a slightly lower amount of live cultures than some other options.
Verywell Fit 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. The capsule is coated to ensure that the microbes make their way safely to your intestines, and you only need to take one capsule a day to get in the appropriate dosage.”
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