Choose The Right Kinds Of Probiotic Strains
Probiotic bacteria come in different varieties. For example, the bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been shown to work well for people with IBS, while Lactobacillus delbrueki works better for people with lactose intolerance. When you speak to your medical specialist, be sure to ask whether one particular strain or combination of strains would be better for the condition you want to treat or the benefits you hope to gain.
In general, a good tip is to look for a product with bacterial diversity, meaning it contains multiple strains of well-known and well-studied bacteria. Probiotic supplements often contain mixtures of well-tested bacteria and yeasts and both probiotics and prebiotics. This mixture can result in a synergy between the different strains, which provides a broader range of beneficial effects than using a product containing only one or two strains.
Make Sure They’re Safe For You
For most people in good health, experts say probiotics won’t cause any issues. If you do get side effects, they’re usually very mild, like a little more gas than usual.
But use caution if you have a serious health condition or your immune system — your body’s defense against germs — is weak. In those cases, it’s best to check with your doctor first to see if they’re safe.
Also talk to your doctor before giving probiotics to your infant, especially if they’re sick.
Look At The Safety Of The Products Youre Considering
One of the things your doctor can help you with is identifying the probiotic strains that have been studied to make sure they are safe and free from side effects. The most commonand safestmicrobes used in probiotic supplements are strains of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria.
Reports from the National Institutes of Health indicate that most probiotics are low risk because they already exist in our intestines. But its always good to check before taking them, especially if you have a history of allergies or food sensitivities.
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Compare The Best Probiotic Supplements Below To Care For Your Body By Supporting Your Digestive System And Overall Health
- Helps maintain regular digestive cycles
- 11 strains, 82 billion CFUs
- Supports metabolic health & waste removal
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- Buy in bulk, product in high demand
- Chosen by 26059people in the past 30 days9.9
- Maintains healthy inflammatory response
- 3 strains, 68 billion CFUs
- Supports a strong & healthy metabolism
- Produced in a GMP-certified facility
- Chosen by 7756people in the past 30 days8.4
- Promotes pre-,pro-, and postbiotic levels
- 11 strains, 100 billion CFUs
- Doctor formulated & third-party tested
- Chosen by 3900people in the past 30 days7.9
- Supports the growth of good bacteria
- 12 strains, 31 billion CFUs
- Maintains healthy digestive functions
- Chosen by 2594people in the past 30 days7.7
- Helps keep gas and bloating down
- 11 strains, 51 billion CFUs
- Recommended by a gastrointestinal doctor
- GMP certified and made in USA
- Chosen by 3237people in the past 30 days7.8
- Helps overall gut health
- 8 strains, 100 billion CFUs
- 10-60 servings per box
- Chosen by 498people in the past 30 days7.5
- Supports a positive mood
- 5 strains, 40 billion CFUs
- 30 servings per bottle
- Chosen by 248people in the past 30 days7.5
- Supports energy levels for optimal workouts
- 1 strain, 30 billion CFUs
- 90 servings per bottle
- Chosen by 242people in the past 30 days7.5
- Supports women’s health
- 10 strains, 25 billion CFUs
- 30 servings per jar
- Chosen by 335people in the past 30 days7.5
Garden Of Life Dr Formulated Probiotics For Women At A Glance
Strains:Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium longum
CFU count: 50 billion
- Type: vegetarian capsules
The multi-strain probiotic blend in Culturelle Womens Health Balance works naturally with a womans body to support vaginal, digestive, and immune health.
It also helps to maintain an optimal balance of good bacteria in the body, thanks to the inclusion of the Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG strain .
The convenient once-daily capsules are also gelatin-free, vegan-friendly, and made without gluten, sugar, dairy, or soy.
Whats more, Culturelle is certified by NSF International, a third-party organization that tests supplements for strength, safety, and quality.
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Culturelle Digestive Health Daily Probiotic
Optimize your digestive system function and promote a strong, healthy gut with Culturelle Digestive Health Daily Probiotic. This probiotic supplement not only supports a healthy gut microbiome, it also helps to reduce occasional bloating, gas, and diarrhea. It’s formulated with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, the most clinically studied probiotic.
Each capsule provides 10 billion CFUs along with the prebiotic inulin. Backed by 35 years of science, Culturelle Digestive Health Daily Probiotic is a supplement that you can trust. These capsules are vegetarian, non-GMO, and don’t contain any wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, or dairy.
Why Do You Want To Take A Probiotic
Understanding why you want to take a probiotic can help you pick which probiotic is best for you based on which strain of bacteria is in it. Probiotic names can be long and confusing. Think back to high school biology class. Each name refers to the genus, species, subspecies , and strain designation in that order. The most commonly studied probiotic genera are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Knowing the full name of the strain in probiotic, prebiotic or symbiotic can help you research and see if you are taking the right one to meet your goal.
For example, are you looking to increase your health in general, or do you want something to help with constipation or diarrhea?
Here is a list of some strains and how they may help you:
- Bifidobacterium breve is good for relieving stomach aches.
- Bifidobacterium longum BB536 can help relieve constipation, supports immune health and reduces allergy symptoms.
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One In Natren’s Three
Megadophilus® is step one in Natren’s three-step custom probiotic system. This Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotic product provides support to the small intestine.Lactobacillus acidophilus prefer to reside along the walls of the small intestine, where most of the digestive process takes place. Acidophilus is also a resident beneficial bacteria in the oral cavity, vaginal tract, and part of the urinary system. Available in dairy, or vegetarian/vegan appropriate dairy free probiotic formulas, each serving of Megadophilus® provides a minimum of 2 billion colony forming units of:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus, DDS-1 super strain in the dairy cultures OR
- Lactobacillus acidophilus, NAS super strain in the dairy free vegetarian/vegan cultures.
Natren’s Megadophilus® was the first genuine probiotic, ushering in the entire category of dietary probiotic supplements and introducing the term “probiotic” to North America. Natren was the first company to introduce a single strain concentrated Lactobacillus acidophilus powder requiring continuous refrigeration.
Prior to the introduction of Megadophilus®in 1983, Lactobacillus was a catch all phrase for low potency, questionable and often outright inferior products including yogurt tablets, sweet acidophilus milk, and liquid acidophilus.
- Digestion of dairy products by assisting with lactose metabolism*
- Small intestine health*
100% potency guaranteed through the printed expiration date when stored under the conditions stated on the label.
How Do I Know Which Probiotic Is Best For Me
Experts recommend taking a general, diverse probiotic with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains for anyone new to probiotics. These two genera of probiotics are the most widely researched to date. Specific probiotic strains have specific benefits, so its worth looking into their impact and science backing before choosing a supplement. Targeted probiotics should include strains with benefits specific to those health areas.*
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The Recommended Dosage For Probiotics
There is no specific recommended dosage for taking probiotics as they have varying strains and CFUs, which influence their body effectiveness.
In general, Probiotic contain between 1 to 100 billion Colony Forming Units in a single serving with 2 to 15 strains of bacteria in these servings. The probiotics come with their own recommended dose, which you can follow to get your purchase results.
Culturelle Digestive Daily Probiotic
This supplement contains Lactobacillius rhamnosus GG, a strain of probiotic that has been shown to combat several symptoms of IBS, including diarrhea.
In fact, according to one study, Lactobacillius rhamnosus GG was nearly as effective as a low FODMAP diet in reducing the severity of IBS symptoms in 123 people .
It also contains inulin, which can help improve the composition of the gut microbiome to support digestive health .
Culturelle is certified through NSF International, a third-party organization that evaluates supplements for safety and quality. Each product lot is also inspected and produced in accordance with cGMPs.
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Can Probiotic Dietary Supplements Help You Lose Weight
Although not their intended purpose, probiotics can act as a metabolism booster. Studies have found that probiotic supplements promote weight loss by blocking fat absorption and curbing hunger cravings. If you read a page of reviews on most supplement websites, someone will likely mention some unexpected but not unwelcome weight loss.
If you’re looking for a weight loss solution, talk to your doctor before trying probiotics, as they have many other effects.
Who Should Not Take Probiotic Supplements
People with compromised immune systems should not take probiotics as they are at higher risk of infection. These people include children and adults with severe illnesses and those who have recently undergone surgery.
If you have allergies, always check the ingredients of a product before consuming it. Even if the product does not contain allergens, the manufacturer may have used a facility that processes things like dairy, wheat, or eggs.
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The Best Probiotics For Women
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
From urinary and digestive support to boosting immune health
Probiotics, found in kefir to kombucha and even pickles, offer a variety of health benefits by balancing bacteria in the digestive system, which has been linked to overall health.
While eating probiotic-rich foods is a popular way to add to your diet, theyre also available in supplements. Probiotic supplements may also improve a number of concerns, including digestive and vaginal health and immune function.
Knowing which one to choose can be tricky. First, consider your reasons for wanting to take probiotics. Then, check out these six probiotics, which have been formulated to address a variety of conditions that affect women specifically.
Garden Of Life Dr Formulated Probiotics Platinum Series Restore
This product from Garden of Life boasts 200 billion CFU in each serving, making it one of the highest CFU probiotics on the market.
It contains a blend of 11 probiotics intended to restore gut balance, provide digestive support, and enhance immune function.
Garden of Life also uses a unique packaging process to keep moisture out while also maximizing potency, even without refrigeration.
The company claims its products are third-party tested, though the name of the testing organization for this particular product isnt disclosed.
Keep in mind: This probiotic is a bit pricier than others on our list, and its high CFU count might not be a good fit for everyone.
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Florastor Daily Probiotic Supplement
With 10 billion CFU of probiotics packed into each serving, this supplement from Florastor is a great option to help manage symptoms of IBS.
Its formulated with Saccharomyces Boulardii, a specific strain of bacteria that has been studied for its ability to prevent diarrhea and preserve and restore the function of the intestinal barrier .
According to the companys website, Florastor adheres to strict standards for quality control and manufactures products in a cGMP facility. This Daily Probiotic also has an A- rating from Labdoor.com .
How To Choose A Probiotic
There are a few key factors to keep in mind when shopping for a probiotic supplement:
- Intended use. Probiotics are designed to address many health concerns. For example, some are specifically formulated to support digestive health, immune function, or reproductive health.
- CFU count. The number of colony-forming units in a probiotic supplement refers to the amount of live bacteria it contains. Most supplements provide 110 billion CFU per serving, though this can vary.
- Storage needs. Most probiotics are shelf-stable and can be stored at room temperature, while others require refrigeration because they are more sensitive to heat and moisture.
- Third-party testing. Selecting a probiotic that has been tested by an independent lab or certified by a third-party organization can help verify its safety, quality, and strength.
- Dietary restrictions. Some products may be certified gluten-free or vegan, which is a key consideration for those with strict dietary needs.
Remember that no two microbiomes are the same and probiotics may affect people differently. For this reason, it could take some trial and error to find a supplement that works for you.
A healthcare professional can offer personalized recommendations based on your needs to help you find a product thats right for you.
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Probiotic Supplements Customer Reviews
Regardless of the brand, nobody knows more about the things probiotic supplements can do than the people who have experience using them.
When we were ranking each of the 27 supplements that made our initial short-list, we wanted to see plenty of positive customer comments. We also needed to see a pattern between them that showed the majority of customers were on the same page.
Things we did not want to see included reports of side effects, billing or quality issues, shipping problems, or auto-ship scams.
We had to reject several probiotic supplements pretty quickly when we discovered reviewers were reporting such issues.
In the case of our top four probiotics, customer reviews were very positive, across the board, with many customers stating their commitment to buying their chosen option again and again.
Why You Should Trust Us
Every brand and product on our list has been reviewed by registered dietitians and vetted to ensure that it aligns with Healthlines brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. Each product in this article:
- adheres to allowable health claims and labeling requirements, per Food and Drug Administration regulations
- is manufactured in facilities that adhere to current good manufacturing practices established by the FDA
- is produced by a medically credible company that follows ethical, legal, and industry best standards
- is made by a company that provides objective measures of trust, such as having its supplements validated by third-party labs
- Strains:Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
- Best for: IBS-related symptoms, travel
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 , plus 200 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 NIH recommends customers look out for.
Culturelle products are packaged to maintain viability, and the company is certified through NSF International, an organization that independently tests supplements for quality and potency and inspects manufacturing facilities.
Culturelle products dont require refrigeration.
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When Is The Best Time To Take Probiotics
The best time to take your probiotic depends on the strain. One study concluded that the Saccharomyces boulardii strain could be taken with or without a meal, but the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains survived best 30 minutes before a meal.
Most probiotics on this list contain both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, so it is advised to take them 30 minutes before a meal. However, research is limited. Consult your probiotics’ manufacturer recommendations.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
Side Effects Of Probiotics
While probiotics may cause gas, they have a strong track record of safetyhowever, the NCCIH notes that studies are limited on the frequency and severity of side effects. The organization does caution, however, that the risk of harmful effects from probiotics is greater for those with severe illness or compromised immune systems.
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Lovebug Immune Support Probiotic
Lovebug Immune Support Probiotic Supplement comes in pill form and contains 15 billion lactobacillus sporogenes per serving. This product helps promote healthy immune system so you can be assured that it is safe to take especially if you are already taking medicines or supplements for your immune system.
Image courtesy Physicians Choice
Whats The Difference Between Probiotics And Prebiotics
Probiotics and prebiotics are sometimes used interchangeably, but this is not correct. Probiotics consist of live microorganisms that help the body stay balanced. Prebiotics , on the hand, provide food for probiotics and encourage the growth of preexisting positive bacteria.
To find a good probiotic supplement, look for formulas containing both probiotics and prebiotics.
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What You Need To Know Before Choosing Probiotic Supplements
As with any product, certain people may experience greater benefits from using probiotics than others. One of the reasons for this is that the composition of the bacteria in every human body is unique. Not even identical twins are alike in this regard.
Before you begin taking probiotics, it is helpful to understand some of the terminology used in relation to these products and their ingredients.
- Microbiome: A community of organisms living in the same environment.
- Bifidobacterium: A good bacteria and common ingredient in probiotics. It is normally found in the intestine and useful for occasional diarrhea and constipation.
- Lactobacillus: A species of good bacteria found in probiotics that helps absorb nutrients and break down food.
- Saccharomyces boulardii: A yeast often found in probiotics and used for improving the gut microbiome.
When youre selecting a probiotic supplement, its sensible to choose a brand youre familiar with, as many of these companies have years of testing and research behind them. Likewise, you should read the label carefully to make sure you find the best product for your particular health goals. For example, the best probiotic for women isnt necessarily the best probiotic for men.
Be aware that certain foods interfere with probiotics and are best avoided while taking these supplements. These include the following.
- Carbonated drinks
You should also seek medical advice before giving probiotic supplements to a child.