Probiotic supplements have never been more popular.
Many people take probiotics daily to support digestion, immunity, weight loss, energy, and other effects.
Good digestion affects every part of your body. And good digestion starts with good gut bacteria.
However, not all gut health supplements are made equal. Some supplements contain strong doses of proven probiotics, while others contain near-useless ingredients.
We want to help. We tested probiotic supplements, contacted manufacturers, pored over lab reports, and conducted hundreds of hours of research on today’s most popular probiotic supplements. Here’s what we found.
Ranking the Top-Rated Best Probiotic Supplements of 2022
After much deliberation, here’s how we ranked the top probiotic supplements of 2022.
- 1MD Complete Probiotics
- BioTrust Pro-X10™
- BiOptimizers P3OM
- Organifi Balance
- Nucific Bio X4
- ActivatedYou Advanced Restorative Probiotic
- Gundry MD 24 Strain Probiotic
- Unify Health Labs Multi-GI5
- Just Thrive Probiotic
- VitaPost Probiotic 40-Billion
- Live Conscious Pro-45
- Probiotic T-50
- Nuzena Probiotic 40 Gut Boost +
- UpWellness Probiotic +
- Purality Health Micelle Liposomal Probiotic
- Prime Health Daily Probiotic Balance
- Oweli Probiotic
- Earth Echo Probiotic
- Earth Echo Vitality Bliss Bites
- Microbiome Plus
- FloraSpring (Revival Point)
- Probiotic America
- Advanced BioNutritionals Probiotic
- Simple Promise Ovuna
- Organixx ProBiotixx
- PhytAge Labs Replenish 911
- Vital Plan Advanced Biotic
- Vital Plan Biome Boost
BioFit is a probiotic supplement and weight loss formula priced at $59 per bottle. The formula comes bundled with multiple bonuses to enhance weight loss effects, including two weight loss recipe books and access to a private members’ area, making BioFit an all-in-one supplement for tackling weight loss in multiple ways.
According to the official BioFit website, some users have lost 72lbs or more since taking BioFit. Just take BioFit daily to give your body a substantial dose of probiotic bacteria, then enjoy powerful weight loss results within days.
Although we’re skeptical of over-zealous weight loss claims, BioFit is backed by thousands of positive reviews online and a 180 day moneyback guarantee. If you don’t lose significant weight while taking BioFit’s probiotics, then you are entitled to a complete refund.
1MD Complete Probiotics
1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum is a popular and well-rated probiotic with an incredible 51 billion colony forming units (CFUs) per serving, making it one of the highest-powered probiotic supplements available today.
Plus, 1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum also has 11 robust strains, allowing you to support digestion from different angles.
We also like 1MD’s delivery mechanism: the company uses delayed release capsules to help the probiotics safely reach your intestines. With cheaper probiotics, you lose significant probiotics to your stomach acid. Priced at $41 per bottle, 1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum is a great-value option for anyone looking for a high-powered, diverse, probiotic supplement.
BioTrust Pro-X10 is a probiotic supplement designed to help with bloating, mood issues, occasional digestive issues, feelings of stress, and other issues that can start in your gut.
By taking BioTrust Pro-X10 daily, you can use multiple strains to support gut health in various ways. Plus, priced at just $34 per bottle, Pro-X10 is one of the better-value options on our list.
According to BioTrust, taking Pro-X10 could help with everything from low energy to weight loss to brain fog.
P3-OM from BiOptimizers is a well-rated probiotic supplement that claims to increase mental clarity and focus, improve sleep and recovery, boost energy levels, reduce gas and bloating within days, help with weight loss, help with lean muscle, and protect your body against bad bacteria and other pathogens, among other benefits.
Each capsule of P3-OM contains a blend of probiotic and prebiotic ingredients to support gut health in multiple ways. Your probiotic bacteria need prebiotic bacteria to survive and thrive.
P3-OM is made in the United States and backed by a 365-day moneyback guarantee. Described by some reviewers as the best probiotic on the market, P3-OM is a premium probiotic formula for those who want premium results.
Balance by Organifi is a powdered probiotic formula that uses USDA Organic certified ingredients to support gut health in multiple ways.
With 20 billion CFUs and 5 resilient strains in each serving, Balance can improve digestion, diversify glut flora, and help with bloating and discomfort, among other benefits.
We like Organifi’s transparency: the company discloses all ingredients, dosages, and probiotic strains upfront, making it easy to compare the supplement to other formulas sold online today. We also like Balance because it contains prebiotics in the form of Jerusalem artichoke, helping to fuel the probiotics in your gut after ingestion. For all of these reasons and more, Organifi Balance is one of the best probiotic supplements available today.
LeanBiome is a probiotic supplement from Lean for Good that claims to suppress hunger, dampen cravings, boost metabolism, and reduce fat storage by diversifying your gut microbiome.
Studies show adding diversity to your gut health can make it easier to lose weight. In fact, with improper gut health, your body may struggle to lose weight.
Each capsule of LeanBiome contains proven probiotic ingredients like Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Greenselect Phytosome to help you lose weight and keep it off from your gut out to the rest of your body.
Nucific Bio X4
Nucific Bio-X4 is a probiotic supplement designed specifically to help you manage your weight.
Backed by a 90 day moneyback guarantee, Bio X4 uses four active ingredients to defend against unhealthy cravings, support digestion, and boost metabolism. You attack weight loss in multiple ways with a single formula.
To provide these benefits, Bio-X4 uses a blend of proven ingredients like probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and green tea extract. It’s the ultimate weight loss and digestion formula that optimizes digestion in multiple ways from multiple angles.
ActivatedYou Advanced Restorative Probiotic
ActivatedYou’s Advanced Restorative Probiotic features 30 unique strains of probiotic bacteria, allowing you to colonize your system with billions of healthy bacteria to improve overall digestive health and comfort.
According to ActivatedYou, the supplement can also improve mood and energy levels, balance your body from the inside out, support immune function, give you more radiant skin, and help you with frustrating gut issues, among other effects.
No other probiotic supplement on our list has 30 strains. We also like how ActivatedYou discloses all 30 strains upfront, making it easy to see exactly what you’re taking. If you want maximum diversity in your probiotic supplement, then ActivatedYou’s Advanced Restorative Probiotic may be the perfect choice.
Gundry MD 24 Strain Probiotic
Gundry MD’s 24 Strain Probiotic is one of the most diverse probiotic supplements on our list. Backed by a 4.94 star rating out of 5, 24 Strain Probiotic backs up its diverse strain count with a strong dosage of 30 billion CFUs.
By taking 24 Strain Probiotic daily, you can purportedly ease gas and bloating, improve digestive regularity, and maintain and nourish a healthy gut, among other benefits.
Gundry MD backs up its products with a 90 day moneyback guarantee. Each bottle is priced at $65. The formula is vegetarian, dairy-free, and caffeine-free.
Unify Health Labs Multi-GI5
Multi-GI 5 from Unify Health Labs is a 5-star probiotic supplement that aims to revitalize gut health using 12 proven gut health boosters.
According to Unify Health Labs, the 12 ingredients in Multi-GI 5 have never been combined before. The formula is called Multi-GI 5 because it provides five specific benefits, including healthy digestion, improved weight management, increased energy, a healthy GI lining, and balanced gut flora, among other benefits.
In addition to containing powerful probiotics, Multi-GI 5 contains prebiotics, fibers, vitamins, minerals, plants, and herbs. If you want a probiotic supplement that targets digestion in multiple ways from multiple angles, then Multi-GI 5 from Unify Health Labs is a top option.
Seed DS-01 is a “daily symbiotic” supplement in minimalistic packaging. Featuring 24 strains of probiotics and prebiotics, the supplement is designed to support systemic health while surviving acid, enzymes, moisture, and heat.
Seed emphasizes science more than virtually any other probiotic on our list. the company sees humans as a microcosm of earth’s ecology, and SeedLabs was founded with the specific goal of developing novel applications of bacteria to enhance biodiversity.
Marketing aside, Seed’s DS-01 is a high-powered probiotic formula that supports gastrointestinal health and whole body wellness by supporting digestion, gut barrier integrity, immune function, cardiovascular health, dermatological health, and micronutrient synthesis, among other effects – all for just $50 per bottle.
Just Thrive Probiotic
JustThrive Probiotic & Antioxidant is a blend of spore-based probiotics with antioxidants for maximum survivability. According to Just Thrive, the unique delivery mechanism leads to 1000x better survivability than Greek yogurt and leading probiotics.
Priced at $50 per bottle, JustThrive Probiotic contains 3 billion CFUs of four probiotic strains, including unique options like HU36 and HU58.
According to JustThrive, you could support immune, digestive, and emotional health by taking Just Thrive Probiotic daily. The formula is also vegan, paleo, and keto friendly.
VitaPost Probiotic 40-Billion
Probiotic 40-Billion from VitaPost replenishes your digestive flora to support the immune system, support healthy digestive function, support levels of good bacteria, and support overall health and wellness.
Each strain within the supplement was chosen for its specific benefits and its ability to work in concert with other strains in the blend. With four strains in total, 40-Billion delivers a strong dose of multiple strains (40 billion CFUs) per serving for maximum gut replenishment.
The four strains within VitaPost’s Probiotic 40-Billion include lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus paracasei. Each strain works in a slightly different way to support different effects.
Live Conscious Pro-45
Pro-45 from Live Conscious is a probiotic formula mixed with fructooligosaccharides (FOS) prebiotics, fueling your probiotic bacteria in multiple ways.
By taking Pro-45 daily, you can purportedly support optimal digestive and immune health using over 45 billion CFUs and 11 robust strains. Those dosages and strain counts make Pro-45 one of the strongest probiotic supplements on our list.
We also like how Live Conscious discloses all strains and dosages upfront. Plus, the supplement has an average rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 with 1,100+ reviews, making it one of the best-rated and most popular options on our list – all for under $30 per bottle.
Probiotic T-50 is a high-powered probiotic from Zenith Labs that supports a balanced gut bacteria ecosystem, fights bloating and gas, and supports a healthy immune system, among other benefits.
In fact, Probiotic T-50 is one of the few supplements on our list that also claims to fortify memory and cognitive function. Studies show gut health is crucial for cognition, and ignoring gut health could lead to cognitive effects.
Packaged in easy-to-take capsules, Probiotic T-50 is a targeted formula created by a doctor to support gut health in multiple ways. Priced at $49 per bottle, it packs huge power in a reasonably-priced package.
Nuzena Probiotic 40 Gut Boost +
Probiotic Gut Boost 40 + from Nuzena is a popular and well-rated probiotic supplement that delivers 40 billion probiotic bacteria per serving.
Priced at $35 per bottle (60 veggie capsules per bottle), Nuzena Probiotic Gut Boost 40 + is designed to improve digestive health, increase nutrient absorption, and support bloating and inflammation.
Nuzena designed its probiotic formula with help from health professionals, giving the formula an extra layer of legitimacy over competing probiotic supplements on the market. The specific strains in Probiotic Gut Boost 40 + can support gut health in multiple ways, complementing each other to achieve optimal effects.
UpWellness Probiotic +
Probiotic + from UpWellness is a probiotic supplement designed to accelerate fat loss, improve digestion, decrease bloating, and boost energy and mood, among other benefits.
By taking UpWellness Probiotic + daily, you give your body six proven strands of beneficial microorganisms, three herbal adaptogenic superfoods, and a daily dose of fiber, among other ingredients to tackle digestion and gut health in multiple ways.
Supporting gut health isn’t just about flooding your body with probiotics. You also need prebiotics, fiber, digestive enzymes, and other ingredients. UpWellness understands that better than other companies on our list. Plus, it’s physician-formulated.
Purality Health Micelle Liposomal Probiotic
Purality Health Micelle Liposomal Probiotic is one of the most unique probiotic supplements for sale on the market in 2022. The star of the Purality Health probiotic supplement is not only its micelle liposomal delivery method but its carefully crafted centerpiece probiotic bacteria strain known as L. Rhamnosus. This is one of the most studied and beneficial probiotic supplement ingredients one can consume when looking for real digestive system support and gut health aid. The Purality Health company (formerly PuraThrive) didn’t stop at just a rare formulation of probiotic strains but also goes above and beyond with its unique RcME delivery for optimal absorption and utilization of the good bacteria. Along with lactoferrin, an iron-binding protein, the micelle liposomal probiotics in Purality Health probiotic supplement can supercharge the bioavailability of the bacteria and yield optimal results.
The probiotic supplement is from one of the most trusted brands available today and has a long-standing history of making exceptional products that work as intended due to its unique delivery system and high-quality ingredient sourcing methods. This affordable probiotic product is easily one of the top-rated supplements with probiotics in them today.
Prime Health Daily Probiotic Balance
Probiotic Balance from Prime Health Daily is an advanced gut health formula that uses DE111 and other ingredients to support digestion, immunity, regularity, and fat burning.
Like other top-ranked probiotics on our list, Probiotic Balance is marketed to people who want to support gut health in multiple ways. The specific blend in Daily Probiotic Balance includes Lactobacillus rhamnosus, lactobacillus casei, and lactobacillus plantarum, among others, to help with weight loss and other effects.
Where Probiotic Balance really excels, however, is its price tag: priced at just $49 for 4 bottles, Probiotic Balance is one of the best-value options on our list.
Oweli Probiotic is a probiotic supplement that contains 40 billion CFUs of probiotic bacteria. The full spectrum formula contains multiple strains to support gut wellness, immune response, and overall wellness in multiple ways.
By taking Oweli Probiotics daily, you can purportedly support metabolism, weight management, natural immune response, skin health, and even mood and feelings of wellbeing, among other benefits.
Plus, at just $30 per bottle, Oweli Probiotic delivers gut boosting effectiveness without costing a fortune. We also like how Oweli discloses all strains upfront, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus paracasei, along with two complementary ingredients (a marine polysaccharide complex and fructooligosaccharides as prebiotics).
Earth Echo Probiotic
Earth Echo Probiotic contains 12 powerful strains to boost gut health, boost immunity, improve digestion, and reduce occasional bloating, among other benefits.
Earth Echo Probiotic is also one of the few supplements on our list that claims to tame cravings, helping to balance hunger hormones to make meals more satisfying.
To achieve these effects, each $35 bottle of Earth Echo Probiotic contains 12 “super strains” of probiotic bacteria, including lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, and lactobacillus plantarum, among other ingredients.
Earth Echo Vitality Bliss Bites
Want to enjoy probiotics while eating chocolate? With Earth Echo’s Vitality Chocolate Bliss Bites, you can do that. Available in a 72% cacao option, the delicious bites contain prebiotic and probiotic ingredients to support gut health.
The chocolate is also USDA Organic certified and made from fair trade cacao. It’s a guilt-free way to support gut health without the capsules, powders, or tablets found in other probiotic supplements.
To flavor and sweeten the Vitality Chocolate Bliss Bites, Earth Echo uses coconut sugar and organic agave inulin. Instead of flooding your body with artificial compounds and sweeteners, Earth Echo emphasizes natural ingredients for better gut health results.
Probulin is a probiotic supplement lineup described as “the next generation of probiotics.” With multiple products available targeting different health concerns, Probulin aims to capitalize on the rapidly growing probiotic space.
Some Probulin probiotic supplements claim to support colon health, for example. Others are designed for immunity and energy. Some are built for overall care and digestion.
You can buy Probulin supplements online or in stores. The company is popular, well-rated and prized for its diverse range of probiotic supplements and effects. Plus, all probiotics are backed by a 45 day moneyback guarantee.
Microbiome Plus is a probiotic supplement family that claims to boost immune and digestive health using a range of strains, supplements, and products.
The company’s flagship product uses a special type of probiotic called L. Reuteri NCIMB 30242 clinically proven for effectiveness. According to the manufacturer, that specific strain can lower LDL cholesterol by 11.64%, improve gastrointestinal health, and increase vitamin D by 25.5%, among other benefits.
Whether looking for a high-powered probiotic supplement or a blend of probiotics and prebiotics, Microbiome Plus gives you a collection of ingredients you can use to support gut health in multiple ways.
FloraSpring (Revival Point)
FloraSpring is a probiotic supplement from Revival Point that claims to reduce calorie absorption, making it easier to lose weight.
Typically, when you eat foods, your body absorbs all or most of the calories from those foods. However, when you take FloraSpring, the formula reduces calorie absorption, which means you absorb fewer calories and can lose weight more easily.
Other advertised benefits of FloraSpring include support for energy and focus, reduced hunger cravings, and support for metabolism, among other benefits.
Probiotic America is a probiotic supplement lineup created by Dr. Cary Nelson to optimize gut health in various ways. The company’s flagship product, Perfect Biotics, uses a blend of over a dozen probiotic strains and a dosage of 30 billion CFUs to support gut health in multiple ways.
Probiotic America researches and developers new combinations of beneficial bacteria to create cutting edge probiotic supplements. The company was founded with the goal of improving the lives and health of all people on Earth.
Your body is home to 100 trillion bacterial cells, and these bacterial cells outnumber your human cells by 10 to 1. By taking Probiotic America’s lineup of probiotic formulas and supplements, you can support gut health in multiple ways.
Advanced BioNutritionals Probiotic
Advanced Probiotics Formula from Advanced Bionutritionals is a top-rated probiotic supplement priced at just $20 per bottle, making it one of the best-value buys on our list.
The high-potency formula contains four strains to support digestion, cognition, memory, and whole body health. Each capsule contains a strong dose of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bifidobacterium longum, among other ingredients.
Plus, with 15 billion colony forming units (CFUs) across all four strains and a strong dose of fructooligosaccharides (as a prebiotic), you can support digestion and gut health in multiple proven ways – all for just $20.
Simple Promise Ovuna
Ovuna from Simple Promise is a probiotic supplement designed to relieve symptoms of menopause, support healthy weight management, and aid overall gut health, among other benefits.
While other probiotic supplements target weight loss and digestion, Ovuna is one of the few specifically designed to relieve symptoms of menopause.
Ovuna also has unique ingredients we don’t see in other probiotic formulas, including a probiotic blend with L. gasseri, B. breve, and B. Lactis, herbal extracts like moringa oleifera and curry leaf, and popular antioxidants like turmeric, among other ingredients. Plus, with 15 billion CFUs per serving, there’s still a high-powered probiotic underneath all of these complementary ingredients.
ProBiotixx is a probiotic formula from Ogranixx that claims to rapidly relieve digestive issues like constipation and belly bloat.
By taking ProBiotixx daily, you can purportedly increase mental clarity and focus, get more energy, relieve bloating and gas within das, and lose 5 to 10lbs or more of stubborn fat while adding lean muscle, among other benefits.
Each capsule of ProBiotixx contains 2.5 billion CFUs. While other probiotics deliver dozens of strains, ProBiotixx focuses on providing a single, strong dose of one strain: Lactobacillus plantarum, which is one of the world’s most popular probiotic strains.
PhytAge Labs Replenish 911
Replenish 911 from PhytAge Labs is a high-powered probiotic supplement backed by a flashy marketing campaign.
According to PhytAge Labs, Replenish 911 uses around 10 probiotic strains to support gut health in various ways. In fact, one of the strains in Replenish 911 can purportedly lead to 10lbs to 34lbs of weight loss in just four weeks.
Dramatic weight loss claims aside, Replenish 911 can purportedly slow bloating, control inflammation, and exhibit antioxidant effects within your gut, among other benefits. Although we’re skeptical of the weight loss claims, PhytAge Labs Replenish 911 continues to be a popular gut health supplement.
Vital Plan Advanced Biotic
Advanced Biotic from Vital Plan promotes whole body microbiome balance and secondary support for gut flora. Created by Dr. Bill Rawls, MD, Advanced Biotic contains six time-tested herbs to support gut health and immune function.
Advanced Biotic is priced at $58 and backed by a 90 day moneyback guarantee. Each capsule contains ingredients like Japanese knotweed extract, cat’s claw extract, garlic, sarsaparilla, and berberine, among others.
Advanced Biotic is the only supplement on our list that doesn’t technically contain probiotics. Instead, Vital Plan Advanced Biotic supports probiotics that are already within your digestive tract. The unique blend of herbal extracts could support gut function and probiotics in multiple ways.
Vital Plan Biome Boost
Biome Boost was also created by Vital Plan’s Dr. Bill Rawls, MD, to support gut health in various ways. The formula blends five ancient herbs together to help manage microbes in your gut.
Biome Boost is also one of the few supplements on our list available in a liquid tincture – not a capsule or powder. Just take 2 droppers of Biome Boost daily either as is or by mixing it with water.
Each serving of Biome Boost contains 1,920mg of active ingredients we don’t see in any other probiotic formulas, including Cryptolepis sanguinolenta root extract, houttuynia cordata plant extract, southern prickly ash bark extract, Chinese salvia root extract, and neem leaf extract. Together, these ingredients tackle gut health in multiple unique ways.
ProBio-Lite from Golden After 50 is the only probiotic on this list specifically targeted to older adults who want to support gut health.
As you get older, your body needs different nutrients to support optimal function. With ProBio-Lite, you get 5 billion CFUs of probiotic bacteria to support digestion, help reduce heartburn, and ease overall digestion and gut health, among other benefits.
To accomplish these benefits, ProBio-Lite contains a blend of some of the most popular and proven gut health boosting ingredients, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus plantarum and Bifidobacterium lactis, among others.
Orthobiome is a doctor-formulated probiotic supplement created by the Healthy Living Association.
Featuring 20 billion CFUs across 9 probiotic strains, Orthobiome is a no-nonsense, high-powered probiotic that claims to eliminate gas and bloating, get rid of mental fog, decrease anxiety and mood swings, and help you lose weight, among other benefits.
Orthobiome can purportedly help you lose weight by reducing cravings for sugar and junk food, making it easier to manage your weight, enhancing appetite control, and accelerating the loss of abdominal fat, among other perks. At just $30, Orthobiome punches above its weight class for price and value.
How We Ranked
Every probiotic supplement claims to use the best and highest quality probiotic strains to support gut health. Unfortunately, if you look below the surface, there are significant differences between leading probiotic supplements.
Here’s how we separated the best and worst probiotics available today.
Colony Forming Units (CFUs): The more colony forming units (CFUs) a probiotic has, the more living cultures it uses to populate your digestive tract. Higher CFUs does not always mean a better probiotic supplement, but it’s one of several indicators we used to rank the best probiotic supplements available today.
Quality and Diversity of Strains: There are dozens of major probiotic strains. Each strain is linked to different effects. The best probiotic supplements use multiple quality strains to balance gut health in multiple ways. To maximize gut health, you want as many strains of quality probiotics as possible.
Manufacturer Transparency & Reputation: Some probiotic supplement companies have been making quality probiotics for over a decade, giving them more experience than others in the space. Others are relatively new to the industry, launching formulas to capitalize on recent trends. We weren’t biased against startups, but we preferred manufacturers with high scores for transparency and reputation.
Effective Delivery System: Some probiotics use enteric coatings to protect the active ingredients as they pass through your stomach acid. Probiotic supplements contain living bacteria. Without the right capsule, your stomach acid destroys these bacteria before they reach your gut. That’s why a smaller probiotic with an effective delivery system may be better than a larger probiotic with a weaker delivery system.
Honest Advertised Benefits and Weight Loss Claims: Some probiotic supplement companies engage in dishonest marketing, claiming their supplements can help you lose 30lbs in a month without diet and exercise, cure gut diseases, and solve other health problems. We were wary of probiotic supplement companies with dishonest advertised benefits and weight loss claims.
Complementary Ingredients (Like Prebiotics and Digestive Enzymes): Probiotics are crucial for gut health. But they need fuel to survive and thrive. Prebiotics are special types of fiber that fuel gut bacteria, boosting overall gut health. Some probiotic supplements contain the perfect blend of prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes to tackle gut health in multiple ways.
Formulated by Doctors, Nutritionists, Dietitians, and Other Professionals: The best probiotic supplements are made by medical doctors (MDs), PhDs, registered dietitians and nutritionists, and other certified professionals. We avoided probiotic supplements that were created by marketing teams or emulated other popular formulas.
Price & Value: You don’t need to pay a fortune for a probiotic supplement. You can find good supplements in the $20 to $50 range. Some companies charge a premium price for premium ingredients, while others charge a premium price for no apparent reason.
Moneyback or Satisfaction Guarantee: Sometimes, gut health supplements don’t work for you. In other cases, they don’t provide the targeted benefits. We liked gut health supplements that backed up their claims with a moneyback or satisfaction guarantee. Most of the top-ranked probiotics offered a 60 to 90 day moneyback guarantee, for example, while some offered 365 day moneyback guarantees.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria within your digestive tract.
It sounds gross, but your body is home to 10 times the number of bacterial cells as human cells. These bacterial cells perform crucial functions throughout the body.
Probiotic supplements have become trendy in recent years, but their usage dates back centuries. Northern Europeans, for example, traditionally consumed a lot of probiotics because they followed a diet rich with fermented foods – like yogurt. Probiotic beverages are also popular in Japan.
Since the mid-1990s, however, probiotic supplements have surged in popularity. Growing research since that time has connected probiotics to a growing number of benefits.
Your bowel is home to 100 trillion microorganisms across 500 strains. By complementing these bacterial colonies and strains with a probiotic supplement, you may be able to enjoy a range of benefits.
Top 12 Benefits of Probiotics
According to Harvard Health and other experts, probiotic supplements could help with the following benefits.
Support Inflammation: For various reasons, your gut could become inflamed. An inflamed gut is linked to an increased risk of disease. It could also contribute to diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease. By taking a probiotic supplement, you could support healthy inflammation in your gut and throughout your body, helping to control your risk of disease.
Balance Friendly Bacteria in your Digestive System: Your digestive system breaks down the foods you eat, extracts their nutrients, and performs a crucial role in overall health and wellness. When you take a probiotic supplement, you help balance the friendly bacteria in your gut.
Help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: If you have irritable bowel syndrome, then probiotics may be able to help. Many people report experiencing fewer symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome after taking a probiotic supplement. Irritable bowel syndrome may be linked to inflammation of the gut, which is why probiotics could help.
Support Cognition and Memory While Fighting Mental Fog: Many people are surprised to find their mental fog disappears after taking a probiotic supplement. Yes, your cognition is linked to your gut. When your gut bacteria are imbalanced, your gut sends confusing signals to your brain. That’s why a good probiotic supplement can help with cognition, memory, mental fog, and overall brain support.
Fight Diarrhea: If you’re experiencing diarrhea, then a probiotic supplement may be able to help. In one study, researchers found taking probiotics reduced antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 42%.
Help Support Cholesterol: Your gut health is linked to your cardiovascular health. Specifically, gut health seems to impact cholesterol, blocking your body from absorbing some bad cholesterol while allowing it to absorb good cholesterol. In this study, for example, researchers found certain probiotic bacteria reduce cholesterol by breaking down bile in the gut, aiding digestion. A separate study found probiotics
Support Blood Pressure: Some studies have connected probiotics to blood pressure. In this review of 9 studies, for example, researchers found probiotic supplementation was associated with lower blood pressure.
Support Overall Gut Health and Digestion: Probiotics are designed to help with overall gut health and digestion in multiple ways. A good probiotic supplement supports gut health and digestion by raising levels of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract.
Help with Allergies and Eczema: Many people find relief from allergies and eczema after taking a probiotic supplement. Although the study hasn’t been definitively proven in all people, some small studies have shown a connection between probiotics during infancy and allergies. In this study, for example, researchers found infants fed probiotic-supplemented milk had lower rates of eczema than infants taking milk without probiotics. Other studies have suggested women who take probiotics during pregnancy could pass better allergy and eczema defense to the baby after birth.
Boost Immunity: 80% of your immune system lies in your gut. Your gut plays a crucial role in filtering toxins, supporting your gut lining, and defending your body. In this study, for example, researchers found probiotics may help boost your immune system while also inhibiting the growth of harmful gut bacteria. Having strong gut bacteria levels also seems to be associated with a lower risk of respiratory infections.
Urological and Vaginal Health: Some people take probiotics for urological and vaginal health. The vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem filled with beneficial bacteria. Probiotics can complement this bacteria to ensure a healthy microbiome. A good probiotic restores the balance of microflora in your urological tract and vagina, which could help with problems like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and urinary tract infections.
Weight Loss: Many people take probiotics for weight loss. Studies show probiotics could help you feel fuller for longer, boosting appetite control. Other studies suggest probiotics block your body from absorbing excessive amounts of fat, helping you absorb fewer calories from the foods you eat.
Recommended Dosage of Probiotics
Probiotic supplements have different strains and CFUs, and there’s no single “correct” recommended dosage for probiotics.
To be considered probiotic, yogurt must contain a minimum of 1 billion CFUs of probiotic bacteria.
Most probiotic supplements have 5 billion to 10 billion CFUs. However, some of the most powerful probiotics have 50 billion to 100 billion CFUs per serving.
Side Effects of Probiotics
Side effects are not linked with significant side effects when used by healthy adults in normal dosages. According to a review by the National Institutes of Health, probiotics have been shown to be safe to use in many studies.
However, some may experience mild bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, or constipation during the first few days of using probiotic supplements. Most people, however, experience none of these symptoms.
Scientific Evidence for Probiotics
There’s plenty of scientific evidence proving the safety and efficacy of probiotics. Studies show taking probiotics can support digestive health, immunity, and weight loss, among many other benefits.
In this review by the National Institutes of Health, for example, researchers found probiotic strains like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardii were associated with effects like:
- Help maintain a healthy community of microorganisms
- Help your community of microorganisms return to healthy condition after being disturbed (say, by antibiotics, unhealthy diet and exercise habits, or inflammation)
- Produce substances that create desirable effects on your digestive tract
- Influence your body’s immunity and boost your immune system
- Support gut health for specific digestive conditions, including diarrhea, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and bowel disease
- Help with colic in infants
- Help support your body’s defense against acne, allergies, and asthma
Although probiotics are found in your gut, they have effects throughout your body. Your gut holds 80% of your immune system, for example, and your immune system influences every corner of your body. When you support gut health with a probiotic supplement, you support your body’s defense in multiple ways.
In a Harvard Health review on probiotics, researchers echoed the findings above. Researchers found probiotic supplements could be effective for treating or preventing diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, H. pylori, vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, and other issues.
However, Harvard researchers also found that different strains of probiotics had vastly different effects. Simply taking one probiotic strain won’t lead to all of the benefits listed above. Some strains are more effective than others, and other strains affect some parts of the body but not others. By choosing a good probiotic supplement, you can maximize your chances of experiencing benefits.
In this 2004 study, researchers proposed probiotics could play a role in medical nutrition therapy. After reviewing decades of research on probiotic supplements, researchers concluded that probiotics could balance bacteria levels in the gut, restoring the natural balance. Good gut balance is crucial for everything from immunity to weight loss to allergy defense.
Others take probiotics specifically for diarrhea. In this study, for example, researchers reviewed 35 studies on diarrhea and probiotics, concluding that probiotics can reduce the duration of infectious diarrhea by an average of 25 hours. In a similar study, researchers also found probiotics could reduce diarrhea even when it’s not caused by a specific disease or illness, lowering diarrhea by 42%. In another study, researchers found probiotic supplements lowered the risk of diarrhea by 57% in children and 26% in adults.
There’s also evidence suggesting probiotics are linked to mental health, cognition, mental fog, and memory. In this review of 15 studies on probiotic supplements, for example, researchers found proven evidence probiotics could improve anxiety, depression, OCD, memory, and even autism. Participants in these studies took Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for 1 to 2 months, then experienced significant cognitive effects.
Probiotics could genuinely help you lose weight. In this study, for example, researchers found probiotics exhibited weight loss benefits through multiple mechanisms. Some probiotic strains block the absorption of fat in the intestines, for example, while others help you feel fuller for longer. In one of the largest weight loss studies involving probiotics, researchers found taking low doses of Lactobacillus gasseri for 12 weeks led to an 8.5% reduction of belly fat. The study involved 210 participants.
Not all probiotic studies have proven supplements are effective. In this 2018 study, for example, researchers found some people don’t benefit from probiotic supplementation. If you already have sufficient probiotic levels in your gut, for example, then you don’t need to take a probiotic to replenish your gut health. Many people with a balanced diet and limited toxins in their life, for example, who don’t use antibiotics may not need to take a probiotic supplement.
Overall, the world’s best probiotic supplements contain science-backed strains proven to support digestive health in various ways.
FAQs About Probiotics
Our team of probiotic experts gets plenty of questions about probiotics and how they work. Here are our answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
Q: What are probiotics?
A: Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial for the body, playing a particularly important role in the digestive tract.
Q: What do probiotics do?
A: Probiotic supplements improve or restore gut flora, helping to balance bacteria in the gut. Then, the probiotic bacteria extract nutrients from the foods you eat, filter out toxins, and break down food, helping support your body’s natural digestive processes.
Q: Who should take probiotics?
A: People take probiotics for many reasons, including bloating, digestive health, immunity, energy, and weight loss.
Q: Do I need a probiotic supplement?
A: Some people have naturally strong levels of probiotic bacteria in their gut. However, many people have imbalanced gut bacteria because of imperfect diet and exercise routines, an unhealthy lifestyle, a recent antibiotic cycle, or an unusual diet.
Q: Are probiotics safe?
A: Probiotics are safe for healthy adults to take in normal doses, and few probiotic studies have indicated any serious side effects linked to probiotics.
Q: When should I take probiotics?
A: You can take probiotics at any time of day. The bacteria in the supplement repopulates your digestive tract throughout the day, so the timing doesn’t matter. However, some people take probiotic supplements 15 to 30 minutes before their first meal.
Q: Are probiotic supplements good for you?
A: Probiotic supplements appear to support digestive health and overall health in various ways. Multiple studies have confirmed that taking probiotics can replenish gut bacteria, support immunity, and help with weight loss, among other benefits.
Q: Can I lose weight with probiotics?
A: Yes, probiotics have been shown to support weight loss in some people. If you are struggling to lose weight, then you may have poor probiotic balance.
Q: How long does it take for probiotics to work?
A: Probiotics work best over a period of 2 to 3 weeks. It takes time to replenish and restore gut bacteria. By continuing to take probiotic supplements for several months, you give your gut the best possible chance of repopulating its gut bacteria.
Q: Do probiotics make you poop?
A: Probiotics could make you poop more easily by supporting overall digestive health. If you feel blocked up or if you struggle to maintain digestive regularity, then it’s possible a probiotic supplement may help.
Q: What’s the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?
A: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria in your body, while prebiotics are ingredients that feed those bacteria. Most prebiotics are types of fiber that sit in your digestive tract, allowing probiotics to thrive and grow.
Q: What are CFUs in probiotics?
A: Colony forming units (CFUs) show the strength of a probiotic supplement. The more colony forming units a probiotic supplement has, the more live cultures enter your body with each serving. However, more CFUs does not always mean it’s a better supplement.
Q: What are the best foods for probiotics?
A: The best foods for probiotics include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, sourdough bread, certain cheeses, and tempeh, among other fermented foods and beverages.
Q: Can probiotics cause constipation?
A: Probiotics should not cause constipation on their own. If you experience constipation while taking probiotics, consider drinking more water or eating more fiber.
Q: Can probiotics cause gas?
A: Some people experience gas or bloating within the first few days of taking probiotics. However, you should not experience significant gassiness beyond the first few days of supplementation.
Q: How do I take probiotics?
A: Most probiotics come in a capsule specially designed to pass through your stomach acid, which means more living bacteria survive into your digestive tract. However, you can also find probiotic powders, beverages, yogurts, and more.
Q: Do probiotics help with bloating?
A: Some people experience bloating due to digestive issues. In this situation, probiotics could help with bloating by balancing gut bacteria.
Q: What’s the best probiotic?
A: BioFit, 1MD Complete Probiotics, BioTrust Pro-X10 and BiOptimizers P3OM are some of the best-known and best-rated probiotics available today.
Probiotic supplements are popular, proven ways to support gut health and intestinal function in various ways.
By supporting gut health, you could support digestion, weight loss, immunity, nutrient absorption, allergy defense, and many other aspects of health and wellness.
To learn more about probiotic supplements and how they work, or to buy the best probiotic supplements available today, check our list of the world’s best probiotic supplements above.
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