Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide various health benefits, typically by repairing or improving the gut flora. For example, if you have been taking antibiotics or a loss of “good” bacteria within your stomach, probiotics can help re-balance the amount of good bacteria present. After thorough research, we have decided that the best probiotic for gut health is Culturelle, and have outlined the best 8 probiotics below.
At times, it can be difficult to decide whether or not you need a certain probiotic, which is why consulting a doctor may be beneficial. However, without health insurance, this can be quite costly. With Mira, you will be able to access urgent care visits, lab testings, and up to 80% off prescriptions for just $45 per month. Sign up today.
8 Best Probiotics For Gut Health
Maintaining your gut health is essential to your overall health, as a healthy gut wards off infectious agents and communicates with the brain via hormones and nerves. Some symptoms that your gut health may be contributing to larger issues within your body include bloating, abdominal pain, loose stools, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting.
Probiotics make up your microbiome and are a source of good bacteria. Thus, their main job is to maintain a healthy level within your body. For example, if you are sick, bad bacteria will penetrate your body and continuously increase in number until your body’s bacteria is off balance.
With the help of probiotics, though, your body can fight off the bad bacteria and restore their natural balance. These good bacteria can help boost immune function, regulate inflammation, and aid in digestion.
When looking for the probiotic for you, some general points to keep in mind are that:
- You want to make sure your probiotic contains well-researched bacteria strains such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, or Saccharomyces boulardii.
- Note the amount of colony-forming units (CFUs) to know how many probiotics you are receiving per dose.
- Ensure it has been stored properly (whether in a fridge or the open air).
- Check for third-party verification from companies such as Consumer Lab to ensure that the probiotic contains the ingredients it claims.
Every individual’s body is unique and therefore will respond differently to probiotics; however, below is a list we have curated of the 8 best probiotics depending on the situation you are in:
- Culturelle: Best Overall
- Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women: Best for Women
- Garden of Life Raw Probiotics: Best for Men
- Life Extension FlorAssist Mood: Best for Brain Health
- Thin 30 Probiotic: Best for Weight Loss
- TULA Daily Probiotic & Skin Health Complex: Best for Skin Care
- Olly: Best Gummy Version
- Swanson Probiotics: Most Affordable
Culturelle: Best Overall
Culturelle is one of the most popular everyday probiotics to take. It has over 30 years of research to support its health benefits. The main benefits associated with Culturelle include: aiding in digestion, reducing the likelihood of stomach issues, and assisting with travel-associated digestive problems.
Culturelle contains Lactobacillus, a well-researched bacteria strain, and also has 10 billion CFUs per serving. Consumer Lab has also confirmed that Culturelle has the listed amounts of probiotic organisms and does not have other contaminations. These verifications help add to the credibility and effectiveness of this probiotic.
Lastly, for just $16.80 at stores like Walmart, Culturelle is relatively affordable. With this cost and level of effectiveness, Culturelle provides a great option for individuals seeking tangible benefits at a low cost.
Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women: Best for Women
It is important for women to consider taking a probiotic, as probiotics can support vaginal health in addition to gut health. Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women contains 16 well-studied strains of good bacteria and has a 50 billion CFU count.
With this high CFU count and amount of incorporated strains, Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women can promote healthy digestion, boost your immune system, and sustain a healthy environment for vaginal flora. Unlike other probiotics for women, Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women does not have to be kept refrigerated, making it easier for storage purposes.
Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Men: Best for Men
This probiotic is unique in that it is a whole-food probiotic designed to meet the needs of men. In Garden of Life Raw Probiotics, there are over 31 original probiotics, such as L. fermentum, which help support men during physical exertion and deliver probiotic-made vitamins.
The CFU strength is also especially high, at 85 billion CFUs per serving, which aids in the effectiveness of this probiotic. Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Men is also supposed to support colon health, prostate health, stress relief, and the digestive system overall.
Life Extension FlorAssist Mood: Best for Brain Health
With 3 billion CFU, a saffron extract, and the incorporation of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, Life Extension FlorAssist Mood has promoted a balanced mood within individuals. Over 38 clinical and preclinical studies have found that gut health can impact mood and behavior by impacting the axis of communication between your gut and brain.
The two strains of bacteria, Lactobacillus helveticus Rosell-52 and Bifidobacterium longum Rosell-175, are uniquely effective at stimulating this gut-brain axis. Additionally, individuals who take this supplement have noted increased emotional well-being, stress relief, and less digestive discomfort.
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Thin 30 Probiotic: Best for Weight Loss
Thin 30 Probiotic has consistently been linked to health benefits such as weight loss and digestive health. Composed of apple cider vinegar, different strains of lactobacillus and bifidobacteria, and green select phytosome green tea complex, this probiotic is packed full of safe ingredients to help stimulate weight loss.
In a study done with Thin 30 Probiotic, a group of overweight individuals reported losing (on average) 30 pounds within 90 days via taking Greenselect, maintaining a balanced diet, and exercising. Probiotics such as Thin 30 help with weight loss by balancing the amount of good and bad bacteria present in your gut, altering your metabolism. Thin 30 Probiotic has 15 billion CFUs per serving and does not need to be refrigerated, which makes it compelling.
TULA Daily Probiotic & Skin Health Complex: Best for Skin Care
TULA Daily Probiotic & Skin Health Complex contains a mixture of lactobacillus strains, bifidobacterium strains, and vitamin C. With this addition of vitamin C, TULA Daily Probiotic & Skin Health Complex has been found to enhance your skin moisture retention and texture.
As the title indicates, you can take this probiotic once per day with food over the course of a few months to see the best results. In fact, after 12 weeks of using TULA Daily Probiotic & Skin Health Complex, 83% of individuals said that their skin was hydrated and less dry, and 75% said that they could eat a wide assortment of food without having any discomfort.
Olly: Best Chewable Gummy Version
With the ease of a gummy probiotic comes no extra need for food or water. Olly Probiotics are chewable gummies that allow 1 billion active cultures of bacillus coagulans to enter your digestive tract. In doing so, these active cultures can help healthy bacteria thrive and support your immune system.
Olly has mango and peach-flavored gummies, which all have received reviews of tasting amazing, and they are priced as low as $13.99 in local stores. Due to this combination, Olly was found to be the best version of chewable gummy probiotic.
Swanson Probiotics: Most Affordable
You can purchase Swanson Probiotics online or at local pharmacies for an average of about $6. Swanson Probiotics contain L. acidophilus, a well-studied strain that helps aid in digestive health predominantly. L. acidophilus has also been linked to promoting respiratory health and microflora balance.
This probiotic does not need to be stored in the fridge, and it is a single-strain probiotic. With this low cost for this probiotic comes a lower CFU count of only 2 billion CFUs per serving.
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Probiotics Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Understanding what exactly a probiotic is, why you should take them, and which probiotic to take can be confusing. Check out a list of commonly asked questions regarding probiotics below.
Are probiotics found in food?
In addition to the supplements listed above, probiotics can be found naturally in fermented foods. These foods include yogurt, kimchi, pickles, tempeh, and more. Probiotics can also be found in probiotic-rich beverages such as kombucha.
Is it okay to take probiotics every day?
In short, yes, it is totally fine to take probiotics every day. To experience the full effects, it is actually recommended to take probiotics once a day. Everybody’s body is different; thus, monitor your body and how you feel with the continual use of the probiotic.
Should I need to see a doctor before taking a probiotic?
If you are healthy and do not have any underlying health conditions, you typically do not need to consult a doctor before consuming a probiotic. However, if you have a health disorder, specifically one that involves the gastrointestinal tract, you may want to seek medical advice from your healthcare provider first.
Having a healthy gut is essential to ensuring your overall health. Probiotics play a key role in maintaining this gut health by replenishing your gut microbiome with good bacteria. In doing so, your digestive health can be improved, your mood can be elevated, and your skin can be hydrated.
Madeline is a Senior at UCLA majoring in Human Biology & Society with a minor in Spanish. She's currently a Healthcare Research Analyst at Mira, writing content for the blog to help the public better understand certain medical issues, technologies, testings, and the importance of healthcare.