Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts found in the digestive tract. They are essential in maintaining good gut health, as they help balance the “good” and “bad” bacteria.
While probiotics can be sourced from certain foods, many people are turning to probiotic supplements as a convenient way of fighting harmful bacteria.
However, choosing the best probiotic supplement has become a difficulty in itself. Not only is there a myriad of choices, but selecting high-quality products is a must.
To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of the best probiotic supplements on the market.
Best Probiotic Supplements: What Are They?
Our gut consists of over 1,000 different types of flora. This colony of microorganisms contains helpful bacteria that support the immune system, aid digestion, and help excrete waste.
However, sometimes imbalances can occur. Too many harmful bacteria can lead to digestive discomforts, such as bloating and stomach cramps, weight change, and fatigue.
That’s where probiotics come in.
As mentioned above, probiotics are a means of maintaining or restoring bacterial balance in the gut. Many fermented foods are a natural source of friendly bacteria. They include:
- Yogurt with live cultures
However, these foods aren’t always accessible or simply aren’t liked in some cases. That’s why probiotic supplements have become a popular alternative.
Please keep reading to find out which brand tops our list for the best probiotic supplements.
The Best Rated Probiotic Capsules
We’ve considered price, sourcing, reviews, strains, and colony-forming units (CFUs) in selecting the best probiotic brands.
CFU: This measurement identifies the number of active microorganisms in each probiotic serving. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average supplement serving contains between 1 to 10 billion CFU. This is generally considered a sensible amount of CFU as too many can cause mild discomfort.
Strains: Specific bacteria species, such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, are considered more beneficial than other less-known varieties. Therefore, it’s not just a case of how many strains a product contains but which strains a product contains. High-quality products should advertise this.
1 – Best Overall: Culturelle’s Digestive Daily Probiotic Capsules
Culturelle tops our list of best probiotics for several reasons, not least because its capsules are free of milk, wheat, eggs, peanuts, and gluten.
Boasting a 10 billion CFU content and 200mg of inulin, these capsules are intended to support the digestive system. The brand only sells probiotic products; its focused attention indicates that probiotics are an area of expertise.
While the Digestive Daily Probiotic Capsules spearhead their range, various other products are on offer. Whether you’re looking for IBS support or probiotics with a higher CFU count, you can find it on their site.
- CFU Content: 10 billion
- Strains: Lactobacillus
2 – Best Vegan: Doctor’s Best Digestive Health Probiotic
Probiotics are often associated with dairy products. However, there are plenty of premium plant-based alternatives. Best Vegan is proof of that.
Their probiotic capsules contain LactoSpore, which produces the bacterial strain Bacillus coagulans. As well as surviving stomach acidity when consumed, the product can also be stored at room temperature.
The capsules are also soy and gluten-free.
On Best Vegan’s Amazon page, they publish probiotic research and clinical studies that customers can read before buying the supplement. This transparency sets a trustworthy tone between the seller and the buyer.
- CFU Content: 2 billion
- Strains: coagulans
3 – Most Affordable: Nature’s Bounty’s Ultra Strength Probiotic 10
Nature’s Bounty is a supplement connoisseur. Its probiotic capsules are one of the most affordable products on the market and contain an impressive 20 billion CFU count.
Also, these capsules contain a variety of 10 strains, offering a full spectrum of bacteria. The company is aware that not everyone is comfortable swallowing capsules, so they provide probiotic gummies too.
Presently, the company sells its probiotics on Amazon and in CVS pharmacies throughout the United States.
- CFU Content: 20 billion
- Strains: Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and eight more.
4 – Best Probiotic Blend: Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics Original Formula
What’s better than a probiotic capsule? A probiotic, vitamin, and amino acid capsule, of course!
Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics Original Formula contains a huge variety of beneficial ingredients. The unique formula is designed to act as a prebiotic, probiotic, and postbiotic. So, not only are you introducing “good” bacteria to the gut, but you are feeding it too.
The brand doesn’t publish the CFU content, which is unusual, but insists that fermenting its prebiotics for at least three years is a superior method to its rivals.
To maintain full quality control, Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics are free of artificial additives, chemicals, and animal by-products.
- CFU Content: N/A
- Strains: Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and ten more.
5 – Best Strain Variety: Garden of Life’s Raw Probiotics Ultimate Care
When it comes to variety and potency, Garden of Life excels. Its Raw Probiotics Ultimate Care capsules contain a CFU count of 100 billion, much more than any brand on our list.
Additionally, the product contains 34 strains and Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
The brand itself is passionate about supplying whole foods. This translates to using high cultured foods such as Bulgarian yogurt and wild kefir as a starter for their probiotics.
Because of the high CFU, it’s recommended to monitor your body carefully after consuming the product for the first time.
- CFU Content: 100 billion
- Strains: Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and 32 more
How to Find the Best Probiotics on the Market
We’re confident that the above represents the best probiotics around. However, if you would like to conduct some research of your own, here are a few tips.
Look for Products with Clinically Studied Strains
Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are two of the most effective probiotic species and the most frequently studied. Therefore, probiotics with either or both strains in significant quantities are worth a second look.
There are many other strains, and as you saw above, certain products have over 30. However, not every strain has its benefits backed by detailed research. Please ensure the supplement you buy contains probiotic strains proven to be beneficial.
More Is Not Always Better
A supplement with dozens of probiotics isn’t necessarily guaranteed to be useful. Indeed, a product with four high-quality probiotic strains is better than a product with 40 strains with fewer benefits.
Also, an extremely high CFU count is not always good either. The type of microorganisms in a product is far more important than the number of microorganisms. Supplements with between 5 and 10 billion CFUs may provide the most benefit, although 1-2 billion can prove effective in premium-quality products.
Beware Excessive Ingredients
The best supplements have a low number of additional ingredients. If you see lots of seemingly unnecessary ingredients, consider another product. These extras could consist of sweeteners, dyes, and synthetic fillers you don’t want in your body.
A Word of Caution on Online Reviews
In general, probiotics with thousands of 4+-star reviews usually pass the quality test. However, bear in mind that some companies pay for positive reviews on platforms such as Amazon. Therefore, look at reviews across other sites and perform additional research before committing to any product or brand.
If a brand makes outrageous or unverified claims about its products, steer clear. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous companies will make wild claims about certain probiotic strains in their products that aren’t backed by science. There are plenty of reputable companies selling high-quality probiotics, don’t waste time and money on scammers.
What Are the Benefits of Taking a Probiotics Supplement?
In simple terms, probiotics are “good” bacteria that live in the body, helping it maintain a healthy balance. With up to 70% of our immune health lying in our gut, it pays to keep our gastrointestinal (GI) health in check. We will now quickly outline the benefits of regularly taking the right supplement.
- Help balance the “good” bacteria in the digestive system
- Improve neurotransmitter balance
- Help prevent and even treat diarrhea
- Have a positive effect on heart health
- Reduce inflammation
- Provide anti-aging benefits
- Metabolize heavy metals and xenobiotics
- Potentially improve mental health
- Improve cell growths
- Reduce the severity of certain allergies
- Help you lose weight and belly fat
- Boost the immune system
As you can see, the list of potential benefits of using a probiotics supplement is impressive.
Final Thoughts on the Best Probiotics
There’s no denying that finding probiotic supplements online is easy. However, understanding how they differ can take a little time.
Brands like Culturelle, which focus purely on probiotic products, offer variety, and monitor strain quality, will always be a popular choice. With the myriad of positive reviews online, it is hardly surprising that this brand is #1 on our list.
So, what is the best probiotic supplement? Like most things, the answer comes down to preference. Just make sure to always buy from a reputable brand.
Comment below if you’ve tried a great probiotic supplement and think it should be on our list.
- USDA certified organic probiotics
- Lab-tested products
- Plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, and allergen-free
- Unique supplement quiz
- Three targeted probiotic formulations
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- Free shipping with Subscribe-and-Save
- Products are of great value
- Top-quality and purity
- Both protein powders and quick snacks available
- Plant-based or made with grass-fed whey
- Two primary probiotics to choose from
- Clinical-grade and free from toxins
- Come in convenient gut supportive forms
- Gluten-free and vegan formulations
- Take a quiz to find the best products
- Standardized ingredients to clinically-proven quantities
- Powder and capsule products available
- Potent probiotics for balanced gut flora