When you hear the phrase “good bacteria,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Yogurt? Kids eating dirt on the playground?
Turns out, when people say “good bacteria,” they are talking about probiotics.
Probiotics, which have recently taken over aisles and aisles in pharmacies, boost the numbers of healthy bacteria in your digestive system. These can be useful for regulating problems in your body such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and diarrhea, skin conditions, allergies, and many more.
Since everyone’s needs are different, it is important to find the right probiotics supplements that best suit your needs.
What Should I Know Before Trying Probiotics?
There are a few things you should know before taking probiotics. Although they are sold over the counter, it may be best to consult a doctor to figure out what the best options are for you.
Probiotics mostly come from two classes: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. They have different properties, and most probiotics supplements contain a mix of these different strains so that they can impact multiple areas of your digestive system.
When you look at a probiotic supplement bottle, you will see them advertised by amount of CFUs. While this may be confusing at first, CFU stands for “colony forming units,” and tells you how many bacteria in the probiotic supplement can form colonies.
This is important because you need the bacteria to be alive and well when you ingest them in order for the bacteria to work in your body! That is also why you’ll want to be conscious about where you store your probiotics supplements because you want them to remain healthy.
Two key things to keep in mind when trying probiotics are to read the instructions and store them safely! Every supplement is different, and you may need to take more of one than another one before you see the effects.
The following is a guide of some popular natural probiotics supplements that could work for a variety of your needs.
How do probiotics differ from prebiotics?
You might hear people saying probiotics and prebiotics interchangeably. The truth is, these are two separate but similar things.
Prebiotics and probiotics are both necessary for your digestive system, but they do different functions. Prebiotics are essentially fibers that do not get digested by your body. They feed the good bacteria and help to increase them.
Think of it like this: prebiotics help the probiotics stay plentiful strong. They are like a food source for your bacteria. If you are looking for both, you will find that some of the following probiotics supplements contain both probiotics and prebiotics.
Best Probiotics SupplementsTable setup not completed. Table setup not completed.
Bacteria Strains: 15 different strains-L. Acidophilus, L. Plantarum, L. Fermentum, B. Infantis, L. Casei, B. Longum, L. Rhamnosus, B. Lactis, L. Reuteri, L. Salivarius, L. Paracasei, L. Gasseri, B. Bifidum, B. Breve, S. Thermophilus.
Hyperbiotics Pro-15 is different than many other probiotic supplements for a number of reasons. First, the tablets are pressure-compressed, which Hyperbiotics claims to keep out moisture and make the probiotics last longer.
Also, if you want some additional benefits, Hyperbiotics Pro-15 has kiwifruit powder in each capsule, which is a superfruit said to keep your colon healthy and support your probiotics with its natural prebiotics.
Something to make note of if you are not used to swallowing large pills is that some reviewers have reported a bitter taste when taking the probiotics. However, there has been no reported difference from breaking the pills in half before taking them.
In addition to the kiwifruit, Hyperbiotics Pro-15 also claims to boost your mood and energy, and help you potentially lose weight! Consider these if you are struggling with weight loss and lack of energy.
Pros and Cons
- Has pressure-compressed tablets
- kiwifruit powder included
- Pills may have bitter taste and be difficult to swallow
Dr. Tobias Deep Immune Probiotics
Bacteria Strains: Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis
If you want something that works relatively quickly for a probiotic, you may want to take a look at Dr. Tobias Deep Immune Probiotics. The good thing about this supplement is that it does not have to be refrigerated, which means that you can take it with you wherever you go for fast relief.
Another plus is that these supplements include both probiotics and prebiotics, which is excellent if you want a two-in-one, and the prebiotics are stated to only feed the good bacteria (not the bad).
Many reviewers of Dr. Tobias have raved about being able to feel different in just a few hours, which is even more amazing because most probiotic supplements take days to take effect since your body has to adjust to the changes.
Pros and Cons
- Has prebiotics and probiotics
- No refrigeration needed
- Few bacteria strains
Florastor Daily Probiotic Supplement
Florastor Daily Probiotic is a supplement that can be taken daily by any adult. These also do not require refrigeration, and if you happen to be lactose intolerant, you may want to look here for your probiotic.
While it is surprising that this probiotic supplement has only one strain of bacteria when compared to the others, the special bacteria in Florastor supplements, Saccharomyces boulardii lyo CNCM I-745, is said to boost your body’s production of IgA. This may be good for you if you have low IgA, or desire to increase your immune health.
Reviewers of Florator have claimed that this daily probiotic supplement is fast-acting and great for a variety of lifestyles.
Pros and Cons
- Boosts IgA levels
- No refrigeration needed
- One bacteria strain meant to target a specific problem
Flora Pro-Health High Strength
Bacteria Strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium breve.
If you are on a vegan diet, Flora Pro-Health might be one to add to your list. These supplements are vegan, gluten-free, soy and lactose free, and sugar-free.
The packaging of the Flora probiotic supplements is what makes them unique. Each tablet is individually sealed to protect the bacteria, and you can carry these in your purse or bag.
This is cool because many supplements are pretty strict about where you should store them, which makes it difficult to keep them around for as-needed use.
Importantly, the Flora supplements are made with more than 30 billion CFUs to account for the bacteria that gradually die, so that you get at least 30 billion with each supplement.
Most reviewers love the that Flora works quickly and without breaking the bank like some similar supplements might.
Pros and Cons
- Safe to carry around
- May cause side-effects such as constipation
Vitamin Bounty Pro-50
Bacteria Strains: L. acidophilus, B. lactis, L. brevis, L. casei, L. plantarum, L. Rhamnosus, L. salivarius, L. paracasei, L. bulgaricus, B. bifidum, B. brevis, B. longum, S. boulardii.
Similar to some of the probiotic supplements listed before, Pro-50 has a delayed release veggie capsule made to ensure that the probiotics reach their destination, created to ensure that the probiotics reach their destination without being destroyed in your stomach acid.
If you experience problems with lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, or upset-stomach, you might want to give Vitamin Bounty a try. It contains Fermented Greens in addition to its probiotics, which helps with all of those problems.
Many reviewers have also reported clearer skin, so keep this in mind if you want a probiotic supplement that can help your skin as well as your digestion and food breakdown.
Pros and Cons
- Has a delayed-release capsule
- Includes Fermented Greens
- Potential side effects upon first use
Nutrition Now Pb8 Acidophilus
Bacteria strains: a blend of 10 strains- lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus plantarum, lactobacillus rhamnosus, lactobacillus casei, lactobacillus paracasei, lactobacillus salivarius, bifidobacterium bifidum and bifidobacterium longum.
Nutrition Now promotes intestinal health and helps your body digest proteins. If you also need something with antifungal properties that could prevent urinary tract infections and yeast infections, you might want to add Nutrition Now to your list.
These probiotic supplements claim to prevent cancer and also maintain cholesterol levels. The supplements are gluten free, milk and soy free, and do not need to be refrigerated.
However, these supplements work after a period of using them so that your body can adjust, which means they may not be for you if you need immediate relief.
Pros and Cons
- Has antifungal properties
- Does not need refrigeration
- May take some time to start working
NatureWise Maximum Care Time-Release Probiotics
Bacteria Strains: a blend of 30 different bacteria
What I find cool about NatureWise is the unique time-release system, which releases the probiotics periodically over 8-10 hours without them being destroyed by stomach acids.
Also, if you’re looking for a daily supplement that can address a diverse number of needs for your immune system, the NatureWise blend of 30 probiotic strains may be useful.
These also do not have to be refrigerated, just kept in a cool, dry area. If you live in a humid climate, it may not be best to keep these in your purse or car. However, if you do refrigerate them, you can make them last past their expiration date.
As an added bonus, they are non-GMO, gluten free, and vegetarian.
Pros and Cons
- Operates on a time-release system
- Has 30 different bacteria strains
- Need to be stored in a cool, dry place
Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics
CFU: As stated on the product website, “Dr. Ohhira believes that the biogenic compounds the bacteria have produced over 3 years of fermentation are more important than the number of actual bacteria in the final product.”
Bacteria Strains: B. breve ssp. breve, B. infantis ssp. infantis, B. longum, E. faecalis TH10, L.acidophilus, L. brevis, L. bulgaricus, L. casei ssp. casei, L. fermentum, L. helveticus ssp. jugurti, L. plantarum, S. thermophilus.
Dr. Ohhira’s supplements are pretty great to me because not only do they have prebiotics and probiotics, but these supplements also include postbiotics. What are postbiotics? According to Dr. Ohhira, postbiotics are naturally fermented from the probiotic bacteria and are good for enhancing your immune system and balancing your colon.
In fact, this brand claims that postbiotics are what work in any probiotic supplement.
This probiotic supplement claims to be the only food supplemented that is fermented for three years, which is what creates those postbiotics. Surprisingly, it does not need to be refrigerated, much like our other top probiotic supplements.
If you are allergic to dairy or gluten, this might be the probiotic supplement for you to try.
Pros and Cons
- Has prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics
- No stated number of CFU
Bacteria Strains: 20 different strains
NewRhythm claims to be 100% natural and gluten-free, which is excellent if you want a probiotic supplement that is organically made! The NewRhythm probiotics supplement also has a targeted release formula, which makes sure that the probiotics survive your stomach acid.
If you need something for digestive and intestinal health that also supports a healthy immune system, you might want to give this probiotic supplement a try. NewRhythm’s blend of probiotic strains is designed to give your digestive and immune system the most benefits.
Also, this probiotic supplement has both probiotics and prebiotics, which are supposed to keep your probiotics healthy and long-lasting.
Some reviewers have stated having upset stomach after taking these probiotics, so keep in mind that the way NewRhythm says to avoid negative reactions is to start with a small dosage and work your way up!
Pros and Cons
- Natural and gluten-free
- Blend of 20 bacteria strains,
- Contains probiotics and prebiotics
- May cause temporary side effect such as upset stomach
Vintage Base Probiotics Multivitamin
Bacteria strains– Blend of 10 strains
To enhance your immune system, digestive system, and bone and tissue health, you might want to try this Vintage Base Probiotics Multivitamin. In addition, having to 6 billion CFU of probiotics, this dietary supplement has Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and 20 other vitamins and minerals.
These nutrients may be good to replenish your body, especially if you incorporate working out into your daily regimen!
If you need something multipurpose and natural, Vintage Base is non-GMO, vegetarian, gluten-free, and has no artificial substances. Even if you do not workout, these may be an excellent way to keep your body replenished and strong.
Remember that you have to take this vitamin with food, as it is meant to help your body absorb the vitamins and minerals in your food as you digest it.
Pros and Cons
- Doubles as probiotics supplement and multivitamin, vegetarian and gluten free
- side-effects may occur if not taken with food
There’s a lot to learn about probiotics, but don’t let that overwhelm you! When taken appropriately, probiotics and prebiotics can really help your body regulate multiple systems, can improve your immune health, help you lose weight, or even clear up your skin.
Research for probiotics is still in the early stages, so who knows what other health benefits these supplements might have.
Just remember that probiotics are live bacteria strains found naturally in your body. Therefore, it is essential to take care of your supplements based on the directions on each bottle so that the probiotics can stay alive and be able to do their job.
The amount of colony-forming units (CFU) is different for each probiotic supplement, and so are the properties of the bacteria strains. Don’t be too quick to assume that the more CFU, the better the probiotic supplement! Some supplements work with lower doses than others.
Most of the probiotic supplements on this list are vegan or vegetarian, so you should be able to find a supplement that works with your dietary needs.
The bottom line is, do your research before you choose a probiotic or prebiotic supplement and make sure you know which one is best for you!
We hope that you gained a lot of value from reading this article.