Finding the best probiotic supplements to fit unique personal needs might require some research. This post shows how to know if a probiotic supplement can be trusted and suggests some common good brands.
Good probiotic supplements
Finding the best probiotic supplements can be daunting. Trust me, I’ve done this for years. I have tested and reviewed many poor quality products, but I’ve also found really good ones. So do your homework first and avoid wasting your money.
Study revealed 30% of probiotic products contained no probiotic bacteria. Only 13% contained all bacteria stated on the label.
Some advertisers use bold claims like “best probiotics supplement,” “leading brand,” or “advanced formula.” In reality, manufacturers sometimes use cheap ingredients and weak bacteria that might even be dead by the time the product reaches customers.
Checklist for good probiotic supplement:
- Contains bacteria in the billions per serving, the best brands offer 30-200 billion CFU per serving
- Use a delivery system for bacteria to stay alive through the harsh stomach environment
- Free from soy, corn, gluten, GMO and other synthetic, unhealthy substances
- Should be stable at room temperature for several years
- Independent lab tests to prove quality and safety
- Prepared without synthetic coating
- Homepage should clearly outline good manufacturing principles.
- Positive reviews from satisfied customers; not sponsored reviews.
Using this checklist makes things simpler in a way because you can quickly exclude many supplements. And it pays to be picky! Some people complain about probiotics not helping at all. Might it be that they have just got a poor brand?
Examples of great probiotic supplements
Dr. Mercola Complete Probiotics is superb, as is Bio-Kult and Ultimate Flora. There are also other really good ones that I’ve reviewed on this site. And if you’ve found a probiotic supplement that works well for you, then stick to it. But if you’re still looking, then check my supplement reviews.
Each person might respond slightly different to the same strains of probiotic bacteria. Why?
Because each individual has a unique gut microflora, genetic makeup, and lifestyle. It’s like a fingerprint that belongs only to that person. Therefore, finding a supplement that fits might in some cases involve some trial and error. However, the general recommendations in this post apply to most people.
When is the best time to take a probiotics?
- Some 10-15 minutes before food with a glass of water
- Try emptying a probiotic capsules into your morning smoothie
- Avoid taking probiotics 1-2 hours after taking antibiotics as it might kill probiotics
Try homemade fermented food
Getting a daily burst of beneficial bacteria is beneficial. But can’t you get enough bacteria by eating well? Absolutely! This is what people have done for centuries in many cultures.
A great source of good microorganisms and enzymes is fermented food
Preparing fermented food at home is fun and economical. However, at times probiotic supplements are simple and practical. As for instance when there is little time to prepare fermented food, when travelling, and perhaps in case of certain conditions.
- More bacteria strains = [in most cases] more benefits
Fermented food also help combat food additives like monosodium Glutamate (MSG), artificial colours, flavours, flavour enhancers, sweeteners, corn syrup, trans fats, food dyes, preservatives, pesticides, and fertilisers.
Potent bacteria strains
Probiotic bacteria come in many shapes, forms and names—you have hundreds of species in your gut. Below is a checklist of probiotic bacteria strain and a brief description.
The best probiotic supplement contain 7-15 of the following strains:
|L. acidophilus DDS-1||Very powerful properties. Sturdy-acid and bile resistant. Easily adapt to human body and colonizes the gut. Strong effect on digestive and immune systems. Help resolve bloating, repairs intestine.|
|L. acidophilus||The most commonly used probiotic bacteria. Create lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide that keeps unwanted microorganisms out of the gut. Used to combat effects of antibiotics, treat constipation, diarrhoea, IBS, Crohn’s and many other inflammatory conditions. Can reduce cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that those taking L. acidophilus experienced significant relief from their gastrointestinal discomfort.|
|L. casei||Converts lactose into lactic acid, which is beneficial for lactose intolerant ones. Also promotes growth of other beneficial bacteria in the gut.|
|L. fermentum||Antimicrobial, antioxidative, prevent growth of harmful bacteria, yeast and other harmful microorganisms. Stimulate the immune system.|
|L. gasseri||Has the ability to break down oxalate, a substance that can cause many problems in the body including kidney stones. Found in different parts of the body where it produces hydrogen peroxide, a strong antioxidant that helps keep cells healthy.|
|L. paracasei||Used to treat diarrhoea in infants, pollen allergies and patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.|
|L. plantarum||Also found in fermented foods as kimchi, sauerkraut and fermented vegetables. L. plantarum creates a barrier in your colon to keep bad bacteria from penetrating the lining and entering the blood stream. It produces the very potent antioxidant hydrogen peroxide which is a powerful weapon in the body against bad bacteria and disease.|
|L. reuteri||Found in breast milk and therefore transferred to the baby. Effectively treat rotavirus-induced diarrhoea, prevent gut infections, colic and in fighting H. pylori causing peptic ulcers and protects against harmful bacteria as E. coli, candida and possibly even some parasites. L. reuteri also seem to promote oral health.|
|L.rhamnosus||A powerful defence against diarrhoea and bacterial food poisoning. Effectively promotes destruction of harmful bacteria. L rhanosus stimulates the body to manufacture natural antibiotic substances that effectively fights disease and increases the resistance to viral infections.|
|L. salivarus||Promotes oral and intestinal health by suppressing harmful bacteria. Very powerful and can deal with a wider spectrum of harmful organisms in the gastrointestinal tract. It also alleviates symptoms of flatulence from IBS.|
|B. breve||Symptoms as diarrhoea, allergies, gas, and IBS are often linked to a shortage of the B breve bacteria. Ferments sugars and thereby produces lactic acid and acetic acid, both is which has a number of health benefits. Able to break down many foods and plant fibres that are considered non-digestible.|
|B. bifidum||Aids in the synthesis of B-complex vitamins and the important vitamin K2. It is effective in the treatment of diarrhoea, also if caused by antibiotics.|
|B. infantis||Produces vitamins as thiamine, nicotinic acid, B12, biotin, and folic acid. Involved in reducing symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders, diarrhoea, flatulence, bloating, cramping and constipation. Helps combat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), improves digestion and the body’s ability to digest and assimilate nutrients.
|B. lactis||Assists in decreasing the amount of Helicobacter pylori in the stomach. H. pylori can cause infections appearing as gastritis, abdominal pain, nausea, bloating and other symptoms. Also in the front line in the immune system.|
|B. longum||Breaks down carbohydrates, fights free radicals and reduces the effects of seasonal allergens. Interestingly, it has the amazing ability to regulate mood and relieve anxiety by transmitting signals to the brain.|
|S.thermophiles||Found in yogurt and other fermented milk products. S. thermophiles help lactose intolerant ones to digest diary products. This culture helps maintain normal intestinal flora. Research indicates that S. thermophiles lowers the risk of lung cancer.|