Finding the best probiotic supplements to fit ones needs might require a little research. This post aims to help you see how we know if a probiotic supplement can be trusted. I also suggest a few good brands.
Good probiotic supplements
Finding a good probiotic supplement may not be as easy as it sounds. I have tested and reviewed many poor quality products, but I’ve also found really good ones. So do your homework to avoid wasting your money.
Study revealed 30% of probiotic products contained no probiotic bacteria; 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 to cut costs.
Checklist for finding a good probiotic supplement
- Positive reviews from satisfied customers; not just sponsored reviews.
- Best brands contain 30-200 billions bacteria CFU per serving
- A delivery system for bacteria to stay alive through the gut
- Free from soy, corn, gluten, GMO, and synthetic substances
- Homepage clearly outlines manufacturing principles
- Stable at room temperature for several years
- Independent lab tests prove quality, safety
- No synthetic coating
Such a checklist makes things simpler as you can quickly exclude many supplements. And it pays to be picky! Some people complain about probiotics not helping at all. But this might be because they have payed for a poor brand.
Examples of great probiotic supplements
Hperbiotics, Bio-Kult ,and Ultimate Flora are all great. There are other good ones that I’ve reviewed on this site. 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.
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.
Each person might respond slightly different to the same probiotic bacteria.
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 antibiotics
Try fermented food
Getting a daily burst of beneficial bacteria is great. But you can also get lots of probiotics from food. This is what people have done for centuries.
A great source of good microorganisms is fermented food
Preparing fermented food at home is fun and economical. However, at times probiotic supplements are simple and practical.
- More bacteria strains = [in most cases] more benefits
Fermented food help avoid food additives like monosodium Glutamate (MSG), artificial colors, flavor enhancers, sweeteners, corn syrup, trans fats, food dyes, preservatives, pesticides, and fertilizers.
Potent bacteria strains
Probiotic bacteria come in many shapes, forms and names—each individual carriers 500-1000 species in the gut alone. Below is a checklist of probiotic bacteria included in many supplements as well as in fermented food.
This is only a very brief description. These bacteria are involved in countless body processes.
|L.acidophilus DDS-1||Potent, sturdy, acid and bile resistant. Adapts easily and colonizes the gut. Powerful effect on digestive system; alleviates bloating, repairs intestine.|
|L.acidophilus||Most commonly used probiotic bacteria. Creates lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide that controls unwanted microorganisms. Used to milden effects of antibiotics, alleviate constipation, diarrhea, IBS, and inflammatory conditions. Can reduce cholesterol levels. Studies show that L. acidophilus reliefs gastrointestinal discomfort.|
|L.casei||Converts lactose into lactic acid; promotes growth of beneficial gut bacteria.|
|L.fermentum||Antimicrobial, prevents growth of harmful microorganisms; stimulates immune system.|
|L.gasseri||Able to break down oxalate that causes kidney stones. Resides in different parts of the body where it produces hydrogen peroxide, a strong antioxidant that keeps cells healthy.|
|L.paracasei||Used to treat diarrhea in infants, pollen allergies, and patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.|
|L.plantarum||Found in fermented foods as kimchi, sauerkraut, and fermented vegetables. It creates a barrier in the colon that keeps harmful microorganisms from penetrating the lining and entering the blood stream. Producer of hydrogen peroxide, a powerful antibacterial substance.|
|L.reuteri||Found in breast milk and transferred to the baby. Effective for rotavirus-induced diarrhea, gut infections, colic, for controlling H. pylori and E. coli, candida, and possibly parasites.|
|L.rhamnosus||Often used for diarrhea and bacterial food poisoning. Promotes destruction of harmful bacteria, stimulates the body to manufacture natural antibiotic substances.|
|L.salivarus||Promotes oral and intestinal health by suppressing harmful bacteria. Able to deal with wide spectrum of harmful organisms in the gut. Used to alleviate flatulence from IBS.|
|B.breve||Shortage of this bacterium is associated with diarrhea, gas, and IBS. Ferments sugars and produces lactic acid, acetic acid, both with a number of health benefits. Able to break down fibers considered non-digestible.|
|B.bifidum||Aids in the synthesis of B-complex vitamins and vitamin K2. Effective for diarrhea caused by antibiotics.|
|B.infantis||Produces thiamine, nicotinic acid, B12, biotin, and folic acid. Involved in reducing symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders, diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, cramping and constipation. Promotes digestion assimilation of nutrients.|
|B.lactis||Assists in decreasing Helicobacter pylori in the gut, thereby reducing gastritis, abdominal pain, nausea, and bloating. Active in the front line of immune system.|
|B.longum||Breaks down carbs, fights free radicals. 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. Assists in digesting dairy products, maintaining a normal intestinal flora.|