Finding the best probiotic supplement to cover your unique personal needs might not be easy. This post offers practical suggestions on how to determine that a probiotic supplements can be trusted. The best probiotic supplements are great for those with a problematic gut, when travelling, or when on antibiotics. They can literally be a life-saver!
- Probiotics more important than multivitamins
Consuming high-quality probiotics daily is like supporting the gut with an elite army. How powerful are they? More than 200 studies confirm that probiotics can prevent and treat more than 170 diseases! Probiotic bacteria are able to support the function of our cells and genes, making this something you definitely don’t want to miss out on.
There are hundreds of naturally occurring microorganisms residing in the digestive tract. This amazing bacterial colony is essential for our well-being. They support digestion of food and assimilation of nutrients. Some of the most important probiotic bacteria are included in many supplements because they play a major role in keeping the entire body healthy.
Best probiotic supplements
Finding the best probiotic supplements among hundreds of brands can be daunting. Trust me, I’ve done this for years and have tried and reviewed a number of poor quality products. So don’t be misled by clever marketing, do your homework first and you will avoid wasting your money.
- One 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 it reaches the customers.
The best probiotic supplements have some common features:
- Contain bacteria in the billions per serving, some of the best brands offer 30-200 billion CFU per serving
- Use a delivery system that helps bacteria 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
Using such a checklist makes things simpler in a way because you can quickly exclude some supplements. However, 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? High-quality probiotic supplements are extremely beneficial.
Some 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.
For example, I like Mercola Complete Probiotics. It contains 70 billion CFU in each serving. I used this supplement for a year with excellent results.
- Each person responds slightly different to the same strains of probiotics
You have a unique microflora in your gut. It’s like a fingerprint that belongs only to you. This is a reason why each person has unique needs. However, the general recommendations here usually apply to most people.
When is the best time to take a probiotic supplement?
- 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
Do not settle for anything less than pure, safe supplements
Getting a daily burst of beneficial bacteria can greatly support your health. How?
Can’t you get enough bacteria by eating well? Absolutely! This is what people have done for centuries.
- 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 also in case of inflammation or indigestion. In any case, probiotic bacteria increase the effect of a healthy diet.
- More bacteria strains = more health benefits
Adding a probiotic supplement can also compensates for unhealthy ingredients in a poor diet. Some bad substances are monosodium Glutamate (MSG), artificial colours, flavours, flavour enhancers, sweeteners, corn syrup, trans fats, food dyes, preservatives, pesticides, and fertilizers. A good probiotic supplement can be a great way to combat health problems at the most basic level—in the gut.
Potent bacteria strains
Probiotic bacteria come in many shapes, forms and names—you have many species in your gut. They are living microorganisms that support digestion, stimulate the immune system, and control harmful bacteria. Some bacteria are stronger and more potent than others and they are well suited to include in probiotic supplements. In any case, the best probiotic supplements deliver bacteria through the stomach to the intestines
Probiotic supplement often contain several 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.|