Introduction to Probiotic Supplements
Probiotics are healthy microorganisms that line your intestinal walls, promoting balance in the microbiome and improving digestive health. The result is more regular bowel movements and the elimination of symptoms like bloating and diarrhea.
The market is full of many and varied probiotic supplements containing different strains as well as additional organic ingredients to improve gut wellness. Some are more potent and effective than others, but how do you know the difference? Learn how to select the best brand, and to discover our top choices for the best natural probiotics on the market.
What Factors Lead to Poor Gut Health?
There are a whole host of factors that can contribute to poor gut health, including chronic stress, a poor diet, intolerance to certain foods, medical conditions like diabetes, or imbalances in the gut bacteria. Hormonal imbalance or an endocrine issue can often affect the digestive system, as can abdominal surgery.
What Are the Benefits of Taking a Probiotic Supplement?
- These supplements can promote regular bowel movements.
- They can eliminate symptoms like gas and constipation.
- Probiotic supplements can help strengthen the immune system.
- They promote a healthy gut microbiome.
- Probiotics can enhance overall digestive wellness.
How Do Probiotic Supplements Work?
These supplement include various different strains, depending on the product. Generally speaking, these are healthy strains of bacteria which line the intestine walls, destroying bad bacteria and promoting a healthy microbiome.
However, specific strains have other benefits, including lowering cholesterol, decreasing anxiety, supporting immune health, and decreasing the risk of developing certain gastrointestinal conditions.
Probiotics are high in antioxidants, which eliminate free radicals and lower oxidative stress. This can repair damage to the digestive tract and protect it from potential harm. They have anti-inflammatory agents which can decreases gastrointestinal swelling and bloating.
Many probiotic supplements contain additional ingredients like fiber, which helps absorb liquid from the intestines and promote more regular bowel movements. It may also fill up your stomach, suppressing appetite and helping with weight loss. The Mayo Clinic discusses why dietary fiber is essential for a healthy diet (2).
What Are Probiotic Supplements Made From?
Here are some of the primary active probiotic strains:
Bacillus – This strain can enhance digestion and promote a healthier gut microbiota in human beings and animals. They have antimicrobials which kill damaging bacteria, and they support a strong immune system (3). An article in the Journal of Food Science and Technology examined the importance of the gastrointestinal life cycle of bacillus for probiotic functionality.
Lactobacillus – These are lactic acid bacteria which line the small intestines and vagina, killing bad bacteria and promoting digestive health (4). In addition, they assist in the absorption of minerals in the body. An article in the Journal of Clinical Pathology discussed the mechanisms and therapeutic effectiveness of Lactobacilli (5).
Bifidobacterium – This strain exists in the microbiota, promoting digestive health and eliminating bad bacteria. One of their main roles is to digest fiber, and they also play a key role in preventing infections. An article in Frontiers in Microbiology discussed the role of this strain in the human intestines (6).
How Do You Choose a Probiotic Supplement?
Before you select a probiotic to purchase, it’s important to do your own evaluation of the brand. These are some of the key features to keep in mind when making your selection:
Ingredients – Probiotic supplements contain a number of different strains, each of which has a different purpose in gut health. There may also be other organic ingredients which promote digestion like fibers.
Research the ingredients carefully to make sure the product is right for you. According to Dietitian Lauren Manaker, “It’s important to make sure that any probiotics that you buy contain the strains your body needs and in the right quantities (8).”
Safety – Ensure that there are not potentially harmful chemical or artificial additives, which could lead to side effects. In addition, make sure the manufacturer follows strict safety guidelines, ideally GMP, and produces the products in an FDA-registered facility.
Manufacturer – It’s always best to purchase from a known and reputable manufacturer, as they are more likely to be trustworthy. Certainly look into the background of the company when evaluating products.
Reviews – Customer reviewers are a great source of information about a supplement, its benefits, and its limitations. Read through a number of reviews before you make your final choice.
Satisfaction Guarantee – Any company which has faith in its product will give you enough time to try it out before deciding if it really works for you. Look for a brand that has at least a 30-60 day guarantee.
Cost – These supplements come in a range of prices, with the average being somewhere from $20-40. Compare the cost of different brands with what they offer to decide whether a supplement is worth it.
Product Comparison – Do look at a number of different brands and compare them in terms of cost, ingredients, benefits, guarantee, and other relevant features.
Which Probiotic Supplements Are Best?
We worked with a team of medical and digestive system experts to determine a collection of the best natural probiotics on the market today. You have plenty of choice, allowing you to select the best supplement for you and your gut health.
According to nutritional expert Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D.N., “Taking a probiotic supplement can help restore the balance of good bacteria in the gut (9).”
Here are the top probiotic brands on the market today.
One of the best probiotics for gut health, Multi-GI 5 contains 12 potent digestive ingredients and strains which balance the gut microbiota, enhance the GI lining, promote healthy microflora, and elevate overall gut health. In addition, it can suppresses appetite and cravings, ideally leading to weight loss. It gives you a giant boost of energy which can make you more productive and help you burn more calories.
Ingredients: Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Gasseri, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Lactobacillus Casei, Bacillus Coagulans, Magnesium BHB, Licorice Root, Black Pepper, Zinc-Carnosine
Manufacturer: Unify Health Labs
Price: $69.95 for 30 days, discounts on bulk orders
- Multi-GI 5 gives you more physical energy.
- It supports a strong immune system.
- There’s a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.
- Each scoop contains a few calories and carbohydrates.
- Strawberry lemonade is the only flavor.
Morning Complete is a powder drink supplement which tastes like apple cinnamon. It has potent probiotic and prebiotic benefits, balancing the gut microbiome and supporting regularity. In addition, it contains a wealth of healthy superfoods.
It can eliminate symptoms like gas and diarrhea, and it has numerous other health benefits like speeding up the metabolism and promoting weight loss. This supplement can strengthen the immune system, balance blood sugar levels, and provide your body with some of the key nutrients it requires.
Ingredients: Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bacillus Coagulans, Bacillus Longum, Bacillus Bifidum, Streptococcus Thermophilus, Green Tea, Pomegranate Extract, Turmeric, Black Pepper
Price: $49 for one jar
- It promotes cellular function and supports liver health.
- Morning Complete speeds up the metabolism and burns fat.
- This supplement can balance blood sugar levels.
- There is only one flavor, which is apple cinnamon.
- Some users may prefer capsules to a powder drink.
Gundry MD PrebioThrive
Gundry MD PrebioThrive is a powder drink supplement which contains 5 potent prebiotics. The formula aims to feed healthy gut bacteria, helping it proliferate and balancing the microbiome. This promotes a healthy digestive tract and leads to smoother bowel movements.
It can also decrease symptoms like gas, bloating, and constipation. In addition to improving digestion, Gundry MD PrebioThrive can provide you with additional energy.
Ingredients: Organic Flaxseed, Organic Acacia Gum, Organic Agave Inulin, Organic Guar Gum, Galacto-oligosaccharides
Manufacturer: Gundry MD
Price: $70 per jar
- The ingredients are 100% organic.
- It’s free of sugar, soy, lectin, and artificial sweetener.
- It gives you added energy and vitality.
- The formula contains milk, which some users can’t consume.
- It’s unflavored, which may not be very tasty.
ProPlant Complete Shake
ProPlant Complete Shake is a chocolate-flavored powder beverage packed with protein. It supports digestive wellness, and it can also fill you up and suppress your appetite, so you don’t overeat or snack. The supplement provides you with energy which can help you exercise for longer and burn calories. In addition to promoting digestive health and assisting with weight loss, it also strengthens the immune system.
Ingredients: Spirulina, Hemp Protein, Flaxseed, Cocoa Powder, Stevia
Manufacturer: Gundry MD
- It can improve your mood.
- ProPlant Complete Shake promotes healthy digestion.
- This product supports heart health.
- ProPlant Complete Shake is somewhat expensive.
- Each serving has 100 calories and 9 grams of carbohydrates.
Primal Plants is a green apple flavored drink supplement composed of 4 blends: superfood greens, digestive support, metabolic enhancement, and probiotics. It can promote a healthy gut microbiota and support digestion, and it can also speed up metabolism and help with fat burning and weight loss.
It provides you with additional energy so you can be more active. In addition, the product also improves skin health and appearance.
Ingredients: Bacillus Coagulans, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Lactobacillus Reuteri, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bromelain, Chicory Fruit, Ginger Root, Green Tea, Turmeric, Bitter Melon Fruit Extract, Mulberry Leaf Extract, Spinach, Kale, Broccoli
Manufacturer: Gundry MD
Price: $99.99 for 1 jar
- It supports heart health.
- Primal Plants is full of rich nutrients and antioxidants.
- This product may help with fat burning and weight loss.
- Primal Plants is an expensive product.
- Green Apple is the only flavor option.
Gundry MD Lectin Shield
Gundry MD Lectin Shield is a multipurpose organic supplement which protects your body from harmful plant proteins called lectins. This supports digestive health, regular bowel movements, and it can help eliminate symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea. In addition, it is one of the best probiotic supplements for weight loss. It works by preventing cravings for food high in lectins. It’s somewhat expensive, but this is a strong formula.
Ingredients: Mucin, Okra, D-Mannose, Sodium Alginate, Bladderwrack, N-Acetyl D-Glucosamine, MSM, Larch Arabinogalactan
Manufacturer: Gundry MD
- It can remove unhealthy toxins from your body.
- Gundry MD Lectin Shield strengthens the digestive tract.
- This supplement can strengthen the immune system.
- It contains crustacean shellfish, which some users can’t consume.
- Gundry MD Lectin Shield is an expensive supplement.
Gundry MD Energy Renew is suitable for any adult, but it’s particularly helpful for people who are getting older and may be low on energy. It boosts your metabolism, which can help burn fat and take off some weight. In addition, it has brain benefits like mental clarity and alertness. Gundry MD Energy Renew is rich in nutrients and promotes overall health and immunity.
Ingredients: Amla, Beet Root Extract, Hibiscus Flower Extract, Goji, Cranberry, Mangosteen, Acai, Acerola, N-Acetyl L-Carnitine, D-Ribose, Pomegranate, Strawberry, Maqui Berry, Jaboticaba, Schizandra Berry
Manufacturer: Gundry MD
- There’s a 90-day money-back guarantee.
- Gundry MD Energy Renew supports a healthy metabolism.
- This product can improve exercise recovery.
- This is an expensive product.
- Passion Fruit is the only flavor option available.
Bio Complete 3
Gundry MD Bio Complete 3 is a total digestive wellness product which includes prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics. It promotes optional gut health, regular bowel movements, and eliminates symptoms like gas and bloating. In addition, it helps suppress cravings and burn fat, leading to rapid weight loss.
Ingredients: CoreBiome, Sunfiber, Bacillus Coagulans
Manufacturer: Gundry MD
- Gundry MD Bio Complete 3 provides you with additional energy.
- It supports a strong immune system.
- This supplement can eliminate fatigue.
- The dosage is 4 capsules per day, which some users will find difficult.
- The cost of the supplement is high.
Gundry MD Total Restore is an organic supplement designed to promote optional digestive health and strengthen the lining of the gut. A stronger gut can help prevent craving and promote weight loss, alleviate fatigue, and give you energy. This supplement also improves brain health by elevating mental focus, and it can boost your mood.
Ingredients: Grape Seed, Licorice, Wormwood, Cloves, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Grapefruit, Maitake Mushroom, Magnesium, Zinc, L-Glutamine, N-Acetyl D-Glucosamine, Berberine, Organic Strawberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Marshmallow
Manufacturer: Gundryx MD
- It’s rich in nutrients which support health and wellness.
- This supplement can promote an improved mood.
- Gundry MD Total Restore supports joint health.
- Gundry MD Total Restore is expensive.
- It contains crustacean shellfish, which some users can’t eat.
Complete Probiotics Platinum
With 11 powerful probiotic strains included, 1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum provides the intestines with a wealth of probiotic microorganisms to eliminate bad bacteria and balance the gut microflora. The result is healthy bowel movements and a decrease in symptoms like gas and diarrhea. 1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum is a powerful formula which should promote overall digestive health.
Ingredients: Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus Gasseri, Lactobacillus Salivarius, Baccilus Coagulans, Lactobacillus Rhamnoses, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Bifidobacterium Longum, Bifidobacterium Bifidum
- The supplement is recommended by a top gastroenterologist.
- It helps with nutrient digestion and absorption.
- 1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum supports a strong immune system.
- It contains rice flour, which some users can’t consume.
- The supplement has probiotics, but no other organic ingredients.
This formula contains 18 potent digestive enzymes which help break down the nutrients, so they are easier to digest. It can quickly get rid of unpleasant digestive symptoms like gas and diarrhea and promote healthy bowel movements. Dr. David Kahana is the renowned gastroenterologist who developed this product, and he stands by its ability to promote optimal digestive health.
Ingredients: Papain, Bromelain, Lipase, Maltase, Lactase, Protease, Alpha Amylase, Cellulase, Invertase, Hemicellulase, Beta-Glucinase
Price: $42.99 one bottle, one-time purchase, $35.99 one bottle, subscription. There are further discounts for bulk purchases.
- It starts working immediately to reduce digestive symptoms.
- 1MD EnzymeMD promotes long-term gut health benefits.
- The product contains no harmful additives or preservatives.
- Results will vary for different users.
- This is a popular item which sometimes goes out of stock.
1MD BiomeMD is a potent formula which includes 14 powerful strains of probiotics. It supports gut health and a strong microbiome and helps with nutrient absorption. This supplement promotes regular bowel movements and very rapidly eliminates symptoms like gas, bloating, and diarrhea. It defends the gut from harm and eases gastrointestinal stress.
Ingredients: Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Gasseri, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Salivarius, Bifidobacterium Longum, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Bifidobacterium Bifidum
Price: $49.99 one bottle, one-time purchase, $34.99 one bottle, subscription. You can get further discounts on bulk orders.
- A board certified gastroenterologist developed 1MD BiomeMD.
- It helps with nutrient digestion and absorption.
- 1MD BiomeMD improves immune system function.
- It contains milk, with many users can’t consume.
- The product would be better with added organic digestive health ingredients.
1MD GutMD is a formula designed specifically to support digestive health and wellness. This supplement enriches the intestinal lining, strengthens the gut barrier, helps with nutrient absorption, and nourishes the microbiome.
It also defends on the gut from environmental threats and strengthens the immune system. A number of our experts picked out this brand as one of the best probiotic supplements for gut health.
Ingredients: L-Glutamine, Tahl Gum, Licorice Root Extract, Human Milk Oligosaccharides
Price: $39.99 one bottle, one-time purchase, $31.99 one bottle, subscription. You can get further discounts on bulk orders.
- 1MD GutMD is doctor-formulated.
- The ingredients are clinically researched.
- This supplement promotes optimal gut health.
- It contains milk, which some users can’t consume.
- The dosage is 3 capsules per day.
1MD BalanceMD is a digestive health formula which comes highly recommended by some of our experts. It’s a mix of probiotics, digestive enzymes, and other organics which promote a healthy gut and vaginal microbiota and improved digestion.
In addition, it can help reduce symptoms like gas and bloating. The benefits begin almost immediately, and you should expect full long-term results within 3 months.
Ingredients: Protease, Cellulase, Black Walnut Hulls Powder, Wormwood Leaf Powder, Oregano Leaf, Reishi Mushroom, Anise Seed, Caprylic Acid, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Aloe Vera, Larch Arabinogalactan
Price: $42.99 one bottle, one-time purchase, $35.99 one bottle, subscription. You can get further discounts on bulk orders.
- All of the ingredients are naturally sourced.
- The manufacturer is highly reputable.
- A team of physicians designed the supplement.
- It has tree nuts and rice flour, which some users can’t eat.
- Results will vary for different users.
What Are Some Natural Ways to Enhance Digestive Health?
Probiotics are very helpful in supporting digestive health. Alongside taking a supplement, there are also some lifestyle modifications you can make to improve your gut wellness. Consider incorporating some of these into your routine:
Drink Water – It’s important to take in enough fluids during the day. One of the symptoms of dehydration is constipation, so you want to make sure you take in fluids through fruits and veggies, as well as water rand other beverages.
Limit Stress – Stress can lead to many physical issues, and some of them are constipation, diarrhea, and other digestive symptoms. If you work on decreasing your anxiety, your gut health should improve. Consider taking some time off, spending more time with family and friends, participating in a zoom yoga or meditation class, writing in a journal, or seeking therapy.
Modify Your Diet – Eat whole foods that are healthy and do not contain sugar, processed items, or unhealthy fats. These are detrimental to your digestive system and are better left in the past.
Try some of the best probiotic foods, like yogurt, miso, kefir, and pickles. Consume plenty of fiber to promote regularity and omega-3 fatty acids to help the absorption of nutrients. Include probiotic fruits and probiotic vegetables.
Exercise – Working out on a regular basis can give digestive health a boost, by assisting in pushing the food through the intestines. It can ease constipation and may also decrease inflammation.
Moderate Smoking and Drinking – Smoking and drinking can have a detrimental effect on digestion. If you’re having gut issues, it’s best to try to limit or even quit these habits so as not to exacerbate your gut. The good news is quitting can effectively reduce your symptoms.
Sleep Well – Getting a quality sleep is important for overall health and cognitive functioning, mood, and it also plays a key role in gut health. It’s very important to get an adequate, quality rest every night.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Do Probiotic Supplements Work?
A: Yes, probiotic supplements for gut health actually do work. According to Harvard Health Publishing, there is research supporting the benefits of probiotics in digestion starting from the mid-1990s (9). Naturally, the selection of strains is important, and these products will work different for each individual. But generally speaking, they do tend to be effective.
In the words of NYU Langone Health gastroenterologist Roshini Rajapaksa, M.D. “The last several years have seen an explosion of research on the importance of the microbiome and the many health benefits associated with a balanced one. Probiotic supplements offer a way to help maintain this balance (10).”
Q: Where Can I Buy Probiotic Supplements?
A: Generally speaking, probiotic supplements are for sale from a number of online retailers as well as in shops like pharmacies and health food stores. For a specific probiotic, you have to research the brand online.
Q: What is the Most Effective Probiotic Supplement?
A: In this article, we presented you with 14 of our favorite probiotic brands and included detailed information about each. They are all very effective supplements, and we would recommended that you select one of them based on your preference and the information given.
Q: Can Probiotic Supplements Cause Bloating?
A: It’s possible that you may have some bloating, diarrhea, and other mild digestive symptoms in the first couple of days after taking a probiotic supplement, however, these will disappear once the product cleanses your system.
Q: Are Probiotic Supplements Safe?
A: Probiotics alone are safe and may only lead to mild digestive symptoms for a couple of days after taking them. However, for any product you purchase it’s important to look at the entire ingredients list including inactive substances to ensure there are no harmful chemical or artificial additives.
It’s also crucial to look into the safety practices of the manufacturer. Ideally they should product their products in an FDA-approved facility using GMP standards.
Q: Can Probiotic Supplements Cause Acne?
A: The vast majority of the time, probiotics do not cause acne and may even help eliminate it. If you have a gut infection while on probiotics, one of the effects could be breaking out in acne. If this happens, stop taking them until you resolve the issue.
Q: Who Needs Probiotic Supplements?
A: Probiotic supplements are suitable for any adult who wants to improve their overall digestive health, or for those who are going through a bout of symptoms like diarrhea or bloating and want to resolve it. These are for users who are looking for a natural, organic solution rather than medication from a physician.
Q: Are Probiotic Supplements Vegan?
A: Some brands are vegan, but not every probiotic product suits this diet. Make sure to check the label to ensure that this is a brand you can consume.
Q: Are Probiotic Supplements Necessary?
A: No, they are not actually necessary, because the probiotic bacteria is a natural part of your microbiome and is there to balance the gut flora and promote proper digestion. However, sometimes the gut gets out of balance, and it’s helpful to take a probiotic product to restore balance to the microbiome.
Gail Cresci, Ph.D., is a registered dietitian and microbiome researcher. She explains that probiotics, “can help us digest food we can’t digest [naturally]. We don’t have enzymes to break down and absorb certain fibers. Probiotics release metabolites, which are beneficial byproducts that help us digest them (11).”
The Bottom Line
On the search for the most effective probiotic supplement, we found 14 high-quality brands that we would recommend to our customers without question. The best probiotics for gut health include a rich collection of strains, as well as fibers and other ingredients which support digestive wellness.
Our best probiotics for gut health are brands with reputable manufacturers, which offer digestive benefits for users including easing inflammation, decreasing symptoms like diarrhea and constipation, and promoting healthy bowel movements.
The best natural probiotics are also full of antioxidants which promote overall health and strengthen immunity. We’d advise you to select from among the choices we presented, but it’s also important to do your own research to make sure the brand is right for you.