A Dietitian Picks the Best Probiotic Supplements

By Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD

Probiotics have gained widespread popularity in the world of health and wellness as they help more than just gut health. Over time, probiotics may reduce inflammation and in turn, lower the risk of health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and eczema.

But with the variety of probiotics offered online and in health food stores, finding the one that’s right for you can be a challenge. So, if you’re not sure what to look for to find a quality probiotic, then look no further. 

Best Overall Probiotic

BioSchwartz™ Advanced Strength Probiotic

BioSchwartz™ Advanced Strength Probiotic is a doctor-formulated, third-party tested supplement provides health benefits that extend way beyond the gut. It contains 40 billion colony forming units of bacteria from four probiotic strains. These bacteria include three Lactobacillus strains as well as one Bifidobacterium strain. Lactobacillus strains may help prevent gut issues like antibiotic-associated diarrhea and constipation, to name a few. 

To boost the health benefits of this supplement, it also contains prebiotic fructo-oligosaccharides. Prebiotics feed the probiotic bacteria, which helps them to flourish in the gut.  

To preserve the potency of the bacteria strains, BioSchwartz™ uses the MAKTrek patented stomach acid protection and delivery system. This system helps probiotic strains to survive our stomach acid so they can reach deep in the gut to provide the most health benefits. 

Summary of BioSchwartz™ Advanced Strength:
  • Contains 40 billion CFUs of four probiotic strains
  • Includes prebiotics 
  • Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, wheat-free, and nut-free
  • 100% all-natural with no added preservatives, chemicals, or colorants 
  • Non-GMO
  • Good manufacturing practices and made in the U.S.A.
  • No need to refrigerate
  • Survives stomach acid via proprietary MAKTrek system

Best Blend

Physician’s® Choice Probiotic with Prebiotic Fiber Blend

Physician’s Choice Probiotic with Prebiotic Fiber Blend delivers a potent combination of 10 different probiotic strains including six Lactobacillus strains and four Bifidobacterium strains. The Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains have been extensively studied and are known for their effectiveness. 

Along with the probiotic strains, this supplement contains prebiotic fibers from Jerusalem artichoke and chicory root, to name a few. These prebiotics help nourish the probiotic strains so they can flourish and support gut health.

To top it off, this blend is stored in a patented shelf stable bottle, Activ-vial, that helps preserve the potency of the strains. 

Summary of Physician’s® Choice probiotic and prebiotic blend:
  • 60 billion live cultures in each capsule
  • Free of binders, additives, and preservatives. 
  • No soy, gluten, milk, egg, wheat, peanuts, and shellfish.
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Non-GMO
  • No need to refrigerate

Best for Indigestion

Nutrition Essentials Probiotic Digestive Health Support Formula

Nutrition Essentials Probiotic Digestive Health Support Formula contains a potent blend of probiotic bacteria from a well-studied strain known as Bacillus coagulans. This strain of bacteria is highly stable and may reduce symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, and constipation, to name a few gut issues. Included in this formula is a prebiotic that helps encourage the probiotic to flourish in the gut leaving you to reap the most health benefits. 

Summary of Nutrition Essentials Digestive Health Support Formula:
  • 15 billion cells in one unique strain of IS-2 Bacillus coagulans as well as an added prebiotic
  • No chemicals, preservatives, fillers or blenders
  • Free of soy, dairy, egg, nuts, gluten, salt, sugar, as well as any artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners
  • No need to refrigerate
  • Made in the USA in a strict GMP and FDA Certified Lab

What You Need to Know

Although you can get probiotic benefits from fermented foods like yogurt or sauerkraut, you may not eat these foods daily.  That’s why taking a probiotic supplement is important if you want to reap the full health benefits of good bacteria. Follow the tips below to help you choose the best probiotic supplement for you. 

  • Choose the right strains: Experts at the American Gastroenterological Association suggest a probiotic with the common strains Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium as these strains are the most researched and have the most evidence supporting their efficacy. However, there are many strains within these strain groups that provide other benefits, therefore, it talking with a gastroenterologist about which specific strains would be best for you is a wise.
  • Keep side effects in mind: Symptoms such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea are common when first starting a probiotic supplement. These symptoms may only last a few days or weeks, but, if they persist, be sure to visit your doctor.
  • Check to make sure your probiotic is potent: It’s important to select a probiotic that has  enough strains to flourish in your gut so you experience its benefits. 
  • Choose a brand you can trust: Make sure to choose a brand you can trust which has approval by experts in the health field. Also, check to see how long the company has been around, what research has been done on their product, and read reviews from consumers. There are no known probiotic supplements that have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval since dietary supplements do not require it thus you must do your own research. 

By choosing the right probiotic supplement, you may be able to improve the health of your gut and reduce inflammation in your body which in turn may improve your immunity and gut health as well as reproductive health in women. 

Why Are Probiotics So Popular?

Problems in the gut can lead to inflammation all over the body. Probiotics have been shown to combat inflammation-related health issues by balancing the gut bacteria in your body, which reduces inflammation and improves overall immunity. But it is important to select a high-quality probiotic that contains strains proven to be effective. Be sure to do your research before you buy.

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