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Last Updated on April 7, 2019

7 Best Probiotic Supplements (Recommendation & Reviews)

7 Best Probiotic Supplements (Recommendation & Reviews)

You’ve probably heard that probiotics are a great way to boost your gut health. And indeed, they are!

But how do you find the right probiotic for you? Where do you look? Which products are good and which are not?

Here’s an outline of what you need to look for when choosing the best probiotic supplement.

5 Questions to Ask When Buying a Probiotic

First of all, you should check off these 5 questions.

1. Will the Bacteria in the Probiotic Reach Your Gut?

A good probiotic should be designed in a way that allows the bacteria to survive the harsh acidic environment of your stomach. This means the bacteria have a better chance of arriving at your intestines ready to establish themselves and do their work.

That’s why you should look for a probiotic supplement that uses some form of time-release technology (such as BIO-tract or delayed-release capsules) that protects the probiotic bacteria and prevents them from being broken down in your stomach.[1]

2. How Many Billion CFUS of Bacteria Do I Need?

CFU stands for colony forming unit. This is the amount of live and active bacteria contained in each dose.

Generally speaking, the higher the CFU count, the more effective the probiotic. However, not all products will state how many CFUs they contain, which can be a sign that the actual count is very low.

A good probiotic supplement should contain at least 10 billion CFUs for it to be effective, or at least 5 billion CFUs for children.

3. Which Strains of Bacteria Does It Contain?

There are hundreds of different strains of bacteria, and all of them have unique properties. Some probiotics have been shown to help with specific health conditions. Most of the probiotics in commercial formulations are naturally found in a healthy gut.

Some of the best bacterial strains to look for in a probiotic are L. plantarum (for protecting the membrane that surrounds your gut), L. paracasei (for its antibacterial properties that can ward off pathogens like E. coli and Candida albicans) and L. acidophilus (to regulate acidity in your gut and boost your immune system).

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4. How Many Different Strains of Bacteria Are Included?

There are more than 1,000 different species of bacteria in a healthy gut – so it’s best to choose a probiotic supplement that contains a variety of strains.

All these strains work together, each supporting one another with their different properties. The more strains, the more work that gets done!

5. Are There Any Other Ingredients That Might Damage Your Gut Health?

Many supplement manufacturers include fillers and unnecessary ingredients to lengthen shelf life, sweeten their product, or make the contents easier to pour into capsules. Be sure to read the ingredients label carefully as some of these ‘extras’ can be harmful to gut health.

Look out for common allergens such as gluten, nuts, dairy products or animal products, especially if you’re intolerant or allergic to them.

Also, be aware that some gums (like those found in ‘gummy’ kids’ probiotics) can increase inflammation in your gut.

7 Best Probiotic Supplements Reviewed

1. Balance ONE Probiotic

    This is one probiotic supplement that ticks all the right boxes. It contains 12 strains of probiotics, with 15 billion CFUs per tablet. These include the most-researched strains such as Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and more.

    The Balance ONE Probiotic is also free from unnecessary fillers and allergens such as nuts, dairy, gluten. It’s non-GMO and vegan. And it doesn’t require refrigeration, so it’s perfect for travel or keeping on your desk at work.

    It contains only strains that are already present in the human gut, without any Soil Based Organisms (SBOs) or active yeasts.

    The most important feature of the Balance ONE probiotic is its patented delivery system, known as BIO-tract. This special patented process involves compressing the probiotic bacteria into tablets.

    This means that Balance ONE probiotics are able to survive passage through the acidic conditions of the stomach without being destroyed. Studies have shown that this delivery method gets 15 times as many bacteria past stomach acid, compared to regular vegetable capsules.

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    If you’re looking for a quality probiotic with high efficacy, Balance One is my number one choice.

    Check out Balance One Probiotic here.

    2. Renew Life Ultimate Flora Extra Care Probiotic

      This is a good probiotic that contains a wide variety of strains and a powerful dose. There are a guaranteed 30 billion live probiotic cultures including 12 probiotic strains, which makes it a good choice for anyone seeking a starter probiotic.

      It uses delayed-release vegetable capsules which, while not as effective as the BIO-tract system, are still an effective way to deliver bacteria to the gut.

      The rest of the specs check out too: multiple strains for effective support, and free from gluten, dairy, and soy.

      Check out Renew Life Ultimate Flora Extra Care Probiotic here.

      3. Vitamin Bounty – Pro 25 Probiotic & Prebiotic

        With 25 Billion organisms per dose, Vitamin Bounty is a good choice for a maintenance probiotic. It also has an impressive 13 probiotic strains to help support overall digestive health.

        It’s also made with a delayed release capsule to protect the live bacteria contained within each capsule from the harsh environment of the stomach. This helps in the delivery of the bacteria to the intestines and improves efficacy.

        There are a huge range of strains plus a nice bonus of Fermented Greens, which help as a prebiotic.

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        Check out Vitamin Bounty – Pro 25 Probiotic & Prebiotic here.

        4. Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Advanced Strength

          Again, this formula is made with the BIO-tract patented delivery method. The probiotic contents are released over an 8 to 10 hour period, which means they’re more likely to bypass the acidic environment of the stomach and move into the intestinal tract alive.

          It has the added benefit of New Zealand Kiwifruit powder, which functions as a prebiotic to help the healthy bacteria colonize, as well as supporting digestion and regularity.

          Like Balance One, Hyberbiotics Pro-15 has a guaranteed shelf life that doesn’t require refrigeration. It contains only strains that are already present in the human gut, without any Soil Based Organisms (SBOs) or active yeasts.

          Check out Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Advanced Strength here.

          5. Smart Belly Women’s Daily Probiotic

            This formula is designed specifically for women. It contains the top six probiotic strains proven to benefit a woman’s reproductive and urinary tract system, combined with Cranberry and D-Mannose.

            The CFU is 6 billion, which is less than ideal, but it does use the patented Bio-tract delivery system so that the majority of those probiotic bacteria will survive stomach acid. It’s allergy-free and requires no refrigeration.

            Check out Smart Belly Women’s Daily Probiotic here.

            6. Garden of Life Colon Daily Care 40 Billion CFU

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              This well-known brand of probiotic boasts 40 Billion CFU per capsule with 16 strains of probiotic bacteria. This includes B. lactis HN019, a strain proven to help promote bowel regularity and help relieve bloating.

              It also has the nice feature of a desiccant-lined bottle technology to support the shelf life of the probiotics. And it’s allergen-free.

              The only concern with this probiotic is that it does not use an effective method to deliver its bacteria past stomach acid, so it’s hard to say whether those 40 billion probiotic bacteria are guaranteed to reach the intestines.

              Check out Garden of Life Colon Daily Care 40 Billion CFU here.

              7. Align Probiotics Digestive Probiotic

                Last but not least, Align is designed to support digestive health. Its main feature is its inclusion of Bifidobacterium longum 35624, which the manufacturers claim will deliver 24/7 support to the gut.

                This particular strain isn’t often seen in other products. If you’re suffering from IBS, this could be a good choice.

                Check out Align Probiotics Digestive Probiotic here.

                The Bottom Line

                There are so many probiotic supplements on the market that it can be difficult to make an informed choice.

                The health supplement industry is largely unregulated and many of the cheaper products tend to be poor quality.

                You can use the questions at the top of this article to determine if your probiotic is worth the money. If you need some further guidance, the probiotics listed in this article are all good choices.

                Featured photo credit: Paweł Czerwiński via unsplash.com

                Reference

                More by this author

                Lisa Richards

                Nutritionist, Creator of The Candida Diet, Owner of TheCandidaDiet.com

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                Last Updated on April 6, 2020

                How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Life-Changing Tips

                How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Life-Changing Tips

                What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

                To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

                All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

                There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

                With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

                What follows is a list of 13 of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these tips are essential:

                1. Think Big

                  From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                  “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                  There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                  Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                  Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                  Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                  Instead be ambitious.

                  2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

                    From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                    “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                    This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                    Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                    If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                    Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                    Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                    Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                    3. Learn How to Balance Life

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                      From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                      “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                      All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                      If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                      However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                      If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                      In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                      To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                      4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

                        From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                        “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                        There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                        Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                        His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                        He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                        Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                        Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                        If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                        5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

                          From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                          “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                          This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                          It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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                          If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

                          Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                          6. Be a Person of Action

                            From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                            “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                            Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                            Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                            When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                            You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                            All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                            Applying this to you?

                            Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                            7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                              From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                              The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                              The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                              People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                              This is key to good leadership.

                              It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                              But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                              What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                              As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                              8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                                From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                                “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                                It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                                Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                                If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                                9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                                  From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                  “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                  Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                  It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                  Keep dreaming!

                                  10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                                    From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                    “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                    Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                    Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                    If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                    However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                    11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                                      From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                      “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                      It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                                      When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                                      Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                      If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                      This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                      12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                                        From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                        “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                        You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                        Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                        True success comes from work.

                                        You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                        Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                        13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                                          From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                          “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                          In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                          If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                          It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                          Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                          Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                          More Tips for Achieve Success

                                          Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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