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Last Updated on June 11, 2021

7 Best Probiotic Supplements (Recommendation and Reviews)

7 Best Probiotic Supplements (Recommendation and 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 for you.

First of all, you should check off these five 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 that 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.

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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).

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.

What Is a Good Probiotic?

Several factors go into making a good probiotic. First of all, try to look past the big numbers that are used in marketing. You’ll see adverts for probiotics that have 50 billion, 100 billion, even 200 billion CFUs! The harsh reality is that these numbers are usually irrelevant. Probiotics with high CFU counts often deliver only a few of those bacteria past your stomach acid. Time-release tablets, for example using patented technologies like BIO-tract, can deliver 15 times more bacteria to the gut than an equivalent probiotic in a vegetable capsule.[2]

For example, my preferred Balance ONE Probiotic contains 15 billion CFUs of bacteria. It uses time-release tablets, and each one of those tablets delivers the same amount of bacteria to your gut as a 225 billion CFU probiotic in a vegetable capsule.

Second, look for the strains that the probiotic contains. A good probiotic for digestive health and immune support should contain at least 5 strains, and preferably 10. All of those strains have different benefits and characteristics. The more you take, the more benefits you’ll enjoy.

Lastly, watch out for unnecessary sweeteners or flavors. No one needs their probiotics to taste like candy! Many probiotics, and especially probiotic gummies, contain a range of sweeteners and other ingredients that can actually impair your gut health.

With all the criteria in mind, here are the 7 best probiotic supplements available in the market, together with my reviews to help you choose the best one for you.

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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 only contains 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 can 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.[3]

    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. It has multiple strains for effective support and is free from gluten, dairy, and soy.

      Check out Renew Life Ultimate Flora Extra Care Probiotic here.

      3. Vitamin Bounty – Pro 25 Probiotic and Prebiotic

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        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 that protects the live bacteria contained within each capsule from the stomach’s harsh environment. This helps in the delivery of the bacteria to the intestines and improves efficacy. There is also a huge range of strains plus a nice bonus of Fermented Greens, which help as a prebiotic.

        Check out Vitamin Bounty – Pro 25 Probiotic and 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 eight to then 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 that helps the healthy bacteria colonize and supports 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 Adult Daily

            This formula contains a selection of 7 well-researched lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strains, as well as a prebiotic. The CFU is 7 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 Adult Daily 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 of 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.

                More About Probiotics

                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

                7 Best Probiotic Supplements (Recommendation and Reviews) 3 Simple Steps to Reduce Your Gut Inflammation What Helps Yeast Infections: Foods To Eat And Avoid What to Eat When Constipated? 10 Foods to Improve Your Gut Health 7 Super Fast and Effective Ways to Reduce Gas in Stomach

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                1 7 Best Probiotic Supplements (Recommendation and Reviews) 2 3 Simple Steps to Reduce Your Gut Inflammation 3 What Helps Yeast Infections: Foods To Eat And Avoid 4 What to Eat When Constipated? 10 Foods to Improve Your Gut Health 5 7 Super Fast and Effective Ways to Reduce Gas in Stomach

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                Last Updated on May 14, 2021

                3 Simple Steps to Reduce Your Gut Inflammation

                3 Simple Steps to Reduce Your Gut Inflammation

                One of the most serious – and common – causes of chronic disease is inflammation.

                High levels of inflammation in the body cause your cells to deteriorate and lose their ability to function properly. In turn, this leads to the development of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune dysfunction, and other disorders.

                Inflammation is a necessary biological process that kickstarts your immune system. Chemical mediators alert the body to the areas that need defending or repairing. Unfortunately, when inflammation continues for too long, it can have serious consequences.

                The level of inflammation in your body is influenced by a number of factors, including diet, lifestyle, and environment.[1]

                In the gut, inflammation can also be caused by an imbalance of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract. When harmful microbes or yeast such as Candida grow and spread, they can severely damage the lining of the gut. The resulting immune response can cause further inflammation and damage.

                Fortunately, reducing gut inflammation can be a matter of altering the choices you make in everyday life. In fact, there are three simple steps you can take today to reduce inflammation in your gut. Let’s take a look!

                1. Drink More Water to Get Rid of Toxins

                Every single day, we are exposed to toxins. Air pollutants, heavy metals, mold, and airborne pathogens are around us all the time – without us even knowing it.

                Many of our foods are full of toxins too, like pesticides, antibiotics, and even added sugars.

                These toxins are serious contributors to inflammation. They ‘turn on’ genes that promote inflammation causing cancer, heart disease. In the gut, these toxins can cause imbalances in your gut flora that allow inflammatory chemicals to be released. This inflammation promotes changes elsewhere in the body that can lead to chronic diseases.

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                One of the best ways to flush toxins from the body is also one of the simplest. Drink more water! Drinking plenty of water each day is an effective and essential way to help your gut and body detoxify:

                • Your intestinal tract needs water to function optimally, moving waste efficiently through the gut and out of the bowels.
                • Your liver and kidneys are two of your body’s most important detoxification organs. Both of these require a constant supply of water in order to function properly.
                • Your sweat also flushes toxins out of your body. Sweat is largely made up of water.

                Just as importantly, each of your cells requires adequate hydration to carry out its proper functions. Studies have shown that inadequate cellular hydration can contribute to the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals and even lead to inflammatory disorders.[2]

                In general, the more hydrated you are, the less inflammation will be present in your body.

                What to Do:

                Try to drink 2-3L of water each day, or six to eight glasses. Make sure your water is fresh and filtered, or at least free of contaminants such as chlorine, fluoride and heavy metals.

                It may be helpful to carry a bottle of water with you throughout the day, so you can keep sipping it instead of guzzling a large amount of water at once.

                One of the healthiest ways to drink water is with a squeeze of lemon juice. Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C and can boost your immunity.

                Not sure if you’re properly dehydrated? There’s an easy way to find out! Check the color of your urine when you’re next in the bathroom. If it’s yellow, your body likely needs more water. If it’s clear, you’re properly hydrated.

                2. Exercise Regularly to Keep Your Detoxification Organs Active

                Daily exercise is absolutely essential for keeping your whole body in good working order, including your gut.

                Physical activity stimulates your body’s major detoxification organs, including your intestines, urinary tract, sweat glands, circulatory system, and lymphatics.

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                When these systems are able to move toxins and waste out of the body, inflammation is kept to a minimum.

                New research shows that as little as 20 minutes of exercise could have anti-inflammatory effects on the gut and the entire body.

                Exercise improves the body’s anti-inflammatory response by activating the sympathetic nervous system. This boosts your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. As a result, your body releases hormones including epinephrine and norepinephrine into the bloodstream, which have the job of activating the adrenal receptors of immune cells.

                In a recent study, researchers examined the effects of a single 20-minute session of exercise on immune system activation. They found that even this small amount of exercise was enough to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by 5%.[3]

                Inflammation is a necessary part of the body’s immune response, but too much inflammation can lead to disease. Chronic inflammation may contribute to diabetes, obesity, celiac disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia, or bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

                It seems that even short periods of exercise can reduce the body’s inflammatory response, which may lead to exercise being recommended as a part of future treatment plans for inflammatory conditions.

                Exercise also forces fresh blood to your tissues, which reduces inflammation by helping flush away metabolic debris. It provides nutrients to inflamed or damaged tissues, which facilitates repair and restoration.

                Just like hydration, exercise also keeps your digestive system moving and promotes good digestive health, further reducing inflammation in your gut.

                What to Do:

                If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, it’s vital that you make a plan to walk, jog, swim, or stretch for at least 30 minutes every day.

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                Most modern phones now come with some kind of activity tracker. For example, if you own an iPhone then you might already be familiar with the iOS Health app. This handy app will track the steps that you take each day. Many people aim for 10,000 steps per day, which is a very healthy goal to have.

                Equally, try to avoid sitting for extended periods of time. If you work long hours, set a timer to get yourself up and moving on a regular basis, at least every hour.

                And, as I mentioned earlier, be sure to follow your exercise with plenty of water!

                3. Take Curcumin — a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Remedy

                Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, a bright orange spice. It’s one of the most powerful, natural, anti-inflammatory remedies on earth, especially for the gut.

                Curcumin aids digestion by relaxing the smooth muscles on the walls and helping with the movement of food through the intestines. It also helps to relieve the buildup of gas and bloating as food is being broken down.

                In the colon, curcumin promotes a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which is essential for your immune system to function optimally.  It also encourages cells of the intestinal lining to regenerate and heal following damage caused by pathogenic bacteria or yeast overgrowth such as Candida.

                Recent studies have even shown that curcumin may an effective means of inhibiting intestinal fungal infections. Clinical trials have reported that high concentrations of curcumin have a powerful antifungal effect against this harmful yeast, as well as other fungal infections. There is evidence that curcumin can inhibit the growth of Candida albicans more effectively than common antifungal drugs.[4]

                Research has shown that curcumin’s medicinal activity is largely due to its phytochemicals. These are plant chemicals that harbor antioxidative and antibacterial properties. These phytochemicals may also help to ease nausea caused by mental issues such as anxiety and stress.

                The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity in curcumin may also help reduce gut pain caused by spicy foods, alcohol, or pathogenic bacteria. The incredible compounds in curcumin support your natural digestive processes, which can mean that your gut doesn’t have to work as hard to break down food. 

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                What to Do:

                Taking curcumin is as simple as finding a quality supplement from a good health store.

                You can also blend turmeric powder into smoothies, meals or a turmeric latte. Be sure to add a healthy fat such as coconut oil, as well as black pepper. This helps your body to absorb the active constituents of the curcumin.

                The Bottom Line

                When reducing inflammation in your gut, your first priority should be to reduce the amount of pro-inflammatory factors in your diet and lifestyle.

                The three steps mentioned above are very easy to incorporate into your daily routines, and will help to minimize the inflammatory processes happening inside your body.

                By supporting your body’s detoxification functions with adequate exercise and hydration, you’ll be dramatically reducing the amount of harmful toxins that your immune system has to fight every day. Fewer toxins means your body can focus more on healing!

                This is significantly improved by adding curcumin to your daily diet, whether as a supplement or in your meals. Curcumin is a remarkable ingredient for an inflamed gut: it will help soothe those irritated membranes, fight off yeasts such as Candida, and support the healing of the intestinal lining.

                Take these simple steps and start to reduce your inflammation today. Your gut will thank you!

                More Resources About Gut Health

                Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                Reference

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