Chicago, IL, April 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Probiotic supplements are one of the hottest new trends in the supplement industry. New research has found that the gut flora, or the bacteria in our digestive tract, plays a more important role in our health than we previously thought.
Probiotics are an easy way to improve the health of your gut flora to ensure you have plenty of good bacteria in your digestive tract.
Hundreds of companies are joining the probiotic train and taking advantage of the new interest in probiotics. This can make finding the best probiotics very difficult.
After extensive research, our dedicated team has thoroughly evaluated dozens of probiotics and found the very best probiotics that maximize effectiveness without sacrificing safety.
Here are the best probiotics for 2021 and beyond:
Ranking the Best Probiotics in 2021
There’s a reason why some supplement websites have created entire guides about the ins and outs of probiotic dietary supplements. The probiotic and prebiotic industry has always been filled with misinformation, and the terms and phrases used within the supplement have long been a source of confusion for consumers trying to start on the ground floor. One guide we read promised to “strip away some of the difficult language” of the industry and put it into words that the average reader would understand.
We considered this advice carefully when crafting today’s comprehensive guide. We plan to run users through lists of the top probiotic dietary supplements available in 2021. Throughout the guide, you may see us use terms like microbes, good bacteria, and more. This kind of specific language can be difficult for new supplement users to understand, so we plan to start with a brief introduction into the nature of the probiotic supplement industry. It might be helpful to trace the word “probiotic” back to its roots. Probiotic means “pro-life,” and the research currently associated with the growing probiotic supplement industry makes this name extremely fitting.
Probiotic supplements work by introducing “good bacteria” into the body. Some people operate under the assumption that all bacteria is bad and causes disease and infection. In truth, some bacteria are natural and very good for the health of the body. There are actually four unique strains of bacteria native to the human gut. Having too much bad bacteria can create infection and illness. But an equally significant problem experienced by some people is the opposite; they have too few good bacterial strains in their body. Around 500 or more unique species of bacteria naturally live in the human body, meaning that true health and wellness has a lot to do with balancing good bacteria with bad.
Probiotics help to create more good bacteria in the body. While the body naturally facilitates the growth of some bacterial strains in the gut and the rest of the body’s organs, probiotic supplements provide a bit of extra help to people who need it. The growth of new bacterial colonies in the gut and other parts of the body can be an important step in the healing process for people who have experienced deteriorating colon and gut health. Doctors will prescribe medications to help with the growth of certain bacterial strains, and eating foods like yogurt is a good way to ensure that your body gets all the bacteria it needs to function.
Are you looking to improve your health and wellness by using probiotic supplements? Scams are certainly common within this industry, which continues to grow in popularity every year. We do not want users who are already suffering with gut and colon issues to fall victim to scam formulas. Supplements in this guide have been carefully vetted so that we can bring you only the highest quality ingredients, the most reputable manufacturers, and the most scientifically supported formulas available.
Navigating the world of gut health is exceedingly difficult. Although gut and colon health has been a concept in the medical world for hundreds of years, doctors still don’t know everything there is to know about this complicated part of the body. Imbalance in the gut can be easy to detect, but almost impossible to genuinely treat. The best way to improve gut health involves a combination of medication and lifestyle change. Regardless of which top probiotic supplement formula you choose to use, combining the formula with a solid diet and regular exercise is essential to long-term treatment success. But you’re not here for a lesson eating right and following the doctor’s orders. The question on most consumers’ minds is the same: are probiotic supplements really helpful?
Top Rated – 1MD Complete Probiotics
In the world of probiotics, 1MD Complete Probiotics is in a class of its’ own. Each capsule of Complete Probiotics has an astounding 51 billion live CFUs and 11 different strains of bacteria for maximum biodiversity. This increases the chance for a healthier, balanced gut biome.
To prevent the destruction of CFUs in the stomach, Complete Probiotics uses delayed release capsules to ensure probiotics safely reach the intestines. Once they are there, the patented Nutraflora® prebiotic fiber nourishes the probiotics to optimize effectiveness and deliver results unlike any other probiotic supplement we researched.
1MD Complete Probiotics is manufactured in an FDA-registered lab using GMP practices. Their capsules are vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy free and preservative free.
Simply put, there is no better probiotic supplement out there than 1MD Complete Probiotics. If you’re a beginner you may want to try a lower dosed product to get used to probiotics but you’ll likely end up with Complete Products.
Runner Up Probiotic – BioTrust Pro-X10™
We’ve reviewed hundreds of different supplements and compiled dozens of lists of the best supplements in various individual categories. Time and time again BioTrust products rank amongst the best, if not the best.
Their probiotic supplement BioTrust Pro-X10™ is no different. Pro X-10 combines 5 billion CFUs with 7.5 grams of patented prebiotic to support a healthy balance of gut bacteria, improve digestion, and enhance immune function.
Pro-X10 contains six different strains of bacteria including three strains of lactobacillus, which are among the most well researched probiotic bacteria known to man. Additionally, Pro-X10 contains a patented microencapsulation technology to prevent the breakdown and destruction of the probiotic ingredients before they enter the gut.
Overall, there is not a negative thing to say about Pro-X10. It has well researched strains of bacteria, prebiotics to help feed probiotic bacteria, and its’ manufactured by one of the most well-respected supplement companies in the world. You simply cannot go wrong with BioTrust X-10.
#3 – Garden of Life RAW Probiotics
Garden of Life RAW Probiotics is one of the top selling probiotic supplements on Amazon with an astounding 2,753 customer reviews and an average rating of 4.6.
Each capsule of RAW Probiotics contains an incredible 100 billion CFU, which is one of the highest amounts of CFUs we could find. Likewise, RAW Probiotics uses 34 different strains of bacteria to improve gut bacteria. Several of these strains are specifically designed to enhance immunity as well.
If you’re looking for a high-dose, biodiverse probiotic product, then you won’t find a product that suits your needs more than Garden of Life Raw Probiotics.
#4 – Organifi Balance
Balance is a fairly new product from the well-respected supplement company Organifi. Each portable stick contains 20 billion CFUs and 3mg of VitaFiber®, a patented form of fiber that acts as a prebiotic to nourish bacteria in the gut.
In total, there are 5 different strains of bacteria in Organifi Balance so it’s not necessarily the most biodiverse probiotic on the market. However, Balance does contain three of the most thoroughly researched probiotic strains so when you combine it with a solid dosage of 20 billion CFUs, you can feel safe knowing you’ve got a solid probiotic on your hands.
#5 – BioFit Probiotic
BioFit Probiotic claim to fame is that it has the most live CFUs that target weight loss specifically we could find in any of the products we reviewed. In one just capsule there are an unbelievable 5.75 billion CFUs bacteria per pill. This is 4 to 5 times the normal number of bacteria found in most probiotics that cater towards weight loss in our research.
There are also seven different strains of bacteria in BioFit so it is fairly biodiverse led by the patent pending DE111 ingredient. All seven of the strains are popular strains and thoroughly researched so you can rest easy knowing they are effective as these are hailed as miracle microbes by Nature's Formulas.
Our favorite thing about BioFit probiotic is the diverse number of strains though. BioFit has their potent strength 5.75 CFUs probiotics as their flagship product. However, they also have an incredible 180-day money back guarantee (with no prescription needed) that specifically target fat burning and optimal digestion. They all have the special spore delivery system to ensure the probiotics do not get destroyed by stomach acids too
If you’re looking for the highest dose weight loss probiotic you can find, then BioFit Probiotic by Nature's Formula is a fantastic solution.
#6 – LiveWell Pro-45
Pro-45 is another top-quality product from the popular LiveWell line of supplements. LiveWell Pro-45 is made with 45 billion live cultures and 11 different clinically studied strains - all of which are proven to assist with acid and bile resistance.
LiveWell also adds NutraFlora® prebiotic to help further boost the vitality and growth of gut flora to maintain a healthy balance in your gut.
There’s nothing fancy about Pro-45. It doesn’t contain the most CFUs per dose and it doesn’t have the most strains of bacteria. However, it does come with a the combine the best of both worlds with clinically studied probiotics and prebiotics and therefore it’s an excellent choice, especially if you already are a LiveWell customer.
For an added bonus, it won’t break the bank like many of other popular probiotics either.
Our Ranking Factors
The two most important factors in any probiotic supplement are the specific strains of bacteria used as well as the dosage of each strain within the product. Both of these factors were the two most important factors we considered.
Specific bacteria strains:
Most clinical studies have researched a specific bacteria strain, not several strains the way most probiotics are formulated. We compiled a list of individual bacteria strains involved in clinical studies and gave preference to those that were attributed to specific health benefits.
We then looked for probiotics that contained several of these bacteria strains because we felt they were more likely to amplify the potential benefits. Five or more individual strains of bacteria was our preference and we had a “the more, the better” mentality when researching products.
Probiotic dosage comes in the form of CFUs, or colony forming units. CFUs are the number of live bacteria within a probiotic supplement. Since bacteria are microscopic, the dosage of CFUs will often number in the several billions.
Dosage is important because a large percentage of bacteria in probiotics won’t actually make it to your gut. This is because most of the CFUs are destroyed in your stomach before they can get digested and work their way to your gut.
This is why it is best to have a probiotic with at least 10 billion CFUs per serving. Clinical studies have used higher doses of upwards of 50 billion CFUs, so higher doses are even better and are still considered safe.
Since most of the CFUs in probiotics will never make it to your gut, specialized delivery systems are becoming more popular to protect more of the CFUs.
Things like microencapsulation, adding fat molecules, or using an extended release formula are all examples of specialized delivery systems meant to improve the effectiveness of probiotics. These mechanisms prevent the stomach from breaking down and killing the majority of the CFUs so more bacteria can reach your gut and potentially improve your health.
We can some extra consideration to probiotic products that contained one of these specialized delivery mechanisms. It was not a requirement since a probiotic of 100 billion CFUs can still be just as effective as a probiotic with 10 billion and a specialized delivery system. However, we still felt there was likely a better chance to feel real results in products that protected the bacteria.
Product purity and design:
Finally, we applied our standard for product purity and good manufacturing practices. We wanted products manufactured in an FDA-registered facility that maintained strict good manufacturing practices.
We also considered products that clearly labeled what strains of bacteria were in their product and the dosage. Additionally, we looked for products that also contained prebiotic ingredients since they help feed gut flora to keep the good bacteria in your gut healthy.
Benefits of Probiotics
Clinical research has demonstrated clear health benefits to taking probiotics. A healthy gut flora is beneficial to your immune system function, digestion, weight management, and hormone production. In addition, women tend to benefit more from probiotics than me because probiotics have demonstrated the ability to improve vaginal health and to reduce the risk of yeast infections.
Probiotics can improve digestion and eliminate digestion problems:
The primary focus of clinical research involving probiotics has been its’ relationship with digestion and digestive disorders.
Research has shown a clear connection with probiotics and improved digestive function. One study conducted in France found that probiotic supplements improved digestive health and eliminating common digestive issues like diarrhea and constipation.
They concluded that probiotics increase resilience of the intestinal wall to destructive agents. Probiotics can also reduce disease related changes to intestinal structure, which can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, and bloating.
Their research suggests probiotics can be beneficial for virtually any digestive problem ranging from simple digestive problems like diarrhea all the way to irritable bowel disease and ulcerative colitis. In fact, a follow up study in 2009 confirmed this when adults with ulcerative colitis saw remission after taking probiotics.
Probiotics can help treat and prevent yeast infections and urinary tract infections:
Urinary tract infections and yeast infections are the result of fungi or harmful bacteria colonizing in the urinary or genital tract. Healthy bacteria would normally be able to remove these harmful pathogens and prevent their reproduction and colonization.
Probiotics are quickly becoming a popular treatment and prevention method for yeast and urinary tract infections. Studies have shown that the lactobacillus strain of bacteria is particularly effective and most probiotics targeted towards women will contain a large dose of lactobacillus.
Probiotics may help stop weight gain and even cause weight loss:
The exact link isn’t quite known but researchers believe that bad bacteria can slow down the body’s ability to burn off energy by inhibiting the production of certain hormones that control your metabolism.
Bad bacteria can also slow down the body’s ability to digest food which may cause weight gain due to severe constipation.
More research is still needed in this area but there is an overwhelming amount of anecdotal evidence available. A significant portion of individuals that take probiotics have reported losing weight - especially during the first few weeks of use. Therefore, it appears that there is a real link between probiotics and healthy weight management.
Probiotics support healthy immune system function:
Your immune system is a large and complicated system spread throughout your entire body – but it starts in the digestive tract.
Researchers believe that probiotics can help support the immune system by introducing good bacteria into your gut that kill off the bad bacteria and other pathogens that otherwise will harm your body.
One study even found that probiotics may reduce or alleviate allergies all together by helping your immune system focus on bad pathogens and not on allergens.
Probiotics may help balance hormones:
Believe it or not but the bacteria in your gut play a huge role in the production of important hormones in your body. The estrobolome is a collection of bacteria in the gut that influence the circulation of estrogen. This can affect libido, weight gain, and mood - especially in women.
In addition, gut bacteria influence the body’s rate of digestion and the production of metabolic hormones that control weight. In a study conducted by the Imperial College London, researchers found probiotics could change how much fat the body absorbed by changing the way bile acids are metabolized.
Researchers believe that probiotics can regulate how much fat the body can absorb, potentially blocking the storage of new fat.
Safety and Side Effects of Probiotics
In general, probiotic supplements are generally recognized as safe and tolerated well by most individuals. However, there are a few potential side effects, especially during the first few days of use.
Digestive issues are the most common side effect associated with probiotics. Gas, bloating, and constipation can occur, although these side effects typically disappear after a few days of use.
There is some evidence that certain strains of probiotics may cause histamine in the digestive tract. Those with a sensitivity or allergy to histamine may experience an allergic reaction and experience watery eyes, runny nose, itching, or trouble breathing. Although potentially serious, the chance for this reaction to occur is very minimal at best.
Probiotic supplements are fairly new and have only been really studied for about a decade. As you can expect, the dosage used in clinical trials is all over the place.
Another issue is that most clinical trials focus on a specific strain of bacteria whereas most supplements contain several strains of probiotics. Still we can still figure out a rough idea of what to look for as far as dosage is concerned.
In a dozen+ studies, the minimum dosage we found was ten billion CFUs (colony forming units). Most studies used an even greater dosage between fifty and one hundred billion CFUs
All of the clinical studies evaluated participants over multiple months. This indicates that even at high doses, probiotics might take a while for you to see the full effects. In general, take a higher dose of probiotics since a significant portion of the bacteria are destroyed by your digestive system during digestion.
Q. What exactly are probiotics?
Probiotics are living organisms found in your digestive tract that are responsible for supporting healthy gut flora. Having a healthy gut flora has been linked to another of health benefits like weight loss, better digestion, healthier skin, and enhanced immune function.
It is possible to take probiotics through your diet in foods like yogurt, pickles, and sauerkraut. Unfortunately, most people cannot consume these foods on a regular basis, which is why probiotic supplements are common.
Q. Do I really need a probiotic?
Experts disagree on whether or not you actually need a probiotic. Evidence suggests probiotics can be very beneficial to your health, but may not be necessary.
However, if you’ve been taking an antibiotic, then a probiotic is an especially good idea. That’s because probiotics kill the bacteria in your gut, including the good bacteria. This can throw off your gut flora, which need replacing. In this case, taking a probiotic can quickly replace the good bacteria lost while taking antibiotics.
For most people, taking a probiotic isn’t a necessity, but it certainly can help improve digestion and immune system.
Q. What are some of the benefits associated with probiotics?
Taking probiotic supplements have proven health benefits. Studies have shown that probiotic supplements can help improve digestion & immune system function.
Other studies found that bad gut flora can slow the body’s metabolism and diminish the body’s production of essential hormones. This can cause bloating and weight gain. Taking probiotics may reverse this effect and aid in weight loss in some individuals.
Q. What’s the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?
Both probiotics and prebiotics are vital to your health. However, they have two very different functions and it’s important to know the difference.
Prebiotics are substances that come from carbs (mostly fiber) that humans cannot digest. When consumed, prebiotics past through the digestive tract and are then eaten by healthy bacteria in the gut. This helps the bacteria flourish and maintains a healthy gut flora.
Probiotics are live bacteria that live in foods or supplements. Probiotics help support a healthy gut flora, which has been linked to almost a dozen benefits.
Eating both prebiotic and probiotic foods are very important for various bodily functions and maintaining the right balance will keep your gut microbiota healthy.
Q. Are there any side effects of probiotics?
While probiotics are considered generally recognized as safe and tolerated by most people, there can be side effects.
Most people will not experience side effects, but for those that do, the most common side effects are gas and bloating. These side effects typically subside after a few days or a few weeks.
Certain strains of probiotics may produce histamine in the digestive tract. This can trigger an allergic reaction and cause symptoms like itching, watery eyes, runny nose, or trouble breathing.
To mitigate the risk of side effects, it is recommended you start with a lower strain of probiotics and work your way up to a higher dose.
Q. Can probiotics help with weight loss?
It is possible for probiotics to aid in weight loss, although not directly. There is some evidence that a bad gut flora can interfere with the production of certain hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism.
Studies have shown that improving gut flora can help manage the body’s production of hormones – including those that control the body’s metabolism. Therefore, it’s very possible to see some minor weight loss when taking a probiotic.
Q. How many CFUs are good for a probiotic?
Most probiotics contain anywhere from 1 billion to 100 billion colony forming units, or CFUs. However, the # of CFUs is not nearly as important as other factors.
The delivery system and quality of strains is far more important and effective than the # of CFUs. A high quality probiotic will contain several essential individual strains of bacteria and a delivery system that protects the probiotics as they enter your digestive tract.
The common saying now is that your gut flora is the key to your overall health. Research is quickly finding that this is very true.
In fact, a healthy gut flora is essential to your digestion system function, immune system function, your hormone production, and your metabolism.
With the right strains of bacteria and a proper delivery system, probiotics can be an effective way to keep your gut flora healthy and make sure your body is operating smoothly.
The answer is an unmitigated “yes.” Probiotic supplements are relatively new in their latest forms, and most of the formulas on our list were first created in the past few years. But the concept behind these interesting supplements has been around for many decades. Scientists have known for over a century that the body is filled with both good and bad bacteria. Only recently have some probiotic supplement companies figured out how to spur bacterial colony growth within the body.
A few common bacterial strains are featured in most probiotic formulas. Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and a few other strains are extremely popular. Most supplements on our list include a combination of these strains for maximum effectiveness. The best probiotic supplements are frequently composed exclusively of these strains; it isn’t necessary to combine a long list of additional ingredients to make this supplementation concept work.
Probiotic formulas also help people to fight pathogens, build immunity, metabolize hormones, and even synthesize key vitamins and minerals. Probiotics are also frequently combined with probiotics to help provide a more comprehensive treatment plan for people who want to improve overall digestive health. Probiotic bacterial strains are actually fed by prebiotics. Probiotics, when used properly, can help both men and women in a long list of different ways.
Who should use the probiotics on the list above? Our general answer: anyone. Anybody can use probiotics to help boost immunity, maximize gut health, and improve the digestive process. The main target audience for most of these supplements is aging people, but this is only because elderly men and women are most likely to suffer from some sort of problem involving the gut. The reality is that nearly anyone can develop these issues, and a great way to avoid long-term issues in the gut as we age is to turn toward probiotic supplementation.
It’s not easy to navigate the world of probiotic supplementation. The confusing terms surrounding the industry can make it difficult for new consumers to find the formulas that are right for them. We hope that the guide above provides you with enough background information to make a more informed decision about the top probiotic supplements of 2021. If you are interested in using a formula like the ones above, we encourage you to conduct your own research and consider trying probiotics today!
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