Choosing the Best Probiotic Supplements – Top 10 Brands

Best Probiotic Supplement Brands

We often hear about the importance of exercise, diet, and how best to take care of our body. Yet, we place so much emphasis on what we do with our bodies through exercise and what we put into them via our diet, that we often neglect a pretty important step in the health process, which is what happens once we take in the food.

This is known as the digestive system and it is one of our most vital systems for overall health, though it rarely gets the same publicity as the cardiovascular or respiratory systems in regard to health and supplementation. That being said, there are certain compounds and key elements for our digestive system, particularly our gut (large intestine, colon, stomach etc.) that helps to glean the most nutrients from food and filter the waste out.

Perhaps the most important element within this system for maintaining good overall gut health is biotic supplements. Biotics are loosely defined as a category of elements that involve bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are bacteria that tend to already be within our gut, but there are also probiotics that can be taken as a supplement to increase the number of good bacteria in our gut, a critical aspect of gut health. In this article, we’ll break down exactly what good gut health is and how probiotics help, what to look for in a good probiotic and some of the best products on the market.

What Are Probiotic Supplements?

Probiotics, as previously mentioned are good bacteria that can be ingested orally to help our digestive system function properly. While bacteria may often be considered a bad thing, or associated with germs and sickness, however there are in fact good bacteria that help to balance out the “bad” bacteria in our body and specifically within our gut, primarily within the colon. Probiotics are often found in foods like yogurt and dairy or fermented foods such as sauerkraut, but can be taken as a supplement, particularly for people who may be experiencing digestive issues.

In optimal conditions, the good bacteria in our body naturally outnumbers the bad bacteria through our diet and normal physiological conditions. However, over time the bad bacteria can out-number the good bacteria for a variety of reasons, whether that be lifestyle factors such as poor diet, sickness, or otherwise. In these instances, probiotics are especially useful, however it is a good practice to use them regularly to build up a tolerance to situations that can deplete good bacteria numbers.

Common Ingredients of Probiotic Products

Probiotics are comprised of very small bacteria that number in the millions, and there are many variations, certainly too many to list and review exhaustively. However, there are some common variations that tend to occur, two of which would be the most common. First, is Lactobacillus, most commonly found in yogurt or fermented foods. The other is Bifidobacterium, which is found mostly in dairy products.

In addition, probiotic supplements may often be combined with other products and ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and so on. It is important to bear in mind your particular needs or goals when choosing a probiotic and evaluate additional ingredients accordingly, as they may not be necessary or even counter-productive.

Science Behind Probiotics

There have been many scientific studies conducted on the efficacy of probiotic supplements. Because there are so many different types of microorganisms that are considered “probiotics”, there are a lot of different opinions in the scientific community. Basically, the thought that probiotics are good for many different conditions is largely oversimplified. The reality is that specific cultures and strains of bacteria are good for treating different conditions, but that probiotics in general are not some sort of magic supplement that can fix all your health issues.

In other words, different strains of bacteria are good for different things. Some strains can change the gut environment to make it harder for “bad” bacteria to survive, which can be useful for short-term illnesses. Other strains directly break down the toxins that can cause conditions like diarrhea. Others can change the perception of pain and discomfort, which can be useful for stomach conditions. And other strains are already present in the body, and/or don’t really have much of an effect at all!

There are hundreds, possibly thousands of bacterial strains that can be helpful in the body. With so many different strains, how is it possible to know which are helping and which aren’t? Well, simply put, the best probiotic supplements are formulated using the most scientifically studied and most effective strains available.

The American College of Gastroenterology published a systematic review of options for IBS and chronic constipation, concluding that probiotics are effective for irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Many people use probiotics for constipation, IBS, diarrhea and other digestive issues, and these uses have been studied in the scientific community.

Most experts agree that probiotics are effective in helping digestive issues, whether they’re taken in supplement form or consumed in fermented and cultured foods such as yogurt. For many people, their diets will deliver them adequate probiotics, making supplements unnecessary. Then again, many of the most effective probiotic supplements contain strains not found in foods, so you may experience different benefits from supplements vs. foods.

As for immune health, the scientific community agrees that probiotic supplements can boost the immune system, helping you stay healthy and avoid sickness. Researchers at Harvard University are currently studying the connection between probiotics and immune health, and the results so far are promising.

Other uses of probiotics, like for skin conditions like acne and eczema, are less studied in clinical trials, but have been shown to be effective for many people. Many people use probiotics for weight loss, which has proven to be effective for some people but has not been studied in clinical trials.

Precautions and Side Effects

Side effects from probiotic supplements are generally non-existent or at worst mild as long the recommended dosage is followed. That is a critical component of using pro-biotic supplements effectively, however, as the recommended dosage is what must be consumed and over-reaching for more can have much worse side effects.

Side effects from pro-biotic supplements may include bloating, an upset stomach or elevated heart rate. Most of these side effects tend to occur only when the recommended dosage has not been followed, thus the reason the recommended dosage is crucial.

It is especially important for those with generally weaker immune systems such as children and elderly consumers to check with their medical professional prior to starting probiotics, as there is a small chance that consuming good bacteria could make you sick if your immune system is not up to the task of filtering them properly.

Overall, probiotic supplements are generally considered safe and effective as long as the recommended guidelines and dosages are followed. If you are not sure if they are safe for you consult your medical professional.

How to Pick a Good Probiotic Supplement

When choosing a probiotic supplement there are a variety of factors to take into account. Your personal preferences will play a major part in finding the right selection for you, for example if you prefer a powdered option you can mix with a drink or an edible option such as options in capsule form.

Some probiotic supplements will skew towards a specific demographic or training goal, such as improving energy or helping with muscle growth or recovery; your personal goals will need to align with the stated purpose of the product in order to see the best results.

Flavor is of course important and not all probiotic supplements are particularly tasty, you’ll want to search for an option with a flavor you generally like to make the supplement more palatable and easier to use.

Finally, price and budget are a factor as well. When cross-referenced with your other needs, the best option will need to fit into your budget, and while you generally may get what you pay for, there are some very effective probiotic supplements that won’t break the bank.

Top 10 Probiotic Products

We have put together a list of our top 10 recommended probiotic supplements. Each one has a short breakdown of its highlights, primary ingredients and usages, as well as a brief profile for the company who makes the product.

Check out all 10 and look for the best option that not only comes highly recommended but fits your individual needs and desires for a probiotic supplement. We hope you enjoy and find the best product for you!


1. Culturelle Digestive Health Probiotic

Culturelle Digestive Health Probiotic

Culturelle Digestive Health Probiotic is one of the best probiotic options on the market. It comes in capsule form and delivers 10 billion CFU’s per serving. It is one of the most potent options on the market, with the equivalent of 10 cups of yogurt in a single serving!

Product Highlights:

  • 10 billion active probiotic cultures of Lactobacillus GG.
  • Contains 100% Lactobacillus GG, making it one of the purest forms on the market
  • Contains no common allergens like gluten or soy
  • Comes in a convenient capsule form
  • Reasonably priced at $0.40 per serving
  • Small and convenient serving size of only one capsule

Key Ingredients: (per 1 serving)

  • 10 billion cells of Lactobacillus GG
  • 200mg Inulin (chicory root extract)
  • Gelatin (capsule)
  • Vegetable Magnesium Stearate
  • Silica and Titanium Dioxide (color)

Company Profile:

Culturelle is a division of i-Health, a subsidiary of DSM Nutritional Products. I-Health is a global health and wellness company, originally located and headquartered in Cromwell, Connecticut. They believe in using science and research to create quality products for customers.

Why We Recommend It:

Culturelle’s Digestive Health Probiotic is one of the strongest products on the market, packing enough good bacteria into a single capsule that it would be the equivalent of 10 cups of yogurt. In addition, it is convenient and affordable, and is one of the purest options on the market offering 100% Lactobacillus. Overall, it is an excellent product and one of our top probiotic choices.

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2. Schiff Digestive Advantage Daily Probiotic

Schiff Digestive Advantage Daily Probiotic

Schiff Digestive Advantage Daily Probiotic is an excellent probiotic capsule to be taken once a day. It offers 3.2 billion CFU’s, and uses a special patented probiotic called BC30, which survives stomach acid better than the average probiotic.

Product Highlights:

  • Offers 3.2 billion CFU’s in every serving
  • Offers relief for bloating and IBS.
  • Includes BC30, a patented probiotic that is specially made to survive stomach acid
  • Has no artificial flavors, fillers or preservatives
  • Serving size is only 2 capsules
  • Not suitable for children

Key Ingredients: (per serving)

  • 2 billion CFU’s
  • BC30 patented probiotic
  • Also includes maltodextrin, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide, microcrystalline cellulose, silicon dioxide.
  • Contains soy

Company Profile:

Digestive Advantage is a section of Schiff Vitamins, a large nutrition and health provider that provides various probiotic products from capsules to gummies. They use their specific formulas to address digestive issues with their specially targeted probiotic formulas.

Why We Recommend It:

Digestive Advantage Daily Probiotic from Schiff Vitamins is one of the best products on the market, and their patented BC30 formula is an excellent option to ease digestive and stomach issues while adding 3.2 billion CFU’s of quality probiotics, making it a great probiotic option.

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3. Trunature Digestive Probiotic

Trunature Digestive Probiotic

Trunature is a digestive probiotic supplement designed to maintain digestive health and support a healthy immune system. It delivers one of the largest doses of Lactobacillus acidophilus, with a stated 10 billion CFU’s. With no other ingredients or fillers involved, it is a strong choice for an excellent probiotic.

Product Highlights:

  • Helps to maintain digestive health.
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Offsets some of the side effects of antibiotics that may have lowered good bacteria counts.
  • Comes in a single capsule serving
  • Affordable, at $0.21 per serving

Key Ingredients: (per serving, exact ingredient amounts not specified)

  • Probiotic blend, 10 billion CFU’s, including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, L rhamnosus GG

Company Profile:

TruNature is a health and supplement company with a wide variety of available products, ranging from probiotics to vitamins and more. They are distributed through the Trunature.net affiliate marketing site and work to provide customers with affordable and quality products.

Why We Recommend It:

This is one of the best probiotic options on the market, as it delivers a whopping 10 billion CFU’s per single capsule. Trunature’s Digestive Probiotic can help with digestive health, immune system support, and many of the other benefits of a quality probiotic supplement with a convenient single capsule serving and affordable cost, making it one of the best values on the market.

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4. Ortho Molecular Products Ortho Biotic

Ortho Molecular Products Ortho Biotic

Ortho Biotic from Ortho Molecular Products is one of, if not the single strongest probiotic capsules on the market. It uses a special proprietary blend that delivers 20 billion CFU’s per serving. While it is one of the most expensive options on the market, it certainly delivers with one of the largest amounts of probiotics per serving available.

Product Highlights:

  • Delivers 20 billion CFU’s per serving
  • Uses a proprietary blend, thus minimal individual bacteria amounts are available
  • Comes in a single capsule serving
  • Expensive, at $2.12 per serving is one of the more expensive options on the market
  • Helps the body regulate vitamin uptake and supports a healthier gut and immune system

Key Ingredients: (per serving)

  • 20 billion CFU’s proprietary blend:
    • Lactobacillus acidophilus
    • Lactobacillus paracasei
    • Bifidobacterium lactis
    • Bifidobacterium bifidum
    • Lactobacillus plantarum
    • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • 2 billion CFU’s of Sccharomyces boulardii

Company Profile:

Ortho Molecular has been in business for 25 years and takes pride in their commitment to efficacy. They combine evidence-based formulations and superior raw ingredients to develop quality products and supplements for their customers.

Why We Recommend It:

Ortho Biotic from Ortho Molecular Products is one of the strongest probiotics available on the market and is a very high-quality product. It is also one of the more expensive products, and its key proprietary blend does not list individual bacteria counts thus it does not receive the highest marks possible, but it is arguably the strongest product available for those looking for a strong dosage of good bacteria.

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5. Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra Probiotic Formula

Garden Of Life Primal Defense Ultra Probiotic Formula

Primal Defense Ultra Probiotic Formula from Garden of Life is one of the best products available if you are looking for an organic probiotic that comes from all-natural sources. True to the Garden of Life brand, Primal Defense Ultra is unique in its inclusion of soil-based probiotics, making it the best choice for an organic or all-natural probiotic approach.

Product Highlights:

  • Uses soil-based probiotics, using their special Homeostatic Soil Organisms blend.
  • Delivers 5 billion CFU’s per serving, smaller than some of its competitors
  • Very affordable at $0.31 per serving.
  • Serving size is 1 convenient capsule
  • Not suitable for children
  • Also provides Iron and plant minerals for improved health.

Key Ingredients: (per serving)

  • 2mg Iron
  • 5 billion CFU HSO Probiotic Blend, including Saccharomyces boulardi, Barely Grass, Organic Oat Grass, and Lactobacillus plantarum
  • 290mg Ionic plant-based minerals

Company Profile:

Garden of Life, the maker of Primal Defense Ultra Probiotic Formula, is a popular manufacturer of health and fitness supplements, along with health foods and related products. They have been a leader in the health supplement industry and specialize in utilizing raw whole foods and organic sources for their products.

Why We Recommend It:

Primal Defense Ultra is one of the best choices available for an organic or plant and soil-based probiotic. While it is not as strong in bacteria per serving as its competitors, it does deliver all-natural probiotics at a very affordable price, with the added benefit of extra vitamins and minerals due to its organic roots. This is a great choice for vegetarians or those who value all-natural supplements.

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6. Florastor

Florastor

Florastor is a daily probiotic supplement for men and women, that chiefly focuses on the bacteria saccharomyces boulardii. It uses all-natural ingredients, and one of its unique characteristics is that it continues to work during antibiotic use, making it a great choice for anyone who may be sick or who uses antibiotics but needs to maintain gut health.

Product Highlights:

  • Delivers just over 8 billion CFU’s per serving
  • Gluten-free, vegetarian, Non-GMO, and appropriate for lactose intolerance
  • Continues to work even during antibiotic use
  • Helps promote natural production of IgA for immune support.
  • Reasonably priced

Key Ingredients: (per serving)

  • 250mg per capsule of Saccharomyces boulardii lyo CNCM I-745

Company Profile:

Florastor is a line of probiotic supplements designed to be taken daily and strengthen the immune system as well as provide balance to the digestive system. They take pride in their unique probiotic bacteria strain Saccharomyces boulardii lyo CNCM I-745, which they back up with 60 years of research, all to help their customers achieve optimal gut health.

Why We Recommend It:

Florastor is a unique product as they have a specific strain that works for them. While it may not be as strong as some competitors and is not the cheapest option, it does have effective qualities, and is especially relevant for someone who may be taking antibiotics or has a long history of taking antibiotics.

7. Formulas Nexabiotic Advanced Multi-Probiotic

Formulas Nexabiotic Advanced Multi Probiotic

Nexabiotic from Dr. Formula’s is one of the most comprehensive and well-rounded probiotics on the market. It delivers a strong dose of 31 billion CFU’s in a 2-capsule serving, and uses 23 different probiotic strains, making it one of the most diverse options on the market. In addition, its unique delayed release capsules make sure the good bacteria last longer and thus deliver improved gut health and function.

Product Highlights:

  • Has over 23 different probiotics
  • Uses a unique delayed release capsule design for longer lasting results
  • Serving size is 2 capsules, delivering 31 billion CFU’s per serving
  • Kid friendly, this probiotic is suitable for children
  • Does not need to be refrigerated, making it ideal for travel

Key Ingredients: (per serving, exact amounts for all ingredients not listed)

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium infantis
  • Bacillus Coagulans
  • Bacillus Subtilis
  • Saccharomyces boulardii

Company Profile:

Founded in 2010, DrFormulas is an up and comer in the health and nutritional supplement industry. They take pride in the efficacy of their products, conducting thorough research into each aspect and using certified Good Manufacturing Practices. They are committed to efficacy and quality and even offer money back guarantees if you are not satisfied with their products.

Why We Recommend It:

Nexabiotic is a very well-rounded and comprehensive probiotic choice, with 23 different strains of good bacteria. It does not have an abundance of one particular strain thus it is more suited for those looking for a good overall number of probiotics. In addition, it is suitable for children, making it one of the safest options on the market.

8. Align Probiotic Supplement

Align Probiotic Supplement

Align’s Probiotic Supplement is an excellent choice for those looking for a safe and low-intensity probiotic that is highly recommended by gastroenterologists. The product is highly recommended, and though it has one of the smallest serving sizes of good bacteria at only 130 million CFU’s, it is effective and may be a perfect choice for those dabbling in probiotics or looking for a gentler version.

Product Highlights:

  • Considered the #1 Gastroenterologist recommended probiotic, according to a 2014 survey
  • Delivers 130 million CFU’s per serving
  • Affordable at $0.72 per serving
  • Offers 24/7 digestive support

Key Ingredients: (per serving)

  • Bifidobacterium 35624, a unique strand not offered by other products

Company Profile:

Align is a subsidiary to industry giant Proctor and Gamble, and they specialize in developing probiotic products, ranging from capsules for adults to chewables for kids. They take pride in being the top choice for gastroenterologists and their unique bacteria strain Bifidobacterium 35624

Why We Recommend It:

Align is a highly recommend product within the GI field, and they use a unique bacteria strain as well. That being said, they have one of the lowest per serving amounts at only 130 million CFU’s, thus they are a good choice for a safe and low risk probiotic, though they may not provide the same level of effectiveness as stronger competitor products.

9. Healthy Origins Probiotic

Healthy Origins Probiotic

Healthy Origins Probiotic is one of the strongest on the market and an ideal choice for vegetarians as well. They use a blend of 8 probiotic strains to deliver 30 billion CFU’s per serving within each veggie capsule. With an affordable price they are an excellent product and one of the strongest on the market.

Product Highlights:

  • Delivers 30 billion CFU’s per serving
  • Comes in vegetarian capsules
  • Reasonably priced
  • Uses 8 different strains of bacteria
  • The efficacy of their product has been doubted by some sites

Key Ingredients: (per serving)

  • 12 billion CFU’s Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • 12 billion CFU’s Bifidobacterium lactis
  • 1 billion CFU’s each of lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium breve, lactobacillus salvarius, lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium longum, lactobacillus rhamnosus

Company Profile:

Founded in 1996, Healthy Origins has taken on the mission of providing a healthy value from reliable origins. Based out of Pittsburgh, they take pride in a transparent process with natural ingredients to deliver quality products to their customers.

Why We Recommend It:

Healthy Origins Probiotic is a strong product and ideal for vegetarian users. While the efficacy of the product has been doubted by some reviewers and sites, it is nevertheless a strong serving and a good value for the price.

10. Rephresh Pro-B Probiotic Feminine Supplement

Rephresh Pro B Probiotic Feminine Supplement

Rephresh Pro-B Probiotic Feminine Supplement is a unique product in the probiotic category, as it takes a specific focus to female health and digestive balance, specifically balancing yeast and bacteria. It is developed by doctors and delivers a strong but not overbearing 1.7 billion CFU’s per serving.

Product Highlights:

  • Delivers 1.7 billion CFU’s per serving
  • Affordable and reasonably priced at $0.61 per serving
  • Developed specifically for women to balance yeast and bacteria
  • Created by doctors
  • The product efficacy has been doubted by some sites and reviewers

Key Ingredients: (per serving)

  • L rhamnosus GR-1
  • L-reuteri RC-14
  • Dextrose Anhydrate
  • Gelatin
  • Potato Starch
  • Micocrystalline Cellulose
  • Magnesium Stearate
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Milk

Company Profile:

Rephresh is a feminine product brand that specifically develops products designed to improve digestive and vaginal health for women through their various products.

Why We Recommend It:

Rephresh Pro-B Probiotic Feminine Supplement is an excellent product for women, though its usage is of course limited and therefore would not apply to men or children. It’s specific formula for women is ideal, especially for those with special needs that would apply to Rephresh’s unique product goals.

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Carl Putman

Written by Carl Putman

Carl Putman is a strength and conditioning coach at the collegiate level and writer on fitness, health and supplements. Over the past decade, he has worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from professional athletes and world champions to youth and general population, as well as tactical practitioners. He is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership. Based in Florida, he continues to train and coach as well as write with a passion for making a positive impact for his clients and readers.