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Top 15 Best Probiotic Supplements for Men and Women in 2021

OwlRatings’ experts have collated this list of the ten best probiotics to get your gut health going in the right direction

Reasons to look for a good probiotic supplement

Are you repulsed (or maybe confused) by the thought of consuming bacteria for optimal health? After all, doesn’t the general consensus go that bacteria are gross little organisms behind everything unsanitary and filthy?

If these are your thoughts, you’re not alone. For many people, the first reaction to considering good bacteria versus bad can raise a few eyebrows.

But the truth is that the microbiome, or bacteria that live on or inside the body, is the largest part of the human immune and digestive systems. Among these, the good or beneficial bacteria known as probiotics make up over 70% of the body’s immune system.

So, when you need to strengthen your immune system, you can rely on probiotics to do the work. You can replenish these through foods like yogurt, kefir, tempeh, miso, and such but when dietary needs don’t provide enough, an effective way to replenish probiotics is through supplements.

However, since not every probiotic is created equal and there are so many to choose from, we have narrowed down the options to the 10 best probiotics that you can find in the contemporary market.

With everything from improved digestion and nutrient absorption to energy production and enhanced immunity, our list has got you covered.

Best overall

Bio Schwartz Advanced Strength Probiotic Supplement

Bio Schwartz Advanced Strength Probiotic Supplement

Using the potent effects of lactobacillus acidophilus La-14, one of its four probiotic strains, it comforts the body by improving the digestive and immune systems

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A champion in the probiotic industry, Bio Schwartz keeps topping several lists offering the best product, and its Advanced Strength Probiotic 40 Billion CFU is no exception.

Featuring a high potency CFU count, and four strains of potent probiotics paired with a prebiotic blend, this supplement will resolve all aspects of your digestive distress.

You can trust this formula to offer you the best bacterial strains, safety, and quality components in its comprehensive product.

Easy to take and easy to store, Advanced Strength doesn’t need refrigeration and will keep well until the expiry date indicated on the bottle.

Yielding 60 capsules per bottle, good for a month and a money-back guarantee makes it hard to pass this popular supplement without giving it a try.

Best premium

Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Ultimate Care

Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Ultimate Care

This probiotic supplement is for adult men and women facing problems with digestive health.

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A quality product that will optimize your gut health, Raw Probiotics Ultimate Care ticks all the right boxes with its 100 billion CFUs and 34 probiotic strains.

This supplement gives you the right dose of a vitamin, mineral, and enzyme blend that complements probiotic activity in the gut.

Needing no refrigeration, it is easy to travel with this compact bottle and use it wherever you need it. You also get the most top-tier ingredients that are allergen-free and suitable for vegetarians.

So, if you’re looking for a high efficacy probiotic, then we recommend the Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Ultimate care as an excellent choice.

Best for immune support

Renew Life Extra Care Probiotic Supplement

Renew Life Extra Care Probiotic Supplement

Keeping its harmful counterparts in check, the good bacteria in this supplement is best for enhancing the body’s immune system with its 12 probiotic strains and 30 billion cultures.

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With its immense immune-boosting potential, this is one of the best supplements available on the market.

Renew Life Extra Care will deliver a guaranteed 30 billion live probiotic cultures paired with 12 effective probiotic strains encapsulated in delayed-release veggie caps.

For immune support, this supplement checks GI imbalances to not only preserve gut-friendly bacteria but also keep harmful bacteria in check.

It is free from common allergens like dairy, gluten, and soy and comes as a non-GMO verified supplement.

If you’re looking for immune system maintenance and overall digestive health, then this Renew Life probiotic is a good place to start.

Best gummies

Align DualBiotic Prebiotic + Probiotic Supplement

Align DualBiotic Prebiotic + Probiotic Supplement

It’s hard to beat the taste and convenience of gummies and Align DualBiotic makes a successful merger of both in their supplement

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If you have a hard time swallowing capsules or tablets, then gummies may be your saving grace to improve the health of your gut.

Presenting a single strain formula that is compressed inside a gummy structure, this Align Dualbiotic Supplement delivers taste and potency in one go.

Using a combination of probiotics and prebiotics, these gummies bring digestive and immune support to the table. Easy to store with its no refrigeration requirement and easy to carry with its compact packaging, you can take these gummies along wherever you go.

These gummies are gentle enough for sensitive as well as kids’ stomachs with its 1 billion CFUs and single probiotic strain to not cause any serious side effects.

Best for gut health

Physician’s Choice Probiotic Supplement

Physician’s Choice Probiotic Supplement

It boosts the digestive system by pairing a high probiotic count with a prebiotic blend for maximum efficiency.

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A great contender for improved gut health, Physician’s Choice delivers 60 billion probiotic cultures in one capsule. This is partnered with 10 different bacterial strains and an organic prebiotic blend to cater ample health benefits.

Using acid-resisting technology, the capsules are optimized for maximum nutrient absorption. They are also GMO and allergen-free and suitable for vegans to consume.

The company has a reputation for providing complete transparency and honest labeling for its products earning it the vote of confidence of its loyal followers.

You can use this supplement to ease discomfort associated with digestion, boost immunity, and improve overall gut health.

Best for weight loss

Wholesome Wellness Organic Probiotic Supplement

Wholesome Wellness Organic Probiotic Supplement

Ideal for anyone trying to lose weight and stay fit without putting in too much effort, this probiotic supplement from Wholesome Wellness is a welcome option.

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Anyone looking for the rawest value for their money needs to look no further than this Wholesome Wellness Organic Probiotic.

Using a diverse ingredient profile with 100 billion CFUs and 34 probiotic culture strains, this one of the most potent formulas available around.

This supplement pairs probiotics with prebiotics to boost the immune system, curb inflammation, and aid in weight loss.

The capsules use timed-release technology to benefit the gut in the most effective way. It lets the beneficial bacteria stay in the gut longer for digestive support throughout the day.

When you want to pair your gut health with effective weight loss management, then this supplement will give you the help that you need.

Best for IBS

Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Probiotic Supplement

Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Probiotic Supplement

Rated as an above-average supplement by many, it helps get rid of digestion-related problems and any irritable bowel movements.

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Hyperbiotics is a well-known name among probiotic circles and with good reason too.   

This formula uses the BIO-tract patented delivery mechanism allowing its probiotics contents to be released over an 8–10-hour period.

This allows the probiotic strains to dodge the acidic environment of the stomach and move into the intestinal tract alive.

To make their product even more potent, the brand also decided to add prebiotic content to help bacteria colonize and support optimal digestion and regularity.

Because it uses the best ingredients, a clever delivery system, and safe manufacturing practices, you can’t go wrong with this immensely popular probiotic.

Best for nutrient absorption

NATURELO Probiotic Supplement

NATURELO Probiotic Supplement

A high CFU count, and multiple probiotic strains give Naturello its potent properties in healing gut discomfort and maximizing nutrient absorption.

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To balance your probiotics naturally, the NATURELO Probiotic Supplement is a great option.

It is a veritable blend of 11 probiotic strains and 50 billion CFUs making it a full-spectrum probiotic on the market. The high culture count and diverse pool of strains in this supplement deliver results that spread across improving digestive health, increased energy, superior nutrient absorption, and an enhanced immune system.

The capsules are also free from allergens and unnatural additives and are enteric-coated to protect strains that are prone to destruction by stomach acid.

Use this supplement if you want to get the most benefit for optimal nutrient absorption from the diet.

Best for digestive health

Nature’s Bounty Acidophilus Probiotic Supplement

Nature’s Bounty Acidophilus Probiotic Supplement

Tipping the balance back in favor of optimal digestive health, it provides relief from daily as well as chronic stomach ailments.

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If you’re looking for some digestive support on the tamer side, then this Nature’s Bounty formula may just be the product for you.

Providing gentle gut support with a single strain probiotic, it’s an ideal supplement for people new to probiotics. Newcomers won’t have any issues dealing with too high a CFU count and can easily avoid distressful issues like cramping or bloating.

But if you’re worried about not getting enough digestive support with a single strain, then it helps to know that the brand uses one of the most effective probiotic strains with a lot of research to back its efficacy.

The tablets are also free of common allergens and artificial additives and their gentle dose per serving won’t cause any distressing side effects.

Best affordable

Nutrition Essentials Top Probiotic Supplement

Nutrition Essentials Top Probiotic Supplement

It checks all the boxes of providing adequate digestive support, replenishing healthy bacteria, and boosting the immune system; everything a good probiotic promises to do.

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Nutrition Essentials Probiotic Supplement optimizes bacterial balance to ease digestion and boost immunity.

Working with a single strain probiotic formula, this is a stable probiotic that derives all its efficacy from its sole strain, bacillus coagulans. And even though there is one strain, Nutrition Essentials addresses everything from digestive discomfort and immune health to better nutrient absorption.

Free from additives and preservatives, you get a solid probiotic that is well worth your money.

They also offer a full refund policy for customers not happy with their purchase, so there is no monetary risk involved.

Best for women

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Once Daily Women’s probiotic supplement

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Once Daily Women’s probiotic supplement

Whether you are dealing with bloating, stomach aches, gastritis, or even menstrual cramps or irregular cycle, this product can help you will all these issues.

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Garden of Life’s Dr. Formulated Probiotics is perfect for females who have health concerns regarding their digestive, immune, and reproductive systems. The bottle contains 30 shelf-stable pills that you have to take once per day. Furthermore, since they do not require any refrigeration, you can easily take them with you anywhere you want.

The main probiotics in the pills are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. The former has 40 billion CFUs whereas the latter has 10 billion. Overall, the 50 billion CFUs are more than enough to safely make their way inside your stomach and start working.

The main issues that these probiotics seem to resolve are bloating, irregular menstrual cycle, vaginal infections, diarrhea, and even memory loss. A few users stated that after using these capsules for a while, they noticed a significant improvement in their memory retention. Furthermore, strains like Lacto Rhamnosus and Reuteri are responsible for improving overall reproductive health.

Moreover, the probiotics are safe from all of the major allergens. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free hence, everyone can easily use them. We also noticed that the size of the pills was average. Even if you struggle with pills, you can easily gulp it down with a glass of water.

Best for yeast infections

Culturelle Daily Probiotic Supplement

Culturelle Daily Probiotic Supplement

With Lactobacillus Rhamnosus as its prime ingredient, the vegan pills are ideal for people who want a gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free solution for their digestive problems.

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Culturelle’s Dairy Probiotics are the only safe probiotics that we have come across that you can give a preteen or a teenager (12-year-old and above). The dietary supplements contain Lactobacillus Rhamnosus as its primary ingredient which is ideal for keeping the digestive system in balance.

The probiotics kill off all of the harmful and unfriendly bacteria that are residing inside your digestive and intestinal system and improves the condition of your gut. This includes the ability of food to be effectively broken down and absorbed by the blood capillaries and lymph nodes around the stomach walls and also increasing the overall metabolism rate.

Hence, whether it is bloating, gastritis, diarrhea, or any other digestive problem, these pills can easily solve them. Furthermore, it is a vegan product that is free of dairy, soy, and gluten. It is also a non-GMO product which means it is not made from genetically modified organisms.

Moreover, we also checked out the size of the pills because we wanted to see if they were small enough for a teenager to swallow. The probiotics are kept extra small so that children, as well as adults with hypersensitive gag reflexes, can easily swallow them without any problem.

Best for men

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Once Daily Men’s probiotic supplement

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Once Daily Men’s probiotic supplement

This product is known to solve all problems relating to gut, colon, and immune health.

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These particular probiotics that Garden of Life has formulated target males. The product contains 35 billion CFUs of Lactobacillus and 15 billion CFUs of Bifidobacteria. Both of these combine together and help to improve the metabolism, enhance the digestive microbiome, and kill off any bacteria that is harming your gut health.

Many men have commented that these capsules have also improved their mental health. These can calm your anxiety and improve your insomnia. Furthermore, the pills can also help to improve your immunity and enhance the functionality of the colon. A few users have also said that it brought drastic changes to their eczema.

There are almost 30 capsules in a single bottle, however, the quantity might vary a bit. The pills do not contain gluten, dairy, or soy which makes them accessible to many people. All you have to do is take one pill a day and you will notice a significant change in your overall health after a few days!

Lastly, the size of the pill is not too big. Most people can easily drown it with a glass of water. It does not have any odor as well that might make you scrunch up your nose while you are taking the pill.

Best for kids

NewRhythm Probiotics 50 Billion CFU probiotic supplement

NewRhythm Probiotics 50 Billion CFU probiotic supplement

These are low-priced probiotics that try to solve most of the major issues relating to the gut and immune systems.

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NewRhythm’s Gluten-Free Probiotics are one of the best low-priced capsules that we could find in the market. They are powerful, shelf-stable pills that help you deal with various issues; bloating, constipation, bacterial infection, eczema, diarrhea, and other immunity-related problems as well.

Possessing over 50 billion CFUs of active bacteria, the pills definitely work to the best of their abilities. In addition to the typical Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains, we also noticed it had three more types of bacteria; Pediococcus pentosaceus, Pediococcus acidilactici, and Streptococcus thermophiles. These bacteria play an antibacterial role and keep the gut healthy.

The most significant and noticeable difference that you would notice immediately after taking the pills is reduced bloating and constipation. If you or someone you know deals with chronic constipation, then these probiotics are the most effective ones. Furthermore, the pills also reduce skin inflammations like rosacea and eczema.

The pills were easy to swallow. They were averaged size however, it does have a distinct smell that can be compared to a paper mill. However, the odor is not overwhelming and you can easily gulp it down without your gag reflex coming into action.

Best cheap

Solimo Probiotic 5 Billion CFU probiotic supplement

Solimo Probiotic 5 Billion CFU probiotic supplement

These are the best probiotics to chuck in your purse or your car’s dashboard if you are going for a trip.

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The Solimo Probiotics possess 5 billion CFUs and 8 strains to help you maintain a functioning and healthy digestive system. The main ingredients include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), and Larch Arabinogalactan (FiberAid).

All of these ingredients make the perfect mixture of active bacteria that can treat constipation, diarrhea, high cholesterol levels, osteoporosis, and overall improves the internal environment of your gut. We were surprised by the praise these probiotics got! Many people commented that it greatly improved their digestive, immune, and intestinal system problems. A few also commented that it helped them get rid of UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections).

However, the product only uses 5 billion CFUs which though is enough to kill off harmful bacteria from the gut but it is not as strong as the ones in the market, especially if we compare it to the products we have on this list.

Nevertheless, probiotics are perfect for dealing with common problems like constipation, digestion, diarrhea, UTIs, and IBS.

What’s important when choosing a probiotic supplement

Probiotics come with a different set of requirements than other supplements. Multivitamins or nootropics, for instance, need to be absorbed into the bloodstream to be effective but probiotics do their work in the intestine.

While the benefits of probiotics are becoming clearer by the day, there still remains some confusion about how these bacterial strains are measured for efficacy.

The thing to remember is that probiotics are only effective when alive and potent. So, to determine this, here are some key considerations to keep in mind.

Potency

Since probiotics are live organisms, it’s important they remain viable until consumption. These beneficial but fragile bacteria face a range of challenges for survival that can lower their numbers before consumption. This will naturally, take away from the beneficial effects of the supplement they’re used in.

Several factors like exposure to light, oxygen, heat, and moisture can target their vitality which means that some of the bacteria will die before being consumed. And even after consumption, stomach acids and the harsh environment inside the body can cause numbers to decline even further.

So, when manufacturers create a supplement, it’s important that they follow a delivery mechanism where the highest number of probiotics survive and get delivered into the intestines alive.

CFU

Probiotic efficacy is measured in CFUs or Colony Forming Units. This number indicates the total count of all the bacteria in the probiotic. This is relevant as probiotics will only be effective when they are present in adequate amounts.

CFUs are calculated by permitting the bacteria to grow in optimal numbers under controlled conditions and then counting the number of colonies present.

A good count for supplements is considered in the 5-10 billion CFU range which may seem like a big number. However, since not all the bacteria will be viable when they get released in the gut, manufacturers tend to start with higher doses than required to be beneficial.

Strains

This refers to the different types of bacteria used in the probiotic. Some probiotic supplements use a single strain while others have a number of strains working together.

Since different strains offer different benefits, it makes sense to assume that the more variety there is the more the benefits.

A good quality probiotic will contain diverse and vibrant strains that are resilient to outside factors and effective at establishing colonies. 

Shelf life and storage

This factor once again ties into the potency of the live cultures.

If left sitting on the shelf too long, the probiotic supplement will end up with no live cultures when consumed. This way, the expiration date indicated on the packaging is very important as it suggests the CFU count that should be viable by that date.

Refrigeration requirements can vary among different bacterial strains but typically, cooler and drier conditions will ensure longer shelf life. Some strains such as the bacillus genus have a more stable shelf life and can better withstand environmental factors, allowing for better potency when consumed. 

Understanding probiotic labeling and storage requirements will help ensure a quality supplement product.

FAQ

How do bacteria in the prebiotic reach the gut?

A quality probiotic is designed to allow the bacterial strain to survive harsh stomach acid conditions. As such, probiotic companies devise their supplements using some type of time-release technology such as delayed-release capsules that perform the dual purposes of not only protecting the probiotic bacteria but also releasing it in the gut in a timely manner.

How many bacteria are considered effective?

CFU represents colony-forming units indicating the number of live bacteria present in a single dose. Typically, a higher CFU count correlates with better efficacy of the probiotic.
Experts consider a number of around 10 billion CFUs to be effective for adults and around 5 billion CFUs for children.
Along with the number of bacteria populating a colony, another factor is the strain of bacteria used in the supplement. Typically, a variety of strains in a supplement are preferred over a single strain supplement. A combination of strains lets one support the others with different properties and deliver superior results.

Are all bacterial strains equally effective?

There are several bacterial strains, each with its own unique strengths. Most strains used in probiotics are already present naturally in the gut and cater to overall wellbeing while some others help with specific conditions.
For instance, L. acidophilus is known for regulating gut acidity levels and boosting the immune system L. plantarum protects the membrane surrounding the gut and L. paracasei has antibacterial properties to ward off pathogens.
Cost is another consideration that factors in. Some strains like S. boulardii though highly effective are also very expensive to use. As such, many companies decide not to use it in their formulas which can take away from its efficacy.

Single vs multi strains; which is better?

Each type has its own unique benefits. For instance, in support of single strain supplements, experts believe that supplements created for improving certain conditions may work better with a single strain where the sole type of bacteria can do its job right without interference from other strains.
Single strain products may also be more suitable for people looking for some basic digestive support, those with sensitive stomachs, or people just starting out with probiotics.
Multi-strain products, on the other hand, show greater effectiveness in improving overall gut and immune performance.
You will find that many of the top-tier supplements have around 5-6 strains, but the numbers can easily go up to 10, 20, or even 30+.
The potential issue with such a high number of strains is that instead of being beneficial, having too many different strains in a single supplement carries specific uncertainties.
With multiple strains in one supplement, it becomes hard to establish whether all strains will remain viable until the time of consumption or the expiry date. Another concern is different strains canceling the efficacy of others.
To sum up, each type comes with its own strengths with single strain supplements being more stable and multi-strain supplements offering a potentially broader range of benefits.

Final verdict

Probiotic supplements are having their moment right now with plenty of evidence supporting their health benefits.
With so many options available to customers, the task of choosing the right probiotic supplement can be a tough one.
But given our recommended products this becomes a tad bit easier as it helps you filter out what will work best based on your individual needs.

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