Probiotics are one of the most popular supplements — and one of the most popularly sold, as well — and its overall benefits are ones to be well-informed about before ingesting.
Of course, always consult with a trusted medical professional to ascertain if a probiotic is right for you.
“‘Probiotic’ literally means that the food or supplement product contains living microorganisms that can benefit the good bacteria in our gut,” Julie-Garden Robinson, MD, professor and licensed registered dietitian at North Dakota State University (NDSU) and food and nutrition specialist for NDSU Extension, told the New York Post. “We can find probiotic compounds in a variety of foods including yogurt with ‘live and active cultures,’ sauerkraut and kimchi (fermented cabbage), various fermented soy-based products such as miso and tempeh and kombucha (fermented tea).”
Though nearly all medical experts you speak with will likely advocate to include probiotic-rich foods into your diet as a first step and best practice, taking a probiotic supplement daily “may benefit skin conditions, aid digestion and combat gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or constipation,” Garden-Robinson notes, where a probiotic’s beneficial microbes “may help boost immunity and help complete the breakdown of food.”
The full 411 on probiotics can be found in our in-depth FAQ section toward the bottom of this guide (featuring expertise from a team of medical experts we consulted). In tandem, the New York Post thoroughly researched and hand-picked the 10 best probiotics you can shop for online — including options for men, women, kids and those in line with particular dietary restrictions.
Much like multivitamins for women and vitamin D supplements, there’s also a particular way to ensure these capsules (or gummies or liquids) accurately contain what’s reflected on the bottles. Rest assured that we did all this research for you — tapping into experts for the appropriate labels and certifications to look for — so you can feel A-OK that the below probiotics have passed through all the hoops.
Editor’s note: While the New York Post divided probiotic picks by category, please note that there may be some overlap among our picks. That said, please consult the Nutrition Facts label and a trusted medical professional for further guidance.
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Best Probiotics for Women
The Seed DS-01 Daily Synbiotic is a unique type of probiotic, as it’s not just a probiotic but also a prebiotic. For overall gut health, Garden-Robinson recommends “considering supplements that also contain prebiotics,” as “consuming ‘prebiotics’ in conjunction with probiotic-containing foods may boost health.”
More, probiotics for women begins with considering what issues you’re facing, “such as digestive health, immune boosting, urinary tract health or vaginal health,” Garden-Robinson adds. According to Seed’s website, these probiotics were formulated with digestive health in mind, while also being said to support gut barrier function, gut immune function, cardiovascular health, dermatological health and micronutrient synthesis, assuming consistent ingestion of this probiotic.
ConsumerLab — a resource our experts recommend — has lab-tested the brand (based on its report), though this particular probiotic has not yet been tested by this institution.
Best Probiotics for Men
Physician’s Choice 60 Billion Probiotic
We recommend the Physician’s Choice 60 Billion Probiotic — and not only because it’s a No. 1 Amazon best-seller with a whopping 107,000 applauding reviews on the retailer’s site alone (and counting). For men, specifically, Garden-Robinson recommends considering “issues being faced,” with the two major ones being constipation and diarrhea.
Right on the money, this organic probiotic supports “occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating” and — the kicker — contains 60 billion CFUs. Quick nutrition lesson: CFUs are how one measures “good” bacteria and, the higher the CFUs, the better chance the organisms have of surviving their journey to your gut.
More, this probiotic contains the GMP seal and is non-GMO verified, both of which are viable checkmarks in a supplement’s favor, per our team of medical experts.
Best Probiotics for Kids
Garden of Life Organic Kids+ Probiotics + Vitamins C & D
“Seek the advice of a healthcare professional before using supplements with children,” Garden-Robinson says. “Look for no added sugar and no refrigeration needed. Some studies have shown that supplemental probiotics may be effective in prevention atopic dermatitis.”
The Garden of Life Organic Kids+ Probiotics + Vitamins C & D check all of our boxes, after plenty of research, as these chewables are in line with what our expert recommends. They contain no added sugar, have an easy-to-swallow formulation and are also dairy and soy free.
Impressively, the brand has been vetted by Labdoor and has received an “A” ranking — the highest caliber. Its high regard, along with the USDA Organic and non-GMO verified seals, are likely why more than 11,000 satisfied Amazon shoppers are pleased with them, too.
Additionally, a 2021 study from Translational Pediatrics found that children who were given probiotics every day for three months were less likely to have respiratory problems and diarrhea than children who were given a placebo.
Best Probiotics for IBS
Florastor Daily Probiotic Supplement for Digestive Health
- Count: 50 or 54 capsules(other quantities available)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the stomach and intestines, also called the gastrointestinal tract.
“People with IBS may face bloating, gas and diarrhea or constipation,” Garden-Robinson said. “Consult with a GI healthcare professional to be sure of underlying medical issues and need for prescription medication.”
If a supplement is suggested, be sure it contains multiple strains of beneficial bacteria and no ingredients that are problematic for the person.
The Florastor Daily Probiotic Supplement for Digestive Health is a probiotic that keenly has your gut health in mind, thanks to its incorporation of the “good” bacteria: Saccharomyces boulardii, of which has been clinically studied in 2020 by PubMed Central.
With more than 12,000 shoppers on Amazon alone approving the probiotic, you’ll also be glad to note that it holds both the NSF and non-GMO seals — two important criteria our medical experts recommend.
Best Probiotics for Athletes
Renew Life Ultimate Flora Extra Care Probiotic
The Renew Life Ultimate Flora Extra Care Probiotic holds more than 10,000 positive reviews for its inclusion of 30 billion live cultures and 12 probiotic strains. Its dozen strains also include the most widely studied strain, L rhamnosus, which Garden-Robinson recommends looking for in those who experience diarrhea, especially.
For athletes, specifically, “consider health issues such as GI issues, bloating, etc., prior to choosing a probiotic,” she advises. “Confer with a healthcare provider. Look for high CFUs and third party verification. Be sure it fits with any allergen restrictions (soy) and special diet (gluten-free, vegetarian).”
That said, its 30 billion CFU count is pretty extraordinary, along with the probiotic’s non-GMO verification.
Best Probiotics for Diarrhea
Swanson Dr. Stephen Langer’s Ultimate 16 Strain Probiotic with FOS
Above all else, if the diarrhea is long lasting, see a healthcare provider. “Try yogurt with live and active cultures to see if that helps and/or a probiotic supplement with a mix of bacterial strains such as Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii,” Garden-Robinson also recommends. “Look for products with a mix of strains, high colony forming units, and consider supplements that also contain prebiotics.”
The Swanson Dr. Stephen Langer’s Ultimate 16 Strain Probiotic with FOS is one of the best we found, containing all advised bacterial strains mentioned above along that desired budget-friendly price point. Containing a high 3.2 billion CFU count (which is also recommended by our experts), the probiotic has been stamped with the GMP-verified seal.
Best Probiotics for Pregnancy and Nursing
Pink Stork Prenatal Prebiotics, Probiotics + Vitamin B6
The Pink Stork Prenatal Prebiotics, Probiotics + Vitamin B6 are an excellent choice for those who are pregnant and nursing. Much like a prenatal vitamin, they help support you and your growing baby, with this probiotic containing seven strains of highly stable, spore-enhanced probiotics that are said to help with morning sickness, digestion, constipation, bowel irregularity and upset stomachs.
Confer with your healthcare provider before adding a probiotic. “Some pregnant women may experience constipation or indigestion, but they should not stop taking their prenatal supplements and they should drink plenty of fluids and eat fiber-rich beans, fruits and vegetables,” Garden-Robinson notes. “Adding some yogurt with live and active cultures might be the boost that is needed to promote regularity.”
This probiotic is GMP-certified, as well as being void of gluten, dairy and soy. It hails from a female-founded brand, too, and each capsule contains an unflavored scent that’s pleasing to ingest. It also contains both prebiotics and probiotics — a duo our medical experts as a bonus when found in a supplement together.
Best Probiotic Yogurt
Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk Probiotic Yogurt
The Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk Probiotic Yogurt is one of our personal favorites, and an option that’s ideal for immunity support and digestive health. It’s both USDA Organic-certified and non-GMO-verified and also contains 9 grams of protein and 170 calories per serving.
The most important item to consider? Yogurts differ in calories, texture and flavor, so find one you like. “Compare the Nutrition Facts labels,” Garden-Robinson advises. “Look for yogurt that has live and active cultures and is low in added sugars. Consider adding some prebiotic add-ins such as fruit or whole-wheat granola.”
And, as our experts like to say, eat your probiotics first, if possible.
Best Probiotics for Gut Health
Nuven Naturals All-in-One Gut Health with Probiotics, Prebiotics and Digestion-Supporting Herbs
If gut health is top of mind, you’ll want to “look for products with a mix of strains, high colony forming units, and consider supplements that also contain prebiotics,” per Garden-Robinson. As always, look for a third-party verification to show purity and contents.
Fittingly, the Nuven Naturals All-in-One Gut Health with Probiotics, Prebiotics and Digestion-Supporting Herbs contains that prebiotic-probiotic hybrid our expert recommends, in addition to a certified non-GMO seal and GMP-verified seal. More than 1,500 shoppers stand by this particular probiotic, too.
Plus, Nuven’s gut health supplement uniquely offers an organic prebiotic blend of chicory root (inulin) and agave (inulin) to “help keep your gut alive and stimulated,” per the brand.
Best Probiotic Drink
Karma Wellness Berry Cherry-Flavored Water (12-Pack)
You may have heard of kombucha and kefir — common probiotic drinks. If you’re in the mood for something that’ll keep you hydrated (much like the No. 1 recommended drink, H2O), try the Karma Wellness Berry Cherry-Flavored Water.
“Look for live and active cultures and pair probiotics with prebiotic-containing foods such as making a ‘shake’ with kefir and an underripe banana (rich in prebiotics),” Garden-Robinson said.
This probiotic drink happens to contain not one, not two, but 2 billion live cultures to help offer digestive health support. It also contains GanedenBC30 which is “essential in delivering six times more active ingredients than premixed vitamin drinks,” per the brand’s description.
Oh, and if you’re more of a soda guy or gal, we have relatively bad news.”Sodas in general are not the healthiest beverages; however, if you want to try one with the benefit of probiotics, look for live and active cultures,” Garden-Robinson explains. “Have an underripe banana (rich in prebiotics) along with it.”
An FAQ on Probiotics
Ahead, our team of medical experts dial down the scientific lingo on probiotics so you can easily digest (side note; vitamin pun totally intended) all there is to know about shopping for one, key ingredients and more.
What is a probiotic?
First things first — let’s define what a probiotic *actually* is.
“Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can be helpful to your health — everything from gut health to immunity health to even vaginal health,” Amy Gorin, RDN, owner of Plant Based with Amy and Master the Media, told The Post. “Different strains of probiotics have different health impacts.”
Sometimes probiotics are naturally present as the result of food fermentation — Garden-Robinson further explains — while others are added to foods to enhance their health benefits, and other probiotics are available as supplement pills and liquid supplements.
What are the benefits of taking a probiotic?
There are so many benefits and these depend on the type of probiotic you’re taking and the benefit you’re looking to achieve. “In a general sense, having a healthy gut microbiome makes it possible for your body to most optimally extract nutrients and energy from the diet,” Gorin said.
Additionally, some types of probiotics “may help deter urinary tract infections, ease the issues associated with autoimmune diseases and skin conditions,” Garden-Robinson adds. Other studies have linked a healthy gut microbiome with mental health, too.
Who should be taking a probiotic?
Probiotics can provide many different types of benefits, depending on the nutritional help you’re looking to get.
“If you’re looking for digestive health, for instance, you’d want to look for a probiotic that says on its label and/or website that that is a benefit it offers,” Gorin notes. “If you’re looking for benefits for vaginal health, for example, there are specific probiotics that help with this in particular.”
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, some individuals may benefit from probiotics. “For example, children with diarrhea may benefit from use of probiotic foods under a healthcare provider’s guidance,” Garden-Robinson adds. “Certain skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, may be helped by consuming foods with probiotics.” Others are studying the relationship between gut health and mental health, including anxiety and depression.
Who shouldn’t be taking a probiotic?
“Elderly adults and those with weakened immune systems due to chronic disease should consult with a healthcare provider before consuming probiotic-rich foods and supplements,” Garden-Robinson said. “If people are immune-compromised or have bacterial infections, probiotics could pose a safety issue.”
For healthy people, probiotics in foods usually pose no safety and health issues as long as the person consuming the food does not have allergies to other ingredients in the foods.
“However, some people react to probiotic-containing foods by having gas, cramping or bloating, even from foods readily available in grocery stores,” she adds. “Therefore, they should stop consuming foods if they have those reactions.”
What should one look for on the product label when shopping for probiotics?
Believe it or not, probiotics — and supplements in general — are notorious for slapping on labels and making claims (not all, but a good chunk of those you’ll find on the market). As a best practice, look for options with the NSF or USP seals, a GMP-certified or non-GMO seal — and, if on the hunt for an organic option — a USDA-certified seal.
“You want to make sure that the probiotic — as with any supplement you’re purchasing — has been verified by a third party, such as NSF International,” Gorin recommends. “Also check the product’s website or packaging to see that there is research behind the specific probiotics contained in the supplement.”
What’s more, make sure that the probiotic lists the genus, species, and strain on its label and that the probiotic you’re buying comes from a reputable company.
If you have specific health concerns or conditions that may affect your nutrient requirements, consult with a doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you select the most appropriate multivitamin and dosage for your individual needs. Remember that probiotics are intended to complement a balanced diet, not replace it.
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