You’ve probably been hearing a lot about probiotics these days. And for good reason, since your gut flora is a critical part of your overall health.
Belly bugs have a huge impact on your well-being from immunity to mood. In fact, the balance of good bugs in your gut affects your digestion, how well you absorb nutrients from what you eat and how strong your immune system is… and that’s just scratching the surface.
If you’re like a lot of folks you know you want to get started on a probiotic, but you find yourself confused about which one to choose. You’re left wondering, “What ARE the best probitoics?”
And reading labels doesn’t really help since you have no idea what they mean. That’s why I’ve put together this list for you.
18 best probiotics to restore your belly bugs
The bacteria in your gut are a community with many types, or strains, of bacteria making up that community. Here we’ll take a look at the eighteen best probiotic strains for supporting gut health.
1. Streptococcus thermophiles:
Streptococcus thermophiles (ST) promotes healthy tissue in the small intestine.1
ST discourages the nitrates found in certain foods such as spinach, celery, and cured meats from turning into harmful nitrites. And, this valuable probiotic breaks down a protein called casein which is found in cheeses and is known to cause allergies.
2. Bacillus laterosporus:
Bacillus laterosporus is a hearty gut bug strain that fights many types of harmful organisms, including candida.
3. Pediococcus acidilactici:
Undigested food can rot in your gut but Pediococcus acidilactici helps put a stop to that.
One study found that it also helps keep harmful organisms from damaging the gut environment.2
4. Bifidobacterium breve:
Bifidobacterium breve is essential for colon health, especially if you’ve taken antibiotics.
Studies have found that many digestive problems coincide with low levels of B. breve.
5. Bifidobacterium infantis:
Bifidobacterium infantis supports the digestive system by releasing an acid that keeps harmful organisms from taking hold.
It’s especially helpful for people suffering from digestive ailments or occasional constipation.3
6. Bifidobacterium bifidum:
Bifidobacterium bifidum may be the one probiotic you’ve heard of. It’s kind of a household name in probiotic strains, if there is such a thing.
Bifidobacterium bifidum keeps unwanted bacteria at bay, eases digestion, and boosts the immune system. It plays an important role in immune function and allergy response; and encourages normal, healthy looking skin.4
7. Bifidobacterium lactis:
Bifidobacterium lactis neutralizes gliadin, the wheat protein responsible for gluten sensitivity.
Gliadin also damages the intestinal lining and can cause leaky gut, but Bifi. lac puts the protein in its place.
8. Bifidobacterium longum:
Bifidobacterium longum helps keep acid levels balanced.
It’s especially helpful for anyone taking antibiotics.
9. Lactobacillus acidophilus:
Lactobacillus acidophilus supports digestion, particularly lactose digestion, and boosts the immune system.
10. Lactobacillus brevis:
Helping out on both ends, Lactobacillus brevis is soothing to both oral and colon tissue.5
11. Lactobacillus bulgaricus:
Lactobacillus bulgaricus creates natural antibiotics in your gut that fight invading organisms. It also releases acids that neutralize toxins and promote balance.
12. Lactobacillus casei:
Lactobacillus casei supports digestion, the immune system, and soothes the bowels.6
13. Lactobacillus gasseri:
Lactobacillus gasseri supports digestion, balanced blood sugar, and encourages a normal body weight.7
14. Lactococcus lactis:
Lactococcus lactis helps digestion and encourages a normal gut environment, especially helping to defend against leaky gut.
15. Lactobacillus plantarum:
Lactobacillus plantarum produces L. lysine, an amino acid that supports calcium absorption, hormone production, and boosts the immune system. It’s often used as a remedy for bowel disorders.
16. Lactobacillus paracasei:
Lactobacillus paracasei helps with fatigue, protects teeth from cavities, and many people also report it lessens the impact of environmental sensitivities.
17. Lactobacillus rhamnosus:
Generally cited for promoting a happy and healthy gut environment, Lactobacillus rhamnosus also has a reputation for helping with UTIs by kick-starting antibodies and boosting the immune system.
18. Lactobacillus salivarius:
Lactobacillus salivarius fights unwanted microbes in the mouth and the small intestine. It’s considered essential for oral health.
This strain, as do many, thrives when provided with prebiotic foods like banana, barley, tomatoes, and garlic.
What’s your favorite probiotic?
Have you used probiotics before? What’s been your experience?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
1. Whitford, E.J. et al. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Effects of Streptococcus thermophilus TH-4 on Intestinal Mucositis Induced by the Chemotherapeutic Agent, 5- Fluorouracil (5-FU). Cancer Biol Ther. 2009 Mar 15;8(6):505-11. Epub 2009 Mar 15.
2. Kaur B, Garg N, Sachdev A, Kumar B. Effect of the oral intake of probiotic Pediococcus acidilactici BA28 on Helicobacter pylori causing peptic ulcer in C57BL/6 mice models. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2014 Jan;172(2):973-83.
3. Efficacy of an Encapsulated Probiotic Bifidobacterium Infantis 35624 in Women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jul;101(7):1581-90.
4. Martín R, Rijkers G, Sengers F, Timmerman H, van Uden N, Smidt H, Kimpen J, Hoekstra M. The effects of selected probiotic strains on the development of eczema (the PandA study). Allergy. 2009 Sep; 64(9):1349-58. Epub 2009 Apr 9.
5. Tasli L, Mat C, De Simone C, Yazici H. Lactobacilli lozenges in the management of oral ulcers of Behcet’s syndrome.Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2006 Sep-Oct;24(5 Suppl 42):S83-6.
6. Llopis M1, Antolin M, Carol M, Borruel N, Casellas F, Martinez C, Espín-Basany E, Guarner F, Malagelada JR. Lactobacillus casei downregulates commensals’ inflammatory signals in Crohn’s disease mucosa.Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2009 Feb;15(2):275-83. doi: 10.1002/ibd.20736.
7. Kang JH1, Yun SI, Park MH, Park JH, Jeong SY, Park HO. Anti-obesity effect of Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 in high-sucrose diet-induced obese mice.PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54617. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054617. Epub 2013 Jan 30.
Dr. Edward F. Group III has his Naturopathic Doctorate, Clinical Herbalist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Clinical Nutritionist certifications, and is a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition and the American Board of Functional Medicine. He founded Global Healing Center Inc. in 1998 which has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.
A dynamic author and speaker, Dr. Group focuses solely on spreading the message of health and wellness to the global community with the philosophy of full body cleansing, most importantly colon cleansing, consuming pure clean organic food, water, air, exercise and nutritional supplementation. Visit GlobalHealingCenter.com to learn more about living green and healthy!
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