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Choose the Best Probiotic For You

Choose the Best Probiotic for You

Choose the Best Probiotic for You

Originally Published on Lauren Minchen Nutrition

Brand really does make a difference. Supplement brands are more and more plentiful these days, but are they all actually effective? And does it matter if I purchase a drug-store brand? And then, what’s the correct dosage?

To give us some perspective, let me share some of the natural foods that contain probiotics:

  1. Yogurt (Greek and regular)
  2. Sauerkraut: Some studies have shown a 2-ounce serving of this fermented vegetable to contain tens of trillions of probiotic bacteria–that’s more than a whole bottle of 100 billion probiotic capsules! Needless to say, it’s very difficult to take too many probiotics
  3. Kombucha
  4. Kefir
  5. Natto, Miso & Tempeh, fermented soybeans
  6. Pickles
  7. Brine-cured olives
  8. Fermented vegetables
  9. Raw cheese

These natural foods contain beneficial bacteria for gut health and can be very helpful for promoting smooth digestion, healthy immune function, steady energy levels, healthy skin and effective weight management. However, with so many chemicals and additives in our food today, I have found that adding a probiotic to a healthy eating routine on a daily basis can be extremely supportive of gut and immune health. And many probiotic supplements are formulated to meet specific digestive, immune and other nutritional needs.

But, not all supplements are created equal! What differentiates an effective supplement from a worthless one? Researchers from Reviews.com started asking those very questions and compiled information from 221 different probiotic supplements to determine your top 8 best options for general health, immune health, anxiety, antibiotic recovery, and more. I found this guide so helpful that I’m including the top 8 results below. I was happy to see that the brand I most often recommend, Garden of Life, came out on top. Garden of Life prioritizes quality, sourcing, integrity and consistency of their ingredients in all of their supplements, and many of patients experience positive results from Garden of Life supplements ONLY! Brand really does make a difference.

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  1. General Health
    • Garden of Life RAW Probiotics Colon Care (50 Billion)
    • Runner-Up: MegaFlora (a bit less expensive but very effective)
  2. Antibiotic Recovery
    • Custom Probiotics 11-Strain Probiotic Powder
  3. Immune Boost (Allergies & Anxiety)
    • Renew Life Ultimate Flora Extra Care 30 Billion
  4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Disease (IBS/IBD), Acute Infectious Diarrhea
    • VSL #3
  5. Cholesterol Lowering
    • Innovix Labs Multi-Strain Probiotics
  6. Weight Loss
    • MegaFlora Probiotics
  7. Lactose Intolerance
    • Bio-Kult Advanced Probiotic Multi-Strain Capsules
  8. Women’s Health
    • Garden of Life RAW Probiotics Ultimate Care


How Did They Determine the Results?

The researchers at Reviews.com used the following method to determine the best probiotic supplements:

  1. They gathered a list of the most popular brands and included recommended supplements from health professionals
  2. With that list of 277 supplements, they eliminated any that included just 1 strain of bacteria
  3. They eliminated any products with no shelf life. That means that the researchers prioritized brands that counted the bacteria at the expiration date instead of at manufacturing date (probiotics don’t survive for long, and the manufacturing amount can decrease significantly before they reach you). You can find this information on the label
  4. They cut all brands with artificial ingredients, like sweeteners
  5. They then eliminated brands with prebiotics in the capsule. As helpful as these are, there is not enough in a capsule for effect. Just hype! And if you eat a well-rounded diet, you’re getting lots of prebiotics from plant foods naturally

Considering that the researchers started with 277 supplements and ended with just 8 at the top may help to illustrate to you the importance of knowing brands and researching their integrity and effectiveness. Purchasing the most effective probiotic–and any other supplement–will maximize the money and effort spent while targeting your specific needs.

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For more information about Reviews.com and their procedure, visit their website.

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Lauren Minchen

Lauren Minchen is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and the founder of Lauren Minchen Nutrition and Golda Bar. At Lauren Minchen Nutrition, Lauren provides nutrition counseling and consulting services for adults and children, specializing in digestive health, immune support, sports nutrition, prenatal nutrition, binge eating disorder, and general wellness. Golda Bar is the product of Lauren's drive to find truly healthy grab 'n go snack and food options. She decided to address the lack of high quality convenience food options herself by creating Golda Bar's line of lifestyle bars. Rich in grassfed protein, coconut oil, and raw cacao, these bars provide nourishment without GMOs, gluten, added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or sugar alcohols. In 2014, Lauren added a Masters in Public Health Nutrition to her Communications degree and nutrition credential. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the National Association of Professional Women. And she doesn't just love nutrition! Lauren enjoys time at the movie theater, running in Central Park, getting a taste of new NYC restaurants, reading a novel, and watching Jimmy Fallon.