The Most Effective Probiotic Supplements In 2020

Discover which probitioic supplements are worth buying, and which ones to watch out for.

Linda is our resident health and nutrition expert who recently retired from a 14-year career in biomedical sciences to pursue writing and researching natural health and wellness. In her free time, Linda enjoys spending time with her community gardening club and harvesting her own vegetables and flowers.

Believe it or not, not all bacteria is bad. Our bodies are made up of both good and bad bacteria, and collectively, they form a very delicate microbiome that keeps our bodies running smoothly. Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that live in our bodies and help our bodies maintain a healthy balance1.

Our bodies are made up of about 39 trillion bacteria, and together, they help to protect our bodies and keep us healthy. Most of this bacteria lives in our gut and helps to expel bad bacteria, break down fibre, and produce vitamins like B12 and K2.

Research has determined that as much as 70% of our immune health lies in our gut, which is why maintaining our gastrointestinal health is essential for overall wellness3. However, our body’s gut flora is a delicate microbiome that is easily disrupted.



Sometimes our bodies’ balance may be thrown off by an increase in bad bacteria due to a number of environmental factors or lifestyle choices, for example pollution and unhealthy foods. One of the easiest and most effective ways to restore this balance is by taking a probiotic supplement.

Due to their many benefits, probiotics have become some of the most popular supplements in the world. Studies have shown that probiotics can improve immune health and help prevent numerous health conditions, including diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, symptoms of Crohn's disease and more4.

Below, we will explore how probiotics work, how you can benefit by taking them, and which are the best probiotic supplements available on the market.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are simply the good bacteria that lives in our bodies. Typically, our bodies take a few of these good bacteria to reestablish a healthy gut and a neutral microbiome. Yet, sometimes when these reserves of good bacteria get emptied, we end up with too many harmful bacteria, and the balance of our microbiome is thrown off5.

When the bad bacteria overtakes the good bacteria in our bodies, our gut health and immune system become compromised. This makes us more prone to developing a number of health issues, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), urinary tract infections, colitis, high cholesterol, and more6,7.



The job of probiotics is to counteract the bad bacteria that enters our bodies by boosting the number of good bacteria in our gut, helping us stay neutral and healthy.

The effectiveness of probiotics lies within the different strains of bacteria. The varying strains of probiotics have vastly different impacts on your health, and some of them have more health benefits than others8. The most popular and effective strains of good bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Several studies suggest that the best way to restore your body’s gut flora and boost your immune system is by taking a quality probiotic supplement every day9.

Choosing the right probiotic supplement

With so much choice on the market, finding the right probiotic supplement can be challenging. We’ve done extensive research to determine what criteria you should look for when choosing your probiotic supplement.

Finding a quality probiotic supplement starts with choosing one that contains the best probiotic strains. When buying your supplement, you should seek one that has strains of both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Not only are they two of the most researched species, but different strains of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus also offer extensive health benefits, including:

Bifidobacterium:
  • Supports digestion and alleviates symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Helps to heal certain intestinal infections
  • Prevents you from catching the flu and common cold
  • Supports respiratory and heart health
  • Improves lactose digestion10

Lactobacillus:
  • Improves lactose digestion
  • Prevents you from catching the flu and common cold
  • Supports digestion and alleviates symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Promotes healthy weight management
  • Supports women’s health, such as preventing yeast infections and urinary tract infections11.

There are numerous probiotic supplements you can take for gut health, however, the only real way to reap the benefits from them is to choose the right one. Keep reading to see our picks for the top 5 best probiotics on the market.

What should I look for?

Considering all of the attributes listed above, we’ve compiled a list of the three essential criteria you should look for when choosing your turmeric curcumin supplement.

The probiotic supplement you choose should have at least two strains. As mentioned above, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are two of the most effective probiotic species found in probiotic supplements. Moreover, research has shown that they are both highly beneficial for immune and gut health. Both of these species have several strains that are clinically proven to help with digestion and immunity.

It goes without saying, but it’s essential that the supplement you take contains strains that are clinically-studied. There are hundreds of probiotic strains, but not all of them work. Make sure the supplement you buy has strains that have proven to be beneficial.

Numerous studies have shown that most people feel the benefits of probiotic supplements when they take a capsule that contains between 1 and 10 billion CFU (colony forming units).

CFU simply refers to the number of live microorganisms that are found in each dose of your probiotic supplement12.

When purchasing a probiotics supplement, choose one that has between 1 and 10 billion CFUs and contains quality strains.

Look for a product that offers a money-back guarantee on all purchases. Offering a money-back guarantee is a sign that a company is confident in the quality of the products they are providing.

What should I avoid?

Labels with too many strains and high CFU count

As we established previously, not all probiotics strains have been deemed effective by researchers. Just because the label on a supplement says there are a dozen strains, it doesn’t make the product more effective. A product with 5 quality probiotics strains will deliver better results than a product with 12 strains that have fewer benefits13.

The same can be said about the number of CFU on a label. According to the National Institute of Health, higher CFU counts in products do not translate to greater health benefits. Again, the type of microorganisms a product contains matter more than the number of microorganisms it contains.

Beware of online reviews (especially on Amazon)

Before purchasing any product, one of the first things we do when researching it is check its online reviews. Unfortunately, these are not always a trustworthy way to measure the quality and effectiveness of a product. Companies often pay for reviews on popular online retailers, like Amazon, to try and trick their way to a five star rating. While you should definitely consult these reviews before purchasing, do your own research as well.

How we evaluated the top 5

Over the last few years, the demand for probiotic supplements has surged as scientists and researchers continue to discover their many health benefits. While this means you have many options to consider when choosing your supplement, it can also be difficult to narrow down which ones will deliver the best results.

We researched the top rated probiotics on the internet to find the best ones available on the market and evaluated them based on product quality, customer service, and pricing.

Here are our top 5 probiotic supplement picks for 2020.

9.7 / 10 452 Votes TOTAL RANKING

A+

Overall Grade
INGREDIENT SAFETY
100%
PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
97%
VALUE
93%
RETURN POLICY
98%
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
98%

10

/10

9.7

/10

9.3

/10

9.7

/10

9.8

/10

PROS

  • Contains 3 species: Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus
  • Includes 6 clinically studied probiotic strains
  • 10 billion CFU
  • Vegan-friendly.
  • Money-back guarantee.
  • Recommended by healthcare professionals.
  • Product is reasonably priced.
  • Made in the UK.

CONS

  • Only available online

  • Express delivery is only available in the UK and European countries.

The Bottom Line

Of all the probiotic supplements that made our list, we find Pura Life Probiotic Complex to be the best quality product. Firstly, their supplement contains 3 essential bacteria species: Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus.

Also, the product contains 6 live strains, which are: Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus and Streptococcus thermophilus. All of these strains are clinically proven to support gut health, immune heath, women’s health, weight management and more. These strains are also easily absorbed by the body.

Pura Life probiotics have 10 billion CFU in each capsule, which is the dosage doctors and scientists recommend.

Their capsules are all made with vegan-friendly ingredients, so they are suitable for everyone. Additionally, there are no synthetic fillers of additives in their list of ingredients, which is what you want for your probiotics supplement.

2. Nutravita Bio Cultures Complex

8.6 /10 312 Votes TOTAL RANKING

B

Overall Grade
INGREDIENT SAFETY
91%
PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
87%
VALUE
90%
RETURN POLICY
78%
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
90%

9.1

/10

8.7

/10

9.0

/10

7.8

/10

9.0

/10

PROS

  • Free from artificial colours and flavours
  • GMO-free & vegan-friendly
  • Certified organic
  • Made in the UK

CONS

  • 40 billion CFU
  • 15 strains of bacteria

The Bottom Line

Nutravita’s probiotic supplement includes 15 different probiotic strains and three species of bacteria. The product has a few great live culture strains, including Bifidobacterium Lactis, Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Lactobacillus Casei Rhamnosus.

Many studies recommend a daily consumption of 1-10 billion, which is a lot less than the cfu count in this probiotic supplement. Moreover, the product has many strains of bacteria, which may not all be effective.

3. Nu U Bio-Cultures Complex

8.5 /10 269 Votes TOTAL RANKING

B

Overall Grade
INGREDIENT SAFETY
90%
PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
85%
VALUE
83%
RETURN POLICY
78%
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
87%

9.0

/10

8.5

/10

8.3

/10

7.8

/10

8.7

/10

PROS

  • 10 billion CFU
  • Good value for money
  • Made in the UK
  • 6-month supply

CONS

  • Brittle coating on capsules
  • No money-back guarantee

The Bottom Line

Nu U is one of the most popular probiotic products on the market. Their supplement contains five active strains in each capsule and 10 billion CFU, which is the recommended dosage. Overall, Nu U Bio-Cultures Complex is an effective probiotic supplement that contains strains that will greatly improve digestive health. The product comes in a 6-month supply, which is very convenient.

Unfortunately, their capsules have been produced with a brittle coating, which is not something you expect from a high-quality supplement, especially a probiotic which can be tempurature sensitive.

4. Bio-Kult Advanced Multi-Strain Formulation

8.4 /10 301 Votes TOTAL RANKING

B-

Overall Grade
INGREDIENT SAFETY
90%
PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
82%
VALUE
82%
RETURN POLICY
78%
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
95%

9.0

/10

8.2

/10

8.2

/10

7.8

/10

8.5

/10

PROS

  • Contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum
  • Reasonably priced
  • 10 billion CFU

CONS

  • Contains 14 different strains
  • Side effects

The Bottom Line

Bio-Kult Advanced Multi-Strain Formulation is sold in major retailers across the UK, including Boots and Superdrug. The product is well priced and contains Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium Longum, which have both been studied extensively.

However, after evaluating Bio-Kult’s formula, we believe that this popular probiotic supplement is perhaps not as effective as the label leads you to believe. The product has 14 different strains of bacteria, but only 10 billion CFU. This means that the probiotics are most likely not forming complete colony units, and therefore, will not be as effective. Not to mention, many of Bio-Kult’s customers have reported unpleasant side effects, including bloating, gas and stomach cramping.

5. Lindens Pro Bio Live Max

7.9 /10 207 Votes TOTAL RANKING

C

Overall Grade
INGREDIENT SAFETY
79%
PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
70%
VALUE
76%
RETURN POLICY
78%
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
70%

7.9

/10

7.0

/10

7.6

/10

7.8

/10

7.0

/10

PROS

  • Includes prebiotic
  • Made in the UK
  • No preservatives
  • Vegan-friendly

CONS

  • Packaging
  • Not vegan-friendly
  • Only 1 probiotic strain

The Bottom Line

Lindens Pro Bio Live Max is the only probiotic supplement on our list that contains just one strain of bacteria. The product has high potency Lactobacillus Acidophilus, which has been proven to treat various problems with digestion.

Although most good probiotic supplements contain Lactobacillus Acidophilus, we think that the formula would be even stronger if it also had strains of Bifidobacterium.

In addition, Lindens probiotics are packaged in a pouch, which does not protect the capsules very well. Many customers have reported that the capsules were damaged when they received them.

Final Thoughts

The Bottom Line

When it comes to choosing a great probiotic supplement to improve gut health and alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort, a higher cfu count does not necessarily mean it will be a better product. In fact, we believe that the best probiotic supplements are the ones that have carefully selected clinically-studied bacteria strains with the recommended 1-10 billion cfu per dose.

After searching the internet to find the best probiotics and evaluating them based on their customer service, ingredients and pricing, we believe Pura Life Probiotic Complex is the best supplement on the market.

Pura Life Probiotic Complex provides a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Click Here To Get Pura Life Probiotic Complex

CITATIONS

1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14598-probiotics

2. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-probiotics-really-work/

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515351/

4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics

5. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-probiotics-really-work/

6. https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics

7. https://uaslabs.com/the-best-probiotic-strains-and-what-they-do/

8. https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics

9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14557292

10. https://uaslabs.com/the-best-probiotic-strains-and-what-they-do/

11. https://uaslabs.com/the-best-probiotic-strains-and-what-they-do/

12. https://www.culturelle.com/resources/culturelle-cfu-count

13. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Probiotics-Consumer/

14. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Probiotics-Consumer/