5 Reputable Probiotic Brands

By Evan Jerkunica

Finding reputable probiotic brands can be a tricky proposition. There is very little consensus on what an actual probiotic may be classified as in the Food and Drug Administration which means that lists of ingredients may remain vague while putting the word ‘probiotic’ on a label. Probiotics are complex strains of bacteria which have a wide array of uses for the body and there is no single strain that is perfect for every individual or condition. That being said, there are a few companies and brands producing quality probiotics that would be given careful consideration.

A Probiotic For General Health

Taking probiotics for general health have huge benefits. While there are tons of edible, probiotic rich products on the market, sometimes the easiest way to get a probiotic fix is from a simple pill. Iflora Multi Probiotic contains 16 unique strains of probiotics that are great for daily usage. The every important Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli are both included in every pill in just the right daily dosage.

Probiotic(s) for IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome was one of the original uses of probiotics. The ability re-stabilize the bacterias found naturally within the bowels is a wonderful side effect of a regular ingestion of probiotics. Floraster has been producing probiotic yeasts containing saccharomyces boulardi which is one of the simplest and most effective cures for IBS. This strain has been used for thousands and can be found on the exotic lychee fruit. Another great brand for IBS is TuZen Probiotics. TuZen is a wonderful source for the important L plantarum 299v which has increased in popularity recently. There is a lot of new studies coming out on L plantarum 299v which show promising results to ease bloating, gas, and diarrhea. These should be two of the first brands that everyone looks to for IBS or general bowel discomfort.

Probiotic For Yeast Infections

Fem Dophilus packages two highly important strains, Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, into one easy capsule. Yeast infections are notoriously hard to clear out quickly and permanently. These capsules come in a perfect dose for yeast infections and they should be taken well after the last signs of yeast infections to prevent relapse.

Daily Diet Probiotic

Yes, not all probiotics come in pills and capsules. They can be savory and delicious and eaten every single day. Stonyfield Farms produces a delicious Greek yogurt which is packed full of naturally occurring probiotics. They remain one of the few large scale producers that remain completely organic and use no antibiotics or artificial growth hormones on their farms.

Here are a few other brands to keep in mind:

It can be quite tricky to navigate the probiotic world. It is a niche market in which the product is so valuable, and yet there are so few regulations on the quality or quantity of probiotics a material must contain to be labeled a probiotic. These brands are a great place to start when looking for probiotics for everything from everyday supplements to a healthy afternoon snack.

10 Benefits of Probiotics

By Evan Jerkunica

Probiotic supplements are live microorganisms – usually bacteria but sometimes yeasts– that are ingested for health benefits. Probiotics can be purchased as a supplement or eaten in certain natural foods such as yogurt with live and active cultures. People have been eating cultured yogurt for thousands of years, but the health benefits of probiotics are starting to be fully understood now. Potential health benefits of probiotics include:

Reducing Digestive Problems Caused by Antibiotics

Antibiotics used to treat infections can kill off beneficial bacteria in the intestines that are necessary for proper digestion. Many people taking antibiotics experience uncomfortable symptoms such as diarrhea. It has been found that consuming probiotics can prevent this by replenishing the natural populations of beneficial gastrointestinal bacteria.

Improving Absorption of Minerals

Lactobacilli in particular may help with absorption of trace minerals. Taking probiotic supplements may make you less likely to have a deficiency in these dietary nutrients.

Benefits for the Lactose Intolerant

Many lactose-intolerant individuals can eat yogurt, because the lactobacilli in the yogurt culture convert lactose sugar into lactic acid, which does not cause the uncomfortable digestive symptoms of lactose intolerance. Similarly, probiotic supplements with lactobacilli can improve digestion of lactose.

Preventing Infections

Probiotics may reduce the incidence of infections caused by harmful, invasive bacteria, especially after taking antibiotics. Without a healthy population of gastrointestinal bacteria, you are more prone to infections. If probiotics are taken, the beneficial bacteria are replenished and it is more difficult for harmful bacteria to invade your body and multiply.

Improving Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Lactobacillus plantarum and Bifidobacterium infantis strain 35624 probiotic supplements have both been shown in clinical studies to improve some of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Reducing Urinary Tract Infections

Taking probiotic supplements may decrease the incidence of both urinary tract infections and bacterial vaginal infections by decreasing the growth of infection-causing bacteria.

Treating Ulcerative Colitis

Several different probiotic supplements have been found useful for treating and preventing recurrence of ulcerative colitis.

Helping with Ulcers

Probiotic supplements may reduce the incidence and duration of ulcers by competing with the harmful Heliobacter pylori bacteria that cause ulcers.

Reducing Incidence of Colon Cancer

Some strains of Lactobacillus are thought to reduce the incidence of colon cancer by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme that can form carcinogens in the colon. Populations that consume more dairy foods containing lactobacilli have a lower incidence of colon cancer.

Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels

Probiotic supplements may have a small beneficial effect on hypertension and high cholesterol levels. This does not replace the need for medical treatment of these conditions, but probiotics can help.

Probiotics are safe except in people with severe immune deficiencies.

*Image provided by Voskos.*