- The 3 Best Probiotics For Constipation
- Probiotics for IBS: Real Medicine or Good Myth?
- What the Research Says
- Should You Consume These Potentially Beneficial Microorganisms?
- The Best IBS Diet To Prevent Flare-Ups
- Be Your Own Nutrition Detective
- Food And IBS
- IBS Diet: Kitchen Staples
- Foods To Avoid
- Low FODMAP Diet For IBS
- Find Your IBS Treatment Solution
- Learn More About IBS
- Is Greek Yoghurt low FODMAP?
- What is lactose Intolerance?
- Regular yoghurt:
- Greek Yoghurt:
- The Facts:
- USA Yoghurts
- Australian Yoghurt
- Yoghurts from Luxembourg and France
- UK Yogurts
- Canadian Yogurts
- Understanding Food Labels & Lactose Content
- Take away points:
- What are probiotics?
- Some of the bodily functions probiotics assist with include:
- How do probiotics help with IBS?
- Tips and tricks for purchasing probiotics
- Will I notice changes immediately?
- What’s the best time of day to be taking probiotics?
- The 10 best probiotics for IBS in 2019
- BioSchwartz Advanced Strength Probiotic
- #2 Prime Market – Time Release Probiotic
- #3 Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Probiotics
- #4 Dr. Tobias Probiotics for Women and Men
- #5 Alice Foods – Bifidus Best Advanced Probiotic
- #6 Digestive Advantage Intensive Bowel Support
- #7 Vitamin Bounty – Pro 50
- #8 Nature’s Bounty Acidophilus Probiotic
- #9 Phillips’ Colon Health Probiotic Capsules
- #10 Renew Life – Ultimate Flora Probiotic Extra Care 50 Billion
- Didn’t find what you’re looking for?
The 3 Best Probiotics For Constipation
If you’re fed up with feeling backed up, adding a daily probiotic to your routine might be just what you need to feel more regular. While probiotics are known for promoting gut health, some are better than others at easing digestive troubles specifically. The best probiotics for constipation contain bacteria strains found to be particularly good at keeping things moving through your digestive tract.
For constipation relief, certified dietitian and nutritionist Ilyse Schaprio, MS, RD, CDN, says to look specifically for these strains: Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Saccharomyces boulardii. And WebMd reported that those same strains can help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that often involves a mix of constipation and diarrhea.
What’s more, according to Harvard Medical School, all probiotics looked at in a study increased the number of weekly bowel movements and helped soften stool, but Bifidobacterium appeared to be the most effective strain. So, when shopping for a probiotic to make you feel more regular, make sure that it includes a Bifidobacterium strain at the very least, ideally the other strains mentioned above too. It’s also worth noting that a probiotic combined with a prebiotic might make your probiotics even more effective. That’s why several of the picks below include a probiotic prebiotic blend.
“For constipation, it’s also a good idea to make sure you are consuming enough fiber,” adds Schapiro. With that in mind, I also included a prebiotic, dye-free fiber powder in this roundup so that you can tackle your constipation completely.
1. The Best Overall: A Shelf-Stable Probiotic That Has More Than 2,000 Customer Reviews
With a whopping 4.8-star rating on Amazon and more than 2,000 customer reviews, Physician’s Choice probiotic supplement is something of a probiotic rockstar. The all-natural, doctor-approved formula comes in shelf-stable packaging that provides an impenetrable barrier against light, oxygen, and moisture, so you don’t have to worry about refrigeration, and the acid-resistant veggie capsules feature a delayed release for maximum absorption. Plus, it contains 10 bacteria strains, including several that are key for treating constipation: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium lactis. The potent formula also includes an organic prebiotic fiber, made from organic Jerusalem artichoke root, fibregum bio, and chicory root, to further support digestive health.
What fans are saying: “Since taking these, bathroom time is a breeze with no more constipation and no gas pains. It started helping within three days of taking, I am totally hooked.”
2. The Best For Constipation & Bloating: A 4-in-1 Daily Probiotic
If you’re dealing with more than a few of digestive woes, Phillips’ 4-in-1 Colon Health Daily Probiotic could be what you need to ease constipation, plus gas, bloating, and diarrhea. The shelf-stable probiotic features a proprietary blend of Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, and Lactobacillus Gasseri to replenish the good bacteria in the colon and restore gut health. And with a 4.4-star Amazon rating, and more than 700 customer reviews, this is a good bet for anyone dealing with multi-symptom digestive distress.
What fans are saying: “I have IBS with constipation and this is the best thing I’ve found so far that helps.”
3. The Best On A Budget: A Prebiotic & Probiotic Supplement With A Cult Following
With a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, and more 3,100 customer reviews, this Earth’s Pearl Probiotic & Prebiotic supplement has amassed a loyal fanbase for its ability to ease constipation issues. At first glance, the price might seem similar to our #1 pick on this list, but with Earth’s Pearls, you get twice as many capsules in one bottle — all for less than $20.
In addition to having the key bacteria strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium infantis, and Bifidobacterium lactis, the formula also includes a fiber-infused prebiotic that feeds the healthy bacteria already in the digestive system. What’s more, the pearls have a time-released formula, so all you need to do is take one easy-to-swallow pill in the morning to experience relief all day.
What fans are saying: “I’m back for my 3rd bottle of these magic beans! I have been taking them regularly for about 4-5 months now. I’ve had such positive results that I can’t imagine doing without them. No more constipation, or gas and bloating. I don’t have the issues with certain foods that I used too. I just have a general sense of feeling healthier. I’m a believer!”
4. Also Nice: A Prebiotic Dietary Fiber Supplement Powder
Adding a fiber powder to your routine is one way to increase your stool frequency, and this vegan-friendly prebiotic fiber powder from Microingredients boasts a triple-action formula. It contains inulin, acacia, and psyllium husk to promote digestion and colon and gut health. Plus, unlike other fiber powders on the market, this one contains no additives, preservatives, fillers, artificial colors, or flavors — and is soy and gluten-free.
What fans are saying: “I really like that there is no taste or grittiness, it dissolves completely and I am really happy with how regular I am.”
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle’s editorial and sales departments.
Probiotics for IBS: Real Medicine or Good Myth?
The use of probiotics has become increasingly popular in recent years, but whether or not they actually help people with irritiable bowel syndrome (IBS) remains questionable.
Everyone has large numbers of bacteria living inside their digestive tract. In fact, you have 10 times more bacteria cells in your body than all other cells combined. And though no one knows for sure what causes IBS symptoms, like stomach pain, cramping, constipation, or diarrhea, one theory is that symptoms are caused by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria.
Probiotics, on the other hand, are live microorganisms that are considered good bacteria. The theory on probiotics was that by adding lots of good bacteria to your digestive system, either with a supplement or simply by eating foods rich in probiotics, like yogurt, you could reduce the number of harmful bacteria and in turn help control symptoms of IBS.
But theory and reality aren’t the same thing.
“IBS may be caused by changes in normal bacteria of the gut,” says Maged Rizk, MD, vice-chair for the gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition department at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “These changes may cause the gut to be hypersensitive and affect the way the gut functions, causing symptoms of IBS. But that’s still just a hypothesis. We don’t know the exact cause of IBS yet.”
What the Research Says
There are two main types of probiotics. Some studies have suggested that the best type for IBS is bifidobacteria, as long as you take it in large enough amounts. The other main type is called Lactobacillus. “Bifidobacteria is the one usually found in supplements,” says Dr. Rizk. “Lactobacillus is the one usually found in yogurt.”
A major review published in June 2018 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology looked at the potential benefits of both kinds of probiotics for diarrhea. The review authors found “moderately good evidence” for preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea with use of both bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus.
One study, published in the journal BMC Gastroenterology, which looked specifically at the potential effects of probiotics for IBS, suggested the theory may lean more toward the side of myth. In this study of 76 people with IBS, one-half consumed a dairy product with probiotics twice a day, while the others consumed one without probiotics twice a day. After four weeks, IBS symptoms had improved in 57 percent of the probiotics group and 53 percent of the nonprobiotics group; after eight weeks, improvement in IBS symptoms was recorded for 46 percent of the probiotics group and 68 percent of the others — leading the researchers to conclude that probiotics were no better than nonprobiotics for IBS.
And a review published in 2016 in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics found inconclusive evidence that probiotics can treat IBS symptoms.
Should You Consume These Potentially Beneficial Microorganisms?
Until more studies have been done, the jury is still out on what if any benefit probiotics offer people with IBS.
“Probiotics have become increasingly more common in the media and in the general community. Patients commonly seek medical advice regarding whether probiotics would be beneficial to them,” says Christine Lee, MD, a gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “Randomized clinical trials, however, have not been able to sufficiently demonstrate statistical benefit specific for IBS.”
Lee notes that current studies may be flawed with methodological problems, including small sample sizes, too many variables, or even the wide variability of IBS spectrum from person to person.
Still, she says, “the general consensus, at this time, is that probiotics are generally thought to be safe and maybe helpful in some cases.”
Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved use of probiotics as a treatment for any disease. So far, other than increased gas, studies have not found any significant side effects from probiotics, but you should still talk to your doctor before starting on them, especially if you’re pregnant or have any serious health condition, or if you’re thinking of giving them to a child. Whether consumption of probiotics has any long-term side effects has not been determined.
Lee also warns that there is the potential that probiotics can be contaminated.
“Growing millions of bacteria, even those considered healthy, must be executed with the highest level of precision,” she says. “Any contamination with a pathologic strain of bacteria can have devastating outcome, particularly to those with multiple comorbidities, immune compromising conditions, or on immune suppressing medication.”
To avoid contaminated products, Dr. Lee recommends sticking to larger companies that have an established reputation and avoiding small, short lived, pop-up companies that do not have any track record. It’s also important to check the expiration date and follow storage information, such as refrigerating if instructed to do so and keeping the product away from heat or direct sunlight.
The bottom line is that it’s not yet known if probitiocs are myth or medicine yet. But if you’re interested in giving probiotics a try, and your doctor gives you the nod, you might start by eating yogurt with active probiotic cultures a few times a day, or by taking a probiotic supplement in pill or powder form. Until research has revealed more about the causes of IBS and the effects of probiotics, you’ll be conducting your own informal clinical trial to see if probiotics work for you.
Additional reporting by Ashley Welch.
The Best IBS Diet To Prevent Flare-Ups
Living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is frustrating, especially when it comes to mealtimes. You often can’t enjoy your meal because you’re so worried about whether your food choices will trigger an episode of bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea or constipation.
You’re not alone. An estimated 10 to 15 percent of people have IBS, which is twice as common in women, and it often goes undiagnosed. (Learn the 5 Signs You May Have IBS.) While the exact cause unknown, it’s clear that multiple factors – including the foods you eat – play a role in exacerbating symptoms.
Be Your Own Nutrition Detective
Get to know your body. Record your food intake and symptoms for one week. Record when and how much you ate and drank. At the same time, record your gastrointestinal symptoms. Noting the onset, reaction and severity of the symptoms will you identify the “trigger” food that may not be kind to your gut.
Food And IBS
Everybody responds to foods differently. A food that triggers an IBS attack in you may not be an issue for someone else. Figuring out what’s “safe” for you to eat and what to avoid is often a case of trial and error.
But there are some foods that are easier to digest – and others that are more likely to aggravate an already sensitive digestive system.
IBS Diet: Kitchen Staples
Stock your pantry and fridge with foods that are gentle on your system. You can use these foundational foods to create satisfying and healthy meals and snacks without causing stomach upset:
- Poultry and fish: High-fat foods, including red meat, overstimulate the gut. Instead, opt for chicken, turkey or fish.
- Cooked vegetables: Cooked vegetables are easier to digest than raw ones. However, you may still want to avoid cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, which can cause bloating and gas even when cooked.
- Certain grains: Gluten-free oatmeal and brown rice are usually well-received by people with IBS and provide soluble fiber, which helps regulate bowel movements.
- Low-fat yogurt: Some people with IBS have worse symptoms after eating dairy foods. But if you aren’t sensitive to the lactose in dairy, low-fat yogurt is filling and contains probiotics. Preliminary research suggests that these good bacteria may even help reduce IBS symptoms.
- Egg whites: Eggs are an excellent source of protein and don’t typically provoke IBS attacks. If fat is a trigger for you, use just the egg whites.
Foods To Avoid
These foods commonly spark a cascade of symptoms for people with irritable bowel syndrome:
- High-fiber products, found in cereals, grains, pastas and processed foods
- Gas-producing foods, like beans, lentils, carbonated beverages and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower
- Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and many processed foods
- Fried foods, which often cause gas and bloating especially in those who have reflux
- Coffee, which stimulates bowel activity in some who have reflux symptoms
- Spicy foods, which can worsen IBS symptoms for some people who contend with reflux
Low FODMAP Diet For IBS
Some people who have irritable bowel syndrome symptoms still do not feel well despite trying the basic ideas above. Luckily, researchers in last few years have determined a more specific diet therapy that has been helpful to those who require a more rigorous approach to get the response desired. Because of the complexity, it is best to enlist the help of a registered dietitian to implement the FODMAP diet.
Doctors frequently recommend the low FODMAP diet for those with IBS. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-saccharides, di-saccharides, mono-saccharides and polyols, specific types of carbohydrates that are more difficult for some people to absorb.
FODMAPs may lead to increased gas formation. Research indicates that following a low FODMAP diet reduces abdominal pain and bloating for the majority of people with IBS.
The Low FODMAP diet:
- Eliminates foods, including some fruits and vegetables, dairy, beans, wheat and a variety of condiments and other foods.
- Is a temporary solution until gut bacteria is under control, and you can tolerate these foods again.
- Works best with nutritional counseling.
- A dietitian can create a low FODMAP meal plan that provides all the necessary nutrients and is personalized to your food preferences.
Find Your IBS Treatment Solution
IBS treatment focuses on addressing symptoms. In addition to diet changes, other lifestyle factors like stress and sleep quality can also affect the disorder. The good news is that you can often manage IBS through lifestyle adjustments.
A gastroenterologist, a doctor that specializes in the digestive system, can help determine what factors have the most significant impact on your gut health and the treatments that will help you feel better. Improve your quality of life by finding a doctor today.
Learn More About IBS
- How to Manage IBS on Vacation
- 5 Signs You Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome
More Wellness Tips
By Robbie Schneider
Social Media Manager
Is Greek Yoghurt low FODMAP?
Choosing yoghurt is tricky enough these days with the vast array of offerings in the supermarket aisle, and the various claims that go with them. When you add lactose intolerance and a FODMAP diet to the equation, a lot of people become completely overwhelmed – and we don’t blame you.
The good news is, that you can enjoy yoghurt on a low FODMAP diet and choosing one may be easier than you expect. Everyday Nutrition has collaborated with Vanessa Cobarrubia RD, Diana Reid RD and Audrey Inouye RD from around the globe, to help you identify what yoghurt you can eat if you have lactose intolerance or are embarking on a low FODMAP diet.
What is lactose Intolerance?
Lactose is the natural sugar, or carbohydrate molecule in milk and milk products, including certain yoghurts. Lactose is a double sugar molecule, which requires an enzyme called Lactase, to break it down before it can be digested. How much lactose a person can consume comfortably, will depend on how much lactase they have in the lining of their digestive tract. If someone eats or drinks more lactose than they can digest, the lactose will stay in the digestive tract and continue its path to the large intestine where it is fermented by the healthy bacteria that live there. This creates gas as a side effect and contributes to bloating and abdominal pain. Lactose is also one of the FODMAPs that is known for attracting water into the digestive tract and causing diarrhoea.
Lactose intolerance is fairly common, especially in certain regions or populations, and has been extensively researched. As a result, we know that most people make some amount of lactase enzyme, and will do well with small amounts of milk in a cup of tea or coffee, but can find larger amounts (say a full cup of milk) problematic for the GI system.
Research shows that most people with lactose intolerance will tolerate about 4-7g of lactose per serve, and up to 12g spread out through the day.(1-4) Although lactose tolerance varies, in our clinical experience we have found traditional strained Greek yogurt to be well tolerated by those on a fodmap diet. Of course, discussing with your own healthcare provider is always the best idea.
Yogurt is the end result of the fermentation process from adding the bacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus to milk. These organisms produce bacterial lactase, which converts lactose into lactic acid, and provides that characteristic tangy taste and thick texture in fermented dairy products. As a result of this fermentation, the lactose of yoghurt is significantly reduced (by 20-30%), compared to milk, and is often tolerated better (less bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea).(5) Finally, some yoghurt brands also add therapeutic strains of bacteria, for their probiotic effect or for digestive relief.
Greek yoghurt is slightly different from regular yoghurt, because it goes through an extra processing step. To make traditional Greek yoghurt, once the yoghurt has been through the usual fermentation phase, it is then strained and the watery part is discarded. The benefit of this is that when the watery whey is strained and discarded, much of the lactose goes with it. The end result is a yoghurt that is thicker and creamier as well as higher in fat and lower in lactose. In a natural or plain flavoured Greek yoghurt, you can see this on the nutrition information panel, which lists carbohydrates as usually around 4-6g/100ml.
Note: Don’t be fooled by “Greek style” yoghurt though. This has not been through the straining process that lowers the lactose. Instead it contains added thickeners, to help simulate the texture of true Greek yoghurt..
- FODMAP Friendly gave full-fat, Greek Yogurt the pass at 200grams. This can be attributed to the fermentation combined with the straining process.
- Monash has not tested Greek yogurt.
- Internationally, regular yoghurts vary in lactose content and appear to be anywhere from 5g per 100g up to 14g per 100g.
- Lactose content will vary based on fat content and processing techniques
- On average strained Greek yoghurts contain 5-8 grams of lactose per 6 ounce serving.
Listed below is the lactose content per 6 oz. per email communications with several United States companies:
- FAGE Total Plain Greek Yogurt: 5g
- Stonyfield Plain Whole Milk Greek: 6g
- Yoplait Greek Yogurt: 6.8g
- CHOBANI stated “As a result of our authentic straining process, most CHOBANI Greek Yogurt products contain less than 5% lactose per cup.”
- Dannon stated “At this time we do not track the amount of lactose in Dannon yogurts.”
- Zoi stated “We do not have a study on how much lactose we have on our lactose products. We do perform testing on our lactose free products to be sure we are following our specifications. I will be sending some product to our testing company but it will take a few weeks to get the results back. “
- Natural sugars (lactose) per 100g
- Chobani whole milk yoghurt: 2.7g
- Danone Yo Pro: 4.4g
- Jalna Greek yoghurt: 4.8g
- Woolworths Skyr: 2.9g
- Liddells Lactose free
- Zymil lactose free
- Barambah lactose free
Yoghurts from Luxembourg and France
General note: Total carbohydrates are listed on the label, as well as what amount is sugar (not added sugar per se). Lactose content for the following yoghurts is listed as grams per 100g/100ml
- Danone Le Petit Frais, Nature: 2.2 g
- Nestle YAOS yaourt à la Grecque: 3.4 g
- Danone Yaourt Oikos Greek Nature: 3.5 g
- Skyr Natural Yaourt (yoghurt): 4.0 g
- Auchan Yaourt Natures: 4.2 g
- Auchan bifidus nature: 4.3 g
- LuxLait ProDige Yaourt Nature Nature: 4.6 g
- Auchan Yaourt à la Grecque Nature: 4.7g
- Weihenstephan Yaourt Nature 3.5%: 5.3 g
- Pur Natur Bio Yaourt Nature: 5.7 g
Grams of lactose (where known) are listed per 100 g serving.
- Tesco Lactofree Strawberry Raspberry Yogurt
- Fage Total 0% Fat: 3.0 g
- Fage Total 5% Fat: 3.0 g
- Tesco Finest Greek Yogurt: 3.3 g
- Liberté Greek Style Yogurt, Natural 0%: 3.3 g
- Lancaster Farm Natural Bio Yogurt: 3.7 g
- Skyr Light and Free Icelandic Style Yogurt, Raspberry: 3.4 g
- Skyr Icelandic Style Yogurt, Simply Natural: 4 g
- Tesco Greek Style Natural Yoghurt: 5.4 g
Natural sugars (lactose) per 100 grams:
Understanding Food Labels & Lactose Content
- For natural (i.e. unsweetened) yoghurts, the sugar content on the nutrition panel will be lactose, and will be a guide to its suitability
- For sweetened yoghurts with added sugars (including cane sugar, corn syrup, glucose, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate) the same rule does not apply, because the total ‘sugars’ will be a combination of lactose and sweeteners used
- The food label does not accurately reflect the lactose content for lactose free products. They have been pre-treated with a lactase enzyme, which has already broken down the lactose
Take away points:
- Based on clinical judgement and the research around lactose intolerance, 200 grams (approximately 3/4 cup or 6.5 ounces) of strained Greek yogurt can be consumed during the low FODMAP Elimination Phase. If you have concerns start with a smaller portion of plain Greek Yogurt and increase to full serving as tolerated.
- Consuming yoghurt with other foods (that contain fat and fibre, for example) will often lessen symptoms of lactose intolerance. These foods empty out of the stomach more slowly, reducing the amount of lactose entering the small intestine at one time. An example of this would be to eat your yoghurt mixed with low FODMAP nuts, seeds, fruit, granola or muesli.
- When choosing a low FODMAP Greek Yogurt avoid those containing high FODMAP fruits, inulin, chicory root, whey protein concentrate, and fructose.
5. Oskar Adolfsson Simin Nikbin Meydani Robert M Russell. Yogurt and gut function The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 80, Issue 2, 1 August 2004, Pages 245–256.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects up to 20% of the world’s population. It’s an uncomfortable and inconvenient condition that greatly affects your quality of life. There’s no cure for IBS just yet, but if you’re after something to alleviate your symptoms and help you get back on track then specific probiotics for IBS may be exactly what you’re looking for.
What are probiotics?
microbial bacteria under the microscope
Microbiota are groups of bacteria, yeast and microorganisms that live in your small and large intestines. You might think that bacteria would be a bad thing (and you definitely have nasty bacteria in your body) but so long as there’s a good balance between the good and bad bacteria, your gut will be healthy.
Probiotics are good microbes that, when provided in the correct amount, help maintaining the balance of the gut flora. Within your gut you can have more than 300 trillion good and bad bacteria floating around at any one time.
Some of the bodily functions probiotics assist with include:
- Helping to manage symptoms of various conditions/infections like IBS, infectious diarrhea and eczema
- Producing vitamins A, K and B12
- Responsible for 70% of the body’s immune response
- Defence against bad bacteria
- Controlling hormones in women
- Maintaining urinary and vaginal health
Probiotics can be found and consumed naturally in foods like pickles, kimchi, yoghurt and many fermented drinks. These may not be stocked in your pantry usually so you can also get your probiotic hit through high quality probiotic supplements.
Whilst you may not have probiotic-rich foods in your kitchen, you most definitely have prebiotic foods. Bananas, garlic, onions, oats, asparagus and more all contain indigestible fibres called prebiotics that are used as fuel for your probiotics. So if you’re wanting to give your probiotics the best chance at boosting your gut health and reducing IBS symptoms, get some prebiotics into your diet.
How do probiotics help with IBS?
Research suggests that specific strains of probiotics have been effective in treating IBS symptoms
First we need to understand IBS. If you’re reading this article it’s likely you already understand what this condition entails, but for those who don’t, here are the symptoms to look out for:
- Cramping and abdominal pain
- Either constipation or diarrhea (can experience both)
- Mucus in stools
- Bowels not feeling empty after going to the toilet
One in five people will experience IBS at some point in their lives, with women being affected 2-3 times more than men according to this research article.
Despite these numbers, the exact cause of this common condition remains unknown. Triggers can include stress, food allergies, low fibre diets with lots of sugar or even spicy food, some medications and infections such as gastroenteritis.
Here are some awesome ways that probiotics can help ease the symptoms of IBS:
- Creating a barrier of mucus in the intestines to lower sensitivity and prevent them from becoming irritated as easily.
- Naturally boosting immune function, acting as an anti-inflammatory agent in the the gut to discourage IBS symptoms.
- Decrease the growth of harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Clostridium that are commonly found in high numbers in people who suffer from IBS.
- Balancing gut flora which reduces bloating, gas and therefore cramping.
Be sure to consult your doctor before starting use of probiotics for your IBS, they will be able to give you recommendations on products for your specific needs and double check that it won’t exacerbate any pre-existing medical conditions. They will also inform you of any potential side effects.
Tips and tricks for purchasing probiotics
- Get the right amount of colony forming units (CFU’s) for your body. You can start out low (around 10-50 billion CFU’s) and once your body is used to it, get a product with as many CFU’s as possible.
- Get the right probiotic strains for your IBS, generally Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria will fight off IBS-causing bacteria as mentioned in this medical article.
- Make sure there’s a coating on your capsules to protect them from being killed by your stomach acid.
- Purchase the product with the furthest expiry date and make sure it’s been refrigerated at the chemist (if necessary).
- Read the label carefully and make sure there are no triggers for your IBS in the product. Bonus tip: Look for a product with extra vitamins and no fillers.
- Get a product with prebiotics included
- Aim for one tablet daily as the recommended dose to keep it nice and easy.
Will I notice changes immediately?
When trying new products, it’s always healthy to keep in mind that you probably haven’t found a miracle cure. But that’s not to say you won’t notice awesome results in a short period of time.
Issues like bloating, cramping and gas can even be alleviated within the first couple hours of taking your probiotics. Generally though, you should expect to see more major changes around the two week mark.
Factors like a poor diet, not getting enough exercise, medications that make your body more acidic, or a low quality probiotic supplement could all hinder your results.
PRO TIP: You should expect to notice changes around the two week mark.
What’s the best time of day to be taking probiotics?
Another factor that will determine how well your probiotic supplement works, is when you take it. Generally, to see best results, taking it directly before or with a meal as shown in this medical study.
Taking your probiotic with your meal means that the food can act as a barrier between the friendly bacteria and your stomach acid, ensuring you get the most CFU’s delivered into your gut. This is going to be your best option.
Should I take my probiotic at breakfast, lunch or dinner?
This depends entirely on you. As a general rule, taking your probiotic in the morning will give you positive effects throughout the whole day. But depending on when your IBS symptoms are at their most prevalent, take your probiotic with the meal that comes just before your symptoms generally appear.
How often do I need to be taking my probiotics?
Daily is best. Get a probiotic supplement that’s a once a day dose so you stay on track easier. The probiotics you ingest will actually pass through and out of your system with your daily bodily functions, so keep it consistent to get the best results.
PRO TIP:It’s best to take your probiotic in the morning with breakfast. For best results aim to take it consistently at the same time each day.
The 10 best probiotics for IBS in 2019
So now for the part you’ve been waiting for. Our top 10 probiotic picks for 2019 to help you get some relief from those IBS symptoms.
BioSchwartz Advanced Strength Probiotic
Guaranteed potency until they expire
With a lot of probiotic products, it’s best to choose the bottle that’s furthest away from its expiry date as they lose their potency over time. However, BioSchwartz Probiotic guarantees your strains will be ready and at their full potential no matter how long they’ve been in the bottle (as long as you use them before their expiry). And they don’t need to be refrigerated to boot.
Big focus on immune and digestion
This is a two-pronged approach. Boosting your immune system to fight off symptoms of IBS whilst targeting digestive issues like gas, bloating and cramps, your bowels will thank you for taking this probiotic.
Price: (60 capsules) on Amazon
- Third party tested
- Refrigeration not required
- 40 billion CFU’s per serving
- Guaranteed potency until expiry date
- Contains prebiotic fibre
- Twice daily dose
- Not overly transparent about strains (looks to be about 5)
#2 Prime Market – Time Release Probiotic
Targeted for gas and bloating
Prime Market has developed a product that they claim has been approved by doctors, to target embarrassing gas and excessive bloating. Sufferers of IBS can rejoice knowing their symptoms will be reduced or they can get 100% of their money back!
Added goodies for immune health
You’ve also got 500mg of Vitamin C and Echinacea Purpurea powder added into every serving. Both of these will boost your immune system and a strong immune response equals less IBS.
- Vitamin C and Echinacea for immune support
- Gluten, soy and dairy free
- 100% money back guarantee
- All natural
- Only 10 billion CFU’s
- Not transparent about how many strains are in the product
- Twice daily dose
#3 Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Probiotics
Time release capsules for sensitive guts
Hyperbiotics claim this product will be released gradually every hour so that your stomach and intestines have the time to adjust. This is a major plus for IBS sufferers as it’s been shown that when probiotics are released into the system all at once, flare-ups and irritation can be caused.
Natural prebiotics to fuel your friendly bacteria
This product contains a naturally-derived prebiotic to make sure your probiotics have food to grow and thrive inside your gut.
You can read more about Hyperbiotics PRO-15 here.
- 15 strains of probiotics
- Timed release to avoid upsetting digestive system
- Assists with weight loss and increased energy
- Vegetarian, lactose and gluten free
- Smaller capsules called “pearls”
- Only 5 billion CFU’s
- 3 pearls a day recommended for intense support
#4 Dr. Tobias Probiotics for Women and Men
Spore-forming probiotic strains
This product includes a couple spore-forming strains of probiotics that are extremely resistant to your stomach acid. A huge amount of customer reviews claim that after switching to this product they are seeing results they never had with other products. So if your probiotic isn’t getting you where you need to be, this might be the one for you.
Once daily dose
With 30 billion CFU’s per capsule, this once daily dose is going to give you the big hit of good bacteria that you need. It’s convenient and easy to remember, keeping you consistent with your probiotics.
Price: (30 capsules) on Amazon
- 30 billion CFU’s
- Vegetarian, time-delay release capsules
- Once daily dose
- Can cause excessive gas in some users
#5 Alice Foods – Bifidus Best Advanced Probiotic
Cures tummy troubles
Got gas? Well, customers writing reviews on this product are commonly reporting less gas and less stomach problems. So bloating and discomfort after eating will be a thing of the past.
You’ve got nothing to lose
This product comes with a 100% money back guarantee, so if you don’t love it, send it back for a refund. You know it’s going to be good if a company is offering you a risk-free guarantee like this.
- Targeted at digestive and immune systems
- Around 5 billion CFU’s per capsule
- 7 different strains
- 1-3 times daily serving
#6 Digestive Advantage Intensive Bowel Support
Targeted for IBS sufferers
Digestive Advantage probiotic products are all targeted at different health concerns, this product is specifically for IBS sufferers. It may only have 1 billion cells per service but it’s Bacillus coagulans which assist mainly with many forms of diarrhea, also has digestive enzymes as protease, amylase and lipase, be sure to pick this one up if your main IBS worry is runny bowel movements.
Price: (96 capsules) on Amazon
- Targeted for IBS sufferers
- Bacillus coagulans strain of probiotic to help with diarrhea
- Contains digestive enzymes
- Once daily dose
- Only 100 billion cells
- Only 1 strain
#7 Vitamin Bounty – Pro 50
If you’re looking for a great all-rounder, this is the perfect product. With 50 billion CFU’s per serving and 13 strains targeted at helping with digestive health, these probiotics will be safely delivered into your system with patented capsule technology.
Get a hit of greens
Vitamin Bounty has chosen to add a dose of Fermented Greens into each capsule that are designed to mix perfectly with the 13 selected strains of probiotics to ease your IBS symptoms. This is exactly the kind of added nutrients and vitamins you need when giving your body the best chance at fighting bad bacteria.
- 50 billion CFU’s
- 13 strains
- No need to refrigerate
- Added fermented greens
- Patented technology time-delay release capsules
- Be sure to double check if any of the Fermented Greens could exacerbate your IBS
#8 Nature’s Bounty Acidophilus Probiotic
Simple product targeted at digestion
Many customer reviews state that this probiotic has given them relief from IBS symptoms, general digestive problems and kept their bowel movements regular. This product only contains Lactobacillus Acidophilus which is a probiotic strain specifically for digestion and restoring healthy gut flora.
Watch the expiry
Some Amazon users have purchased two bottles of this product as a pack but have received them only to realise they would not be able to use all the capsules before they expired. Double check with your provider before ordering to avoid this issue.
Price: (100 tablets) on Amazon
- Once daily serving, does not need to be taken with a meal
- Simple product to target digestion
- No artificial flavours or colours
- Super affordable
- Only 100 million organisms
- Only 1 strain
#9 Phillips’ Colon Health Probiotic Capsules
Treat four symptoms with one capsule
Phillip’s claims to provide defense against four of the main symptoms of IBS; gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. So no matter what your symptoms are, they’ve got you covered.
Be patient and stick with it
Most reviews on this product recommend waiting 2 weeks until you see results, at this point your symptoms should be dramatically reduced.
- Once daily dose
- 3 targeted strains
- Deals with main 4 symptoms of IBS
- Only 1.5 billion cells of probiotics
- Results seen after 2 week mark
#10 Renew Life – Ultimate Flora Probiotic Extra Care 50 Billion
Huge amount of strains and CFU’s
This may not be targeted specifically at IBS but it’s packed with 50 billion CFU’s and a 12 different strains of probiotics, so you’re going to get great results either way. With such a huge range, every facet of health that probiotics can affect, you’re going to see improvements in.
Great, reliable brand
Renew Life have many awesome and well-trusted probiotic products on the market and the reviews speak for themselves. With over 1,700 reviews and a 4.5 star overall rating, you are almost 100% guaranteed to get what you need from this product, and more!
- 50 billion CFU’s
- 12 strains
- Once daily dose
- Dairy and gluten free
- Not specifically targeted for IBS
Didn’t find what you’re looking for?
Here are some more specific probiotic supplements:
- top probiotics for men
- top probiotics for women
- top vegan probiotics
- top probiotics for weight loss
Dr. Paula Cortiñas
Paula Graduated from the medical School of the Universidad Central de Venezuela. She is a gynecologist, reproductive endocrinologist (Universidad de Alcalá, España) and human reproductive biologist (Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas). She is also the Professor of Postgrade of Gynecology Oncology and has been the co-ordinator of the Reproductive endocrinologist section of the Sociedad de Obstetricia y Ginecología de Venezuela since 2012.
Last Updated on January 26th, 2019