What Are the Top Three Probiotics?

Reviewed on 10/19/2021

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are considered “good bacteria” or “friendly bacteria” that can keep the gut healthy and prevent infections. The main probiotics used include Lactobacilli acidophilus (L. acidophilus), Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardii.
Probiotics are considered “good bacteria” or “friendly bacteria” that can keep the gut healthy and prevent infections. The main probiotics used include Lactobacilli acidophilus (L. acidophilus), Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardii.

Probiotics are what is often referred to as “good bacteria” or “friendly bacteria.” Not all bacteria cause illness. Probiotics are a type of bacteria that live in the body and help keep the gut healthy and can help defend the body from infections.

Probiotics and prebiotics are not the same. Prebiotics are a source of food for probiotics. 

The main probiotics used include: 

  • Lactobacilli acidophilus (L. acidophilus)
    • This is a type of bacteria that makes lactic acid by breaking down carbohydrates
    • Lactobacillus is often found in yogurt and other fermented foods
    • Different strains can help with diarrhea resulting from oral antibiotic use and other strains may help treat vaginal yeast infections
  • Bifidobacterium 
  • Saccharomyces boulardii 
    • A yeast that can help fight diarrhea and other digestive problems

The “top three” probiotics is somewhat subjective. It depends on what you are looking for and how different sources rank what they consider a “top” product.

Probiotics.org top three ranked probiotics are: 

  • United Natural’s Synbiotic 365
  • 1MD’s Complete Probiotics Platinum
  • Visbiome capsules

Amazon.com’s top three best-selling probiotics include: 

  • Physician’s Choice 60 Billion Probiotic
  • Garden of Life Once Daily Women’s Probiotic
  • Culturelle Daily Probiotic, Digestive Health Capsules 

What Are Probiotics Used For?

Probiotics are used to help restore the balance of gut bacteria. Studies on the effectiveness of probiotics are mixed, and it is unclear how probiotics can improve health. 

Probiotics are frequently taken: 

Studies are currently investigating if probiotics may help prevent or treat:

Are Probiotic Supplements Necessary?

Probiotics are not always necessary. Consuming a healthy diet should help most people maintain a healthy gut without supplements. This type of diet is comprised of:

  • fruits and vegetables,
  • whole grains,
  • beans and legumes,
  • yogurt, and
  • fermented foods (kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut)  

Are There Risks of Taking Probiotics?

Probiotics may not always help, but they are usually not harmful. However, there may be some risks with probiotic supplements

  • Probiotics are considered dietary supplements in the United States and are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) like medications, which means products may not contain what the labels claim they do
  • People with weakened immune systems (such as people on cancer chemotherapy or with certain illnesses) may get an infection following use of probiotics

Talk to your doctor before adding probiotic supplements to your diet. 

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Reviewed on 10/19/2021
References
https://www.uptodate.com/contents/probiotics-the-basics?search=probiotics&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~135&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://probiotics.org/the-best-probiotic-brands-a-comparison/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/hpc/3774071

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&contentid=Lactobacillus

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4908950/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3296087/