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14 Best Probiotic Supplements Of 2022, According To A PhD

Kristine Thomason
mbg Health & Fitness Director
By Kristine Thomason
mbg Health & Fitness Director
Kristine Thomason is the health and fitness director at mindbodygreen.
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN
Expert review by
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN
mbg Vice President of Scientific Affairs
Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN is Vice President of Scientific Affairs at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia.
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Last updated on May 6, 2022
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At this point, the word "probiotic" is as much in the wellness zeitgeist as "organic" or "omega-3s".

You're probably well aware that these beneficial bugs are crucial for your gut health, and you may even be familiar with the wide array of probiotic foods (kombucha! kimchi! yogurt!) that help nourish your gut microbiome.*

And while a diet rich in these foods is certainly important for maintaining a healthy gut, sometimes our body needs a little extra support in the form of probiotic supplements.*

Now, that's where things get a little more complicated. Here's the thing: Not all probiotic supplements are created equal. "Probiotic" is an umbrella term, but the reality is there is a wide variety of different probiotic strains—each with varying benefits to consider. Not to mention, the quality of your probiotic is also crucial.

Since there are so many probiotic supplements out there to choose from, I tapped mindbodygreen's VP of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, to help cut through the noise. Check out her insights on exactly what to look for in a probiotic supplement, plus her favorite probiotic on the market right now.

What to look for in a probiotic supplement

Here, Ferira shares her tried-and-true factors to consider when seeking an A+ probiotic supplement:

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1.

Strain-level specificity

When it comes to your probiotic, the individual strains and their collective totality are what it's all about. Without the parts, there is no whole. A premium probiotic will be formulated in a way that considers the clinical science backing each strain, (i.e., which strain, at what dose, does the research recommend for each health support area?).

Turn over your probiotic and read the Supplement Facts panel. Do you see three pieces of info per probiotic: genus, strain, and species? Many products will only list the first two (genus and species). Ferira explains that listing only a strain without its species is like saying you live on planet Earth without mentioning which country or state you live in. That information is essential to ensure the probiotic is meeting your specific needs and goals.

2.

Dose & clinical evidence

Although there are no recommended daily values for probiotics, supplements should include doses of each strain based on the published scientific evidence from clinical studies. For example, since clinical research has shown that a dose of 1.5 billion CFU of the strain Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 supports digestion and regularity, while reducing gas (translation: less bloat). So a gut health probiotic that features B. lactis HN019 should include at least 1.5 billion CFU, the clinically efficacious dose.*

Unfortunately, companies will often cut costs by including lower doses. This practice, called dusting, is common in the probiotic supplement world, and something to watch out for.

Another way certain products will skirt sharing the doses of each strain is by using "proprietary blends" with a total CFU count. If that's the case, we recommend you ask the company how many CFU of each strain are present in that blend and what studies back each strain.

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3.

Robust quality

We recommend probiotics from reputable brands that care about the quality of their supplements, from raw materials to the finished product. Whether or not a probiotic is shelf-stable or requires refrigeration is not a matter of quality. However, it is important to follow those usage recommendations, as those conditions indicate how the probiotic is designed to be utilized and how it will remain stable over time. 

4.

Other ingredients

We look for supplements with a short list of "others." In other words, less unnecessary or synthetic fillers, dyes, flavors, sweeteners, etc. If the probiotic features other complementary active ingredients (e.g., prebiotic fiber or herbal extracts), they should be science-backed and also include effective levels.

Vegan capsules are some of the cleanest delivery formats for a probiotic, while gummies will have the longest list of ingredients (plus sugar).

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What to avoid:

  • Missing strain(s): No strain listed on label or strains with limited scientific support.
  • Dusting: Clinically irrelevant levels of probiotic strains.
  • Gummies: While gummies can be useful for delivering certain types of vitamins, minerals, and other actives, probiotics are much more efficiently and cleanly consumed (i.e., live strains in potent CFU doses) in capsules, softgels, tablets, and powders.
  • Less-than-savory "others": Processed ingredients, artificial sweeteners, synthetic flavors and colors.
  • Iffy claims: Irresponsible or bogus claims not rooted in science (again, per probiotic strain).

Best probiotics of 2022

With these criteria in mind, here are the best science-backed probiotic supplements on the market right now, vetted by Ferira.

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At a glance:

Best for gut health: mindbodygreen probiotic+

At mindbodygreen, we have very particular criteria when it comes to high-quality supplements—so when we developed our own probiotic, we made sure it checked all the boxes. mindbodygreen probiotic+ features a unique combination of four clinically tested strains, which help ease bloating, aid digestion, and holistically support your gut microbiome.*

probiotic+, mindbodygreen ($69/month)

mbg probiotic+ supplement bottle
mindbodygreen

Best for immune health: Metagenics UltraFlora® Immune Booster

Don't forget that 70% of your immune system lives in your gut. This probiotic supplement, in particular, features a duo of Lactobacillus strains meant to help support healthy nasal, sinus, and respiratory function.*

UltraFlora® Immune Booster, Metagenics ($57)

Metagenics

Best for mood: Garden of Life Probiotics Mood+

Yes, your gut health can have an influence on your mood, too. This supplement specifically contains clinically studied L. helveticus R0052 and B. longum R0175, demonstrated to support emotional well-being. What's more, it contains adaptogenic ashwagandha, which aids with stress management.*

Probiotics Mood+, Garden of Life ($47)

Garden of Life probiotic
Garden of Life

Best for energy: Nature MD RevBiotics™

Featuring a blend of probiotics, herbal prebiotics, and potent botanicals, this formula is designed to help support your energy levels and mental clarity throughout the day.*

RevBiotics™, Nature MD ($135/3 boxes)

Nature MD probiotic
Nature MD

Best for oral health: NOW OralBiotic® Lozenges

That's right, your mouth has a microbiome, too (check out our guide to the oral microbiome to find out more). This probiotic supplement features Streptococcus salivarius K12, a strain shown to help the body's natural defenses starting with the mouth.*

OralBiotic® Lozenges, NOW ($12)

NOW oralbiotic
NOW

Best for vaginal health: BiomeMD® for Women

For a probiotic that supports vaginal health and overall feminine care, look no further. This formula features clinically studied probiotic strains relevant to the urogenital tract that support vaginal and urinary health.*

BiomeMD® for Women, 1MD ($55)

1MD probiotic
1mD

Best prenatal probiotic: MegaFood Baby & Me 2 Prenatal Probiotic + Prebiotic

Prenatal supplements are so helpful for nourishing mom and baby—and we love that this option features both probiotics and prebiotics. It contains an array of strains including Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001, which studies suggest may help support baby's developing immune system, particularly during the last trimester & early breastfeeding.*

Baby & Me 2 Prenatal Probiotic + Prebiotic, MegaFood ($33)

MegaFood probiotic
MegaFood

Best during perimenopause: MenoLabs MenoFit

Another important stage of life to consider, women in perimenopause and menopause could benefit from a targeted probiotic supplement. This one in particular has a blend of 28 ingredients—probiotics, herbal botanicals (astaxanthin), vitamins (C, D3, K2, riboflavin, B6, folate, B12), and minerals. Consider this a probiotic plus multi-nutrient complex with ingredients to support what's happening in the body during this time.*

MenoFit, MenoLabs ($50)

Menofit probiotic
Menofit

Best on a budget: Solgar Probi® 30

For a slightly lower price point, this probiotic supplement is a solid choice. Just note that it's a single-strain option, albeit at a potent dose, featuring Lactobacillus plantarum 299v.

Probi® 30, Solgar ($31)

Solgar probiotic
Solgar

Best synbiotic bundle: mindbodygreen gut health bundle+

In order to support a healthy gut microbiome, it's important to include both probiotics and prebiotics (which feed the good probiotic bacteria) in your diet and lifestyle. One fantastic way to check both boxes? The mindbodygreen gut health bundle+, which includes probiotic+ along with our organic veggies+ greens powder. In addition to a wide array of powerhouse organic fruits and veggies, this superfood powder contains prebiotic fiber from inulin and flax.*

gut health bundle+, mindbodygreen ($118/month)

mbg / mbg

Best powder: Designs for Health Probiotic Synergy™ Powder

If you prefer a powder delivery, this probiotic supplement fits the bill. It dissolves easily into water and contains five targeted probiotic strains. As a bonus, it also includes inulin, for a bit of prebiotic fiber.

Probiotic Synergy™ Powder, Designs For Health ($60)

Designs for Health Probiotic Synergy™ Powder
Designs for Health

Best for teens: Avira Organics Probiotics – Teens' Mood Support

Support your teenager's overall health and well-being with this probiotic supplement, specifically designed to help manage mood. It contains a strategic blend of probiotics and prebiotics, along with organic herbs.*

Probiotics – Teens' Mood Support, Avira Organics ($22)

Avira probiotic
Avira

Best for kids: Klaire Labs Ther-biotic® Children's Chewable

Nourish your kiddos' gut with these easy-to-take chewables. They contain eight different Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species (although we'd really like to know the strain info too), which research suggests may help support gastrointestinal health and immune function in children.*

Ther-biotic® Children's Chewable, Klaire Labs ($50)

Klaire Labs probiotic
Klaire Labs

Best for baby: Culturelle Baby Calm and Comfort Probiotics

Baby's gut health is important, too! These soothing chamomile drops contain the specific probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG to help support your infant's digestive health.*

Baby Calm and Comfort Probiotics, Culturelle ($26)

culturelle probiotic
Culturelle
Kristine Thomason
Kristine Thomason
mbg Health & Fitness Director

Kristine Thomason is the health and fitness director at mindbodygreen. Kristine is a New York University graduate with a degree in journalism and psychology, and also a NASM-certified personal trainer. She has spent her editorial career focused on health and well-being, and formerly worked for Women’s Health and Health. Her byline has also appeared in Men’s Health, Greatist, Refinery29, HGTV, and more. In her current role she oversees, edits, and writes for the health, food, and movement sections of mindbodygreen.