Probiotics help to boost the numbers of healthy bacteria in your gut who’s job is to keep you thriving! But with so many options to choose from, finding the right probiotic supplements can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips that will help guide you to the best selection for you! I’ll also include links to a couple of my favorites!

Things to consider:

Strain Diversity
Potency, CFU, and Guarantee
Irritants

Strain Diversity

Different strains of bacteria provide different benefits to the body. Multi-strain probiotics are more effective. Look for a probiotic including species of lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria (L. and B. on labels). This will support both your small and large intestines. The best strains for depression or anxiety are Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium longum and Bifidobacterium bifidum.

Potency, CFU and Guarantee

CFU stands for colony forming units, it measures how potent a probiotic is. You can find them ranging from 2-100 billion. Look for a probiotic about 50 billion that best suits your digestive system. A lower range may be sufficient as a maintenance product or if you’re regular getting probiotics from your food (yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi…) but higher potencies are typically recommended to help when stressed, anxious, traveling, or consume a diet of processed foods. And make sure your supplement says “Potency Guaranteed Until Time of Expirations.” Find products that say “Refrigeration Not Required” or “Shelf Stable.”

No Irritants

Look for a supplement that is non GMO and free of chemicals and ingredients that could upset your GI tract. Try to find a probiotic that lists all the potential irritants that it does NOT include to help ensure quality both for your large  as well as small intestine. Look for the abbreviations L. and B. on the label.

Keep this list of things in mind when shopping for a probiotic supplement to help you choose the right one for you! My three favorites are: Garden of Life, NewRhythm, and Renew Life.

To learn more about how to optimize gut health check out my 5-week Mind Gut Reset program!

Sources:
Gastroenterology. 2013 Jun;144(7):1394-401, 1401.e1-4.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014;817:221-39.
Br J Nutr. 2011 Mar;105(5):755-64.
Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014 Apr;26(4):510-20.
Nutrition. 2015 Sep 28. pii: S0899-9007(15)00391-3.