Probiotics are made up of good live bacteria and yeast that naturally live in your digestive tract. Your body has both good and bad bacteria. When you get an illness, there are too many bad bacteria, knocking your body out of balance.
Good bacteria help eliminate excess bad bacteria, restoring a healthy balance. Probiotics are a way to add beneficial bacteria to your body.
Different types of bacteria do different things. Therefore, the best probiotic for women depends on their health goals. For example, bacteria may help with digestive health and may support a healthy microbiome.
Best for bloating: Culturelle Pro Strength Daily Probiotic
Best for those on antibiotics: Florastor Daily Probiotic
Best for gastrointestinal health: Pure Encapsulations Probiotic G.I.
Best for vaginal health: Garden of Life RAW Probiotics
Best for UTIs: Nature's Way Probiotic Pearls
Best for a raw probiotic: Garden of Life Raw Probiotics
Best for constipation: Thorne Bacillus Coagulans
Best specially formulated probiotic: Probiotics 60 Billion CFU - Probiotics
Best affordable probiotic: Swanson Probiotic for Daily Wellness
Best gummy probiotic: Align DualBiotic, Prebiotic + Probiotic
Best for overall health: Renew Life Women's Probiotics
Studies show that probiotics may help ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (Ibs) in adults.
Probiotic supplements may help treat gastrointestinal issues such as inflammatory bowel disease and may help treat urinary tract infections.
Research suggests that probiotics may help prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, and gum disease.
What are probiotics?
A probiotic is an organism that may be beneficial when consumed in the right amounts.
According to an article by Advanced Nutrition, probiotics mainly consist of bacteria, but some yeast could also be considered probiotic.
Probiotics live throughout your body and are especially prevalent inside your digestive system, where they may inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Bacteria in our gut also help us supply essential nutrients.
Bacteria imbalances occur for several reasons, including:
- chronic illness
- side effects from antibiotics and other medications
- poor diet
Probiotic supplements may benefit the healthy bacteria naturally found in a persons' body. Research on the effectiveness of probiotic supplements for treating a range of health issues is inclusive.
Some studies suggest that taking a probiotic may help with:
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
- Gum disease.
- Lactose intolerance.
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis).
- Upper respiratory infections
- antibiotic-related diarrhea
- Immune Function
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Vaginal Yeast infection
Experts also point out that Lactobacillus species may help alleviate symptoms of antibiotics-related diarrhea.
When choosing probiotics, a person should look for the specific probiotic strain of bacterium, not the brand name.
If you're considering taking a probiotic product, talk to your doctor first. Probiotics can help determine whether probiotics would have potential benefits for specific health concerns.
Most probiotic manufacturers count bacteria by colony-forming units or CFUs. A higher CFU (colony forming units) number means the product has more helpful bacteria.
How Can They Help Improve Your Health?
Probiotics help keep your digestive system healthy by maintaining a healthy balance in your gut. Think of it as maintaining a healthy weight.
When you're sick, bad bacteria enter into your body and increase in numbers. It throws off your body's natural balance. Good bacteria help to fight off the bad bugs and restore the balance within your body.
Good bacteria help keep you healthy by supporting your immune system and controlling inflammation.
Over time, the human gut changes. The reasons are many, including aging, illness, and taking various medications. There is no guarantee this process will be beneficial to the person taking it. As time goes by, the probability of having an infection-induced upset digestive system increases.
Probiotics work by giving your body a fresh supply of healthy bacteria. As a result, your natural gut biome will be able to help you digest food. While minimizing the bloating, gassiness, and general discomfort that comes with a problematic microbiome.
What are the most common types of probiotic?
Many different probiotic strains can qualify as probiotics, but two specific types are commonly found:
The most common type of probiotics that are made up of good bacteria.
- Saccharomyces boulardii.
How to determine the best probiotic for women over 40?
Women's bodies change constantly. We all know this but few stop to consider the implications for our digestive health. As women age, they go through several physical and mental health that affect their overall well-being. You shouldn't be surprised when this great transition begins to impact your gut microbiome.
As we get older, we lose our ability to handle certain foods. We become less reliable and issues such as bloating and constipation creep up whenever we eat some of our favorite foods.
But what if we tell you that one of the reasons why you're feeling so bad is because your gut microbiome took a nasty hit when you first started eating differently. The healthy bacteria simply didn't help us digest our food anymore.
That's where probiotics come into play. Probiotics help women who are over 40 eat their favorite foods without difficulty, by providing them with the beneficial bacterium that has already been shown to help them digest their favorite food easily.
Can I get probiotics from food?
Fermented foods in general (yogurt and kimchi, for example) are probiotic foods that are full of good bacteria that help your body. There are also fermented beverages like kombucha or kefir that introduce extra probiotic bacteria into your diet.
Certain foods contain probiotics that can help improve your gut microbiome.
Some additional suggestions for these probiotic-rich foods include:
- Sourdough bread.
- Cottage cheese.
- Fermented pickles.
- Fermented sauerkraut.
- Miso soup.
Apart from food, there are probiotic supplements you can take.
Probiotics for digestive health
Fiber-rich foods such as fruits and veggies help feed healthy gut bacteria. Experts recommend that people eat a high-fiber diet. Eating fermented food is another way to get healthy bacteria to your digestive health.
To improve digestion, take probiotic supplements known to help support gut health. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) has many protective factors that may benefit digestive health, including inhibiting the growth of certain types of salmonella bacteria.
A probiotic supplement may not always improve a person’s digestive issues and should not be used instead of a healthy lifestyle. Make sure you are:
- eating a healthy diet
- getting enough sleep
- reduce stress
- avoid smoking
- avoid alcohol consumption
These measures are more relevant to a person’s general health and their microbiome than taking probiotics.
Best for bloating
These capsules include Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, which may help support healthy digestion and ease bloating and diarrhea. It contains probiotics to help maintain healthy gut flora.
This supplement is vegetarian and gluten-free. Culturelle recommends that individuals should take 1 capsule per day for best results.
It contains 10 billion CFUs. No refrigeration is required for this product.
Best for those on antibiotics
Florastor is a vegan product, suitable for people who are allergic to milk products, and contains no GMOs (genetically modified organisms). It includes the probiotics S. boulardii and may help prevent antibiotic-related and infectious diarrhea
This product comes in capsule form. Each capsule contains 250mg of its probiotic strain.
According to the company, this probiotic supplement can help the body break up undigested sugars and carbohydrates. It doesn't need to be refrigerated.
Best for gastrointestinal health
This probiotic contains ten billion CFU per capsule and has six different strains. It includes Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium b Acidophilus, Bifidobacter, and Streptococcus thermophilus.
They claim that this product supports gastrointestinal health by maintaining cellular integrity and supporting the intestinal barrier.
Daily intake of 1 capsule is recommended. refrigerating is required for this product.
Probiotics for vaginal health
A 2019 meta-analysis found that probiotic supplements may inhibit the growth of bacteria linked to bacterial vaginosis and help maintain a healthy bacterial balance. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Research suggests that taking Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements may help acidophilus, L. rhamnosus GR-1, and L. fermentum RC-14 strains at a dose of 10 CFU/day for 2 months prevent bacterial growth in vaginosis, eliminating the risk of yeast infections.
Best for vaginal health
This probiotic has 5 billion CFUs and 38 probiotic strains, which include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacteriumacidophilus, and Bifidobacterium. It comes in the form of a capsule.
It also includes a mix of raw fruits and vegetables to help support the natural growth of good bacteria in your vagina. It is free from wheat and soy, GMO, and vegetarian with no additives, fillers, or binders. This product doesn't require refrigeration.
Best for urinary tract infection
This probiotic may support vaginal and digestive health. It contains one billion CFU of Lactobacillus acidophilus. rhamnosus, and L. plantarum.
The company claims that Probiotic Pearl may protect urinary tract health and is designed to survive stomach acid.
This probiotic comes in a soft gel capsule. They are gluten-free and sugar-free and contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Probiotics for overall health
When buying any probiotic supplement, people should be aware that there isn't much research into the health benefits and may find it hard to determine whether they're effective.
Some people take probiotic supplements to improve their overall health, make sure that are evidenced-based probiotic strains and are recommended by healthcare providers for different conditions. However, it is important to know that not all probiotics work for everyone.
It is far more important for an individual who wants to improve his or her overall health to focus on diet and lifestyle as opposed to taking one specific supplement.
Probiotics for overall health usually contain a lot of live bacteria rather than single strains. However, some probiotic products may contain specific strains of bacteria. It's hard to tell if the research supports the health benefits claimed by the manufacturers.
There are three probiotic product recommendations for overall digestive health:
Best for a raw probiotic
Garden of Life‘s Raw Probiotic Capsules contains a high bacteria count of 85 billion and 33 types of bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. It also contains vitamins C, D, E, and more.
According to Garden of Life, every product from their Raw collection is “uncooked, untreated, and unaltered and contains no binders or fillers.”
These capsules are vegetarian and non-GMO. They're also gluten-free. This product requires refrigeration.
Best for constipation
This probiotic is suitable for people who want to support their bowel function, including those who suffer from constipation. This product may help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea).
A daily dose is 1 capsule two or three times. These capsules are vegetarian and non-GMO. They're also gluten-free, dairy, and soy-free.
Best specially formulated probiotic
Physician’s Choice Probiotic has been specially formulated to help women over the age of 50 tackle many of the common digestive system challenges women face regularly.
Each capsule contains over 6 billion live cultures of 10 unique strains of bacteria, all carefully selected due to their proven ability to foster healthy gut microbiomes.
This is a perfect product for anyone who occasionally has gas, bloating, and/or irregular bathroom experiences. Each capsule contains a special fiber mix designed to help you get regular.
Best affordable probiotic
Swanson Vitamins is pleased to offer one of the most effective probiotic supplements available. At an affordable price as well. Offering a 30-day supply of their product for just $3.91.
You just need to take two very small capsules every morning and start enjoying a daily routine where you don't have to worry about your digestive system.
This is great for anyone who wants to start taking probiotic supplements. The main reason why this product is better than others is that it is the best value for money.
Best gummy probiotic
Align Probiotic claim to naturally help with occasional stomach discomfort, gas, and bloat while supporting a healthy digestive tract.
They contain a prebiotic fiber, Inulin, to help nourish good bacteria in the digestive system, and the probiotic, Bacillus Coagulans, which adds more good bacteria in your gut. Align Gummies are naturally flavored and contain less than 1g of beet sugar per gummy.
Best for overall health
This vegetarian probiotic have 4-in-1 support for healthy digestion, immune health, urinary and vaginal health. Plus these probiotics help maintain healthy vaginal pH and yeast levels.
Each capsule contains 12 billion CFU of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.
This product is non-GMO and is free from gluten, dairy, lactose, corn, egg, fish, shellfish, nuts, wheat, and soy.
The best probiotics are ones that contain the right bacteria for a person‘s specific needs.
A person should always consult their doctor before taking probiotics, especially if they're on medications or have underlying health conditions.
Probiotics may help some people but they're not a cure for any illnesses. If symptoms persist, an individual should consult a doctor.