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Not all bacteria is bad for us, and probiotics are a solid example of that. Probiotics are living microorganisms that are valuable for your gut health, providing benefits ranging from assisting with digestion to alleviating common gastrointestinal conditions. While you can consume probiotics from fermented foods like yogurt, a supplement may provide your gut the extra boost it needs.
To choose the best probiotic supplements available, Forbes Health consulted two accredited nutrition experts who provided their top picks and gave reasoning as to why they stand out to them. Star ratings were solely determined by the editorial team, based on factors including user satisfaction and cost. Read ahead to discover which supplements made our list.
Note: Product prices are accurate as of publication and are subject to change.
This supplement features a proprietary probiotic strain aimed at flushing out bad bacteria while boosting good bacteria, and can be particularly useful for people taking antibiotics. It’s “one of the two most effective for antibiotic-associated diarrhea and C diff infection, a relatively common infection that follows the use of specific types of antibiotics and can be challenging to treat,” says Melina Jampolis, M.D., a board-certified physician, nutrition specialist and Forbes Health Advisory Board member. She recommends taking Florastor Daily Probiotic Supplement when you start taking an antibiotic, and continuing for two weeks after your antibiotic treatment.
The strain in this probiotic is one of “the most studied,” says Taylor Wallace, Ph.D., principal and CEO of food science and nutrition research firm Think Healthy Group and a Forbes Health Advisory Board member. “It’s very effective.” Culturelle Pro Strength Daily is designed to help with occasional digestive issues such as diarrhea, gas and bloating.
“Align is arguably the most clinically studied brand on the market that shows beneficial effects,” says Wallace, who touts the product for relieving abdominal discomfort, gas and bloating. He recommends this supplement—which features a patented probiotic strain—for those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
This prebiotic-probiotic supplement features a group of bacteria-specific viruses that target harmful E. coli in the gut, notes Wallace, who performed clinical studies on the product. It features a blend of probiotic strains, providing a “great combination to diversify your microbiome for a more healthy state,” he says, adding that it’s also a great option for those with Crohn’s disease, IBS or traveler’s diarrhea.
Metagenics Ultra Flora Control contains a similar strain of probiotics that Dr. Jampolis uses in her weight loss practice. “While the mechanism of action of probiotics and acceptance of use is somewhat limited among weight loss experts, I have had a lot of success with this strain and believe that it does play a role,” she says. “Possible ways it may work are by improving metabolism of nutrients, reducing inflammation and modifying the bacterial balance in the gut to favor weight loss, stabilize blood sugar and improve metabolism and fat burning.”
This supplement contains a proprietary probiotic blend, combined with a prebiotic, shown to improve blood sugar control and post-meal blood sugar spikes, says Dr. Jampolis. “This product is evidence-backed for diabetics and will likely work well for those with prediabetes, too,” she says. “Because of the proprietary formula, taking something with similar-looking ingredients may not get results like this product, as the probiotics strains and doses may not be optimal.”
Dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ingredients and their amounts may vary. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplement.
Our best probiotic supplements of 2023 ranking is determined by a Forbes Health panel of experts. They provide their product recommendations, along with reasons they stand out.
Diet / Nutrition
For the best probiotic supplements of 2023, the Forbes Health editorial team consulted a panel of accredited nutrition experts on their top picks for probiotic supplements and why they recommend them. Star ratings were assigned solely by the editorial team, based on factors including cost and user rating.
Probiotics are live microorganisms—such as bacteria and yeasts—present in fermented foods, supplements (both over-the-counter and prescription) and even beauty products. They help the body digest food, destroy bad bacteria and provide vitamins, among other benefits, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Probiotics work mainly by impacting microorganisms found in the microbiome of your large intestine, which houses trillions of bacteria, fungi and microbes.
Probiotics run the gamut, too, when it comes to types—their name includes a Latin name for genus and species, followed by their specific strain. There are many different strains of probiotics—and each delivers different health benefits. Common probiotics include those in the groups Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia and Bacillus.
Not all of the probiotic strains in probiotic supplements have evidence-backed health benefits, so it’s important to read the label carefully before selecting a supplement. The Supplements Facts label on the bottle should list the strain(s) of the probiotic, the total weight of the microorganisms in the product and the number of CFUs per serving, according to the National Institutes of Health Office on Dietary Supplements.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that act in the digestive tract and affect your gut microbiome. They can help protect against harmful bacteria and improve digestion and gut function. Different probiotic strains yield different health benefits.
Studies dating back to the 1990s have suggested probiotics may be effective in treating certain gastrointestinal illnesses, possibly delaying the onset of some allergies in children and in the treatment and prevention of vaginal and urinary infections.
Consuming the right type of probiotic for you may help improve digestion and gut function while also providing protection against harmful microorganisms. However, there is no formal guidance for the use of probiotics in healthy people. Because of this, it’s recommended that you talk with your doctor before deciding on which probiotic to choose.
In general, probiotics may help with the following conditions (among others):
Speak with your doctor about which probiotic strain would be best for your specific needs. Want to learn more? Check out our full guide on probiotics.

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While probiotics may cause gas, they have a strong track record of safety—however, the NCCIH notes that studies are limited on the frequency and severity of side effects. The organization does caution, however, that the risk of harmful effects from probiotics is greater for those with severe illness or compromised immune systems.
In some cases, probiotics can provide health benefits and relief from certain conditions—there is even evidence that they may help “turn on” the immune system and aid the body in defending itself against major disease. However, more research is needed to determine whether they’re safe and effective for older adults, as well as for individuals who may have a weakened immune system due to illness or medication.
It’s also important to note that probiotics are considered a supplement and therefore, are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) like medications. That means it’s difficult to know the quality of probiotics purchased at a grocery or drug store.
It’s always best to consult with a health care professional to discuss whether probiotics could be helpful for you.
Currently, there is no recommended dosage for probiotics, and as they’re not regulated by the FDA, it’s difficult to know the amount of probiotics you are consuming in food as food manufacturers are not required to include that information on food labels. If you want to try a probiotic regime, it is best to consult with a health care professional to determine what, if any, probiotic supplements you should try.
It is best to consult with your doctor to determine whether a daily probiotic supplement will be beneficial for you, especially if your immune system is already weakened or you take other medications.
Probiotics and prebiotics are not the same thing. Prebiotics are non-digestible parts of food and nutrients that nourish the good bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics help to encourage growth of that good bacteria.
Probiotics are living microorganisms including that aforementioned good bacteria and yeasts that are found in fermented foods, supplements (both over-the-counter and prescription) and some beauty products.
Since over-the-counter probiotics are supplements and not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as drugs, it’s important to look for third-party certification. Third-party testing can ensure the product actually contains what it says it does, and that it’s free of harmful ingredients like heavy metals. Resources like and can provide information on a supplement’s certifications and testing.
And, as mentioned above, a probiotic’s health benefits are strain-specific. Speak with your doctor about which strain is best for you and your needs.

Product Forbes Health Ratings Price Strain Recommended by Learn More
Florastor Daily Probiotic Supplement 5.0 5 $0.59
per capsule
Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 Melina Jampolis, M.D. Buy Now On Amazon
Culturelle Pro Strength Daily Probiotics 4.5 4.5 $0.56
per capsule
Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG) Taylor Wallace, Ph.D. Buy Now On Culturelle’s Website
Align Extra Strength 4.0 4 $1.07
per capsule
Bifidobacterium 35624 Taylor Wallace, Ph.D. Buy Now On Amazon
BetterLife Pre Pro+ 4.0 4 $0.66
per capsule
Combination Taylor Wallace, Ph.D. View More #scrollto_betterlife_pre_pro_section
Metagenics Ultra Flora Control 3.5 3.5 $1.68
per capsule
Bifidobacterium lactis B-420 Melina Jampolis, M.D. Buy Now On Amazon
Pendulum Glucose Control 3.0 3 $3.58
per capsule
Combination Melina Jampolis, M.D. Buy Now On Pendulum’s Website

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There is not enough information from clinical studies available yet to determine which, if any, probiotics are best for women. It is best to consult with your doctor to decide if probiotics would be helpful for you.
There is not enough information from clinical studies available yet to determine which, if any, probiotics are best for men. It is best to consult with your doctor to decide if probiotics would be helpful for you.
More research needs to be done to determine which probiotics are helpful for certain conditions, as well as for individuals without any conditions. Consult with your doctor to decide if probiotic supplements or food items with probiotics in them should be added to your routine.
Probiotics may provide a range of health benefits, depending on the strain, such as treating or preventing conditions like diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and more.
Foods rich in probiotics include fermented foods such as yogurt, as well as some foods like cereals, juices, milks, nutrition bars, smoothies and baby formulas.
For women in particular, probiotics may boost vaginal health, and may be helpful in conditions like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections and urinary tract infections.
Probiotics could possibly help men who have gastrointestinal illnesses including antibiotic-associated diarrhea, clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, functional gastrointestinal disorders or Crohn’s disease. Currently, there is no type of probiotic that is shown to be best for men.
You can take a probiotic in either the morning or evening, but it may be beneficial to take it about 20 minutes before you eat. This timing facilitates more of the probiotics getting to the large intestine where they will be most helpful.
If you are experiencing an easing of previous symptoms of the condition you were taking the probiotics for, that might indicate that they’re helping. Consult your doctor to know what signs you should be watching for to determine if your course of probiotics are as beneficial as they can be.
A CFU stands for “colony forming unit” and helps consumers understand the number of live microorganisms in a probiotic. An example of how CFU would appear on a label is 1 x 109 (1 billion) CFUs.
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Sarah is an experienced writer and editor enthusiastic about helping readers live their healthiest and happiest lives. Before joining Forbes Health, Sarah worked as a writer for various digital publications including LendingTree, theSkimm, CNBC and Bankrate. When she isn’t writing or editing, you can find Sarah with her nose in a book or enjoying the outdoors with her French bulldog, Honey.
Shawn is a dedicated news person who’s produced content for print and online. He’s worked in reporting, writing and editing roles across newsrooms like CNBC and Fox Digital, but he kicked off his career reporting on health for When Shawn isn’t doing the news, he’s probably deleting app notifications from his phone.


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