5 Best Probiotic Brands For Anxiety (2023)
5 years ago, I first started taking Probiotics to help with IBS symptoms that were destroying my life.
At the same time I also had horrible anxiety that would keep me awake at night unable to sleep and hyper-alert through the day.
It was a truly dreadful period in my life that I had forgotten about until I got a blog comment about Pyschobiotics.
Back then, I had no idea using probiotic supplements would help with my anxiety, but they did.
And very quickly.
Best Anxiety Probiotic Overall
Alicia's Naturals Flowflora,
Anxiety Studied Probiotic Strains,
Contains Prebiotic Fiber,
Coupon Code: ANXIOUS - 10%
From $1.13 Per Serving (FREE US Shipping)
Best Runner Up
Garden Of Life Colon Care
33 Probiotic Strains
From $1.20 Per Serving (Free Shipping Over $25)
Best Bulky Buy
Live Conscious 45
11 Probiotic Strains
From $1.16 Per Serving (Free Shipping Over $25)
What Probiotic Strains For Anxiety?
I have spent countless hours combing through as many clinical studies as possible and the general consensus seems to be that a blend of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium works best for anxiety.
Some individual strains have been tested for anxiety and I will share some of these below. Not every probiotic strain has been tested clinically for anxiety.
One of the most amazing probiotic studies I ever read was one conducted on Zebra Fish. The Danio Rerio fish have easy to study behaviour phenotypes and their genetic homology is similar with humans.
They have been called a promising new organism for anxiety research because of their cortisol stress response. The Zebra Fish in the study I read were fed Lactobacillus Plantarum bacteria and eventually showed less anxious behaviour compared to fish that were given a placebo.
In the study, it was also noted that Serotonin Receptors were increased and so was the GABA-A receptor which are both important chemicals closely related to anxiety. L. Plantarum is one of the best probiotic strains for anxiety and it's a strain that helped me a lot.
This study tested the Gut & Brain connection using Lactobacillus Paracasei on pups. At an early age they were split into two groups.
Group 1 experienced a stressful social experience (meeting strangers) with its mother and Group 2 experienced it without i's mother.
Both groups had their microbiota flora analyzed (16s rRNA sequencing) and anxiety like behaviour was observed. Those without the mother had reduced richness and diversity in gut-flora.
Later in the study it stated that Lactobacillus Paracasei had significant beneficial effect on anxiety-like behavio and that Lactobacillus Paracasei supplementation prevented anxiety-like behavior induced by early life stressful social experiences.
L. Acidophilus is one of the most studied and popular probiotic strains in 2022 and as a result it has been studied for anxiety fairly extensively.
One study in Iran took 40-patents aged 20 to 25 years old with major depressive disorder. Half were given a placebo and half containing L. Acidophilus for two months.
After 8-weeks those who took the probiotic containing L. Acidophilus had lower Beck Depression Inventory scores. Anxiety can be a symptom of MDD so if that is the cause of your Anxiety, the probiotic strain may help.
Unfortunately not every Bifidobacterium has been studied for anxiety but many different Bifidobacterium strains may share the same benefits.
This study took two Bifidobacterium strains plus the anti-depressant escitalopram and tested them on mice. The mice followed the probiotic and anti-depressant treatment for 6-weeks.
After the 6-week treatment, the mice were put through various stress inducing tests and their Physiological responses to stress were recorded.
Interestingly different Bifidobacterium strains reduced anxiety in different stressful tests. Each strain had it's own intrinstic effects. The study stated, it strengthened the role for "gut microbiota supplementation as psychobiotic-based strategies for stress-related brain-gut axis disorders."
6 Best Probiotic Brands For Anxiety
ISS Bif Bifidobacterium Lactis (SD-5219), Lactobacillus Acidophilus (SD5221), Bifidobacterium (SD- 5674), Bifidobacterium Lactis, Bifidobacterium Longnum, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Brevis, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Fermentum, Lactobacillus Helveticus, Lactobacillus Kefiranofaciens, Lactobacillus Kefirgranum, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Lactococcus Lactis, Lactococcus Cremoris, Streptococcus Thermophilus, Lactobacilllus Kefir, Lactobacillus Parakefir, Lactobacillus Planatarum, Lactococcus Lactis Biovar Diacetylactis, Leuconostoc Lactis, Leuconostoc Mesenteroides, Leuconostoc cremoris, Leuconostoc Dextranicum Kluyveromyces Marxianus, Brettanomyces Anomalus, Deberyomyces Hansenii, Saccharomyces Cervevisiae, Saccharomyces Exiguus, Torulaspora Delbrueckii.
I had a good experience with Garden Of Life Raw Probiotics and had some good results.
If I had to share one negative with Garden Of Life I would say that it is super potent and I did experience some digestive side effects.
It has 33-probiotic strains but these mostly come from a Kefir milk blend so it's not vegan. It is Non-gmo, gluten free, soy-free and digestive enzymes.
Garden Of Life does have some probiotic strains that may help with anxiety but it also has many strains that haven't been studied.
Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifdobacterium Lactis, Lactobacillus Plantarum & Lactobacillus Paracasei.
FlowFlora isn't a probiotic that I took that healed my anxiety but it is the probiotic I wish I had back when I was going through hell.
I created this probiotic after testing over 27-other probiotic supplements. I learnt a lot about probiotics through that testing.
I spent a year picking the probiotic strains and I have had customers tell me FlowFlora helped with their anxiety. I also included FOS prebiotic fiber in FlowFlora and you can read my FlowFlora review here.
FlowFlora is made in the USA and the ingredients are FDA approved. One negative with my probiotic supplement is that shipping outside the USA is quite slow right now.
I offer a 365-Money Back Guarantee and you can use the coupon code "ANXIOUS" for 10% off today here. Also, one bottle with 60 capsules is $39.95, PRG readers get free shipping and you can email me any time with questions.
Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Bacillus coagulans.
Live Conscious is a favorite of Probiotic Review Girl readers and rarely get's negative reviews. The shipping and customer support is solid.
Pro-45 has a lot of great potent probiotic strains and many have been studied for anxiety. Like Flowflora, it has FOS prebiotics which makes it work better.
This probiotic isn't the cheapest option but they do have multi-buy discounts and free shipping with the coupon code SHIPLC. There is also a 1 year money back guarantee if you send the bottle back.
Bifidobacterium Animalis, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium Longum, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Lactobacillus Brevis, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Acidphilus, Lactobacillus Helveticus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus,
I am going to be totally honest here and say that I haven't tried this probiotic but I have heard great things from friends.
It was created specifically for "MOOD" and has been featured in quite a few big media outlets. It has Prebiotic GOS fiber.
This probiotic has a 9-different probiotic strains and a good mix of bifidobacterium strains. If you subscribe with Lifted Naturals you can get a 5% discount.
Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactococcus lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium breve, and Bifidobacterium longum.
Mary Ruth's probiotic is a unique brand for this list because it comes in spray or tincture bottle. If you are anxious about swallowing large capsules you can just take a coupe of tasteless sprays.
It has a bunch of different Bifidobacterium strains and some awesome Lactobacillus bacteria strains that have been studied.
One negative I have with Mary Ruth is that it does not contain Prebiotic fiber and a bottle doesn't last that long. You will have to get your source of prebiotic's from natural foods.
What Causes Anxiety?
A little bit of anxiety is perfectly normal and may be beneficial for keeping us safe. It sometimes becomes a problem when it becomes chronic and without cause.
Anxiety can come from child hood neglect, built up stress, money problems, work problems, losing someone close, medication and a bunch of other emotional and physical reasons.
Since so much Serotonin and GABA is produced in the gut, your microbiome could also be a cause for chronic anxiety. If your gut is the cause then you are more likely to experience benefits from probiotic bacteria.
Gut and Brain Connection
Only recently scientists have discovered that the gut and brain are connected in a way that can influence mental health and anxiety in a positive way.
Your microbiome can send signals directly to the brain via the vagus nerve with neurotransmitters and neurochemicals. More than 90% of Serotonin is produced in the gut.
Serotonin is able to regulate anxiety, happiness and general mood. If your serotonin levels are low then you may notice effects with your mental health.
This is why probiotic supplementation may have such a positive effect on people suffering with excessive anxiety.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms friendly bacteria that colonize the gut, mouth, skin, urinary tract and more.
Probiotics may also be found in yeast and soil. In recent years Prebiotics & Postbiotics have also gained popularity and been studied more along side probitoic's.
Similar Probiotic Guides
Studies have shown the importance of probiotic bacteria for human health by nourishing the gut-flora.
They are generally safe for consumption and can be found in a lot of fermented and dairy foods. They are also popular in health supplements.
Are Probiotics Safe?
Probiotics have been studied countless times by some of the smartest scientists in the world. Most probiotic bacteria in commercial probiotic supplements is approved by the FDA.
If you order from a reputable brand that has laboratory testing and manufacturers their supplements in a GMP, USA factory then chances are they will be safe.
Not everyone should take probiotics though. People who are immuno compromised should avoid taking probiotic supplements and people with allergies should be careful.
Not every probiotic strain works for anxiety and some people may experience no benefits. This double-blind placebo study from the Department Of Psychology in New Zealand, Canterbury.
The study tested L. Helveticus & Bifidobacterium Longum in 79 participants with low-mood and found "no significant difference was found between the probiotic and placebo groups on any psychological outcome measure."
If you want to get good probiotic Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria into your diet for anxiety benefits then you will want to stick to fermented foods. Here are some good options.
It's important to eat probiotic foods along with prebiotic fiber. Probiotic bacteria need to feed on prebiotic fiber in order to survive and multiply. Always make sure your fermented foods are not made or pickled with vinegar as this may kill probiotic bacteria.
Probiotics For Anxiety Reddit Threads
In the /r/HumanMicrobiome sub reddit just 5-months ago, TheCoolPaladin shared their experience with probiotics on their anxiety, brain fog and depression. They first tried probiotics just for general digestive health and better nutrient absorption.
Just like in my own experience, they also had unexpected results on their anxiety. The first week they took Probiotics was the best week in their life. They felt young, calm, no brain fog, mental clarity and most importantly, no anxiety!
On the /r/Anxiety sub reddit 4-years ago a redditor by the name of nemxplus claimed that Probiotics along with Prebiotics completely cured their anxiety.
From the ages of 16 to 21 they suffered with debilitating anxiety that causes hair loss, acne & insomnia. They claimed they took a Prebiotic Supplement along with Yakult and that is what made the difference.
Over in the /r/Nootropics sub reddit someone started a thread asking for peoples personal experiences on probiotics for anxiety. One reply that caught my eye was from a redditor caled _latch.
They stay stated that probiotics were the best nootropic they had tried and that they had effectively cured their anxiety. They claimed that originally (like myself) they also had digestive symptoms so it was likely that their gut health was causing their anxiety.
More clinical human studies are needed for probiotics and anxiety especially with the Bifidobacterium strains.
Just because a probiotic has "Mood" or something like that in the name doesn't make it the better that others.
The studies out there right now seem to lean towards a mix of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains are the best probiotics for anxiety.
It's not an over-night quick fix and it takes, time. Some studies took months before results were noticed.
Alicia Harper is a NASM-CNC Certified nutritionist and the editor of ProbioticReviewGirl.
After suffering from recurrent gut issues she spent years researching Probiotics and the microbiome.
She has tested 29+ different Probiotics and is a probiotics expert. As a probiotic fanatic, she has valuable knowledge to share with the world.