8 Best Vegan Probiotic Supplements – (2020 Review)
You may have heard a lot of talk in health and supplement circles or vegan circles about probiotics.
These are crucial bacteria found mostly in your gut and primarily responsible for the health of your immune system. They also fight pathogens and yeast to keep your immune system working optimally.
For most non-vegans, probiotics are found naturally in our everyday diets, usually in dairy products.
However, it can be challenging for vegans or other people who avoid consuming dairy to get these good essential bacteria in their diet.
The number of vegans and other people avoiding dairy products for health or ethical reasons increases each year.
It is essential to be aware of alternative sources of the best vegan probiotic products to help you maintain a healthy digestive system and immune system.
Top 8 Vegan Probiotic Supplements (2020 Guide)
There is a vast range of vegan supplement products currently available on the market, and that number only looks set to grow as the demand for vegan supplements increases.
Because there are so many products to choose from, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by choice and hard to make the choice that is the right one for you and your body!
We have compiled this guide to the best vegan probiotic supplements on the market to help you make the best, healthiest choice for your body and get the essential beneficial bacteria that you need as a vegan!
1) Livewell Pro 45
2) Ora Organic
5) Mary Ruth's
6) Nature Netics
7) Dr Stern
8) Doctor's Best
1) Live Well Pro 45 Capsules
Live well Pro-45 is a probiotic I tried last year when I was dealing with my IBS symptoms. It is created by Livewell Labs, who also make other health supplements.
They have been around for many years, and there aren't any scam reports online, which is a good sign.
Many different things drew me into Livewell Pro-45.
The first being that it is, of course, made up entirely of vegan ingredients. It is also gluten-free and doesn't contain any artificial filler ingredients. It is a multi-strain probiotic and contains 11 different probiotic strains, making it a good value for money. Each strain has various benefits and medical studies behind them.
The final thing that sealed the deal for me was the 365-day money-back guarantee that LiveWell offers. If you're not happy with them, you can contact them, and they will arrange a refund for you with no questions asked.
There isn't much to complain about with Livewell. If you are new to Probiotics, you may experience some initial side effects since it's quite strong, but the flip-side to that is the digestive health results great once you get past that initial hurdle.
2) Ora Organic Capsules
Ora Organic is one of the most popular plant-based vegan supplements, with a whole range of products for different purposes. Their Vegan Probiotics Capsules are designed to boost digestive and immune system health. Besides containing 16 billion (far more than those of other brands) different Colony Forming Units (or CFUs) per serving, they also have organic prebiotics - a fuel for probiotics to work even more efficiently.
Ora Organic’s capsules contain no dairy, gluten, or GMO/artificial ingredients. They are also resistant to stomach acid, meaning that more of the “good stuff” gets into your system without being destroyed (however, some consumers suffered indigestion after taking them). As they are freeze-dried, you don’t have to refrigerate them either! The bottle contains 60 vegan capsules - a month’s supply!
3) BeLive ProBiotic Gummies
With 1 billion CFUs per serving, these chewable vegan gummies by US company BeLive are designed for both children and adults to get all of the benefits of good-quality ss. Apart from being very easy to take, their main selling point is that they contain the compound Bacillus coagulans, which is acid-resistant, effective at promoting digestive health, and does not require refrigeration.
You can choose from either strawberry or orange-flavored vegan gummies. The gummies are produced in a facility that is both kosher and halal approved, contain no artificial colors or additives, and are 100% vegan and free of soy. The only issue that some users raised was that mold had been found in a few cases, possibly due to a bad batch.
4) Naturelo Ultra-Strength Probiotic Supplement
The 50 billion CFU Probiotic capsules from Naturelo is considered one of the best vegan probiotics in America. It features an advanced formula that contains all of the essential Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains and numerous others and boasts a shelf life of 3 years!
It also features delayed-release technology to ensure that the vegan capsules are acid-resistant, and the bacteria remain active long enough to give you the best health benefits. This product is very highly-regarded. However, some users have claimed that it is not worth the hype in terms of how well it works!
5) Mary Ruth’s Organic Liquid Probiotics & Enzymes
Mary Ruth’s is a mother-daughter owned company, and their Organic Liquid supplement product is one of the best-selling vegan supplement products on the market. It is a liquid that comes in a 4oz glass bottle and is entirely plant-based - no artificial ingredients, fillers, or harsh chemicals.
Most users describe this product as tasting of water, so there is no unpleasant taste to worry about - you take it as drops directly onto your tongue or as an addition to food or drink! The liquid form can be convenient but can be a downside if you accidentally spill it!
The manufacturer claims that the lack of heat treatment involved in the production process means that the active bacteria remain alive and useful for significantly longer than in other products. The shelf life is a whole 24 months with no need for refrigeration.
6) NatureNetics Flora Pro-Health Daily Probiotic
The Flora Pro-Health Daily supplement product from NatureNetics is not just vegan and non-GMO but free of sugar, soy, wheat, lactose, and gluten-free too.
The shelf life is two years, and the manufacturer claims that each capsule contains at least 30 billion CFU! The vegan capsules are stored in a unique blister pack that protects potency and keeps the essential bacteria alive for longer than other products.
Containing lactobacillus, acidophilus, and bifidobacterium, all of the staple strains are covered in this product. It can be stored at room temperature and produced in a humidity-controlled facility in Oregon, USA, certified and approved by the GMP and NSF.
The only downside expressed by some reviewers was that increased bloating's side effect appears to be more common than with other products, although this faded in most cases.
7) Dr Stern Rebalance Probiotic Supplement
The Rebalance Probiotics Supplement from Dr. Stern (named after a highly-regarded nutritionist of over 20 years, Dr. Ian Stern). He claims to feature 12 different clinically-proven strains and an organic prebiotic to boost their effects, and L-Glutamine helps increase your body’s absorption of the healthy compounds!
The product contains no additives or animal products and is developed in a climate-conditioned facility that keeps the probiotic strains alive and useful for a very long time. However, some consumer reviews have reported little to no effects on their digestion.
8) Doctor’s Best Digestive Health ProBiotic
The Digestive Health Probiotics product from Doctor’s Best is one of the most reasonably-priced vegan supplement products out there, and reviews report outstanding results, particularly among older users.
There are 20 billion CFUs in this product. However, compared to other products available, there are only six strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and no information on endorsements from bodies such as the GMP or NSF.
What are the benefits of Probiotics?
Probiotics are successful in easing the symptoms of conditions such as IBS and Crohn’s Disease.
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) affects between 7% and 21% of people worldwide and is characterised by frequent abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory disorder that affects the gastrointestinal tract and causes digestive problems, is less common but still affects around 1% of the population.
Probiotics are believed to carry out functions such as inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria, enhancing the immune system, and balancing the flora in your gut to reduce gas production, fight inflammation, and reduce your gut’s sensitivity to buildups of gas. These effects are believed to be very useful in fighting IBS symptoms, Crohn’s Disease, and various other digestive conditions.
Another essential part of your health that a healthy gut is believed to play a crucial part in is your mental health. Diet and digestion have been closely linked to anxiety and resulting symptoms such as poor concentration, trouble sleeping, weight loss changes, stress, and depression. (1)
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are living microorganisms that have health benefits when consumed, either in foods or supplements.
They are usually bacteria; however, specific yeasts also have these qualities.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that have health benefits when consumed, either in food sources or supplements. They are usually bacteria; however, specific yeasts also have these qualities.
There are many groups of probiotics, and each group has many different strains. Different strains are best suited to additional health problems and conditions, so it is worth researching which ones best address your complaint.
Many supplements (often known as multi-probiotics or broad-spectrum probiotics) combine various species and strains.
Foods that are prepared using bacterial fermentation are generally the most likely to contain probiotics. Similarly, there are also prebiotics - dietary fibers that work alongside probiotics to speed up their health benefits.
Scientific research on the health benefits of probiotics is limited, although the evidence is incredibly promising. (2)
What Are The Possible Side Effects When Taking Probiotics?
Unfortunately, some people (vegan or otherwise) experience side effects when taking probiotics, either in foods or in supplement form.
One of the most common side effects is gas/bloating, as your digestive system is still getting used to a change - however, this goes away after a short while in almost all cases.
Some of these foods contain amines (such as histamine, tyramine, and phenylethylamine), which can cause headaches in some people.
A standard solution to this is to opt for supplements instead of probiotic-rich foods! However, histamine also often appears in supplements and foods and can increase allergy symptoms from itching to your eyes or nose running. (3)
Do Vegans Need To Take Probiotics?
Many vegans take vitamin supplements to increase their body’s consumption of compounds suitable for overall health but mostly found in meat and animal products.
Compounds such as protein, Vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc, and Calcium are frequently taken in supplements to boost variety in vegan routines.
However, if you have an incredibly good vegan diet, this may not be necessary, as these compounds are also found in certain vegan-friendly foods.
Many people also take probiotics supplements with vegan diets. This is usually either to boost an already healthy diet or counter the effects of a less healthy one.
Another reason vegans may take these supplements is to combat stomach symptoms such as indigestion, bloating and gas, and constipation, often as unfortunate side-effects of healthy, vegetable-rich vegan diets. (4)
Is a Higher CFU Count Better?
Colony-forming units, or CFUs, are often mentioned on the labels of supplements or in their advertising.
The measurement of CFUs is used to indicate the number of cells that are viable in the product.
This can range from 1 billion to over 50 billion. However, a higher CFU count does not necessarily mean a better product or more significant health benefits and should not be taken too seriously!
Current regulations around labeling are pretty lax. Many manufacturers measure the entire cellar mass's weight, whether the cells live or die (only living healthy bacteria have any health benefits).
Besides, the CFU count at the time of manufacture will be very different from the count at the end of the product's shelf life!
Learn More: Is a Higher CFU Count Better
How Much ProBiotics Should You Take Per Day?
The recommended daily dosage of probiotics is entirely dependent on the specific strain. Recommended doses range from 1 to 10 billion CFUs daily, depending on the strain.
Reliable manufacturers will state the recommended dosage on the label, so you should always check that your brand is reliable before purchasing and always check the label before consumption.
It is also worth remembering that probiotics don’t have to be taken every day, and often it is better not to accept them daily. As with any health supplement, it is essential to check with your doctor before consuming it.
When Is The Best Time To Take Probiotics?
According to experts, the best time to take these supplements, as with most supplements or medications, is straight before a meal.
This time is best because your stomach hasn’t yet started to increased acid production to digest food, a process that makes it more difficult for good bacteria to pass into your gut flora quickly and without being destroyed or weakened by stomach acid.
However, many of these supplement capsules are acid-resistant and delayed-release, making the exact timing less critical.
Splitting doses into multiple doses can also cause effects to vary. The most important thing to remember is to check the label!
Learn More: When To Take ProBiotics
Vegan Probiotics Buying Guide
If you are vegan and are looking for vegan probiotics supplements, the two most important things you need to consider are the capsules themselves and Lactobacillus's presence. We have included some information on these factors below:
If you are a vegan, you will want to make sure that the capsule itself isn’t made from gelatin! Most capsules for supplements and medications are made of gelatin, a protein made from animal skin, bones, and tissue.
Alternative materials for capsules include vegetable cellulose, pine, poplar, and tapioca. You will most likely want to check before buying any product that the capsules themselves are 100% vegan and contain no animal products.
Lactobacillus is a friendly bacteria that converts sugars to lactic acid and assists digestive system health. It is found in dairy products such as milk and cheese and in many foods that are suitable for vegans.
What Are The Best Probiotic/Prebiotic Vegan Foods?
The bacteria Lactobacillus is a well-known strain, so you can always check the label for this ingredient. Vegan supplements are excellent choices for vegans who want to avoid any of these foods or even add an extra boost on top of an already probiotic-rich diet.
Some tremendous plant-based options are Sauerkraut and Kimchi, which is fermented cabbage. Miso, which is fermented soy-beans, is also a delicious choice for vegans looking to get some probiotics. If you would instead get your vegan probiotics in liquid form, then be sure to give Kombucha a try.
What’s the Difference Between Probiotics vs Prebiotics?
Probiotics are the live bacteria themselves, whereas prebiotics is substances that can’t be digested but are a source of food for the probiotic bacteria, which helps them work more efficiently. If you would like to learn more about the difference between ProBiotics and PreBiotics, then you can read our full Pre Biotic vs ProBiotic guide.
Do Lactose-Free Yogurts Still Have Probiotics?
There are many brands of dairy-free (usually soy or nut-based) vegan yogurts that contain probiotics - just check the label for Lactobacillus.
What 3 Foods Are Bad For Your Gut Health?
Generally speaking, vegan foods that may be in your diet that are especially bad for the health of your gut and digestive system are fried foods, foods high in fructose or artificial sugars, and spicy foods. For non-vegans, processed or very fatty meats are also particularly harmful!
What is the Best Probiotics Strain?
The most effective and widely-used probiotic tends to be Lactobacillus strains. However, specific strains have specific effects on the body, so when it comes to the most “effective” probiotic, it depends on what effects you’re looking for.
For example, B. lactis has been found to help with constipation, while Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG has been found to reduce the symptoms of diarrhea and stool problems. Decide what your body needs before choosing an effective supplement.
The Bottom Line: Our Number 1 Best Vegan ProBiotic
Live Well Pro-45 Capsules are our number 1 choice for vegans.
The company Livewell take pride in their products, and they are no scams here.
The Probiotic is dairy, gluten, and GMO-free.
They even a ProBiotic made just for women. We love them.
Most importantly, though, all of their products are 100% vegan.