5 Best Probiotic Brands For IBS (2023)
If you have read my about me page then you will know the reason for starting this blog was because of IBS-U issues.
My gut bacteria was completely out of balance and I couldn't find anything to work.
Thankfully, By changing my diet, studying the microbiome and testing various probiotic supplements I fixed my GI issues..
In this guide, I will share some good probiotic options for IBS symptoms.
What Probiotic Strains For IBS?
Best IBS Probiotic Overall
Alicia's Naturals Flowflora,
IBS Studied Probiotic Strains,
Contains Prebiotic Fiber,
Coupon Code: IBS - 10%
From $1.13 Per Serving (FREE US Shipping)
Before choosing a probiotic supplement you should make sure that it has some studied strains for IBS.
Not every probiotic strain has been studied in humans for IBS but there are some Lactobacillus strains that have been studied.
I will share some IBS probiotic studies that showed improvements in those diagnosed with IBS.
In this French & Indian clinical study published in 2012, doctors recruited 214 patients diagnosed with IBS for a 4-week double blind placebo-controlled study.
The goal of the experiment was to test if L. plantarum 299v (DSM 9843) would be able to help the 18 to 70-year-old participants with abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea they experienced as a result of their IBS.
This clinical study was well done since participants all first had colonic examinations to rule out non-IBS conditions and they were instructed to not change their diet or take other probiotic supplements.
For 4-weeks half were given 10-Billion CFU of a freeze-dried L. Plantarum probiotic strain daily and another half were given a fake placebo that was said to taste the same. After the 4-weeks they were examined and had their symptom scores compared to before the trial.
The results were clear that Lactobacillus Plantarum helped with their IBS symptoms versus those who took a non-probiotic bacteria placebo without their knowledge. The study concluded by saying that L. Plantarum helped in the management of IBS but further studies were needed.
Lactobacillus Acidophilus & Bifidobacterium Lactis Together
This study from 2020 tested Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 and Bifidobacterium lactis UABla-12 for IBS abdominal pain and general symptomology from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
The good thing about this study is that it was carried out on humans with a huge sample size of 330 adults aged. According to Rome IV criteria, everyone in this study had IBS.
It was a placebo study so half were given the L. Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium Lactis bacteria and others were given a placebo making it easy to see if the probiotics made a difference for IBS or not.
The results were clear in that those who took the probiotic bacteria for 6-weeks had lower abdominal pain scores, lower abdominal distension (bloating), and bowel habits were more regular. General IBS Symptom Severity Scale scores were lower in the probiotic group.
This study set out to test probiotic bacteria on mice with post-infective irritable bowel syndrome. Mice were given Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus johnsonii, Bifidobacterium longum, or Bifidobacterium lactis a varying days after infection and some were given heat-inactivated (placebo) bacteria.
The interesting thing about this study was that out of all the probiotic strains given to the mice, only Lactobacillus paracasei was able to attenuate muscle hypercontractility. Because of this the study stated that Lactobacillus paracasei may be useful in the treatment of postinfective irritable bowel syndrome. It's unclear if L. Paracasei could help with other types of IBS or if the results could also work in humans.
This 2014 Danish study was well thought out in that it realised diet plays a large role in the life of someone with IBS. The study tested Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG in 123 patients but also had them follow a LOW Fodmap diet which is been shown to reduce IBS symptoms by 86% alone.
The study was a placebo-controlled study and those that followed a normal non-fodmap diet with no probiotic supplements experienced no changes positive changes in their IBS symptoms. Those who followed low fodmap and took L Rhamnosus GG for 42 days experienced lower IBS symptoms in all categories.
Other Probiotic Strains
Other Bifidobacterium & Lactobacillus strains may have benefits for abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea but many of these strains have not been tested specifically for IBS.
Furthermore, just because a strain worked for someone else doesn't mean that same strain will work for you. There are many factors at play like gender, age, health condition, allergies, and more.
5 Best Probiotic Brands For IBS
All of the probiotics that I am about to share have probiotic strains that have been studied for IBS. I have also have first hand experience trying them so the probiotic positions come from my personal results.
Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacilus Paracasei, Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Lactobacillus Brevis, Lactobacillus Reuteri, Lactobacillus Salivarius, Lactobacillus Fermentum, Lactobacillus Gasseri, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Bifidobacterium Breve, Bifidobacterium Infantis and Bifidobacterium Longus.
Garden Of Life is an awesome brand that makes probiotics specifically for both men and women. They were one of the first brands I tried when I first start the PRG blog.
The Women's Daily Care probiotic has a mixture of 16 Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotic strains and a 40-Billion CFU count. It also contains a potato & acacia prebiotic fiber blend.
The probiotic has helped some people with IBS but some of the strains included seem to be for vaginal health & not only IBS. It's dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and vegetarian but not vegan.
One bottle with 30-capsules lasts about $20.75 and it's available on amazon, Walmart, garden of life website, eBay and iherb. I have also tried their colon care probiotic which was good but quite intense for IBS in my opinion.
Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifdobacterium Lactis, Lactobacillus Plantarum and Lactobacillus Paracasei.
If you read the about me section on my blog you will see that I was inspired to start this blog because of my struggles with IBS. I had IBS-U personally and doctors struggled to help me. FlowFlora is a probiotic I created for myself.
Every strain inside my hand-crafted FlowFlora has been studied to potentially help with IBS in some way. It has a 40-billion CFU count, FOS prebiotic fiber, and each capsule is coated with a material derived from brown seaweed to help it survive stomach acid.
One bottle with 60-capsules currently costs $39.95 and shipping is free for PRG blog readers. You can also save 10% today with coupon code "IBS" for a limited time here. I have a 365-day money-back guarantee and you can email me anytime.
FlowFlora is vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and made in the USA and you can read my FlowFlora review.
Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Bacillus coagulans.
1MD complete probiotics have been recommended by some big websites like MedicalNewsToday. Their IBS article is filled with inaccuracies though.
The 1MD supplement has 11-strains, 50-Billion CFU, and Nutraflora prebiotic fiber. It has some good Lactobacillus probiotic strains for IBS that I listed in this guide.
It's vegan and gluten-free plus the company offers a 90-day refund policy. One downside with this probiotic is that it's $40.99 for 30-capsules I couldn't find any coupon codes. You can however get discounts for bulk orders.
Bifidobacterium animalis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus salivarius and Streptococcus thermophilus
Like complete probiotics platinum, Stonehenge also has a 50-billion CFU and the same Nutraflora fiber but has 16-strains which is 5 more.
It's the priciest probiotic in this list at $49.95 for 30-capsules. You can purchase stone henge on Amazon, Walmart or their official website. The one thing I don't like about Stonehenge Dyanamic Biotic aside from the high price was the customer support. It's a bit slow.
The probiotic strains inside Stonehenge are great and may help with IBS. This multi-strain probiotic is quite strong and may cause initial digestive side effects that worsen your IBS before making it better.
How To Choose A Probiotic For IBS
There are number of things you should look out for when choosing a probiotic supplement to make sure you don't get scammed.
Other Probiotic Guides To Help You Choose
CFU Count: The first thing you should check is how many live Colony Forming Units a supplement has. The perfect number for IBS in my testing was around 40-Billion CFU since I felt this was strong enough but not too over-powering.
Money Back Guarantee's: You should always check the refund policy direct from the probiotic bran manufacturer. That way, if the probiotic doesn't end up working for you then you can at least get your money back.
Bacteria Strains: This is by far the most important thing to look out for! You should make sure to figure out if the strains inside a probiotic supplement have been studied for IBS related symptoms.
What Is IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects the entire digestive system as a result of irritation in the large bowel where food is turned into waste so you can poop it out. Because the large intestine is affected symptoms like diarrhea, stomach pain, cramping, bloating, gas, constipation or a mixture of all of them are common in those who suffer from IBS. There are said to be at least 5-types of IBS.
- 1IBS-D (Diarrhea)
- 2IBS-C (Constipation)
- 3IBS-M (Diarrhea & Constipation)
- 4IBS-U (Undefined Varying Symptoms)
- 5Post Infectious IBS
There are said to be various different causes of IBS that result in different types of symptoms. They require different cures depending on what the cause of your IBS is.
Doctors mostly still aren't sure what the exact cause of IBS because of a lack of studies. Some hypothesize that it could be a problem between the gut and brain axis in regards to how fast food moves through the digestive system.
Other potential causes include abuse in early life, depression, anxiety, infections, SIBO, and food intolerances.
What Are Probiotics?
There are two types of bacteria and both have very different effects on the human body.
- 1Bad Harmful Bacteria
- 2Good Friendly Bacteria
Probiotics are a type of good bacteria that are found naturally in food & drinks like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, miso, tempeh, yogurts, and some cheeses.
Many probiotic bacteria like Lactobacillus & Bifidobacterium have been clinically studied and are commonly used in dietary supplements for the potential health benefits but they may not work for everyone.
Can Probiotics Make IBS Worse?
When taking a probiotic for the first time it's common to experience many of the same symptoms that irritable bowel syndrome causes in the first place.
These initial symptoms may make it feel like your self IBS is getting worse but they usually pass after 1-week. You can check if you have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth via a simple breath test.
If this is the cause of your IBS then you will most likely want to avoid taking probiotics for your IBS. In those with SIBO, the probiotic supplement bacteria may get stuck in the small intestine and make your IBS worse.
Probiotics For IBS Reddit Threads
3 years ago in /r/IBS, a user called silo123 asked if taking probiotics had cured anybody's IBS. They said they loose stool for the past 6-months and had constipation along with complete bowel release. They said that since taking a generic probiotic from Costco their stools had returned back to normal.
Dani-winks replied saying that their gastro Doctor had said that probiotics are a bit hit and miss only working for some people. They explained further that probiotics would probably work if your IBS was brought on by traveler's diarrhea or if your IBS was a result of your gut bacteria being out of whack from something like antibiotic usage.
Another user called molequeen said that Florastor had fixed their IBS and if they miss a dose they are back to square one with their IBS. Another Redditor called anonymousanonymous99 who had IBS-D said they took align probiotics and it had changed their life.
Probiotics alone won't be enough to cure IBS if you don't also focus on your diet. Studies do however indicate that probiotics may help with symptoms when following a low fodmap diet.
Some fodmap foods that are also Prebiotics include asparagus, artichokes, sweet potatoes, pears, garlic, and onions but just make sure they are not trigger foods.
It's important to consult with a doctor first before taking probiotics to figure out what kind of IBS you have and to rule out any other serious conditions that could be related to your digestive system.
If your doctor does prescribe antibiotics then you can also take probiotics with them at the same time.
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.