The Most Effective Probiotic Supplements In 2024 – A Buyer’s Guide

Discover which probiotic supplements are worth buying, and which ones to watch out for.

Believe it or not, not all bacteria are bad. Our bodies are made up of both good and bad bacteria, and collectively, they form a very delicate microbiome that keeps our bodies running smoothly. Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that live in our bodies and help our bodies maintain a healthy balance1.

Our bodies are made up of about 39 trillion bacteria, and together, they help to protect our bodies and keep us healthy. Most of this bacteria lives in our gut and helps to expel bad bacteria, break down fibre, and produce vitamins like B12 and K2.

Research has determined that as much as 70% of our immune health lies in our gut, which is why maintaining our gastrointestinal health is essential for overall wellness3. However, our body’s gut flora is a delicate microbiome that is easily disrupted.

Sometimes our bodies’ balance may be thrown off by an increase in bad bacteria due to a number of environmental factors or lifestyle choices, for example, pollution and unhealthy foodsOne of the easiest and most effective ways to restore this balance is by taking a probiotic supplement.

Due to their many benefits, probiotics have become some of the most popular supplements in the world. Studies have shown that probiotics can improve immune health and help prevent numerous health conditionsincluding diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, symptoms of Crohn's disease and more4.

Below, we will explore how probiotics work, how you can benefit by taking them, and which are the best probiotic supplements available on the market.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are simply good bacteria that live in our bodies. Typically, our bodies take a few of these good bacteria to reestablish a healthy gut and a neutral microbiome. Yet, sometimes when these reserves of good bacteria get emptied, we end up with too many harmful bacteria, and the balance of our microbiome is thrown off5.

When the bad bacteria overtake the good bacteria in our bodies, our gut health and immune system become compromised. This makes us more prone to developing a number of health issues, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), urinary tract infections, colitis, high cholesterol, and more6,7.

The job of probiotics is to counteract the bad bacteria that enter our bodies by boosting the number of good bacteria in our gut, helping us stay neutral and healthy.

The effectiveness of probiotics lies within the different strains of bacteria. The varying strains of probiotics have vastly different impacts on your health, and some of them have more health benefits than others8. The most popular and effective strains of good bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Several studies suggest that the best way to restore your body’s gut flora and boost your immune system is by taking a quality probiotic supplement every day9.

Choosing the right probiotic supplement

With so many choices on the market, finding the right probiotic supplement can be challenging. We’ve done extensive research to determine what criteria you should look for when choosing your probiotic supplement.

Finding a quality probiotic supplement starts with choosing one that contains the best probiotic strains. When buying your supplement, you should seek one that has strains of both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Not only are they two of the most researched species, but different strains of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus also offer extensive health benefits, including:

Bifidobacterium:
  •  Supports digestion and alleviates symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases
  •  Helps to heal certain intestinal infections
  •  Prevents you from catching the flu and common cold
  •  Supports respiratory and heart health
  •  Improves lactose digestion10
Lactobacillus:
  •  Improves lactose digestion
  •  Prevents you from catching the flu and common cold
  •  Supports digestion and alleviates symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases
  •  Promotes healthy weight management
  •  Supports women’s health, such as preventing yeast infections and urinary tract infections11.

There are numerous probiotic supplements you can take for gut health, however, the only real way to reap the benefits from them is to choose the right one. Keep reading to see our picks for the top 5 best probiotics on the market.

What should I look for?

Considering all of the attributes listed above, we’ve compiled a list of the four essential criteria you should look for when choosing your probiotic supplement.

Includes Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus

The probiotic supplement you choose should have at least two strains. As mentioned above, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are two of the most effective probiotic species found in probiotic supplements. Moreover, research has shown that they are both highly beneficial for immune and gut health. Both of these species have several strains that are clinically proven to help with digestion and immunity.

Clinically-studied strains

It goes without saying, but it’s essential that the supplement you take contains strains that are clinically-studied. There are hundreds of probiotic strains, but not all of them work. Make sure the supplement you buy has strains that have proven to be beneficial.

Look for probiotics with around 10 billion CFUs

Numerous studies have shown that most people feel the benefits of probiotic supplements when they take a capsule that contains between 5 and 10 billion CFU (colony forming units).

CFU simply refers to the number of live microorganisms that are found in each dose of your probiotic supplement12.

When purchasing a probiotics supplement, choose one that has between 5 and 10 billion CFUs and contains quality strains.

Money-back guarantee

Look for a product that offers a money-back guarantee on all purchases. Offering a money-back guarantee is a sign that a company is confident in the quality of the products they are providing.

What should I avoid?

Labels with too many strains and high CFU count

As we established previously, not all probiotic strains have been deemed effective by researchers. Just because the label on a supplement says there are a dozen strains, it doesn’t make the product more effective. A product with 7 quality probiotic strains will deliver better results than a product with 12 strains that have fewer benefits13.

The same can be said about the number of CFU on a label. According to the National Institute of Health, higher CFU counts in products do not translate to greater health benefits. Again, the type of microorganisms a product contains matters more than the number of microorganisms it contains.

Beware of online reviews (especially on Amazon)

Before purchasing any product, one of the first things we do when researching it is check its online reviews. Unfortunately, these are not always a trustworthy way to measure the quality and effectiveness of a product. Companies often pay for reviews on popular online retailers, like Amazon, to try and trick their way to a five-star rating. While you should definitely consult these reviews before purchasing, do your own research as well.

How we evaluated the top 5

Over the last few years, the demand for probiotic supplements has surged as scientists and researchers continue to discover their many health benefits. While this means you have many options to consider when choosing your supplement, it can also be difficult to narrow down which ones will deliver the best results.

We researched the top-rated probiotics on the internet to find the best ones available on the market and evaluated them based on product quality, customer service, and pricing.

Here are our top 5 probiotic supplement picks for 2024.

1. Probiotic Complex

Total Ranking

850 votes

9.7/10

A+

Overall Grade
  • INGREDIENT SAFETY
    10 AVG.
     10/10
  • PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
    9.7 AVG.
     9.7/10
  • VALUE
    9.3 AVG.
     9.3/10
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
    9.7 AVG.
     9.7/10
  • Return Policy
    9.6 AVG.
     9.6/10

PROS

  • Contains 3 species: Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus
  • Includes 7 clinically studied probiotic strains
  • 20 billion CFU per capsule
  • Vegan-friendly.
  • Money-back guarantee.
  • Recommended by healthcare professionals.
  • Product is reasonably priced.
  • UK Manufactured.

CONS

  • Only Available Online
  • Express delivery is only available in the UK and European countries.
The Bottom Line

Of all the probiotic supplements that made our list, we find Hey Nutrition Probiotic Complex to be the best quality product. Firstly, their supplement contains 3 essential bacteria species: Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus.

Also, the product contains 7 live strains, including Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Longum, Streptococcus Thermophilus, and more. All of these strains are clinically proven to support gut health, immune heath, women’s health, weight management and more. These strains are also easily absorbed by the body.

Hey Nutrition probiotics have 20 billion CFU in each capsule, which is the dosage doctors and scientists recommend. Plus, the formula even includes calcium and zinc for additional health benefits.

Their capsules are all made with vegan-friendly ingredients, so they are suitable for everyone. Additionally, they include a prebiotic, which promotes better digestion and overall health by increasing the effectiveness of probiotics by fuelling the good bacteria.

Hey Nutrition offer a money-back guarantee, and so this really is a no-brainer. We believe they provide the best probiotic on the market, and they make it risk-free for you to try it and see if it works for you.

*Results are based on the HeyLiving Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

Learn More About Our Top Pick

2. Theonia Probiotic Complex

Total Ranking

540 votes

8.6/10

B

Overall Grade
  • INGREDIENT SAFETY
    9.1 AVG.
     9.1/10
  • PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
    8.7 AVG.
     8.7/10
  • VALUE
    9 AVG.
     9/10
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
    9 AVG.
     9/10
  • Return Policy
    7.8 AVG.
     7.8/10

PROS

  • Contains 7 Key Probiotic Strains
  • Rated Over 20 Billion CFU
  • Features Enhanced Formula with Zinc & Calcium
  • Lab Test & GMP-Certified
  • Vegan-Friendly
  • Made in UK
  • 60 Day Return Policy

CONS

  • No Subscribe & Save Option
  • Only Available Online
The Bottom Line

Theonia's Probiotic Complex is a standout product known for its excellent quality. It's certified by GMP, undergoes strict lab tests, and contains an impressive 20 billion CFU per serving.

This formula is powerful, with seven different probiotic strains that offer proven health benefits. These strains help with things like digestion, the immune system, energy, women’s health, and more.

But Theonia's Probiotic Complex doesn't stop there. It also includes calcium, inulin, and zinc to boost overall health. It's suitable for vegans, made in the UK, and comes with a solid 100% satisfaction guarantee.

The only downside is that you can only buy it online and there is no subscribe and save options. However they do offer a bulk discount for multiple bottles. Still, considering its strong formula, high CFU count, and the guarantee, Theonia's Probiotic Complex is one of our top choices for those looking for a risk-free way to improve their health.

*Results are based on the HeyLiving Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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3. Bio Cultures Complex

Total Ranking

269 votes

8.5/10

B

Overall Grade
  • INGREDIENT SAFETY
    9 AVG.
     9/10
  • PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
    8.5 AVG.
     8.5/10
  • VALUE
    8.7 AVG.
     8.7/10
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
    8.7 AVG.
     8.7/10
  • Return Policy
    7.8 AVG.
     7.8/10

PROS

  • 10 billion CFU

CONS

  • Brittle coating on capsules
  • No money-back guarantee
The Bottom Line

Nu U is a popular probiotic products on the market, however we don't believe it is the most effective. Although their product contains the recommended CFU per capsule, it contains only five active strains and therefore is missing some strains that have been shown to be very effective. 

Their product also lacks any prebiotic, which means the good bacteria will struggle to thrive inside your body.

Unfortunately, some reviews also reported that their capsules have been produced with a brittle coating, which is not something you expect from a high-quality supplement, especially a probiotic which can be tempurature sensitive. If the capsule doesn't stay intact, that will certainly lower the effectiveness of this product.

*Results are based on the HeyLiving Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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4. Advanced Multi-Strain Formulation

Total Ranking

301 votes

8.4/10

B-

Overall Grade
  • INGREDIENT SAFETY
    9 AVG.
     9/10
  • PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
    8.2 AVG.
     8.2/10
  • VALUE
    8.2 AVG.
     8.2/10
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
    7.8 AVG.
     7.8/10
  • Return Policy
    7.8 AVG.
     7.8/10

PROS

  • Contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum
  • Reasonably priced
  • 2 billion CFU

CONS

  • Contains 14 different strains
  • Side effects
The Bottom Line

Bio-Kult Advanced Multi-Strain Formulation is sold in major retailers across the world. The product very popular however we believe this is simply due to a good marketing strategy, rather than them having a great product.

After evaluating Bio-Kult’s formula, we believe that this popular probiotic supplement is perhaps not as effective as the label leads you to believe. The product has 14 different strains of bacteria, but only 2 billion CFU. This means that the probiotics are most likely not forming complete colony units, and therefore, will not be as effective. Not to mention, many of Bio-Kult’s customers have reported unpleasant side effects, including bloating, gas and stomach cramping.

This is the weakest probiotic on our list, and we recommend choosing one with a higher CFU.

*Results are based on the HeyLiving Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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5. Pro Bio Live Max

Total Ranking

207 votes

7.9/10

C

Overall Grade
  • INGREDIENT SAFETY
    7.9 AVG.
     7.9/10
  • PROJECTED EFFECTIVENESS
    7 AVG.
     7/10
  • VALUE
    7.6 AVG.
     7.6/10
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
    7 AVG.
     7/10
  • Return Policy
    7.8 AVG.
     7.8/10

PROS

  • No preservatives
  • Vegan-friendly

CONS

  • Packaging
  • Not vegan-friendly
  • Only 1 probiotic strain
The Bottom Line

Lindens Pro Bio Live Max is the only probiotic supplement on our list that contains just one strain of bacteria. The product has high potency Lactobacillus Acidophilus, which has been proven to treat various problems with digestion.

Although this product does contain Lactobacillus Acidophilus (which is recommended), it would be a much more effective formula if it also had strains of Bifidobacterium.

They also do not offer a money-back guarantee, or contain any prebiotic in their formula. We would not recommend this product.

In addition, Lindens probiotics are packaged in a pouch, which does not protect the capsules very well. Many customers have reported that the capsules were damaged when they received them.

*Results are based on the HeyLiving Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

Learn More

Final Thoughts

The Bottom Line

When it comes to choosing a great probiotic supplement to improve gut health and alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort, a higher cfu count does not necessarily mean it will be a better product. In fact, we believe that the best probiotic supplements are the ones that have carefully selected clinically-studied bacteria strains with the recommended 10-20 billion cfu per dose.

After searching the internet to find the best probiotics and evaluating them based on their customer service, ingredients and pricing, we believe Hey Nutrition Probiotic Complex is the best supplement on the market.

HeyNutrition Probiotic Complex provides a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Exclusive HeyLiving Offer!

Take advantage of this Offer while supplies last.

This special offer ends: Wednesday, January 24, 2024

CITATIONS

1. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14598-probiotics

2. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-probiotics-really-work/

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515351/

4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics

5. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-probiotics-really-work/

6. https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics

7. https://uaslabs.com/the-best-probiotic-strains-and-what-they-do/

8. https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics

9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14557292

10. https://uaslabs.com/the-best-probiotic-strains-and-what-they-do/

11. https://uaslabs.com/the-best-probiotic-strains-and-what-they-do/

12. https://www.culturelle.com/resources/culturelle-cfu-count

13. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Probiotics-Consumer/

14. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Probiotics-Consumer/

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* The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have, expect to have, or suspect you may have any medical condition, you are urged to consult with a healthcare provider. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or the European Food Safety Authority. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Results are based on the opinion of the author and their own rankings and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Trademarks used on our website belong to their respective owners and no implied or expressed endorsement of our website or services is intended. Rankings can be affected by the relationship or ownership interest we have in various products featured.

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Rachel

Written by Rachel