The 5 Best Probiotics for Women’s Digestive Health (2019 Review)
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Are you a woman who is interested in taking probiotics?
When it comes to women’s health, it is difficult to find a greater ally than probiotics. The beneficial microbes in probiotics metabolize and recycle hormones such as estrogen, thyroid hormones (triiodothyronine and thyroxine), and dietary estrogens.
A daily routine of probiotics promotes proper hormonal balance and can give you a wide range of health benefits. They can help ease the symptoms of gastrointestinal issues, prevent yeast infections and UTIs, boost your immune system, and support overall feminine health, especially for women with poor digestive health.
Lucky for you, we’ve found and reviewed the five best probiotics for women's digestive health to help narrow down the hundreds of options you have to choose from in stores.
Don't have time to read the entire review?
If you're a busy person who doesn't have time to read this entire review, we've simplified everything for you. Here is a table to provide you with a brief rating of our favorite probiotics for women.
How to Choose Probiotics for Your Digestive Health
Obtaining healthy gut flora will lead to great overall health, digestion, and even physical appearance. There is constant communication going on between your GI tract and your brain, which means that having a healthy gut will not only benefit your digestive health, but also improve your cognitive functions such as mood and depression, and even the appearance of your skin.
That being said, not all probiotics are created equal. In fact, there are a lot of probiotics on store shelves that are essentially useless either because they do not contain effective strains of bacteria or because they are made under conditions that do not support the viability of the bacteria in them. Fortunately, we have made it our job to sort the good ones out for you.
Probiotics are also all made differently, and you want to make sure you are taking the strain of bacteria that is the most likely to address your specific needs. Once you find one that is appropriate for you, check the expiration date on the product and make sure the bacteria is live. You will also want to look at the amount of “CFUs” (colony forming units) and make sure the number is in the billions to ensure potency. A trustworthy brand will clearly state the number of live organisms and list the exact strains that are used in their formula.
You also want to look for a label that specifies that the living microbes are capable of surviving until their "best by" date so you can be sure that the bacteria are still living when you take them.
Frequently Asked Questions About Probiotics for Women
Are there any risks involved in taking probiotics?
Taking a probiotic supplement is generally safe and has very few risks or side effects. But some people can experience mild digestive symptoms, headaches, or an increase in histamine levels. Oftentimes, these side effects subside after a week or two of consistent probiotic use.
Probiotics can be dangerous for people who have certain allergies or serious illnesses, and in these cases they should be avoided. Make sure to check with your doctor before taking probiotic supplements.
What is the best way to take a probiotic?
Probiotic supplements are available in many forms, such as powders, capsules, and liquids. Depending on your reason for taking them, one method may be better than another for your digestive system.
That being said, taking them in capsule form is the most convenient for most people. If you are concerned, check with your doctor to get a personalized recommendation on the best way for you to take probiotics.
How long should I take a probiotic?
The answer to this question depends on why you are taking them. For example, if you’re experiencing digestive issues, you might want to take probiotics indefinitely to maintain a healthy gut.
If you have just finished a round of antibiotics, you may only want to take them for a short amount of time. Again, it is best to check with your doctor for your specific situation.
If I eat yogurt, do I still need a probiotic?
The short answer is yes. Not all brands of yogurt contain active, live cultures of probiotics, and each contains different species and strains of probiotics. As far as the yogurts that do contain active live cultures, the amount of these live and active cultures greatly varies. Ideally, yogurt would come with a label that clearly states the strains of bacteria it contains, as well as the number of CFUs—but consumers are not so lucky.
Another issue is that the dose of probiotics in yogurt is lower for each serving than you could easily get with a supplement, and a lot of yogurts are high in sugar, carbohydrates, and calories. Taking a probiotic supplement is more efficient than eating yogurt, and it gives you a clearer idea of the amount and type of bacteria you are consuming.
Can children take probiotics?
As with many other things, it depends. Check with your child's doctor (or with your OBGYN if you are pregnant or nursing) to see which probiotics may be right for you.
Probiotics have been shown to reduce the frequency of respiratory diseases that are often found in daycare centers, so it is certainly worth it to look into probiotics for your child.
What are the benefits of probiotics for women specifically?
Similar to the digestive tract, the vagina is dependent on a finicky balance of good and bad bacteria. If the balance of this bacteria becomes off, it can result in two common infections: bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection. Additionally, bacterial vaginosis may actually turn into a yeast infection, so you could get both.
Studies have found that L. acidophilus can help fight and prevent infections, though it is important to note that the probiotics in these studies were taken as vaginal suppositories instead of through the use of oral supplements.
Probiotics can also be beneficial for pregnant women who are susceptible to vaginal infections. Bacterial vaginosis has been shown to increase the likelihood of pre-term labor, which makes probiotics a potential health benefit for growing babies.
5 Best Probiotics for Women's Digestive Health
There are a lot of great probiotics on the market today, but we have picked out the top five that will provide you with the best results and value.
By reading through the descriptions of these five supplements, hopefully you can narrow down which one is best for you.
Women’s Pro-Daily Probiotic is uniquely formulated to boost women's health. It delivers a specific dose of probiotics designed for a woman’s vaginal, urinary, thyroid, digestive, and immune health.
This probiotic also contains key minerals and extracts that have been proven to work well in combination with prebiotics and probiotics. This product contains 10 billion CFUs, fermented greens, and six probiotic strains, including L. rhamnosus, L. gasseri, L. reuteri, L. salivarius, and B. lactis.
The durable capsules use a patented delayed-release system that protects the beneficial bacteria from harsh stomach acid, delivering more active cultures and ensuring maximum efficacy. The probiotic strains are frozen prior to being inserted into the capsules in order to maintain the freshness and efficacy of the ingredients.
Women's Pro Daily is made in the USA and developed and tested in a good manufacturing practice-compliant facility, making the potency and purity of this product guaranteed.
This highly potent probiotic contains 40 billion CFUs per serving, which is much stronger than other options on the market. It is more effective than other probiotics because the bacteria are able to survive through stomach acids until they reach the lower GI tract. The unique stomach acid protection system in this product increases the survivability rate by 20 times on average compared to other available probiotics.
The company behind this product also ensures its potency until the listed expiration date, allowing you to be sure that you are getting a high-quality product. Additionally, these probiotics are shelf-stable and therefore do not require refrigeration.
This probiotic is made with 100% natural ingredients that are GMO-free. They go through a complete analysis for quality, safety, and efficacy after being manufactured. Third-party, independent labs conduct testing for purity and potency to limit the potential for bias and verify that the ingredients in the product are pure, safe, and representative of what is listed on the label.
Primadophilus Fortify Women’s Probiotic contains 30 billion active cultures that cater to a woman’s unique needs. This supplement includes researched strains such as NCFM® and BI-04®, as well as a higher level of Lactobacilli, which is the dominant healthy bacteria found in the vaginal tract. This not only helps to support women’s health, but also promotes digestive and immune health.
There are 30 billion active cultures in this supplement, including 24 billion Lactobacilli to support women's health and 6 billion Bifidobacteria to support the colon. It comes in a delayed-release capsule that resists stomach acid and delivers the bacteria to the intestine.
Finally, the 30 billion live probiotics are guaranteed until the expiration date when they are stored under the recommended conditions.
This product was formulated in response to the harmful impact of unbalanced flora in women's bodies. This natural and proprietary formula contains three ingredients that have been proven to be effective in women's health and are designed to provide women with the multifaceted support they need.
This supplement has a patented, controlled-release delivery, allowing it to deliver 15 times more beneficial flora into the intestinal tract than other supplements. PRO-Women helps restore healthy bacteria in the body for ideal digestive and immune health, which helps increase a woman's nutrient absorption, aids in weight loss, and increases your energy.
This supplement has 100% naturally occurring D-Mannose and cranberry extract in it, which means that it nurtures an environment for optimal urinary function. D-Mannose, which is a certain type of simple sugar found in fruits, actively works to prevent unhealthy bacteria from attaching to the lining of the urinary tract. After it is ingested, D-Mannose is excreted through urine, which makes it a healthy alternative to cranberry juice (which can be high in sugar).
This probiotic contains 50 billion cultures to support digestive and immune health. It has 10 probiotic strains to help restore the proper balance of bacteria in the digestive system and promote digestive and immune health for women.
When this supplement is taken on a regular basis, it can help users feel lighter, more energized, and healthier overall. It contains 50 billion live cultures from 10 probiotic strains, and is completely dairy and gluten free. Furthermore, the vegetable capsule is formulated for targeted delivery.
The Vitamin Bounty Women's Pro-Daily is the best product overall. The proprietary blend of powerful and transformative bacteria in this probiotic is especially beneficial for women.
The product has been found to be exactly as it is listed on the bottle, so consumers are clearly informed of what they are taking when they buy this product. This probiotic starts working within days to provide women with the necessary health support for overall well-being.