Top 8 Vegan Probiotics For Optimal Health in 2020

Top 8 Vegan Probiotics For Optimal Health in 2020

If you’re like most people, you just want to drive down the number of bad bacteria in your gut, so that you have a healthy and fully functional digestive system.

However, having the right bacteria in your gut is actually linked to a number of health benefits, including weight loss, improved digestion, enhanced immune function, and the reduced risk of many other diseases.

Unless you’re eating vegan probiotic foods such as fortified non-dairy yogurt, tempeh, or sourdough bread, then you may not be getting enough good bacteria in your body to take advantage of its benefits.

If that is the case, we’ve compiled a list with some of the best vegan probiotic supplements to help you introduce some good bacteria in your gut:

What To Consider Before You Purchase Probiotics

There are two essential things you must always consider before you buy a probiotic supplement:

Ingredients

Regular probiotics contain bacteria that come from dairy products. Therefore, if you’re vegan, so make sure to buy a probiotic with 100% plant-based ingredients. Most manufacturers will usually advertise their products as being vegetarian or vegan if such is the case.

Capsules

If you’re buying a probiotic supplement in the form of capsules, make sure the capsules are not made from gelatin. Gelatin is made from the bones of cattle and is often used as a thickening agent in foods, as well as in creating capsules.

Our Top 8 Vegan Probiotic Supplements

Physician’s Choice Probiotics

The Physician’s Choice probiotic is a professional grade and physician-approved probiotic that contains 60 billion CFUs with 10 different strains. It also includes an organic prebiotic blend made from Organic Jerusalem artichoke root and chicory root powder to help the good bacteria thrive.

According to the manufacturer, the high CFU number means that there are more chances for the probiotics to colonize your gut a bring about better health benefits.

Pros
  • 60 Billion CFUs may increase the chances of the probiotic colonizing your gut
  • Delayed-release acid-resistant pills
  • 10 clinically-studied strains for a wide range of gut benefits.
Cons
  • Some reviewers believe the product is expensive.
  • On top of that, Physician’s Choice uses delayed-release acid-resistant pills so that the probiotics actually get to your gut without impairments.

    The customer reviews show that this probiotic is effective in weight loss, reducing bloating, gases, and more. It is non-GMO, and is also free from soy, gluten, binders, wheat, peanuts, and more.

    Ora Organic Probiotics

    The Ora Probiotic contains 16 billion probiotics with 6 strains per serving, and it also contains organic prebiotics that help the good bacteria thrive in your gut.

    In other words, the Organic Jerusalem Artichoke stimulated and feeds the Bifidobacteria (a good bacteria), which means the probiotics will always be more efficient and effective.

    The 6 different strains Ora uses are all clinically documented, so their benefits are unmistakable.

    Pros
    • Contains organic prebiotics that enhance the probotic’s effects
    • The formula contains clinically documented and acid-resistant strains
    • Comes in a glass bottle (not plastic)
    • Reviewers rave about the bloating relief it provides.
    Cons
  • A bit pricey.
  • Unlike the previous probiotic, the Ora Probiotic comes with 60 veggie capsules that are freeze-dried, so they’re travel-ready and don’t require refrigeration.

    The capsules come in a glass bottle, unlike many supplements that come in environmentally-unfriendly bottles made of plastic. In addition, the probiotic is non-GMO, soy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, with no added sugars and artificial ingredients, and is also sustainably sourced.

    According to a big portion of the reviews, the probiotic is effective in dealing with bloating, and constipation, among other conditions.

    Garden of Life Probiotics

    Garden of Life has created a probiotic that is uniquely designed to support a woman’s microbiome with a variety of probiotic strains that include L. reuteria and L. fermentum, which are effective in supporting women’s digestive health, immune system, and vaginal health.

    Akin to the previous supplement, this probiotic comes with 50 billion CFUs, increasing the chances of the good bacteria colonizing your gut. In addition, Garden of Life’s probiotic also contains an organic prebiotic fiber blend that helps the probiotics thrive.

    Pros
    • 50 billion CFUs for maximizing health benefits
    • 16 different strains to support vaginal health, digestion, and immune system
    • Created specifically for women.
    Cons
  • Plastic (#7) container contains harmful chemicals.
  • This being said, some reviews complain about the low-quality container, made from plastic #7, which contains harmful chemicals that leach into anything that touches the plastic.

    For a product with more than 3,000 reviews (most of them being positive), it is weird to see such complaints, especially addressed at such a reputable company like Garden of Life.

    The supplement is also available for men.

    Yuve Vegan Probiotics

    The Yuve Probiotic supplement is among the few that stick to the recommended CFU amounts, which is often suggested if your goal is to maintain your digestive health, and not treat a condition.

    According to the manufacturer, this probiotic is formulated for men, women, and children alike.

    A quick glance at reviews from actual buyers and the Yuve Probiotic is effective in relieving constipation and bloating, which is common if you’re intolerant to certain foods.

    Pros
    • Great reviews suggest the supplement is effective in reducing bloating and constipation
    • 100% vegan & sugar-free
    • 60-day money back guarantee.
    Cons
  • Can provoke some initial diarrhea.
  • Unlike powders, capsules or pills, Yuve’s plant-based gummies are sweet and don’t leave a bad aftertaste in your mouth. In addition, they’re sugar-free.

    If you have an issue with some foods, you’ll be glad to know that they’re free from wheat, soy, yeast, sugar, sodium, artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, colors, peanuts, and more.

    It also has a 60-day money back guarantee in case you don’t experience any results. 

    Deva Nutrition Probiotics

    The Deva Probiotic is a highly affordable formula with two billion CFU that are highly resistant to the stomach’s acidity. Akin to Ora’s formula, this one is enriched with Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a prebiotic that enhances the potential of the probiotics.

    What’s highly attractive about this supplement is the value, because the price is very affordable for a 90-day supply of probiotics.

    Some reviewers have noted a tremendous improvement in terms of digestive health, and their overall experience in the toilet.

    Pros
    • Very affordable for the value (90-day supply)
    • Reviewers suggest that it’s perfect for IBS and Immune system boost.
    Cons
  • CFUs are below the amount advised by health entities.
  • This being said, the product has a lower number of CFUs, which is below what is recommened by most health entities. For optimal digestive health benefits, the recommended is between 5-10 billion CFUs, and Deva has a few billion less.

    However, the reviews are actually great, especially for a highly affordable probiotic.

    Mary Ruth’s Organic Probiotics

    Mary Ruth’s Liquid Probiotic is a delicious probiotic formula that contains 12 live strains that enhance weight loss and maintenance, improve digestion, and boost immune system.

    The formula is 100% organic, raw, non-GMO, gluten, wheat, corn, soy, and nut-free. It’s also bariatric and celiac friendly.

    The ingredients are sourced from three organic grasses from Mary Ruth’s farm in the United States. It’s without harsh chemicals, fillers, and artificial ingredients.

    Pros
    • Made from 100% organic plant-based ingredients
    • Enhances weight loss and maintenance.
    Cons
  • A bit pricey.
  • This probiotic comes with 40 servings per bottle, and I believe it’s quite expensive when compared to most probiotics on this list. However, there’s no denying that this supplement is highly effective and fast-working, especially when you take a closer glance at the reviews.

    Vie Naturelle Probiotics

    Vie Naturelle is a doctor formulated natural blend of 40 billion CFUs designed to give you relief from symptoms of gas, bloating, constipation, and gastrointestinal discomfort.

    According to the manufacturer, this formula is crafted in a GMP certified & FDA registered facility that’s been 3rd party tested for quality and effectiveness.

    Users praise the probiotic’s ability to fix severe stomach pain, and also to improve digestion.

    Pros
    • Formulated created by an actual doctor
    • Created in a GMP certified & FDA registered facility.
    Cons
    A bit pricey.

    This formula is also free from most major plant-based allergens like gluten, wheat, or soy.

    Zenwise Health Organic Probiotics

    Zenwise Health crafted an organic probiotic with chewables that feature 5 billion CFUs with a proprietary dE111 formula, a spore-forming probiotic that is clinically-proven to support gut flora and digestive function.

    The gummies have a delicious strawberry-flavor, making them quite enjoyable. However, each gummy has 4g of sugar, which is unhealthy in itself. In addition, this probiotic only has about 22 servings, which is way less than the aforementioned supplements.

    Pros
    • The gummies have a good strawberry flavor.
    Cons
  • Only 22 servings (making it quite expensive).
  • Quite frankly, it’s expensive when compared to the other supplements on this list, where you get monthly or bi-monthly supplies.

    What Are Probiotics?

    Probiotics are living organisms, that when ingested in adequate amounts, provide a number of health benefits.

    Probiotics are usually bacteria, but you can also find them in certain types of yeast that can also function as probiotics. You can find probiotics in supplements, and you can also find them in foods prepared by bacterial fermentation.

    bacteria
    Image of bacteria.

    Different probiotic bacteria tackle different health issues, with the most common group of bacteria being named: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. 

    Interestingly, each group has a different species, and each species has different strains.

    Furthermore, since different bacteria address distinct health conditions, choosing the right type of probiotics becomes imperative. Fortunately, probiotic supplements combine different species in the same product, which is why probiotics are widely used.

    What Are The Benefits of Probiotics?

    Several studies reveal that both the balance and imbalance of bacteria in the digestive system is linked to overall health (and disease).

    Probiotics promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria which are linked to a wide range of health benefits, including digestive health, weight loss, immune function, and more.

    Here is an overview of some of the benefits of probiotics:

    Probiotics Help Balance The Good Bacteria In Your Gut

    Most probiotics are known (and advertised) for their ability to restore the natural balance of your gut bacteria.

    When you have bad bacteria roaming around your digestive system, that can actually lead to several problems such as digestive issues, obesity, allergies, mental health problems, and more.

    When you consume a probiotic, you’re introducing friendly organisms that help clean up your gut, so that you can avoid a lot of the problems caused by bad bacteria.

    Bottom Line
    Probiotics can help restore the balance of your digestive system, providing you with several health benefits.

    Probiotics Can Help Reduce Symptoms of Certain Digestive Disorders

    ulcerative colitis symptoms

    According to Healthline, one million people in the United States suffer from inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis.

    Certain probiotics from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains have shown to improve the symptoms in people with mild ulcerative colitis. In fact, a study reveals that supplementing with the probiotic Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 is effective in maintaining remission of ulcerative colitis.

    Furthermore, early research also suggests that probiotics may help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In addition, they may also help reduce the risk of severe necrotizing enterocolitis, a lethal bowel condition that occurs in premature infants.

    Bottom Line
    Probiotics can help reduce the symptoms caused by bowel disorders, especially when it comes to ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

    Probiotics May Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat

    belly fat

    There are a different number of mechanisms in probiotics that may help with weight loss.

    Some probiotics may actually prevent dietary fat from getting absorbed through the intestine, resulting in the fat being excreted through feces rather than being stored in your body. (1, 2)

    Because they can increase the level of certain hormones (GLP-1), they can help you feel satiated for a longer period of time. This allows you to eat fewer calories and lose weight. (3, 4)

    In a study, women on diets found that taking Lactobacillus rhamnosus (a type of probiotic (or friendly bacterial)) for three months helped them lose 50% more weight than women who did not take that specific probiotic. (5)

    What’s tricky is that not every probiotic can help you lose weight or fat. In fact, some studies found that taking certain probiotics (such as Lactobacillus acidophilus) may lead to weight gain. (6)

    Bottom Line
    In the end, more research is required for the scientific community to ascertain the weight-loss benefits of probiotics.

    Probiotics Can Improve Some Mental Health Conditions

    mental health and gut health

    The reason probiotics may aid with some mental health conditions is because a growing number of studies are linking gut health to mood and mental health.

    A review of 15 human studies found out that supplementing with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for 30-60 days can improve anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and memory. (7)

    Another study also found that chemical workers who ate 100 grams of probiotic yogurt per day or took a probiotic capsule experienced benefits for conditions like anxiety, depression, and stress. (8)

    There are also studies where you can observe that people taking probiotic supplements have reduced depression levels, C-reactive protein, and serum insulin levels when compared to folks who did not take probiotics. (9)

    Bottom Line
    According to research, probiotics may improve the symptoms of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, stress, and more.

    Probiotics Can Help Boost Your Immune System

    Some research suggests that probiotics can boost your immune system and prevent the growth of bad bacteria in your gut. (10)

    In addition, certain probiotics have been shown to promote the production of natural antibodies that boost immune cells like the IgA-producing cells, T lymphocytes, and natural killer cells. (11, 12)

    Bottom Line
    Certain probiotics boost immune function.

    Certain Probiotic Strains Can Help Keep Your Heart Healthy

    The reason probiotics may aid your heart is because they may help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad one), as well as blood pressure.

    In fact, a review of 5 studies showed that eating a probiotic yogurt for 2-8 weeks reduced total cholesterol by 4%, and LDL cholesterol by 5%. (13

    In addition, a review on 9 other studies discovered that probiotic supplements reduce blood pressure, albeit modestly. It’s also worth mentioning that to witness reduced blood pressure, subjects had to supplement for more than 8 weeks and take 10 million colony-forming units every day. (14, 15

    Bottom Line
    Probiotics can help lower the bad LDL cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.

    Are Probiotics Safe For Consumption?

    Probiotics should be safe for most people, but side effects can still happen. The most common side effects are bloating, gas, constipation, and thirst.

    While it’s not usual, there are people who can react poorly to some of the ingredients in probiotics, or to naturally occurring amines in probiotics. If that happens, they should stop using probiotics.

    In the rarest of cases, people with a weaker immune system, prolonged hospitalizations or recent surgeries may develop an infection from the bacteria in probiotics.

    That’s why you should either visit a healthcare professional before taking probiotics or take into account both the risks and benefits before consuming probiotics.

    For most people, the addition of probiotics to supplement a diet is helpful and results in the benefits we’ve mentioned earlier.

    What Is The Recommended Daily Amount of Probiotics?

    The recommended daily amount of probiotics you should take should either be (1), recommended by your doctor, or (2) based on the instructions specified on the packaging.

    Harvard Medical School mentions that common dosages for adults vary between five billion to ten billion colony-forming units per day. They say people should stick to one dose a day. 

    screenshot from Harvard Medical School's website.

    The text above is actually an image I’ve taken from Harvard Medical School’s website, and it should give you an idea of what you should do before you purchase probiotics.

    When Should You Take Probiotics?

    Some manufacturers suggest taking probiotics on an empty stomach, while others advise you to take probiotics with food.

    When it comes to scientific literature, you can find research suggesting that Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium survive best when taken 30 minutes before a meal. (16)

    Yet, there is also research suggesting that probiotics have a beneficial impact regardless of food. In other words, the most important thing to do is take a probiotic consistently. (17)

    If you’re in doubt, just follow the instructions given to you by the manufacturer.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How Should You Store Probiotics?

    Some brands claim that probiotics can be stored at room temperature.

    However, we have to keep in mind that probiotics are comprised of living organisms, which indicates they should last longer when kept in a refrigerator. 

    Does More CFUs Equal A Better Probiotic? 

    Most probiotics range from 5 billion to 50 billion CFUs, a number that most of us cannot fathom, which makes this whole ordeal very confusing.

    CFU stands for “colony forming units” and represents how many bacteria in probiotics can divide and form colonies.  The CFUs in your probiotic depends on the reason you take probiotics.

    Most people just want a probiotic in order to keep their digestion system in order. As a result, a probiotic that has between 5-10 billion CFUs is probably ideal.

    However, some people that suffer from specific conditions may require higher dosages, so taking a probiotic with 15-45 billion CFU may be more adequate.

    Before you purchase a probiotic, please consider talking to your doctor or pharmacist. 

    Do Non-Dairy Yogurts Contain Probiotics?

    Dairy-free yogurts contain probiotics because they are inherent to the fermentation process, which is something that happens regardless of having milk or not. If you’re not 100% certain, make sure you read the label to see if there’s some information on that.

    Anyway, vegan yogurts should have probiotics.

    What Other Vegan Foods Have Probiotics?

    If you don’t want to take a supplement, you can always consider the following probiotic foods:

    • Sauerkraut
    • Kimchi
    • Pickled vegetables (cucumbers, carrots, radishes, green beans, cauliflower, and red bell peppers)
    • Kombucha
    • Water kefir
    • Tempeh
    • Sourdough bread
    • Miso
    • and fortified vegan foods. (yogurts)

    Even without supplementing, you can find delicious food options that increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut.

    Conclusion

    Within this article, we have compiled a list of reliable vegan probiotics.

    They’re not listed from best to worst because we truly believe they’re all high-quality, especially when we consider that there are people looking for different things: a better price, a certain amount of CFUs, a fully organic formula, and more.

    Therefore, what may be the best for you, may not work for someone else.


    *This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase through these links. See my full disclosure here.

    Alexandre Valente

    Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than three years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!

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