If you're fed up with feeling backed up, adding a daily probiotic to your routine might be just what you need to feel more regular. While probiotics are known for promoting gut health, some are better than others at easing digestive troubles specifically. The best probiotics for constipation contain bacteria strains found to be particularly good at keeping things moving through your digestive tract.
For constipation relief, certified dietitian and nutritionist Ilyse Schaprio, MS, RD, CDN, says to look specifically for these strains: Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Saccharomyces boulardii. And WebMd reported that those same strains can help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that often involves a mix of constipation and diarrhea.
What's more, according to Harvard Medical School, all probiotics looked at in a study increased the number of weekly bowel movements and helped soften stool, but Bifidobacterium appeared to be the most effective strain. So, when shopping for a probiotic to make you feel more regular, make sure that it includes a Bifidobacterium strain at the very least, ideally the other strains mentioned above too. It's also worth noting that a probiotic combined with a prebiotic might make your probiotics even more effective. That's why several of the picks below include a probiotic prebiotic blend.
"For constipation, it's also a good idea to make sure you are consuming enough fiber," adds Schapiro. With that in mind, I also included a prebiotic, dye-free fiber powder in this roundup so that you can tackle your constipation completely.
1. The Best Overall: A Shelf-Stable Probiotic That Has More Than 2,000 Customer Reviews
With a whopping 4.8-star rating on Amazon and more than 2,000 customer reviews, Physician's Choice probiotic supplement is something of a probiotic rockstar. The all-natural, doctor-approved formula comes in shelf-stable packaging that provides an impenetrable barrier against light, oxygen, and moisture, so you don't have to worry about refrigeration, and the acid-resistant veggie capsules feature a delayed release for maximum absorption. Plus, it contains 10 bacteria strains, including several that are key for treating constipation: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium lactis. The potent formula also includes an organic prebiotic fiber, made from organic Jerusalem artichoke root, fibregum bio, and chicory root, to further support digestive health.
What fans are saying: "Since taking these, bathroom time is a breeze with no more constipation and no gas pains. It started helping within three days of taking, I am totally hooked."
2. The Best For Constipation & Bloating: A 4-in-1 Daily Probiotic
If you're dealing with more than a few of digestive woes, Phillips' 4-in-1 Colon Health Daily Probiotic could be what you need to ease constipation, plus gas, bloating, and diarrhea. The shelf-stable probiotic features a proprietary blend of Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, and Lactobacillus Gasseri to replenish the good bacteria in the colon and restore gut health. And with a 4.4-star Amazon rating, and more than 700 customer reviews, this is a good bet for anyone dealing with multi-symptom digestive distress.
What fans are saying: "I have IBS with constipation and this is the best thing I've found so far that helps."
3. The Best On A Budget: A Prebiotic & Probiotic Supplement With A Cult Following
With a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, and more 3,100 customer reviews, this Earth’s Pearl Probiotic & Prebiotic supplement has amassed a loyal fanbase for its ability to ease constipation issues. At first glance, the price might seem similar to our #1 pick on this list, but with Earth's Pearls, you get twice as many capsules in one bottle — all for less than $20.
In addition to having the key bacteria strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium infantis, and Bifidobacterium lactis, the formula also includes a fiber-infused prebiotic that feeds the healthy bacteria already in the digestive system. What's more, the pearls have a time-released formula, so all you need to do is take one easy-to-swallow pill in the morning to experience relief all day.
What fans are saying: "I'm back for my 3rd bottle of these magic beans! I have been taking them regularly for about 4-5 months now. I've had such positive results that I can't imagine doing without them. No more constipation, or gas and bloating. I don't have the issues with certain foods that I used too. I just have a general sense of feeling healthier. I'm a believer!"
4. Also Nice: A Prebiotic Dietary Fiber Supplement Powder
Adding a fiber powder to your routine is one way to increase your stool frequency, and this vegan-friendly prebiotic fiber powder from Microingredients boasts a triple-action formula. It contains inulin, acacia, and psyllium husk to promote digestion and colon and gut health. Plus, unlike other fiber powders on the market, this one contains no additives, preservatives, fillers, artificial colors, or flavors — and is soy and gluten-free.
What fans are saying: "I really like that there is no taste or grittiness, it dissolves completely and I am really happy with how regular I am."
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