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The 3 Best Probiotics For IBS

Before adding anything new to your supplement routine you should check with you healthcare professional. But if your doctor decides that probiotics are right for you, the best probiotics for IBS could help alleviate uncomfortable symptoms that you may be struggling with.

According to the Mayo Clinic, irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition often managed through diet and lifestyle. While probiotics continue to be studied in relation to IBS, initial results are promising and specific strains could boost your body's microbiome (or collection of microorganisms) to improve gut health.

To find out more, Bustle reached out to expert physicians, Dr. Ian Smith, MD, a bestselling author and television personality and Dr. Vincent Pedre, MD, a speaker, writer, and author of Happy Gut.

Along with a "probiotic rich-diet," Dr. Smith explains, probiotics can help alleviate several uncomfortable IBS symptoms, like gas, bloating, and constipation as, "Probiotics appear to help rebalance the gut's bacterial environment or microflora which can alleviate some of the symptoms.”

Dr. Smith's recommendation is a probiotic supplement with eight or more strains where Dr. Pedre advises looking for a multi-strain probiotic with upwards of five strains; though he qualifies this isn't a requirement for probiotics to relieve or resolve IBS symptoms.

Following their expert advice, my picks have 13 or more strains to help alleviate digestive issues, including Bifidobacterium infantis 35624, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Bifidobacterium animalis, which have all been shown to help with IBS symptoms, according to Dr. Smith. These three are particularly helpful for alleviating constipation, adds Dr. Pedre.

Probiotics can be a great dietary supplement, since they support beneficial gut bacteria growth, but again you should always consult medical advice before introducing any supplement into your diet or IBS management regimen, as their effects on IBS symptoms may vary.

Read on to find the best probiotics for IBS; a few even have prebiotics to help nurture the probiotics.

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01
The Overall Best Probiotic For IBS

The best probiotic for IBS has a lot of strain diversity, with 23 strains and delayed-release capsules to make sure probiotics make it to your gut. With a 4.5-star rating after over 2,500 reviews from shoppers, it's safe to say that many Amazon reviewers stand by this probiotic and many remark how easy to swallow these capsules are.

Of the 23 strains, six of them are key strains recommended by both experts. It also has a few Dr. Pedre mentioned help specific symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas, and abdominal pain. This product is nonGMO and you can take up to three shelf-stable capsules per day (without food) for additional support.

Promising review: "These are great for controlling my IBS. I had some pretty spectacular, but not painful, gas from both ends for the first few days, but that went away. [...] Other than that, my IBS is much more under control, and now I can eat most of the foods that would trigger symptoms in the past. I've also noticed quite the increase in energy. I haven't taken a nap once in the 3 weeks I've been taking this, and I used to nap pretty much every day after work. They also seem to have helped make my monthly "bad time" be less of a bad time. I'll definitely keep these in my probiotic rotation."

02
The Best Probiotic With Prebiotics For IBS

This shelf-stable probiotic not only has strains experts recommend, but also has a pretty high strain diversity, with 15 strains, and a prebiotic fiber made from kiwi. This additional prebiotic fiber nourishes your gut's good bacteria for even more microbiome support. Taking one extended-release capsule per day, with or without food, provides key strains for soothing IBS symptoms and restoring digestive health.

It also has a few Dr. Pedre recommended for constipation relief and treating abdominal pain specifically. Reviewers report this pick has even boosted their immune systems. Plus this product was developed in an FDA-approved facility. It's also nonGMO, vegetarian, as well as gluten and lactose free.

Promising review: "[...] As a person with IBS symptoms, I feel great on this and love that I don't have to take tons of it per day or have to refrigerate it, making it easy to travel with. I've tried several brands in the past and this one rises to the top. Would definitely recommend as it has wonderful health benefits, not just for digestion. I've integrated it into my normal eating routine and have absolutely no complaints."

03
The Best Vegan Probiotic For IBS (With Probiotics)

The Vitamin Bounty Pro 50 may have less probiotic strains but it is a great vegan option. It has a 4.7-star rating after over 6,000 reviews. Of the 13 probiotic strains, this pick has five expert-recommend strains to help alleviate symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation.

This probiotic also features fermented greens for prebiotics, which help to fertilize the good bacteria in your probiotic and already in your gut. All together, two shelf-stable capsules, taken daily, help with bloating, gas, and constipation. The manufacturer also claims this product can support immune health. Like my first pick these capsules are designed for delayed release to protect the live organisms inside the capsule until they can reach your gut. Plus, this product was developed and tested in a NSF-certified facility. It's also nonGMO and free of gluten, dairy, and wheat.

Promising review: “After doing a lot of research on probiotics, I settled on vitamin bounty PRO-50. I've been battle acid reflux, heartburn and mild ibs for awhile now. After about 2 weeks of taking my first bottle, I noticed a significant improvement in the way my gut was feeling. I finished that first bottle and stupidly, waited a few months before ordering another bottle. All my symptoms came back in those in between months. Now I'm back on them and feeling better already.”

Experts referenced:

Dr. Ian Smith, physician, best selling author, and TV personality

Dr. Vincent Pedre, a physician, speaker, writer, and author

Studies referenced:

Aragon, G., Graham, D. B., Borum, M., & Doman, D. B. (2010, January). Probiotic therapy for irritable bowel syndrome. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2886445/.