The bacteria found in our gut is vital to our health. Everyone has their own unique microbiome, which is a mix of about 400 different types of bacteria. They inhabit the entire lining of your digestive system and affect the well-being of your whole body. 

Probiotics are a great way to top up your gut with good bacteria and support the health of your gut.

What is a probiotic

Probiotics are supplements that contain live bacteria, and they are designed to join the other good bacteria in your body. Most probiotic supplements contain live bacteria and yeasts that have been cultivated in fermented foods.

Having the correct balance between good bacteria and harmful bacteria is essential to your health and may reduce the risk factors for some severe conditions. The idea behind these supplements is that they add to you existing bacteria and ensures that you don’t get a build-up of too much bad bacteria.

For years probiotics have been a source of debate. For them to work, the live bacteria they contain must pass through your stomach acid and arrive in your gut unharmed. While it’s not clear how this happens, but the latest research shows that probiotics are effective and some bacteria do survive for long enough to colonise your gut. Unfortunately, it’s likely that if you stop taking them, they may then be flushed out of your system. Some supplements come with enteric coatings to help the bacteria survive the acidic environment of your stomach.

Probiotic vs Prebiotic

Prebiotics are types of indigestible fibre that gut bacteria can feed on. As a result, they support the health and growth of your good bacteria. Probiotics are supplements that contain live bacteria. Some probiotic supplements also contain prebiotics to help them flourish in your gut.

Why do people use probiotics?

Probiotics are often used to balance out the bad bacteria in the gut. Too much of this bacteria can cause stomach upset diarrhoea and numerous other unpleasant symptoms. 

There is also growing evidence that there is a secure link between gut health and your brain. Changes in our gut bacteria may even affect our mood and emotions. As a result, probiotics are often taken to give a boost to general health or to try and reduce feelings of being rundown, fatigued or depressed.

These useful supplements are also taken to boost the immune system, and they may likely support the treatment of conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhoea and ulcerative colitis.

What to look for when choosing a probiotic

There are hundreds of different bacteria that could be included in probiotics. The best way to find one that works for you is to find a probiotic complex that consists of a wide variety of bacteria. This means it will more likely have a positive effect on your gut and meet your needs.

When you buy your probiotic look for companies with good reputations who have samples of their products tested by third-party labs. Also, look out for evidence that the bacteria formulation is based on up to date research. Another great way to ensure you’re getting a top-quality product is to look for awards and certifications like ‘Good Manufacturing Practices’ certifications or verification that they meet organic standards.

Best Probiotic Supplements in the UK

According to our experience and rigorous selection criteria, we’ve carefully selected the best nootropic supplements available in the UK.

Raw Probiotics ‘Ultimate Care’ from Garden of Life

Containing 34 raw, clinically studied bacteria strains, Ultimate Care is one the most comprehensive probiotic I’ve tried. The bacteria are sourced from Bulgarian yoghurt, kefir grains and SCOBY (symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeast). In one packet you get 30 capsules each holding billions of fresh, live bacteria. Just one a day will deliver the microbiome strains to your gut.

Also present are a range of digestive enzymes and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. All the ingredients have been carefully selected to give the bacteria everything they need to colonise your digestive system effectively. These capsules are suitable for vegetarians, gluten-free, soy-free and have been kept raw to preserve the bacteria at its freshest.

Pros

  • 34 strains of good bacteria
  • Just one easy to take capsules per day
  • Raw bacteria
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • Also contains, enzymes, fruits and vegetables
  • Free from gluten and soy

Cons

  • Because of the quality of the supplement and the incredible range of bacteria strains, this may be beyond some budgets.
  • Unfortunately, they’re not suitable for vegans.

Visit Garden of Life UK to get Ultimate Care capsules now.


Pro-VeFlora 50 Billion G&G

These supplements provide over 50 billion micro-organisms and contain a blend of strains including bifidobacteria, streptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus. This is an advanced formulation that is suitable for vegans and contains no excipients, binders or artificial fillers. In one bottle, you get a thirty-day supply of one capsule each day.

With over 14 bacteria strains, this is a supplement designed to provide a diverse population of micro-organism to promote gut health. They are kosher, non-GMO and free from gluten, lactose, soy and sugar.

Pros

  • 13 strains of good bacteria
  • Just one easy to take capsules per day
  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Also contains, enzymes, fruits and vegetables
  • Free from gluten lactose, sugar and soy

Cons

  • Not as broad a range of bacteria as provided by ‘Ultimate Care’.

Get Pro-VeFLora from G&G.


TerraNova Probiotic Complex

Terranova has enhanced the potency of their probiotic complex by combining five strains of bacteria with nutrient-rich superfoods, botanicals and prebiotic fibre. It contains an impressive 3.5 billion bacteria (colony forming units) and a blend of burdock root, beetroot and stabilised rice bran. This is an excellent value supplement that has been expertly formulated to yield the best results. If you’re on a budget or want to see how you get on with probiotics, this is the ideal place to start. One bottle contains 100 capsules, and the recommended serving is one per day.

Terranova was founded over a decade ago and are based in the UK. They produce broad-spectrum supplements that are formulated to deliver the best nutrition that nature has to offer. All their products are cleverly designed with additional natural ingredients to make it easier for your body to absorb. They never use any fillers, binders or excipients, and this probiotic is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. 

Pros

  • 5 strains of good bacteria
  • 3.5 billion bacteria
  • 100 days supply of one daily capsule
  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Also contains prebiotic fibre and a Magnifood blend of superfoods
  • No fillers, binders or excipients
  • Great value

Cons

  • TerraNova use organic ingredients where possible, but it would be good if this supplement were certified organic.

Visit BodyKind to get your TerraNova Probiotic Complex.


Viridian Synbiotic Daily

These vegicaps contain a blend of 1.5billion good bacteria and prebiotic fibre. In each serving, you get four strains of bacteria, full-spectrum oligosaccharide and inulin fibre. This simultaneously improves the range of bacteria in your gut and provides them with food to help them to colonise. One bottle contains 90 capsules, and you can take between 1 to 3 per day with your meal.

Synbiotic Daily is suitable for vegans and vegetarians and is free from gluten, soy, dairy, lactose, yeast, sugar and preservatives. You can either choose this supplement or the high-strength version, which has over20 billion bacteria per capsule.

Pros

  • 4 strains of good bacteria
  • 1.5 billion bacteria
  • A daily serving is one to three capsules per day
  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Also contains prebiotic fibre
  • Free from gluten, soy, dairy, lactose, yeast, sugar and preservatives.
  • You can opt for the high-strength version with 20 billion bacteria.

Cons

  • They don’t have as broad a range of bacteria as provided by other products on this list.

Get your Viridian Synbiotic Daily from BodyKind.


Further reading: To ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need, try our article on Best Multivitamins UK. For a great natural supplement read Best Turmeric Supplements UK. You may also like to see our choice of The Best Fibre Supplements UK.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most effective probiotic?

The most effective probiotic we’ve found is Ultimate Care from Garden of Life. It contains 34 raw, clinically studied bacteria strains and is one of the most comprehensive supplements available. The bacteria are sourced from Bulgarian yoghurt, kefir grains and SCOBY (symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeast). ON top of that you get a range of digestive enzymes and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. 

What are the top 3 probiotics?

Are expensive probiotics worth it?

Probiotics don’t work miracles, as with any supplements how effective they depend on your body composition and health as well as what they contain. Don’t spend a lot of money on any supplement unless you’re sure of its quality and you’ve seen several genuine customer reviews verifying its potency and safety. Several expensive probiotics are well-made and are worth every penny, but there are also cheaper options that also provide great value. If you’re looking for a great probiotic on a budget, check out TerraNova’a Probiotic Complex.

What is the best time to take probiotics?

The best time to take a probiotic depends on its type and what capsule it’s contained in. If it has an enteric coating, you can take it at any time. If not, try taking it with your meal, this will allow the bacteria to enter your stomach at the time when it’s least acidic.          

About The Author

Health and Wellness Editor

Tim W. Shaw writes extensively about CBD oil, medical cannabis and other ground-breaking food supplements. He and his wife share their home with two daughters and a lifetime’s collection of books.

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