The 18 Best Probiotic Strains for Your Gut

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

Kefir grains on a wooden spoon, a fermented food full of best probiotic strains which are a beneficial supplement for gut health.

The bacteria in your gut have a huge impact on your health and well-being. They affect how well you digest food, absorb nutrients, the strength of your immune system, and the health of your small intestine and colon… and that barely scratches the surface. The importance of probiotics for supporting gut health cannot be overstated. The bacteria in your gut are a community and there are many types, or strains, of bacteria that make up that community. Here we’ll take a look at the eighteen best probiotic strains for supporting gut health.

1. Streptococcus thermophilus

Streptococcus thermophilus promotes healthy tissue in the small intestine. [1] It discourages nitrates, like those in spinach, celery, and cured meats from turning into harmful nitrites. And, it breaks down a protein in cheeses, casein, which is known to cause allergies.

2. Bacillus laterosporus

Bacillus laterosporus is a hearty strain that fights many types of harmful organisms, including candida.

3. Pediococcus acidilactici

Undigested food can rot in your gut; Pediococcus acidilactici helps put a stop to it. One study found that it also helps keep harmful organisms from damaging the gut environment. [2]

4. Bifidobacterium breve

Bifidobacterium breve is essential for colon health, especially if you’ve taken antibiotics. Studies have found that many digestive problems coincide with low levels of B. breve.

5. Bifidobacterium infantis

Bifidobacterium infantis supports the digestive system by releasing an acid that keeps harmful organisms from taking hold. It’s especially helpful for people suffering from digestive ailments or occasional constipation. [3]

6. Bifidobacterium bifidum

Bifidobacterium bifidum is a household name in probiotic strains (if there is such a thing). It keeps unwanted bacteria out, eases digestion, and boosts the immune system. It plays an important role in immune function and allergy response; and encourages normal, healthy looking skin. [4]

7. Bifidobacterium lactis

Bifidobacterium lactis neutralizes gliadin, the wheat protein responsible for gluten sensitivity. Gliadin also damages the intestinal lining and can cause leaky gut.

8. Bifidobacterium longum

Bifidobacterium longum helps keep acid levels balanced. It’s especially helpful for anyone taking antibiotics.

9. Lactobacillus acidophilus

Lactobacillus acidophilus supports digestion, particularly lactose digestion, and boosts the immune system.

10. Lactobacillus brevis

Helping out on both ends, Lactobacillus brevis is soothing to both oral and colon tissue. [5]

11. Lactobacillus bulgaricus

Lactobacillus bulgaricus creates natural antibiotics in your gut that fight invading organisms. It also releases acids that neutralize toxins and promote balance.

12. Lactobacillus casei

Lactobacillus casei supports digestion, the immune system, and soothes the bowels. [6]

13. Lactobacillus gasseri

Lactobacillus gasseri supports digestion, balanced blood sugar, and encourages a normal body weight. [7]

14. Lactococcus lactis

Lactococcus lactis helps digestion and encourages a normal gut environment, especially helping to defend against leaky gut.

15. Lactobacillus plantarum

Lactobacillus plantarum produces L. lysine, an amino acid that supports calcium absorption, hormone production, and boosts the immune system. It’s often used as a remedy for bowel disorders.

16. Lactobacillus paracasei

Lactobacillus paracasei helps with fatigue, protects teeth from cavities, and many people also report it lessens the impact of environmental sensitivities.

17. Lactobacillus rhamnosus

Generally cited for promoting a happy and healthy gut environment, Lactobacillus rhamnosus also has a reputation for helping with UTIs by kick-starting antibodies and boosting the immune system.

18. Lactobacillus salivarius

Lactobacillus salivarius fights unwanted microbes in the mouth and the small intestine. It’s considered essential for oral health. This strain, as do many, thrives when provided with prebiotic foods like banana, barley, tomatoes, and garlic.

What’s Your Favorite Probiotic?

There are many ways to add probiotics to your life, but relatively few that provide multiple strains. An advanced probiotic formula, such as Floratrex™ combines many of the best probiotic strains into one source.

Have you used probiotics? What’s been your experience? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

References (7)
  1. Whitford, E.J. et al. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Effects of Streptococcus thermophilus TH-4 on Intestinal Mucositis Induced by the Chemotherapeutic Agent, 5- Fluorouracil (5-FU). Cancer Biol Ther. 2009 Mar 15;8(6):505-11. Epub 2009 Mar 15.
  2. Kaur B, Garg N, Sachdev A, Kumar B. Effect of the oral intake of probiotic Pediococcus acidilactici BA28 on Helicobacter pylori causing peptic ulcer in C57BL/6 mice models. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2014 Jan;172(2):973-83.
  3. Efficacy of an Encapsulated Probiotic Bifidobacterium Infantis 35624 in Women with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jul;101(7):1581-90.
  4. Martín R, Rijkers G, Sengers F, Timmerman H, van Uden N, Smidt H, Kimpen J, Hoekstra M. The effects of selected probiotic strains on the development of eczema (the PandA study). Allergy. 2009 Sep; 64(9):1349-58. Epub 2009 Apr 9.
  5. Tasli L, Mat C, De Simone C, Yazici H. Lactobacilli lozenges in the management of oral ulcers of Behcet's syndrome. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2006 Sep-Oct;24(5 Suppl 42):S83-6.
  6. Llopis M1, Antolin M, Carol M, Borruel N, Casellas F, Martinez C, Espín-Basany E, Guarner F, Malagelada JR. Lactobacillus casei downregulates commensals' inflammatory signals in Crohn's disease mucosa. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2009 Feb;15(2):275-83. doi: 10.1002/ibd.20736.
  7. Kang JH1, Yun SI, Park MH, Park JH, Jeong SY, Park HO. Anti-obesity effect of Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17 in high-sucrose diet-induced obese mice. PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54617. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054617. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • InfoJunkie

    My experience has been to never trust a bottle, especially one linked to at the bottom of a blog post with no alterative linked as well.

    My advice to anyone reading this is go do a web search today and learn how easy and rewarding it is to make your own lacto fermeted sauerkraut, pickles of all sorts, sauces, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, vinegar, and even home brew all rich in live thriving communities of pro-bacteria not dried out in a capsule. Studies show that eating pro-bacteria as part of food such as fermented vegtables are vastly more likely to colonize and make it safely to your entire digestive system.

  • Deb Fowler

    I have tried different probiotics. They are defiantly not all the same. The probiotics from Walmart are junk; you would have to take 3 of their strongest ones to notice a difference. I have tried some probiotics from the Health Food Store in Arthur Illinois, by far the best product I have run across so far. It has 100 Billion probiotics per capsule and is refrigerated. This probiotic also has a special capsule that makes the “Good Guys” survive in the stomach acid. I switched to this other product off of Amazon/Ebay, I don’t remember which, and lets just say I am not happy. I was just trying to find a product like I was using, just more cost friendly. The one from the Amish Community in Arthur was around 40-50 dollars. Does your products have a special capsule or refrigerated??

  • val

    This article is about species, not strains. And strains matters a lot. On the strain level, there is a difference between (maybe) doing something and doing nothing at all.

  • Joy Bettis

    What is the name of the probiotic you liked best?

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