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In This Article
Your gut is home to trillions of harmful and good bacteria. Together, they help your gut do what it’s supposed to. From digesting foods to absorbing nutrients, they play an essential role in your health.
However, gut bacteria can become imbalanced. This can lead to a variety of symptoms. Mood swings, chronic fatigue, and recurring skin problems are some signs of an unhealthy gut.
One way you can restore this balance is with probiotics.
Elise Harlow is a registered dietitian with a Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences. She is the founder of an online nutrition consulting and coaching business.
Elise helps people use the power of food to lead healthier lives. She works with various clients, including those who want to achieve a healthier weight, improve their gut health, lower cholesterol, manage their blood sugar, or balance their hormones.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial to your gut and overall health. They consist of yeasts and bacterial strains such as lactobacillus and saccharomyces boulardii.
When consumed, they can help restore and maintain a balanced gut. Besides aiding your digestion, they provide many health benefits like producing vitamins and protecting you against illness.1
Many gut-healthy foods are naturally rich in probiotics. For instance, yogurt can hold up to 500 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) per serving. Probiotic supplements are also a great source of healthy bacteria. One serving can have 50 billion CFU or more.2,3
The best probiotics are carefully formulated. Some probiotic supplements contain a blend of strains while others will contain only a single strain. This allows them to treat specific imbalances and relieve certain symptoms.
According to Elise Harlow, a registered dietitian, knowing the reason why you're taking the probiotic will help determine which probiotic is right for you.
"If you need help figuring out which is best for you, I recommend discussing with your doctor or a registered dietitian."Elise Harlow, M.S., R.D.N.
Here are some of our top picks:
We reviewed all of the best Gut Health Tests out there
Price: Starts at $39.99 with one-time purchase
Ombre Lab is one of the few companies to offer at-home gut testing. Their kits can tell you if you’re lacking in specific strains or have too much of them.
Your report will also include your gut score, diversity score, and bacteria levels. You’ll know exactly what you need to work on and how much improvement your gut needs.
Ombre does not stop at testing, though. They’ll give you a personalized food plan (free) with your report. It’s a limited list of foods that can help with your imbalances.
Among the things they’ll recommend are personalized probiotics.
What I Like: Ombre Lab has 7 probiotic supplements to choose from. Each blend is formulated to help with different goals:
You can buy them alone, but it’s better to take their gut test. This ensures you get personalized probiotics.
Ombre’s test results are accurate, too. Your gut report helps Ombre determine which blends are ideal for your health.
What I Don’t Like: The Ombre Gut Test is slightly expensive at $99. But if you want to know which types of bacteria inhabit your gut and learn how to correct them, it’s a price worth paying.
Read our full review of Ombre Gut Test.
Price: Starts at $29.99 with one-time purchase
Biohm (like Ombre) is a gut health company that offers at-home test kits. Their test provides insights into your gut and scores its health on a scale of 1 to 10.
Your report will include your top bacteria and fungal levels and how they compare to the normal range. You also get actionable steps to improve your gut balance, namely:
What I Like: You don’t need to buy their gut test to get personalized recommendations. You can take the free online quiz, which includes questions about your diet and current health.
Biohm will use your answers to predict your gut flora. It will then suggest supplements to correct your imbalance. Biohm has 6 probiotic supplements:
Biohm’s blends combine probiotic strains with other ingredients. Depending on the formula, they may contain prebiotics, vitamins, minerals, and natural extracts.
What I Don’t Like: The Biohm Gut Test doesn’t offer much for its price. It has generic food and lifestyle recommendations, like “eat more fermented foods” and “eat regularly.”
Compare that to Ombre, which tells you exactly which foods to eat and what types of bacteria they target.
While I appreciate their range of probiotic products, Biohm supplements do not help with specific health concerns like Ombre. Their only advantage is you can get personalized recommendations with a free quiz.
Read our full review of Biohm Gut Test.
Price: Starts at $59.95 per month
Viome is a gut health company that primarily tests your gut flora and digestion. However, they also use DNA testing to assess how your gut affects the rest of your body, namely your:
Viome provides deeper insight into your gut microbiome. You’ll learn how well it digests foods, how much gas they produce, and whether there is inflammation — among others.
Like Ombre, Viome offers personalized food and supplement recommendations.
What I Like: Viome only has 2 probiotics and both include prebiotics. This makes it easier to choose from their products:
They also offer more personalized food recommendations (over 400 items) than Ombre. So if you want to improve your gut health naturally, Viome is a good choice.
What I Don’t Like: Viome has the most expensive at-home gut tests. You can buy them for a standard retail price of $249 to $299.
If you want to get their test and a monthly supply of their supplements, it will cost you $59.99 to $199.99 per month. You can’t buy Viome supplements separately.
The combination of probiotics, prebiotics, and multivitamins is helpful for people who want an all-in-one solution. But if you have particular health concerns, their blend might not be able to address them.
Read our full review of Viome Gut Test.
Price: Starts at $10.49 with one-time purchase
Renew Life is a gut wellness company initially founded 25 years ago. Since then, they have curated a range of products for digestive support.
These include probiotics that can restore your beneficial bacteria or repair your gut lining — among dozens of options. One of which is the Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic.
What I Like: Antibiotics can turn an otherwise healthy microbiome into a not-so-healthy one. Studies show they increase your risk for diarrhea and Clostridioides difficile infections.4
Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora Probiotic contains 6 billion CFUs of Saccharomyces boulardii. It’s a probiotic yeast that can prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) in children and adults.5
Besides protecting you from AAD, S. boulardii can also prevent:5
S. boulardii usually needs refrigeration, but Renew Life Ultimate Flora is shelf-stable. It also contains vegetarian ingredients and is safe for people with common food intolerances.
The probiotic supplement is gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free.
What I Don’t Like: Renew Life Ultimate Flora is a one-trick pony. It contains a single strain (S. boulardii) and only works for people struggling with diarrhea.
Still, we recommend keeping a bottle or two just if you need it. Just make sure you don’t confuse it with Ultimate Care Probiotics.
Price: Starts at $19.99
Now Foods is a family-owned company that sells all-natural health products. From essential oils and sports nutrition to organic foods, you’ll never run out of ways to optimize your health.
Among these products is a range of high-quality supplements that promote gut health. They include fiber supplements, probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes.
One of our favorites is Now Probiotic-10™ Veg Capsules.
What I Like: Leaky gut is associated with several digestive disorders, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).6
Consequently, the same health problems have been linked to various skin issues. They are acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH).7
Now Foods Probiotic-10 contains 10 probiotic strains, including ones that can help with these conditions. It has:
You can buy it in different strengths: 25 billion CFUs, 50 billion CFUs, and 100 billion CFUs.
The dietary supplement is manufactured in allergen-free environments. It's also gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free. It's safe for people with food allergies and intolerances.
The fastest way to find out if you have food intolerances is by taking an at-home test.
What I Don't Like: Now Probiotics has too many options that it gets confusing. The way they label their products makes it more difficult to know what they're for.
Personalized probiotics are the best way to restore your gut balance. At-home gut health tests like Ombre, Biohm, and Viome can identify specific probiotic strain(s) you need to work on.
Unlike over-the-counter options like Now Foods and Renew Life, they offer blends that correct your unique imbalances and help with your symptoms.
Probiotic supplements are just one way you can improve your digestion. Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle are equally important to your overall digestive health.
Stay away from foods that are bad for your gut and stick to a gut-healthy diet. Drink water with your meals, manage your stress, and increase your physical activity if you’re sedentary.
Aside from probiotics, there are other gut supplements that can:
Read our review of the best healthy gut supplements.
Our review of the best at-home Microbiome Tests