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10 best probiotic supplements for gut health - expert tips on bloating, IBS & probiotic food

Need a pick me up? Maybe probiotics could help

Probiotics are essential for everyone’s health. 

Probiotics are a live bacteria or yeast that lives in and on the body and promotes numerous benefits, but there are factors, which can destroy our natural probiotics, which is why probiotic supplements are necessary to give our bodies that needed boost to function at optimum level 

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According to the NHS website probiotics can "help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your gut (including your stomach and intestines) when it's been disrupted by an illness or treatment". 

Certain foods contain probiotics, but for those looking for another alternative, there are plenty of supplements to shop online. 

We have all the details on probiotics, from what they are, their health benefits, as well as the best forms to consume probiotics, thanks to experts Dr Sammie Gill, and Dr Marie Drago

Here’s everything you need to know, as well as the expert’s recommended probiotics to take, and for which ailment. 

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What are probiotics? 

According to dietician at Symprove, Dr Sammie Gill, has explained probiotics are a form of supplement, which contain live microbes and provide various health benefits. 

Dr. Gill told us: "Probiotics are live microbes that when consumed, support the gut microbiome and offer health benefits. 

"They are often packaged as supplements, in liquid, powder or tablet form."

While probiotics come in different forms, they also come in different strains and strengths too. 

"Importantly, not all probiotics are equal and different strains do different things", Dr. Gill added. 

Symprove is a liquid probiotic and is extremely popular 

What are the benefits of probiotics? 

There are multiple benefits to probiotics, from supporting your immune system, to gut health, and other health benefits.  

In recent months there has been growing conversations around gut health and your skin, as a bad diet or intolerances, as well as hormone imbalance, can sometimes show in the form of breakouts on the skin. 

Speaking about the pros of probiotics, Dr. Gill said: "Probiotics can work in several ways when they reach the gut – for example, release of beneficial molecules (such as short-chain fatty acids), supporting the immune system (of which 70% sits along the gut), helping to weed out potentially harmful microbes and improving the gut lining."

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The professional has advised researching into your needs to ensure you find the perfect probiotic to suit your body and health requirements. 

Dr. Gill added: "There is good evidence for taking probiotics in certain scenarios, so it’s important to take a prescriptive approach. If you’re considering taking a probiotic, do your homework and choose one that is evidence-based."

Probiotics are primarily taken to improve gut health, especially for those who suffer from irritable bowel system (IBS), however, there are other perks too. 

"Currently, the majority of evidence for probiotic use lies in gut disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This forms part of NICE guidelines for IBS. There is also evidence for use in scenariossuch as antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and travellers’ diarrhoea.

"Newer areas of probiotic research include neurological disorders. For example, there are two clinical trials underway at UK universities trialling Symprove (a liquid probiotic) in Parkinson’s disease", said Dr. Gill. 

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What are the most effective form of probiotics? 

Probiotics come in various forms to be consumed, such as tablets, drinks, a gel, yoghurt, or other foods. 

However, one vital factor when taking probiotics is to consume them in a way they reach the gut "in a live state" to feel the full benefits. 

How can probiotics help with weight loss and gut health?

According to Dr. Gill "evidence for probiotic use in weight loss is limited and mixed."

The main benefits of probiotics work to target gut health, which can speed up metabolism, calm inflamed gut that could leave you bloated and constipated. 

Dr. Gill explained: "Currently, much of the research on probiotics lies in gut disorders, such as IBS. 

"Although research is limited to date, people will often choose to take a probiotic as a type of 'insurance policy', almost as a preventative measure to support gut health."

Dr. Gill recommends following a plant based diet when taking the supplement. "For general gut health, there are other many things we can do. Work from the inside out is my advice – our gut health is central to overall health so target the gut microbiome with a nutrient-dense plant-based diet. Variety is key - a hallmark feature of a healthy gut microbiome is diversity. Focus on wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes.

"But, it’s not just diet, there are other key things we should be paying attention to. For example, sleep. It is underrated but so important. Driven by our internal body clock, our gut microbes have their own circadian rhythm, and this changes the shape of the microbial landscape over a 24-hour period.

"Therefore, it’s key to prioritise quality and quantity of sleep – aim for 7-9 hours per night, keep timings consistent, limit screen time in the few hours before bed and keep the room cool at night to mimic the drop in body temperature.

"Also, if you’re feeling mentally stressed, the gut will feel physically stressed and this can manifest as gut symptoms. This is because the gut and brain are intrinsically connected (labelled the ‘gut-brain axis’)."

Best probiotics for gut health

From the bestselling probiotics, to the founder of Gallinée Dr Marie Drago’s recommendations, we have curated the best probiotics. 

Gallinée Skin and Microbiome Food Supplement, £30, Holland & Barrett  

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Gallinée’s supplement is a concentrated supplement with five billion live bacteria, as well as a blend of pre and post biotics. 

It is a gut-skin treatment so you feel and look good on the inside and out. 

Symprove subscription, £49.99 per month, Symprove 

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Symprove has a number of subscriptions on offer to shop to see you through one month to a year, and it turns out the annual subscription is the cheapest option so you will never run out. 

This formula is gluten free, vegan and dairy free, which makes it the perfect probiotic for those with any intolerances. 

Holland & Barrett Live Friendly Bacteria with Acidophilus, £12.99, Holland & Barrett 

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With over 640 glowing reviews Holland & Barrett’s Live Friendly Bacteria is a firm favourite with shoppers. 

This creation uses three billion bacteria cultures across lactobacillus and bifidobacterium probiotic groups, while the addition of Acidophilus is a friendly bacteria in the gut, mouth and vagina. 

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Optibac Probiotics Every Day, from £10.39, Amazon 

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The Optibac Probiotics comes in various creations from Every Day supplement, to Extra and Intimate for Women, so there is something to suit everyone’s needs. 

The Every Day variation in particular contains five billion bacterial cultures and FOS fibres, to complement your natural gut flora. 

DS-01 Daily Synbiotic, £43.78, Seed 

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The Daily Synbiotic is a two in one capsule in capsule supplement with probiotic and prebiotic. 

This unique creation has a prebiotic outer capsule, and probiotic centre, which works to target digestive health issues, skin health, as well as cardiovascular benefits. 

Ultra Levure, £8.99, The French Pharmacy 

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The Ultra Levure probiotics is one of the more affordable probiotics to buy online now, but it is packed with live bacteria to target gut health. 

Dr. Drago has revealed this probiotic is one of the most popular purchases from shoppers looking for probiotics. 

Anatome Essential Daily Probiotic + Gut Support, £56, The Sports Edit

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Anatome’s Essential Daily Probiotic + Gut Support is a supplement, which aims to boost your body’s immunity, improve digestion, alleviate bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. 

Boosting your body’s immunity.

It aims to also protect the body, and gut, against the impact of stress on the body. 

The Nue Co.Probiotic + Prebiotic, £45, Cult Beauty

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The Nue has a whole host of supplements to target different needs and ailments, including gut health, debloating probiotics, as well as pre and probiotics. 

The Nue Co.Probiotic + Prebiotic in particular is a vegan formula, which claims to be easily absorbed into the body to boost natural functions. 

Solgar Advanced Acidophilus, £11.39, Amazon 

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Solgar has a whole host of probiotics on offer, including daily wellbeing supplements, immunity, beauty and shape, digestion and much more. 

However, the Solgar Advanced Acidophilus in particular has been recommended by Dr. Marie Drago as each capsule contains 500 million cultured strains to target gut health. 

A Dose For Bloating, £10 for 20 capsules, Wild Dose

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For fast relief from digestive discomfort, try Wild Dose's A Dose For Bloating. The brand uses clinically proven probiotics (Lacto. acidophilus and Bifido Bifidum) to help reduce gas, easing IBS symptoms and relieving constipation.

Combined with digestive enzymes which are formulated to reduce gas production, and herbal extracts to aid the release of gas, these supplements offer fast relief from bloating, for those time when you want to feel better, pronto. 

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