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Best Probiotics for Constipation in 2024: Top 13 Brands

Probiotics are live microorganisms, like bacteria or yeast that may provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, or dietary supplements.

All of these sources may have potential to alleviate constipation. However, it's important to note that individual results may vary, and it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and recommendations.

We have done thorough market research and present the list that will help you choose the best probiotic for constipation in 2024 below.

Best probiotics for constipation: a shortlist

  1. Unbloat — overall best probiotic for constipation
  2. Yourbiology — best probiotic for constipation for vegetarians
  3. Ritual — best probiotic brand for constipation
  4. Bioma.Health — best probiotic for constipation and bloating
  5. Ora — best probiotic for an affordable price
  6. Biotics 8 — best probiotic for regularity
  7. Garden of Life — best USDA-certified organic probiotic for constipation
  8. CLAV — best probiotic for an affordable price
  9. Renew Life — best conveniently-packaged probiotics for constipation
  10. Phillips’ — best probiotic for constipation with various pricing options
  11. Jarrow Formulas — best probiotic constipation probiotic for travelers
  12. Bio-K+ — best probiotic for constipation with high CFU count
  13. Florastor — best probiotic for constipation with a targeted strain

How to choose the best probiotics for constipation?

When selecting the right probiotic supplements for constipation, it is crucial to consider the bacteria strains in the product. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains have demonstrated promising results in clinical trials.

Additional factors to consider when deciding on the best probiotic for constipation:

Clean and science-backed ingredientsNatural ingredients, no additives
PricePrice vs. quality/quantity
Third-party testingBy independent third-party laboratories
  • Quality. Ensure the formulation of probiotic ingredients is in adherence to the highest quality standards for their effectiveness and safety. The probiotics should be manufactured using Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
  • Clean and science-backed ingredients. Ensure the supplement contains pure and high-quality ingredients, preferably derived from natural sources. Avoid those with unnecessary fillers or additives.
  • Price. Consider the dosage of probiotics provided in each serving of the supplement and compare it with the price. It is important to find the right balance between price, quantity and quality.
  • Third-party testing. Select products that undergo thorough testing by independent third-party laboratories. The third-party testing process guarantees that the products adhere to the most stringent quality, purity, and safety standards.

Note that individual results of probiotic use for constipation may vary. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and recommendations.

Best probiotics for constipation in 2024: an overview

We have developed a list of the best probiotics for constipation according to the above-mentioned criteria. The list below includes promising probiotics for gut issues. They have the potential to promote bowel movement, increase bowel movement frequency, and improve stool consistency.

Most probiotics contain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains that demonstrate promising results in clinical trials. All probiotic supplements are in capsule form, which makes them easy to use.

Note, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and recommendations before starting new supplements.

1. Unbloat — overall best probiotic for constipation

Unbloat Daily Capsules

Designed specifically to combat bloating and improve gut health, Unbloat gets our vote for the overall best probiotic for constipation.

With 25 billion CFUs per serving, this probiotic product offers to improve microbiome diversity. It combines 7 different probiotic strainsL. casei, B. lactis, L. plantarum, L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, B. longum, and B. bifidum.

Besides the probiotic strains, what you will find within the formulation are digestive enzymes, prebiotic fibers, nutrients for bowel function support, and an herbal blend that may help combat bloating.

How it may relieve constipation

  • Probiotic strains. Specific strains are essential for effectively addressing gut issues such as constipation. One of the probiotic strains in this product, namely B. lactis, is linked to an increased frequency of defecation and improved symptoms of constipation.
  • Digestive enzymes. The digestive enzymes in this formula may help break down large food particles into smaller ones, making digestion and absorbing nutrients much easier.
  • Prebiotic fiber. Comprising non-digestible carbohydrates that promote regular bowel movements and facilitate easier stool passage, fiber plays a significant role in gut health. Many adults fail to consume enough dietary fiber. This often results in constipation.

Unbloat is suitable for vegans, free from GMOs and gluten, and fits into paleo and keto diets. Made from naturally sourced ingredients, it's manufactured in an FDA-approved facility in the USA.

A jar of Unbloat probiotic capsules, containing 30 servings, is priced at $65.95 ($2.19 per serving), this is if you opt for a one-time purchase. Buying in packs comes with additional discounts.

2. Yourbiology — best probiotic for constipation for vegetarians


The best over-the-counter probiotic for constipation among the options listed, suitable for vegetarians, is Yourbiology. It offers a supplement that is catered to vegetarians and includes four specific strains of bacteria: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lacticaseibacillus paracasei. These strains are naturally present in the human digestive tract and have a positive effect on gut health when consumed with food.

A daily dose of two capsules delivers 40 billion CFU of probiotics.

The product also features fructooligosaccharides (FOS), carbohydrates that occur naturally in foods like asparagus, soybeans, bananas, garlic, and others. FOS are considered prebiotics — a form of fiber that serves as a food source for the gut's beneficial bacteria. Normally, FOS is well tolerated. However, some individuals might be more sensitive to these prebiotics, which may lead to abdominal discomfort.

How it may relieve constipation

  • Probiotic strains. The supplement contains 10 potent probiotic strains, including the four mentioned above. These strains may improve bowel movements and reduce symptoms like bloating and excess gas, often associated with constipation.
  • Digestive enzymes. It includes three digestive enzymes - amylase, lipase, and protease. These enzymes aid in breaking down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, facilitating smoother digestion.
  • Prebiotics. The formula also incorporates prebiotics like inulin and FOS. These fibers nourish the probiotics in the gut and help maintain a healthy gut flora balance, which is crucial for regular bowel movements.

One bottle containing 60 capsules costs $79.99 ($2.67 per serving).

3. Ritual — best probiotic brand for constipation


When it comes to the best probiotic brand for constipation, Ritual’s Synbiotic+ definitely makes the list. The product consists of two probiotic strains — Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium animalis, containing 11 billion CFUs.

Synbiotic+ also includes prebiotics that may support the growth of beneficial bacteria within the gut and postbiotics that may protect the gut barrier and reduce inflammation. However, there is a lack of scientific evidence on these ingredients when taken together.

How it may relieve constipation

Ritual’s Synbiotic+ addresses constipation through a synergistic approach:

  • Probiotic strains (LGG® & BB-12®). These strains are chosen for their potential ability to support relief from occasional discomforts such as mild and occasional bloating and gas, often associated with constipation.
  • Prebiotics. The prebiotics in Synbiotic+ may promote the growth and reproduction of beneficial gut bacteria, supporting regular bowel movements.
  • Postbiotic (tributyrin). At a clinically studied dose of 300 mg, the postbiotic in Synbiotic+ may fuel the cells that make up the gut lining, supporting gut barrier function, which is essential for optimal health and bowel regularity.

All ingredients of Ritual’s Synbiotic+ are transparently sourced and third-party tested for quality.

One bottle containing 30 capsules costs $54 ($1.80 per serving).

4. Bioma.Health — best probiotic for constipation and bloating

Bioma Health probiotics

Bioma.Health Probiotics comes up in our list as the best probiotic for constipation and bloating.

The product features 9 billion CFUs in a probiotic blend containing Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, and Bifidobacterium breve.

Bioma.Health Probiotics is non-GMO, gluten-free, and suitable for vegans, catering to a wide range of users.

How it may relieve constipation

  • Targeted release capsules. May support the direct delivery of ingredients to the gut.
  • Prebiotic fibers. Xylooligosaccharides may feed natural gut bacteria and increase gastrointestinal transit time.
  • Probiotic strains. May help with binding toxins.
  • Tributyrin. May protect the gut lining and reduce inflammation.

1-month supply of Bioma.Health Probiotics costs $79.99 ($2.66 per serving).

5. Ora — best probiotic for an affordable price


Ora’s Trust Your Gut probiotic and prebiotic supplement might be the best affordable choice for those looking for a balanced microbiome.

The product is intended to support a healthy immune system, maintain the balance of the gut microbiome, and optimize digestion. It consists of 11 carefully selected probiotic strains, delivering a total of 52 billion CFU.

How it may relieve constipation

  • Bifidobacterium longum. This probiotic strain has demonstrated positive effects on metabolism, reducing inflammation and promoting gut health, which may contribute to the prevention of constipation.
  • Lactobacillus brevis. Studies indicate that L. brevis produces bacteriocins, compounds that prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and effectively regulate gut microflora, which may be an important aspect when dealing with constipation.

According to the brand, the probiotics are non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and third-party tested. A Certificate of Analysis (COA), document with the test’s results, is available on Ora’s website.

A 1-month supply of Ora’s Trust Your Gut probiotic supplement costs $49.99 ($1.66 per serving).

6. Biotics 8 — best probiotic for regularity


Biotics 8 makes our list as the best probiotic for regularity. The formula contains both probiotics (10 different strains) and prebiotics.

How it may relieve constipation

  • Probiotic strains. Contains 10 potent strains of “good” bacteria with 20 billion CFUs that may help with regular bowel movements.
  • Digestive enzymes. May provide support in breaking down fats, proteins, and sugars, facilitating smoother digestion.
  • Chicory root fiber. May act as a prebiotic, nourishing probiotic bacteria and promoting a healthier gut.
  • Vitamin D. The deficiency of this vitamin has a strong link with constipation. Therefore, consuming it may contribute to overall gut health and support regular bowel movements.

The brand recommends the gradual introduction of probiotics to decrease abdominal side effects like bloating. After 9 days, the recommended daily dose is three capsules to receive 20 billion CFU of probiotics.

The product is GMP-certified, ensuring high standards and safety requirements during the manufacturing process.

One bottle contains 30 servings and costs $64.99 ($2.16 per serving).

7. Garden of Life — best USDA-certified organic probiotic for constipation

Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics Once Daily

Capturing the essence of optimal gut health, Garden of Life's Dr. Formulated Probiotics Once Daily is designed to support your digestion and immune system.

This probiotic supplement delivers 30 billion CFUs per capsule, encompassing 14 probiotic strains to enhance digestive balance and regularity.

These strains are meticulously chosen for their resistance to stomach acid and bile, ensuring they reach the intestinal tract where they are most effective.

According to the website, the product is developed by Dr. Perlmutter, a renowned neurologist and nutrition expert, and is non-GMO and USDA-certified organic while also disclosing the origins of each ingredient.

Garden of Life's Dr. Formulated Probiotics Once Daily, available in a 30-capsule pack for $34.99 ($1.16 per serving), is an affordable supplement for maintaining gastrointestinal health.

How it may relieve constipation

  • Diverse probiotic strains. The variety of strains helps to balance the gut microbiota, which is crucial for regular bowel movements and preventing constipation.
  • High CFU count. With 30 billion live probiotic cultures, the supplement enhances the gut's bacterial environment, supporting bowel regularity.
  • Strain resilience. Formulated to withstand stomach acid and bile, allowing probiotics to reach the intestines where they may effectively address constipation.

8. CLAV — best probiotic for an affordable price

CLAV Endo Biotic Probiotic Bio Cultures might be the best affordable probiotic for those seeking a balanced microbiome.

The product is designed to support gut microflora and promote a well-functioning digestive system. It contains 10 billion CFUs of probiotics, including Enterococcus, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus strains.

This product is available in three flavors: raspberry, chocolate, and orange.

How it may relieve constipation

  • Inulin. May support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and improve bowel function.
  • Probiotic blend (10 billion CFUs). May help maintain a healthy gut flora, essential for regular bowel movements.

According to the brand, the probiotics are third-party tested for quality, non-GMO, vegan, and contain no artificial additives.

1-month supply of CLAV Endo Biotic Probiotic Bio Cultures costs $39.90 ($1.33 per serving).

9. Renew Life — best conveniently-packaged probiotics for constipation

Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic is formulated to promote digestive and immune health for those who experience occasional digestive discomfort, such as constipation, gas, and bloating.

The product offers a robust blend of 50 billion CFU per capsule, combining 10 probiotic strains, including Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains, which are pivotal for digestive health.

Renew Life probiotics are manufactured in facilities adhering to GMP standards, promising high quality.

Additionally, the product is packaged in a shelf-stable, blister-packed capsule that maintains potency and purity by protecting against moisture and oxygen.

A package of 60 capsules is priced reasonably at $61.99, equating to $1.03 per capsule, highlighting an affordable approach to digestive wellness.

How it may relieve constipation

  • Diverse probiotic composition. A combination of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains, may enhance the microbial balance in the gut necessary for smooth digestion and regular bowel movements.
  • 50 billion CFUs. The substantial count of live probiotics may help to swiftly normalize bowel function, reducing the incidence and severity of constipation.
  • Convenient packaging. The blister packs may not only maintain the probiotic’s effectiveness but also make it easier to manage dosage, providing consistent intestinal support.

10. Florastor — best probiotic for constipation with a targeted strain

Florastor® Dual Action Probiotic is a leading supplement designed to maintain digestive balance and bolster immune health.

With a single ingredient, the scientifically-researched strain Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745®, Florastor® Dual Action Probiotic may support intestinal health and protect against gastrointestinal issues.

Each capsule contains 250 mg of this probiotic yeast, which may help the body flush out bad bacteria while promoting the growth of good bacteria.

This gluten-free, non-GMO supplement is suitable for vegetarians and integrates seamlessly into daily routines to improve digestive function.

Florastor® Dual Action Probiotic starts from $22, offering an affordable solution for daily digestive care.

FDA advises that probiotics must be stated in colony forming units (CFU) with milligrams (mg) being optional, however this brand states the units in "mg" without any indication of CFU.

How it may relieve constipation

  • Probiotic strain efficiency. Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745® has the potential ability to balance intestinal flora and promote regular bowel movements.
  • Daily digestive support. Regular use may help maintain a healthier digestive tract, which is essential for preventing and relieving constipation.

11. Phillips’ — best probiotic for constipation with various pricing options

Phillips'® Colon Health® Daily Probiotic Capsules are designed to support digestive and immune health, making them one of the top contenders for the best probiotic for constipation relief.

These capsules contain a proprietary blend of 3 billion CFUs, including the well-researched strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®) and Bifidobacterium (BB-12®), which may help maintain healthy intestinal flora and combat occasional digestive issues like gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.

Phillips'® Colon Health® is non-GMO and free from common allergens, making it a safe choice for most users.

A 45-capsule package of Phillips'® Colon Health® starts from $17.98 ($0.40 per serving).

How it may relieve constipation

  • Specific probiotic strains. The LGG® and BB-12® strains are particularly effective in improving bowel regularity and reducing the symptoms of constipation.
  • Acid-resistant strains. These strains are robust enough to withstand stomach acid, ensuring they reach the gut, where they can exert their beneficial effects.
  • Daily dosage consistency. Regular consumption may help maintain a balanced intestinal flora, which is essential for smooth digestion and preventing constipation.

12. Jarrow Formulas — best probiotic constipation probiotic for travelers

Jarrow Formulas Saccharomyces Boulardii + MOS is a premium probiotic supplement designed for robust intestinal health. It is particularly beneficial for travelers or those with sensitive digestive systems.

This supplement features 5 billion CFUs of Saccharomyces boulardii per capsule, a probiotic yeast known to support gastrointestinal health and immune response.

It also includes MOS (mannan-oligosaccharides), a potent prebiotic that may nurture beneficial gut bacteria and enhance digestive balance.

Jarrow Formulas employs third-party testing and is cGMP-certified for quality.

A bottle containing 90 capsules starts from $23.49 ($0.27 per serving).

How it may relieve constipation

  • Probiotic yeast strain. Saccharomyces boulardii is known for its ability to restore natural flora in the gut and improve bowel movement regularity.
  • Prebiotic support. MOS may enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, further aiding in the relief of constipation by improving overall digestive health.

13. Bio-K+ — best probiotic for constipation with high CFU count

Bio-K+ Probiotic Capsules Extra Care 80 Billion are developed to support digestive and immune health.

Packing a dose of 80 billion CFUs per capsule, Bio-K+ features a trio of proprietary lactobacilli strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285®, Lacticaseibacillus casei LBC80R®, and Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus CLR2® to maintain balanced intestinal flora.

The targeted-release capsules may help the probiotics survive stomach acid and deliver their benefits directly to the intestines.

Bio-K+ validates the quality of its products through stringent third-party testing and adheres to GMP standards.

Bio-K+ Probiotic Capsules are priced at $44.52 ($1.48 per serving).

How it may relieve constipation

  • 80 billion CFUs. The substantial number of beneficial bacteria may support and maintain a healthy gut flora, which is crucial for regular bowel movements.
  • Targeted release formula. Ensures that probiotics are released in the intestines, where they are most needed to reduce constipation.
  • Targeted strains. The specific strains used are chosen for potentially improving bowel regularity and reducing digestive discomfort.

Best probiotics for constipation compared

PriceDaily doseServings Per containerPrice per servingStrains for constipationCFU countThird party testingRefundReview
Unbloat$65.952 capsules30$2.19725 billionNo30-dayUnbloat Review
Yourbiology$79.992 capsules30$2.67440 billionNo60-day Yourbiology Review
Ritual$54.001 capsules30$1.80211 billionYesOnly when subscribedRitual Review
Bioma.Health$79.992 capsules30$2.6639 billionYesYesN/A
Ora$49.992 capsules30$1.661152 billionYesOnly on U.S. ordersOra Review
Biotics 8$64.993 capsules30$2.161020 billionNo60-day Biotics 8 Review
Garden of Life$34.99 1 capsule30$1.161430 billionNo60-dayN/A
CLAV$39.90-30$1.33310 billionYesN/AN/A
Renew Life$61.991 capsule60 $1.031250 billionNoN/AN/A
Florastor $22.002 capsules20$0.731N/ANoLifetimeN/A
Phillips'$17.981 capsule45$0.402N/ANo60-dayN/A
Jarrow Formulas$23.49 2 capsules90$0.27 15 billionYes45-dayN/A
Bio-K+ $44.521 capsule30$1.48380 billionYesN/AN/A

How we compiled our list of the best probiotics for constipation in 2024

When preparing the list of the best probiotic supplements for constipation, the major considerations were the bacterial strains associated with constipation symptom relief. We also evaluated supplement formulation (including probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, minerals) and the price ratio. The following are some other characteristics:

  • CFU count. Higher CFU counts indicate a higher concentration of beneficial bacteria. We considered probiotics with an adequate CFU count, usually in the billions, to ensure potency and effectiveness.
  • Ingredient quality. The pro-health effects of probiotics depend on a specific strain, the CFU count in a dose, and the absence of harmful microorganisms. Probiotics must be alive in the product at an efficacious dose throughout its shelf life.
  • Information on the label. Manufacturers should explicitly mention the total content of microorganisms on the product label, as well as the numbers of distinct bacteria (e.g., Bifidobacterium casei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus) when possible.
  • Right probiotic strains. Not all types of bacteria are effective in alleviating constipation. The most frequently researched probiotics for gut health are strains from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species.
  • Formulation. Prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals are frequently included in probiotic supplements. Namely, FOS and inulin are food for healthy gut bacteria and may help ease constipation symptoms.

Can probiotics help with constipation?

Probiotics may help some people with constipation. A 2017 review of nine studies in the elderly found that probiotic strains (Bifidobacterium longum) had a minor but significant benefit.

Evidence has shown that a decrease in the population of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus in adults can result in constipation. Consequently, this is the reason probiotics of these types are commonly used in humans for the treatment of constipation. There is some promising evidence that certain probiotic strains may help with constipation (e.g., L. plantarum, B. longum). In some studies, probiotic “cocktails” were used that combine different strains of probiotics that work by different mechanisms. The results were promising in the alleviation of constipation. However, more research is needed to determine and recommend specific probiotic strains for constipation.

Signs that you need probiotics

Probiotics and their supplements for overall health can offer potential health benefits. It is important to seek medical advice before taking them. There are, however, certain signs or conditions that may indicate a potential benefit from probiotics. They could be considered in the following situations:

  • Gut issues. If you frequently experience digestive problems such as diarrhea, or chronic constipation, probiotics might be worth exploring.
  • Antibiotic use. Antibiotics can cause diarrhea and significant changes in the gut bacterial balance.
  • Skin conditions. Some strains of probiotics might be beneficial for symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
  • Mood and cognition. Some evidence indicates that probiotics may help boost mood and cognitive function, lower stress and anxiety.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria and/or yeast) that, when taken in sufficient quantities, provide health benefits. These beneficial microbes can be found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi. Probiotics are also present in dietary supplements in the form of tablets, powders, capsules, soft gel, or even candies.

Our gut is home to trillions of microbes that are distinct and individualized to each person. Gut microbes help us digest food, fight harmful bacteria, and regulate the immune system.

When the gut becomes unbalanced with unhealthy levels of certain bacteria, probiotics can help restore the balance. They may promote digestive health and enhance immune function.

A probiotic should be safe, have a great capacity to survive under intestinal conditions and flourish in the human gut, and must have beneficial effects on human health.

Constipation vs. chronic constipation

The frequency of normal stool elimination can vary from person to person, with some individuals having three bowel movements per day while others have three bowel movements per week. Constipation is characterized by infrequent bowel movements, typically fewer than three times a week, where small amounts of hard and dry stool are passed.

Specific probiotic strains, particularly Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus casei, may be effective in reducing both regular and chronic constipation, with improvements noted in defecation frequency and stool consistency. Probiotic cocktails combining various strains, including Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, have also shown promise in enhancing bowel regularity and stool quality.

However, the effectiveness of probiotics in managing constipation can vary, and there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend synbiotics for this condition. While the use of probiotics for constipation is increasing among the public, more research and public health strategies are needed to inform both the public and healthcare professionals about the effectiveness of specific strains.


Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems. Women and older people more commonly experience it. Hard and dry stools are the result of the colon (large intestine) absorbing too much water. Common symptoms of constipation include less frequent bowel movements, experiencing hard, lumpy, or dry stools, straining or difficulty pooping, and feeling that you still need to go afterward.

Chronic constipation

Constipation can be a temporary and isolated episode, while chronic (long-term) constipation is a more persistent and recurring condition that causes significant discomfort, and requires specific management and treatment approaches.

Common causes include a lack of fiber (inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables), insufficient intake of water, and a sedentary lifestyle. More serious causes include medical conditions such as diabetes, and the use of certain medications and may be more common during particular life stages, such as pregnancy.

It is important to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan for chronic constipation.

Benefits of probiotics for constipation

Probiotics may offer several benefits for constipation by supporting gut health. Some of the main ones are:

  1. Improved gastrointestinal transit time. Probiotics have been shown to influence gastrointestinal motility, which refers to the movement of food through the digestive system. By modulating gut motility, probiotics can help regulate the speed and efficiency at which food moves through the intestines, potentially reducing the occurrence of constipation.
  2. Colonization of the intestinal tract. Certain probiotic strains, such as Limosilactobacillus reuteri, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum, and Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus, have been found to colonize the intestinal tract when administered. The colonization of these strains may have a more sustained and long-term impact on gut health and constipation relief.
  3. Promoting stool frequency and consistency. Studies have indicated that probiotics can increase stool frequency and improve the consistency of bowel movements, making them easier to pass. This effect is particularly beneficial for individuals suffering from constipation.
  4. Restoring gut microbiota balance. Constipation has been linked to imbalances in the gut microbiota, the collection of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that, when consumed, enhance the gut microbiome by introducing more beneficial microbes. This helps restore the balance of gut bacteria and promotes a healthy gut environment, which can aid in relieving constipation.

Taking probiotics for constipation: when is the best time?

There is no solid data about timing of probiotic use. Some probiotic supplement producers and experts recommend taking it on an empty stomach, while others recommend taking it with food.

According to a 2011 study, giving the product with a meal or 30 minutes before a meal that contains some fat increased the survival of all the microorganisms in the product.

There are some suggestions to take probiotics when stomach acidity may be more neutral to ensure the highest survival rates of your probiotic. However, more and more manufacturers use microencapsulation – additionally coat bacteria. This helps both improve the viability of probiotics in food products and protect against harsh gastrointestinal environments.

No matter what regimen one follows, consistency is the key in keeping the gut healthy.

At the moment there is no consensus on probiotic dosages for the treatment of constipation.

However, the most important criterion is that probiotics are live in the product at an efficacious dose throughout the shelf life. Therefore, users should look for products labelled with the number of CFU at the end of the product’s shelf life, not at the time of manufacture.

Many probiotic supplements contain 1 to 10 billion CFU per dose, but some products contain up to 50 billion CFU or more. However, higher CFU counts do not necessarily confer more health benefits.

Can probiotics cause any side effects?

Eating foods that contain probiotics may benefit your gut microorganisms. However, adding probiotic supplements to your diet might come with possible side effects:

  • Digestive discomfort. In the beginning an increase in gas or bloating may be noticeable.
  • Headache. Fermented dairy products, such as kefir or yogurt, often contain the bacterial strains that may lead to headaches for some people.
  • Allergies. It’s rare, but it can happen to some people.
  • Infections. Microorganisms found in probiotics can enter the bloodstream and cause infections in susceptible individuals.

Who should avoid using probiotics?

Even though probiotics appear to be generally safe and well tolerated among healthy individuals, they may not be safe for certain high-risk groups, including:

  • People recovering from surgery or hospitalization.
  • People with weakened immune systems.
  • People who are critically ill.
  • Extremely sick infants.

If you’re considering a probiotic dietary supplement, consult your health care provider first. This is especially important if you have health problems.

What foods should be avoided for constipation

There is a relationship between constipation and dietary habits. Certain foods can contribute or even worsen the condition. Consider cutting down on:

  • Low-fiber and ultra-processed foods. High consumption of sugary (e.g., confectionery, carbonated drinks), starchy (e.g., white bread), and highly processed meats may increase the risk of constipation.
  • High in fat foods. Excessive consumption of high-fat dairy (e.g., whole milk, cheese, and ice cream), meats and fried foods may increase the likelihood of irregular bowel movement.
  • Alcohol and caffeine. Drinks and foods that contain alcohol or caffeine may lead to dehydration which can exacerbate constipation.

High-fiber foods can improve bowel movement and relieve constipation. Fiber-rich foods include whole grains (e.g., whole-wheat pasta, oats, brown rice), legumes (e.g., beans and lentils), fruits with skin on (e.g., prunes, apples), and vegetables. However, taken in big amounts without slow introduction, high-fiber foods may also lead to constipation. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids, especially water in order to stay hydrated and help aid digestion.

Best probiotics for constipation in 2024: conclusion

The best probiotic supplements for constipation contain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains which show promising results in clinical trials. These bacteria also naturally occur in the human gut. Note that the product should not contain any harmful bacteria, be safe to use, and “good” bacteria should live in the product at an efficacious dose throughout its shelf life. The addition of prebiotics to the product may enhance the effect.

Up to 50% of people experiencing chronic constipation are not happy with current treatment options and supplementation with an adequate amount of probiotics could be worth a try. However, it's important to note that individual results may vary, and it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and recommendations.

Explore other probiotic products and benefits

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