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
- Yourbiology — best probiotic for constipation for vegetarians
- Ritual — best probiotic brand for constipation
- Bioma.Health — best probiotic for constipation and bloating
- Biotics 8 — best probiotic for regularity
- CLAV — best probiotic for an affordable price
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 ingredients
|Natural ingredients, no additives
|Price vs. quality/quantity
|By 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. Yourbiology — best probiotic for constipation for vegetarians
The best over-the-counter probiotic for constipation on our list 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).
2. 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 $54.00 ($1.80 per serving).
3. Bioma.Health — best probiotic for constipation and bloating
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 ($1.60 per serving).
4. 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 $79.99 ($2.67 per serving).
5. 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).
Best probiotics for constipation compared
|Servings Per container
|Price per serving
|Strains for constipation
|Third party testing
|Only when subscribed
|Biotics 8 Review
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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Should I take probiotics if I am constipated?
Seek the advice of a medical professional before commencing any new supplement program. According to various studies, probiotics may benefit people who are constipated. However, the effectiveness can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the specific probiotic strains used, a person's unique gut microbiota, and any underlying medical conditions.
What is the best probiotics brand for constipation?
The best probiotic brand for constipation should offer supplements with Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium strains, which are key for supporting gut health. Given potential discrepancies between product composition and labeling, selecting a reputable brand and consulting a physician is necessary for determining proper effectiveness.
Is yogurt good for constipation?
Yogurt can be a good source of probiotics, helpful bacteria that can improve digestion. Best to choose plain or low in added sugar yogurts. It should state on the label that it includes “live and active cultures”, and mention names of bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Stay away from heat-treated yogurt because it destroys the beneficial bacteria.
Can probiotics help with female constipation?
Yes. Probiotics strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium may help with female constipation, as they can improve bowel regularity and stool consistency. However, it's important to choose a reliable brand and consider medical advice for optimal results.
- NIH. Probiotics: What You Need To Know.
- Molecules. Efficacy of Probiotic Compounds in Relieving Constipation and Their Colonization in Gut Microbiota.
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The effect of probiotics on functional constipation in adults.
- Medicine. Chronic constipation: A review of literature.