In digestive health, probiotics is now a major topic that has gained significant attention in recent years. These microorganisms, often called "good bacteria," have sparked curiosity and debate regarding their potential role in managing a common and often discomforting ailment — diarrhea.
Diarrhea, characterized by loose or watery stools, can be triggered by various factors, from infections to dietary choices. Probiotics, however, offer a promising avenue for management and prevention. Here, we review the best probiotics to stop diarrhea in 2023, including Ritual, YourBiology, Pure Essence Labs, Culturelle, and Oweli.
Best probiotic for diarrhea: a shortlist
- Ritual — overall best probiotics against diarrhea
- YourBiology — best probiotic for chronic diarrhea
- Pure Essence Labs — best probiotic for loose stool
- Culturelle® — best probiotic for upset stomach
- Oweli — best probiotic for travelers diarrhea
How have we compiled the top probiotics for diarrhea?
In 2023, we compiled our list of the best probiotics to take for diarrhea based on the following criteria:
|Strains of bacteria||The product includes specific bacterial strains that have been chosen to improve or provide support against diarrhea-related concerns.|
|Ingredients||A formulation that is designed to resist stomach acid and contains prebiotics may provide a more comprehensive approach to managing diarrhea.|
|Reputable provider||An established and respected company or label in the industry that demonstrates its capability to create quality products with proficiency and experience. Brands that undergo external evaluations like third-party testing exhibit their assurance in the quality they offer.|
|Dosage and price||We evaluated individual ingredient dosages while also assessing the cost-effectiveness of products based on ingredients, quantity, and price.|
Additionally, you may also consider the following factors when choosing probiotics supplement to help against diarrhea: more diverse probiotic composition, positive customer reviews, and your budget.
Best probiotics for diarrhea in 2023: an overview
Diarrhea is a common gastrointestinal issue that can often be linked to an imbalance in gut bacteria. Fortunately, there are several probiotic strains that have gained attention for their potential to alleviate diarrhea and promote gut health.
Here's an overview of some of the best probiotics in the market that have garnered attention in 2023:
1. Ritual — overall best probiotics against diarrhea
Ritual offers a probiotic supplement called Synbiotic+. Synbiotic+ is a 3-in-1 supplement that combines prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics to support a balanced gut microbiome. Synbiotic+ includes two of the world's most clinically-studied strains: Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium animalis.
It could offer the possible advantages of taking probiotics, such as enhancing the health of the gut barrier, supporting the immune system, and delivering digestive assistance by potentially alleviating mild or more sporadic symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
The slow-release, vegan capsules containing 11 billion CFUs (colony forming units) improve the viability of Synbiotic+. The combination of pre-, pro- and post-biotic components may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the gut. The manufacturer recommends that Synbiotic+ is taken once daily.
A third party evaluates Synbiotic+ for quality, bioavailability, and integrity. Independent laboratory testing guarantees that the products are non-GMO, allergen-free, and traceable. In addition to this, probiotics are shelf-stable and gelatin free. One container of 30 capsules costs $54 ($1.80 per capsule) and is available in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
2. YourBiology — best probiotic for chronic diarrhea
YourBiology Gut+ is a well-formulated probiotic supplement containing prebiotics and four strains of bacteria that have been the subject of clinical research: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Lactobacillus plantarum.
As stated in their website, taking YourBiology Gut+ may provide the potential benefits of probiotics including reducing stress, improving digestion, enhancing energy and focus, supporting women's gut health, supporting immunity, improving skin health, and supporting weight management. Although not stated on the company website, Gut+ may also be used to help manage diarrhea symptoms.
The vegan capsules containing 40 billion CFU are administered using MAKtrek® Bipass Technology derived from brown seaweed, which shelters the bacteria from gastric acid until it reaches the small intestine, assuring the delivery of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
Gut+ may aid in improving digestion, preventing diarrhea, reducing bloating and flatulence, supporting the immune system, and enhancing digestive health in general. YourBiology Gut+ costs $79.99 per month for a 60-capsule subscription ($1.33 per capsule) and is taken once in the morning and once before bed according to the manufacturer.
3. Pure Essence Labs — best probiotic for loose stool
PureBiotics Maxima from Pure Essence Labs is a combination of fifteen probiotic strains. The balance is approximately 50% Bifidobacterium and 50% Lactobacillus cultures to combat severe probiotic depletion. Frequent diarrhea or constipation, digestive and gastrointestinal issues, impaired immunity, overgrowth of yeasts or pathogenic bacteria, and skin and other allergies can be indicators of such depletion.
With wide-ranging composition, PureBiotics Maxima has the potential to restore the gut microbiome and counteract the effects of probiotic deficiency, including symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, weakened immune response, proliferation of harmful microorganisms, skin disorders, allergic reactions, respiratory ailments, and infections in the urinary and vaginal tracts.
PureBiotics Maxima is formulated to provide 100 billion CFUs per capsule and costs $74.60 for a 30-count bottle ($2.49 per capsule) for a one-time purchase. According to the bottle instructions, it is recommended to be taken once per day.
4. Culturelle® — best probiotic for upset stomach
Culturelle® Digestive Daily is a probiotic supplement used mostly to maintain digestive health. It contains a single strain of bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG with 10 billion CFUs. Additionally, it contains inulin (chicory root extract) which serves as prebiotic fiber, a feed source for good bacteria.
Digestive Daily may assist in reducing occasional problems with digestion such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea. It is proposed to potentially work naturally with the body to support digestion and immunity, as well as reduce travel-related digestive issues.
It costs $17.99 for a 30-count bottle ($0.60 per capsule) and is recommended by the manufacturer to be taken once a day with or without food. If you have periodic stomach distress, they also recommend taking two capsules daily, one in the morning and one at night; however, make sure to consult a healthcare provider for any persistent gastrointestinal concerns.
5. Oweli — best probiotic for travelers diarrhea
Oweli Probiotic contains 4 strains of probiotics: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Lactobacillus plantarum. Furthermore, it also contains prebiotic fibers from marine polysaccharide complexes that act as foods for good gut bacteria.
Oweli probiotics can also provide relief from gut-associated negative symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, or bloating, while countering the depletion of the gut microbiome. The company also states that it may also provide health benefits to support a healthy gut microbiome, digestive function, metabolism, weight management, immune responses, skin health, as well as mood and well-being.
It also employs the patented MAKtrek® Bipass Technology delivery mechanism which enables the live-cultured strains to survive stomach acid and cross into the small and large intestines. This increases the efficiency with which good bacteria are delivered to your gut.
A 30-day supply of Oweli Probiotic costs $29.99. Each container contains 60 capsules ($0.49 per capsule). Oweli recommends taking it twice a day with food. Oweli Probiotic includes 40 billion CFUs, which are intended to promote gut flora and defend against harmful bacteria that cause diarrhea.
Comparison of the top probiotics for diarrhea
When selecting the best probiotics for gas and diarrhea, several important variables must be considered. The number of strains present, effectivity, and price are all important considerations.
Here are the important factors to consider when making an informed selection for the best probiotic brand for diarrhea.
|Brand||Price||Price per serving||Serving size||Capsules in a bottle||Review|
|Ritual||$54.00||$1.80||1 capsule per day||30||Ritual Synbiotic+ Probiotics Review|
|YourBiology||$79.99||$1.33||2 capsules per day||60||YourBiology Gut+ Probiotic Review|
|Pure Essence Labs||$74.60||$2.49||1 capsule per day||30||Pure Essence Labs Review|
|Culturelle®||$17.99||$0.60||1 capsule per day||30||Culturelle® Probiotics Review|
|Oweli||$29.99||$0.49||2 capsules per day||60||n/a|
How probiotics may treat and prevent diarrhea?
Probiotics may help in managing and preventing diarrhea. However, the effectiveness of probiotics may vary depending on the specific strains used and the individual's response.
Probiotics can potentially manage and prevent diarrhea through several mechanisms including:
- Restoring gut microbial balance
- Enhancing the gut barrier
- Production of antimicrobial compounds
- Modulating the immune response
- Reducing antibiotic-associated diarrhea
- Enhancing digestion
- Alleviating stress-induced diarrhea
The causes of diarrhea are diverse, so probiotics may not be effective for all types of diarrhea. Consult with a healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause of your diarrhea and which probiotic strains, if any, are appropriate for your situation. They can provide tailored recommendations for management and prevention.
Types of diarrhea that respond to probiotic treatment
There are several types of diarrhea that may respond to probiotics. Importantly, the effectiveness of probiotics in managing diarrhea can depend on the underlying cause of the diarrhea.
Here are some types of diarrhea that may respond to probiotics:
Infectious diarrhea is a condition caused by harmful microorganisms invading the digestive system, leading to symptoms like watery bowel movements and abdominal discomfort. Probiotics, beneficial live microorganisms, can assist by restoring gut microbial balance, outcompeting pathogens for resources, modulating the immune response, and potentially reducing the duration and severity of symptoms. They offer a natural way to support recovery and help prevent such infections.
Travelers' diarrhea is gastrointestinal upset caused by consuming contaminated food or water during travel. It's marked by symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea. Probiotics, beneficial bacteria, can aid by restoring disrupted gut flora, enhancing immune defense, and potentially reducing the risk and severity of symptoms. Taking specific probiotics before and during travel may offer a preventive and supportive measure against this common travel-related ailment.
Diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile
Diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile, a bacterial infection often occurring after antibiotic use, can lead to severe gastrointestinal distress. Probiotics, beneficial live bacteria, can assist by restoring the disrupted gut microbiota, inhibiting the growth of C. difficile, and enhancing the gut's natural defense mechanisms. While probiotics might not replace conventional treatment, they could serve as a complementary approach to manage and prevent C. difficile-associated diarrhea, under medical guidance.
Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) is a common side effect of antibiotic use, stemming from the disruption of gut bacteria. Probiotics, which are beneficial live microorganisms, can help by restoring the natural balance of intestinal flora. They aid in preventing the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, reducing the risk of diarrhea. Incorporating specific probiotics during antibiotic treatment may provide a proactive way to maintain gut health and minimize the gastrointestinal disturbances linked with antibiotics.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)-related diarrhea
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)-related diarrhea is a gastrointestinal disorder characterized by recurring abdominal pain, discomfort, and frequent loose stools. Probiotics can potentially help manage this condition by promoting a healthier balance of gut bacteria, reducing inflammation, and improving gut barrier function. Certain probiotic strains, like Bifidobacterium infantis and Lactobacillus plantarum, have been studied for their ability to alleviate symptoms, regulate bowel movements, and enhance overall gut health in individuals with IBS-related diarrhea.
Signs that probiotics for diarrhea are working
The signs that probiotics are working for diarrhea may vary depending on the individual and the specific probiotic product being used.
Here are some common signs that probiotics for diarrhea are working:
- Reduced frequency of bowel movement. You may notice a decrease in the frequency of bowel movements. The diarrhea becomes less frequent over time.
- Improved consistency of stools. The stool consistency may change from watery or loose to more formed and normal.
- Less intense symptoms. Diarrhea-related symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramps, and urgency may decrease or resolve.
- Normalization of bowel habits. If disruptions in your gut flora were the cause of your diarrhea, you might experience a return to more predictable and regular bowel habits.
It is important to note that individual responses to probiotics can vary, and it may take time to see noticeable effects. If you have any concerns or questions, it is always best to consult with a healthcare provider.
The risks and side effects of using probiotics for diarrhea
Probiotics are generally considered safe for most people. However, there are some risks and side effects associated with their use, especially in people with certain medical conditions.
The risks and side effects of using probiotics for diarrhea include:
- Allergic reaction. Some people may be allergic to probiotics. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include hives, itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
- Infection. People with compromised immune systems or serious health conditions should use probiotics with caution, as there is a slight risk of infection if the bacteria in the supplement are not handled properly.
- Gastrointestinal discomfort. Some individuals might experience bloating, gas, or an increase in bowel movements when starting probiotics. This is often temporary and should improve as your body adjusts to the new bacteria.
- Interaction with certain medications. Probiotics can interact with certain medications, particularly immunosuppressive drugs. It's important to consult a healthcare professional before taking probiotics if you are on any medications.
- Risk for certain populations. Infants, elderly individuals, and those with weakened immune systems should exercise caution when taking probiotics, as their immune responses might differ.
If you experience any of these risks or side effects, stop taking probiotics and see a healthcare provider.
Best probiotics for diarrhea: Our conclusion
Overall, Ritual Synbiotic+ may potentially provide the best probiotics against diarrhea. As a 3-in-1 combination of prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics, it can help support a well-balanced gut microflora. The probiotic composition (Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium animals) is clinically tested to provide relief and manage diarrhea symptoms.
The product is also designed with slow-release technology to help protect it against stomach acid until it reaches the intestines where it can be most beneficial for overall gut health and function while also providing sufficient CFU counts to help replenish the gut with good bacteria. Importantly, the ingredients are traceable, free from major allergens, and third-party tested which ensures good quality formulation.
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When is the best time to take probiotics for diarrhea?
The optimal time to take probiotics for diarrhea is typically with or after meals. This helps protect the probiotic bacteria from stomach acid, increasing the chances of reaching the intestines intact to help restore gut balance and alleviate diarrhea symptoms. However, consult your doctor because some probiotics should be taken on an empty stomach.
How many times a day should I take probiotics for diarrhea?
The most common recommendation is to take probiotics for diarrhea twice a day, but it may vary depending on the specific probiotic supplement you are taking. It is always best to follow the instructions on the product label or as recommended by your healthcare provider.
How long after starting probiotics does diarrhea stop?
Diarrhea symptoms may start to ease within 24 hours after taking probiotics. However, the time it takes for probiotics to stop diarrhea varies. Some may experience relief within a few days, while others may take a few weeks. It depends on the cause, the specific probiotic used, and individual factors.
What vitamin deficiency causes diarrhea?
Vitamin deficiency is not typically the sole cause of diarrhea. However, vitamin B3, B12, or D deficiencies may disrupt the gut barrier and microbial balance, potentially leading to digestive issues like diarrhea. Note that diarrhea usually results from various factors, and a doctor's evaluation is important for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
- Journal of Travel Medicine. Epidemiology of travellers' diarrhea.
- Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Prevention of Clostridium difficile infection with Saccharomyces boulardii: a systematic review.
- Clinical Infectious Diseases. Antibiotic-associated diarrhea.