As women reach the age of 50 and beyond, maintaining optimal health becomes increasingly important. The gut microbiome, comprising trillions of microorganisms in the digestive tract, plays a crucial role in overall well-being. Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that offer a powerful means to improve gut balance and support digestion, immunity, vaginal health, and mental well-being.
After extensive research, we present the best probiotics tailored for women over 50 in 2023. We also cover the factors you should consider when selecting probiotics.
Best probiotics for women over 50: a shortlist
- Culturelle — best overall probiotics for women over 50
- Unbloat — best probiotics for bloating in women over 50
- YourBiology — best probiotic to improve IBS symptoms in women
- Ritual — best probiotic for gut health in older women
- Routine — best probiotic for vaginal health
How to choose the best probiotics for women over 50
Several factors should be considered when selecting the most suitable probiotics for women over 50. Let's explore the key elements to consider when choosing probiotic supplements.
|Probiotic specificity||Suitable for women over 50|
|Pricing||Reasonable price for value|
|CFU Count||Adequate amounts (at least 1 billion CFUs)|
- Probiotic specificity. Ensure that the probiotic you choose is suitable for women over 50. Probiotics designed for adult females may contain strains that address common issues faced during menopause, like bloating.
- Safety. Prioritize probiotics from reputable brands that undergo rigorous testing for safety and quality. Look for products free from artificial additives, preservatives, and allergens.
- Pricing. Compare prices and assess the value of the product based on its benefits. While some probiotics can be more expensive, they might offer higher CFU counts or unique strains.
- CFU count (Colony forming units). The CFU count indicates the number of viable probiotic microorganisms in each serving. For women over 50, a higher CFU count is generally beneficial, as it ensures a higher concentration of probiotics reaching the gut. A general recommendation is to opt for those with at least 1 billion CFUs.
Best probiotic supplements for women over 50 in 2023: an overview
After extensive research, we have compiled a list of the top 5 probiotic supplements for women over 50. These probiotics have been selected based on their specific benefits, ingredients, and safety. Let's take a closer look at the supplements, including the pros and cons of each.
1. Culturelle — best overall probiotic for women over 50
Culturelle is a probiotic designed to provide vaginal, urinary, digestive, and immune health benefits. Each serving contains 15 billion CFUs and four probiotic strains, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus crispatus, Lactobacillus gasseri, and Lactobacillus jensenii. Lactobacillus strains are among the most clinically researched probiotic strains for women’s health.
The brand’s products are produced according to the FDA's current good manufacturing practices and are third-party tested. The provider recommends taking one capsule daily with or without food.
Each bottle containing 30 capsules costs $27.49.
2. Unbloat — best probiotic for bloating in older women
Unbloat is a probiotic supplement formulated to reduce bloating caused by periods, menopause, and postpartum hormonal changes. Each serving contains 25 billion CFUs of seven probiotic strains, including L. casei, B. lactis, L. plantarum, L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, B. longum, and B. bifidum. In addition to probiotic strains, unbloat also contains digestive enzymes, prebiotic fibers, folic acid, and magnesium, as well as herbs that support bloating relief, like fennel seed extract.
In addition, lactase in the formulation helps prevent symptoms of lactose intolerance, such as cramps and gas.
The brand's products are made in a facility that meets quality standards, including cGMP, ISO, and FDA certifications. The provider recommends taking two capsules daily, 30 minutes before or after a large meal.
Each jar of Unbloat supplement contains 60 capsules and costs $47.99.
3. YourBiology — best probiotic to improve IBS symptoms
YourBiology’s gut+ is designed to support women’s health with a focus on skin, gut, bowel, and immune health. Each serving contains 40 billion CFUs and four probiotic strains, which are L. acidophilus, B. Lactis, L. Plantarum, and L. Paracasei.
IBS is one of the most commonly encountered gastrointestinal disorders in older adults. Research studies have shown that the composition and activities of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are heavily compromised in IBS patients. The presence of these strains in gut+ can help to balance good gut bacteria and reduce IBS symptoms like abdominal pain and bloating.
The probiotic formula is made in the USA in a GMP-certified facility. The provider recommends taking one capsule during the day and one at night for the best results.
Each bottle contains 60 capsules and costs $64.99.
4. Ritual — best probiotic for gut health in women over 50
Ritual’s Synbiotic+ supplement is made to support a balanced gut microbiome. Each serving contains 11 billion CFUs with two of the most clinically studied probiotics for gut health, among other benefits, which are Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium animalis.
In addition to the probiotics, the supplement contains 15 mg and 300 mg of prebiotics and postbiotic (tributyrin), respectively. Combining prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics in a supplement can create a synergistic effect, supporting a balanced gut microbiome.
Synbiotic+ is third-party tested, and the brand publicly displays its ingredients’ supply chain to show more transparency to its customers. The provider recommends taking one capsule daily with or without food.
Each Synbiotic+ bottle container contains 30 servings and costs $54.
5. Routine — best probiotic for women vaginal health
Routine’s For Her probiotics is formulated to support women’s vaginal, gut, and immune health. Each capsule contains 24 billion CFUs with five probiotic strains, including three strains of Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Research suggests that Lactobacillus probiotics like L. rhamnosus and L. acidophilus can positively impact vaginal health by promoting a balanced vaginal microbiome and can provide benefits in the management of vaginal infections such as bacteria vaginosis.
The supplement also contains 50 mg of chicory root extract (a prebiotic) and 150 mg of organic ashwagandha root extract. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that may potentially help in stress reduction.
Routine’s manufacturing lab and processes are FDA-certified. The provider recommends taking one capsule daily.
The cost for a one-month supply is $39.95.
Comparing top probiotics for women over 50
Here’s a closer comparison of the products.
|Provider||Price||Daily dose||Capsules per bottle||CFU count||Number of probiotic strains||Shelf-stable||Review|
|Culturelle||$27.49||1 capsule||30||15 billion||4||Yes||Culturelle review|
|Unbloat||$47.99||2 capsules||60||25 billion||7||Yes||N/A|
|YourBiology||$64.99||2 capsules||60||40 billion||4||Yes||YourBiology gut+ review|
|Ritual||$54.00||1 capsule||30||11 billion||2||Yes||Ritual Synbiotic+ Review|
|Routine||$39.95||1 capsule||30||24 billion||5||Yes||N/A|
How we picked the best probiotics for women over 50
When compiling this list, we considered several factors, the main factor being probiotic supplements that benefit women over 50. Other factors that we considered include:
- Probiotic strains. We chose probiotics with well-researched strains that have been shown to support women’s gut and vaginal health, among other benefits.
- Ingredients. We selected probiotics with high-quality ingredients from brands that adhere to cGMP and FDA’s manufacturing standards. We also considered products whose ingredients don’t have major allergies and did not include GMO components.
- Brand reputation. We picked products that are from well-established brands with a history of producing quality ingredients. Insights from customer reviews and ratings also guided our selection process, reflecting the satisfaction of other users. However, the genuinity of the reviews could not be authenticated.
- Storage requirement. Heat can kill off the microorganisms in probiotics if they’re not stored correctly, so we selected probiotics with easy storage conditions, like those that do not require refrigeration and are shelf stable.
Should women over 50 take a probiotic?
Not necessarily. In general, most individuals who are healthy and adhere to a balanced, nutritious diet containing natural probiotics, like yogurt and prebiotic foods, such as legumes may not require probiotic supplements.
However, probiotics may benefit people with conditions including irritable bowel syndrome and bacterial vaginosis.
In addition, women over 50 are susceptible to gastrointestinal issues, including bloating and constipation. By taking probiotics, they can promote better digestion and reduce gut discomfort. Also, probiotics may help with menopause-related weight management.
Benefits of probiotics for women over 50
The natural changes that occur with age, such as hormonal shifts and declining immune function, can significantly impact gut health. Probiotics can play a role in supporting the balance of gut microbiota. Here are five potential benefits of taking probiotics for older women.
Weight management support
Probiotics may play a role in supporting weight management for women over 50. Certain strains, including L. rhamnosus and L. gasseri, have been linked to improved body metabolic rate, and probiotics containing these strains may help in the management of age-related weight gain.
May help relieve constipation
Constipation is a common challenge in women over 50. Restoring gut microbiota balance through probiotics has shown promise in alleviating constipation, as indicated by studies on animals and humans, though these studies are limited. Probiotics can regulate gut microbiota, helping to ease constipation.
May improve vaginal health
Probiotics may offer benefits for Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM). During menopause, hormonal changes can lead to symptoms like vaginal dryness, difficulty in sexual intercourse, and urinary tract infections. Studies have shown that probiotics, particularly Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri, can effectively reduce GSM symptoms by restoring the balance of vaginal flora.
May reduce anxiety
Probiotics have shown potential benefits in reducing anxiety, with research indicating a connection between gut microbiota and anxiety-related behaviors. Studies on rats administered Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum demonstrated decreased anxiety scores after 14 days of supplementation. Similar results were observed in human volunteers who took Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum for 30 days, showing reduced stress and cortisol levels.
May support immune health
For women over 50, maintaining a strong immune system is crucial to support overall health. The immune system may weaken as we age, making us more susceptible to infections and illnesses. Limited studies show that probiotics can help in the management of immune response-related conditions like allergies.
Can women over 50 experience any side effects from probiotics?
Probiotics are generally considered safe. However, individuals with compromised immune systems or those with certain serious medical conditions may need to be cautious with probiotics. This is because an overabundance of bacteria from probiotics can potentially lead to infections. Individuals with underlying health concerns should consult their healthcare provider before incorporating probiotics into their regimen.
Possible side effects of probiotics in women over 50 include:
- Mild stomach upset
- Stomach gas
These effects may be seen for the first few days after starting to take probiotics, and they usually clear up within a few days or weeks of taking the probiotics.
Note: There are many different types of probiotics that may have different effects on the body. A particular type of probiotic may with one problem, but this doesn't mean it will help other problems.
Signs that women over 50 need probiotics
Older women may notice several body changes due to hormonal shifts and natural aging. As a result, they might experience digestive discomfort, immune system challenges, and menopause-related symptoms. In addition, antibiotic use can further disrupt gut health. Probiotics may help in these situations by .
Here are some signs that may indicate the need for probiotics:
- Digestive issues. Many women in their 50s may experience digestive issues like gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. These symptoms may be caused by an imbalance in gut bacteria, leading to poor digestion and nutrient absorption. Probiotics help to promote a healthier gut microbiome, which can alleviate digestive discomfort and improve overall gut health.
- Menopause symptoms. During the menopausal phase, a decline in estrogen levels can lead to various symptoms, including vaginal dryness, urinary tract infections, and hormonal imbalances. Probiotics, especially those containing Lactobacillus strains, can benefit women experiencing menopause-related symptoms.
- Gut irregularities after antibiotics. Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat bacterial infections. However, while antibiotics target harmful bacteria, they can also disrupt the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. This disruption can lead to gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea. For women over 50 who have recently taken antibiotics, probiotics can aid in restoring the gut microbiome's abundance of beneficial bacteria.
- Colitis. Colitis, characterized by colon inflammation, often leads to symptoms like abdominal pain and diarrhea. Probiotics, especially certain strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, can help to relieve these symptoms by promoting a balanced gut microbiome.
Best probiotic for women over 50: conclusion
Probiotics can be a valuable addition to a healthy lifestyle for women over 50. They may provide benefits, including improved digestion, reduced bloating and constipation, vaginal health support, reduced anxiety, and strengthened immune function. However, it is essential to note that the research on probiotics is ongoing, and further studies are needed to explore their potential benefits and mechanisms of action.
While probiotics can benefit many women in this age group, individual needs may vary, and it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating probiotics into your routine.
Explore other probiotic products and benefits
Best probiotics for women may support digestive and vaginal health.
Best probiotics for IBS can be helpful with abdominal pain relief.
Best probiotics for bloating explores products for bloating and gas.
Best probiotics for constipation may aid in restoring good bacteria balance.
Best probiotics for weight loss may promote metabolic rate and help manage weight.
Best probiotics for kids can help improve your child's digestive health.
What is the best probiotic for women over 50?
The best probiotic for women over 50 depends on individual needs and health conditions. Culturelle, Unbloat, YourBiology, Ritual, and Routine are top brands to consider for women over 50. However, consulting with a healthcare provider is advised for personalized recommendations.
Who cannot take probiotics?
Probiotic supplements should be used cautiously by individuals at higher risk of infection, including those with a weakened immune system, individuals with critical illnesses, and those who have recently undergone surgery. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking probiotics in these situations.
Do older women need probiotics?
It depends. Older women can benefit from probiotics as they can help support digestion, immunity, vaginal health, and overall gut health. However, all older women don't need to take probiotics, as a balanced diet can also provide beneficial bacteria.
Should every older woman take probiotics?
While probiotics can be beneficial, not every older woman needs them. Those with healthy diets and no specific gut or health issues may not require probiotic supplementation. Consulting a healthcare provider can help determine if probiotics are necessary based on individual health status.
- Current opinion in gastroenterology. Probiotics and immune health.
- Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology. The role of probiotics in vaginal health.
- Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience. The Gut-Brain Axis: The Missing Link in Depression.