Teenage years are marked by the onset of hormonal changes followed by poor eating habits, which can influence gut health and overall well-being. For this reason, parents should consider probiotics for their teen girls and boys to support their digestion, immune, and skin health.
However, the abundance of products in the market may make selecting the best probiotics for teenagers challenging. Hence, you can delve deeper into this review article of 5 probiotics products to choose the option suitable for your teen’s health needs and your budget.
Best probiotics for teens: shortlist
- Seed — overall best probiotics for teenagers
- Clear Wellness — best probiotics for teenage skin health
- Culturelle® — best probiotics for teens’ immune health
- Future Kind + — best probiotics for vegan teens
- Garden of Life — best probiotics for teens' growth support
How did we compile the list of the best probiotics for teens?
There are certain factors to consider when determining the best probiotics for teens.
|Safety||Manufacturing and ingredients|
|Probiotic strains||Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium|
|Bacteria amount||Up to 20 billion colony-forming units (CFU)|
|Price per serving||$0.80–$1.60|
- Safety. When analyzing the market to find the best probiotics for teenagers, we considered brands showing adherence to cGMP in FDA-registered facilities. Following these manufacturing practices may ensure the product's purity from contaminants.
- Probiotic strains. The evidence regarding the specific probiotic strains for teenagers and addressing the difficulties during puberty is scarce. Yet, the strains used to improve gut health in children and young adults are generally from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera.
- Bacteria amount. While probiotics for adults may include up to 100 billion CFUs or above, a teen's gut may need a lower concentration of beneficial bacteria per serving.
- Price per serving. We’ve calculated the amount you will spend on probiotics daily to help you select a product based on your teen’s health needs and your budget.
5 best probiotics for teens in 2023: overview
The imbalance of “good” and “bad” bacteria is related to skin, immune, hormonal, and digestive health concerns. Evidence suggests that supplementation with probiotics for young and older adults may help restore bacterial balance and bring numerous benefits.
In the product reviews below, we will look into the benefits and quality of specific probiotics, allowing you to select the one showing a potential to address gut-related health concerns in teenage girls and boys.
1. Seed — overall best probiotics for teenagers and kids
Seed PDS-8® is a 9-strain probiotic specifically designed for teens and kids to address 3 aspects of health — skin, gut immunity, and respiration.
These probiotics have been independently tested and shown to be well-tolerated in a pediatric population. PDS-8® is a synbiotic formula enhanced with probiotics and dietary fibers.
Seed’s probiotics for teenagers come in an unflavored powder form, making it easy to consume the supplement added to room-temperature beverages or porridge. PDS-8® contains no added sugars and is free from major allergens, dairy, and gluten.
The provider recommends taking 1 sachet daily, providing 20 billion CFU from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains.
Your teenage child can use the BacTrac™ aluminum container as a calendar, adjusting the lid to the day he used the supplement. The probiotics don't need refrigeration thanks to this reusable, heat and moisture-controlling container.
A one-time purchase of Seed PDS-8® costs $49.99 ($1.67 per serving).
2. Clear Wellness — best probiotics for teenage skin and gut health
Clear Wellness 360 introduces Clear Lip & Skin Health's 5-in-1 synbiotic formula, including vitamin C and L-lysine — ingredients that can promote collagen production for cleaner and smoother skin. These properties may make it a suitable probiotic product for teen girls and boys aiming for a clear complexion.
The pro and prebiotics intact delivery to your gut is protected with delayed-release capsules. These are vegan, soy, and gluten-free, non-GMO probiotic capsules with no added sugars and artificial flavors.
The provider recommends taking two capsules daily to receive 12 billion CFU from L. rhamnosus and L. acidophilus. You can take them at any time of the day convenient to you, but follow consistency.
Thanks to the bottle and capsule formula, no refrigeration is required for Clear Lip & Skin Health probiotics. The product is developed in FDA-registered, cGMP-certified facilities.
One-time order of Clear Wellness 360 Lip & Skin Health probiotics is $39.00 ($1.30 per serving).
3. Culturelle® — best edible probiotics for teens' immune health
Culturelle® Kids Immune Defense is a single-strain probiotic supplement with zinc, vitamins C, and D — micronutrients essential for immune support. The probiotics are suitable for 3-year-old kids and teens.
The daily intake of probiotics is made easy with chewable tablets infused with super berry flavor. It may contain ingredients derived from corn or wheat, which some teenagers may be sensitive to.
The manufacturer recommends teenagers and kids eat one tablet daily to receive 5 billion CFU from the well-studied L. rhamnosus GG probiotic strain.
Culturelle® probiotics are packed in moisture and heat-controlling double aluminum blisters, thus, they do not need refrigeration. The supplement is manufactured in GMP-certified facilities.
A one-month supply of Culturelle® Kids Immune Defense probiotics costs $23.99 ($0.80 per serving).
4. Future Kind + — best anti-bloating probiotics for vegan teens
Future Kind + probiotics are manufactured by vegans for vegans and are certified B Corp supplements meeting sustainability standards. These can be the best probiotics choice for vegan teenagers looking for cruelty-free and organic probiotics made in the USA.
If your teenage child doesn’t like swallowing capsules or mixing probiotics in foods, these strawberry-flavored gummies may be ideal for daily consumption. Although the chewables are free from major allergens (except coconut), they contain added sugars in the form of glucose.
The manufacturer recommends taking 2 gummies daily to obtain 5 billion CFU from DE111® — a patented and novel Bacillus subtilis probiotic strain. Clinical studies with children and older adults showed this strain to be well-tolerated and effective in reducing gas and bloating.
Due to the supplement form, you may need to refrigerate the bottle to prevent gummies from melting and losing potency.
A one-month serving of Future Kind + is sold at $29.99 ($1.00 per serving).
5. Garden of Life — best probiotics with multivitamins for teens' growth support
Garden of Life is an established brand offering Vitamin Code Family all-in-one supplements for teens' growth and development. They contain essential vitamins, minerals, probiotics, antioxidants, and an organic fruit blend for immune and digestive health.
The ingredients are packed in capsules and are suitable for the whole family above 6 years old. Due to the amount of raw vegetable and fruit blend, some people with sensitive gastrointestinal tract may experience digestive difficulties.
The recommended 4 daily capsules may help teenagers meet the daily needs of some essential micronutrients and receive 500 million CFU from L. bulgaricus and L. plantarum. If your teenage child doesn’t like swallowing capsules, you can pour their content into water or juice for easier consumption.
Garden of Life probiotics for teens do not need refrigeration. Simply store them in a cool and dark place away from children.
One bottle of Vitamin Code Family contains 120 capsules for 30-day use and costs $48.99 ($1.63 per serving).
Comparison of the best probiotics for teenagers
|Brand||Price||Price per serving||Servings per bottle||Serving size||Probiotics form||CFU count||Flavors|
|Seed||$49.99||$1.67||30||1 sachet||Powder||20 billion||Unflavored|
|Clear Wellness 360||$39.00||$1.30||30||2 capsules||Capsules||12 billion||Unflavored|
|Future Kind +||$29.99||$1.00||30||2 gummies||Gummies||5 billion||Strawberry|
|Culturelle®||$23.99||$0.80||30||1 tablet||Chewable tablets||5 billion||Super berry flavor|
|Garden of Life||$48.99||$1.63||30||4 capsules||Capsules||500 million||Unflavored|
Changes during adolescence
Adolescence is the most significant transitional phase in a human’s life, accompanied by numerous physiological, emotional, and cognitive changes. This period of teenage years is marked by the onset of such changes as:
- Hormonal changes
- Changes in dietary habits
- Gut health-related concerns
- Skin conditions
- Emotional changes
- Growth spurts
Hormonal changes start with puberty when the brain releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This hormone, in turn, triggers the production of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and growth hormone.
Elevated hormone production establishes the reproductive stage in females and males. These hormonal changes also result in fuller breasts in girls and larger sexual organs in boys, as well as the appearance of hair in armpits, belly, and around sexual organs.
Changes in dietary habits
Food preferences may change significantly during adolescence due to hormonal fluctuations. Teens aged 13–18 may crave nutrient-poor foods rich in simple carbs, sugar, and saturated fats, which can have a negative effect on various health aspects, including gut microbiota.
There are reports suggesting that both female and male adolescents do not consume enough probiotic foods since they consider probiotic foods tasteless. Hence, probiotic supplements in teenage years can play a role in supporting gut health.
Gut health-related concerns
During childhood, the gut microbiota is commonly less diverse compared to that which is seen in adults. As a child develops and grows into the teenage period, the intestinal microbiota similarly develops and slowly changes.
In an analysis of gut microbiota that compared adults to adolescents, it was found that young adults had a higher abundance of Bifidobacterium and Clostridium genera than adolescents compared to adults.
One of the common skin conditions among adolescents is acne on the face, chest, and back. This is caused by hormonal fluctuations. Moreover, some scientists believe bacterial imbalance may also cause acne in teenage girls and boys.
During this transitional period, some adolescents may experience excessive sweating, oily hair, and skin. Rarely some teenagers may face dermatitis during adolescence due to bacterial imbalance.
The primary cause of emotional changes in teenagers is hormonal fluctuation, leading to mood swings, impulsivity, and sometimes stress. Adolescence is when your child feels confused and angry, thinks more abstractly, and seeks separation from their parents.
Taking care of your gut with probiotics can be particularly important in teenagers since the gut microbiome may affect stress regulation, inflammatory responses, and brain chemistry through the gut-brain axis.
Growth spurts refer to the increase in the weight and height of the teenager when bone density and muscle mass start growing rapidly. The changes in height and weight may differ among males and females and vary from teen to teen.
During this period, teenagers may demonstrate increased appetite, impulsivity, and emotional bursts. Teenagers should follow a balanced diet to support healthy weight and height changes.
Benefits of probiotics for teenagers
Probiotics as beneficial bacteria are known to confer numerous health improvements in young and older adults, as well as kids. Increased levels of harmful bacteria in the gut make teenagers more prone to illnesses and gut-related concerns.
Nonetheless, the supplementation with suitable probiotic strains for teens was shown to have the following benefits:
- Skin health. Research shows that probiotics may improve such skin conditions as acne, atopic dermatitis, and UV-damaged skin. The probiotic strains that may support healthy skin and reduce acne are B. lactis, L. acidophilus, L. paracasei, and L. rhamnosus. Probiotics for teens may show some support in this regard.
- Immune support. The bacterial environment in the gut and immune health are interrelated. Research studies show that bacterial homeostasis in the gut may help withstand viral infections and common cold symptoms. Probiotic strains observed to be beneficial for immune support are L. plantarum, L. reuteri, L. paracasei, S. boulardii, and B. longum. Teenagers may benefit from the immune support provided by these probiotic strains.
- Digestive health. The primary function of probiotics is to balance the bacterial levels in the gut. Thus, they can help reduce gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea, as well as more regular bowel movements and improve metabolism. Probiotics have also shown some effectiveness for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Probiotics in teenagers can help address some digestive concerns caused by poor diet or hormonal changes.
- Vaginal health. With the hormonal changes in the female body, the risk of infection in the reproductive organs increases. One of the most common infections among adolescent females is vaginal vulvovaginitis and bacterial vaginosis. Research suggests that the supplementation with Lactobacillus probiotics may help manage these and other vaginal infections among young adults, and the results may also apply to teenage girls.
What factors should you consider when choosing probiotics for teenagers?
The general recommendation is that kids and teenagers should obtain beneficial probiotics from food. Otherwise, a doctor’s consultation is crucial when deciding on using probiotic supplements for teenagers.
Other Important factors are:
- CFU count. Teenagers will need lower CFU counts in their probiotics but as they get older, the CFU counts will become more similar to that in adult probiotics.
- Strain specificity. Choose probiotic products formulated with strains studied to be effective and safe for teenagers.
- Desired benefits. Based on a doctor’s recommendations, you can choose the best probiotics suitable for teens that may help address specific health concerns.
- Quality product. After these steps, consider brands that show transparency and testing results, follow high manufacturing standards, and provide safe and effective probiotics designed for teens and younger adults.
Are there any age restrictions or guidelines for teenagers using probiotics?
Generally, probiotics are safe to take for adults and teenagers. Although there are no official guidelines or restrictions for teenagers using probiotics, CFU count, probiotics strains, or product quality play a huge role.
As there are no established potency guidelines for general probiotic supplement use in teenagers, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare provider to determine the suitable doses or possible contraindications.
Evidence regarding the use of probiotics for teenagers and specific health concerns is still emerging. Nonetheless, for teenagers with weakened immune systems, central venous catheter, cardiac valvular disease, and short-gut syndrome, probiotics use is advised under strict medical supervision.
Probiotics for teenagers vs. probiotics for adults: what are the differences?
Based on several aspects, there are apparent differences between probiotics for teenagers vs. adults.
|Aspects||Probiotics for teenagers||Probiotics for adults|
|Strain specificity||Studied and established safe and effective for teens||Specific for adults|
|Potency||Lower CFU counts||Higher CFU counts|
|Suggested benefits||Support gut and skin health, immune function||Natural immune defense and gut health concerns management|
|Supplement type||Most preferred forms are liquid, gummies, powder, some teens may also like capsules||Mainly capsules, also liquid, gummies, powder|
|Probiotics for females||To support vaginal health and prevent the development of infections in teenage girls, as well as support hormonal balance||May help reduce the risk of cervical cancer, severe vaginal infections, including possible protection against sexually transmitted infections|
|Probiotics for males||May support hormonal balance, emotional well-being, bone health, and growth||May improve sperm quality and gut health|
Other benefits of probiotics for children, teenagers, and adults
Probiotics for acid reflux may help reduce heartburn and other related symptoms.
Reduce bloating, gas, and constipation with specifically designed probiotics for kids.
Probiotics for oral health may prevent gum and dental diseases.
Skin irritation or itchiness may be addressed with probiotics for skin health.
Obtain additional support for your efforts with probiotics for weight loss.
Minimize the risk of traveler's diarrhea with probiotics suitable for traveling.
Try Culturelle®, the leading probiotic brand in the USA, for your and your kid's health.
Which probiotic brand is best for teenagers?
is the best probiotic brand for teenagers, considering the formulation, intended health benefits, supplement form, and quality. Remember that each body is unique, and what works for one may not work for others. Thus, before following any recommendations, discuss the product with your doctor.
How do probiotics support teenage gut health?
Probiotics work by balancing the levels of good and bad bacteria in the gut of teenagers. When administered in adequate doses, probiotics may help reduce bloating, gas, and constipation, as well as support emotional well-being due to hormonal fluctuations in adolescents.
Can teenagers take the same probiotics as adults?
It depends. Younger teenagers may need to take specifically formulated probiotics with lower CFU counts. Reaching adolescence, the same probiotics for adults may be suitable for supplementation.
Can I give my 13-year-old probiotics?
You can give your 13-year-old teen probiotics. However, before deciding on any particular brand, formula, and dose, consult your healthcare practitioner for the best recommendations based on your child’s body, health status, and preferences.
- Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. Probiotics and Immune Health.
- Experimental and Therapeutic medicine. Treating vaginitis with probiotics in non‑pregnant females: A systematic review and meta‑analysis.
- Acta Paediatrica. Guidance on the use of probiotics in clinical practice in children with selected clinical conditions and in specific vulnerable groups.
- Frontiers. Efficacy of Probiotics in Children and Adolescents With Atopic Dermatitis: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study.
- Journal of Functional Foods https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464622000846#s0045