Due to our sedentary lifestyle and food habits, constipation has become one of the common health issue. It affects almost 15 – 25% of U.S population.
Most common remedies for treating constipation are laxatives and fiber intake. Laxatives can make you dependent and worsen normal digestion process. And intake of dietary fiber may not work for everyone (especially elderly).
As per many clinical trials and researchers, probiotics have shown successful results in addressing constipation without any side effects. Because a balanced gut flora is like a back bone for proper digestion process.
How do Probiotics Help in Relieving Constipation?
The good bacteria present in our intestines produce enzymes to break down the food and improve digestion. And more over the bacteria present in our colon breaks down our stools into manageable sizes that can easily pass through. This also prevents stool dehydration which makes it harder to pass the bowels.
Which probiotic products are best for treating Constipation?
Not all probiotic supplements are same. Before purchasing them, you have to consider several factors that help you make an informed choice. That is why, in our guide, we have gathered all the information related to it. Moving further, we have also picked up the best ones for you based on our research.
Best 7 Probiotic Supplements for Constipation: That Surely Work…
|Naturenetics||5||30 billion||Not required||Check the Price|
|Digestive Enzyme||1||1 billion||Not required||Check the Price|
|Enzymatic Therapy||6||1 billion||Not required||Check the Price|
|Renew Life||18||80 billion||Required||Check the Price|
|LoveBug||8||10 billion||Required||Check the Price|
|Garden of Life||2||1.5 billion||Not required||Check the Price|
|Phillips Colon Health||2||50 billion||Required||Check the Price|
Among the list, we have choosen naturenetics as our first preference as it is the most often prescribed probiotic supplement by medical professionals. Unlike other brands, it is third party tested for potency, contains innovative packaging to maintain the potency and other beneficial factors. It may a bit costly but totally worthy for whatever you pay.
A Detailed Evaluation of Each Article
Naturenetics has grabbed the first place in our list because of its quality products, packaging method and strict manufacturing regulations. Probiotic supplements presented by Naturenetics are not only the most preferred one by users but also the most prescribed ones by doctors.
The manufacturers of Naturenetics are pretty straightforward in stating their ingredients and efficacy of the product. As per their claim – each probiotic capsule contains 70 – 100 billion CFU at the date of manufacturing. But they get reduced to 30 billion (which is more than enough) due to harsh shipping conditions. This representation is what makes this brand more trustworthy. Because, most of the manufacturers mention only the CFU’s at the start of the manufacturing but don’t tell about how many actually are alive when they reach you.
This probiotic supplement is verified by third party. As per their report, 85% of the probiotic strains were live even if it has undergone harsh shipping conditions. So, you don’t have to worry about the product’s potency. You will surely get what you are paying for.
As probiotic strains die out faster when they come in contact with oxygen and moisture, Naturenetics has come up with great packaging solution to maintain the potency. Each capsule is individually packed in airtight compartments with a special technology called Potency Protection Blister Packaging. This type of packaging is much better than bottle version. Because once you open the bottle, the capsules get exposed to moisture and oxygen. This can reduce the efficacy of the supplement quickly.
This supplement contains 5 probiotic strains, out of which 3 are the most recommended ones for treating constipation. These strains are carefully selected because of their resilience in a wider pH range. They are capable of withstanding the harsh stomach acid and bile secretions. So, they easily pass through and colonize the GI tract.
Most of the probiotic supplements require refrigeration to maintain their potency. However, Naturenetics Flora Pro-Health can be stored at room temperature. So, you can carry them wherever you want.
The outer shell of the supplement is a vegetarian capsule so even vegans can take them. It doesn’t contain allergic ingredients like dairy, eggs, soy, fish, and nuts. These supplements are free of preservatives, artificial colors and flavors.
The manufacturer provides 356 days money back guarantee. So, if you are not satisfied with the results then you can return it.
Note: This supplement is not suitable for kids, youngster and pregnant women.
Things We Love:
- Potency of bacterial strains.
- 5 bacterial strains and 30 billion CFU.
- Free of preservatives, artificial colors and flavors.
- Suitable for vegetarian and vegans.
- Doesn’t contain egg, soy, dairy, fish and nuts.
- Unique packaging.
- Third party verified.
- Survives stomach acid.
- No refrigeration required.
- Made in USA.
- Manufactured in GMP certified facility under FDA regulations.
Things We Hate:
- Nothing much.
Digestive Enzyme is one of the premium brands any one rely on because it is specifically designed to support long-term digestive support. The manufacturer claims that this supplement will provide comfort from abdominal bloating and other discomforts within 2 weeks.
However, this supplement has taken second place because it has only 1 probiotic strain – B30. It is a unique patented probiotic strain which has proven results as it can withstand harsh stomach 10 times more than other supplements.
This supplement contains 1 billion live cells of BC 30 (bacillus coagulans).
Apart from this probiotic strain, this supplement also contains enzymes – Protease 30,000 HUT, amylase 450 DU and Lipase 30 FIP. These enzymes break down the fat, proteins and carbohydrates. This in turn reduces bloating, indigestion and abdominal pain.
Benefits of taking this supplement include…
- Increasing normal micro-biome in the GI tract and help in digestion process.
- Improve digestive health.
- Boosts immune system.
- Improves proper absorption of minerals and nutrients from the food consumed.
The capsules of Digestive Enzyme don’t contain artificial flavors and colors. It can be stored at room temperature so refrigeration is not required.
Note: It contains soy and wheat so avoid this supplement if you allergic to gluten. Kids, pregnant and nursing women should avoid taking this tablet.
Things We Loved:
- Aids in long term immune and digestive health.
- 100x better than leading probiotics.
- No artificial colors.
- Guaranteed for freshness and purity.
- Amazing potency.
- 1 billion viable cells.
Things We Hate:
- Contains soy and wheat.
Enzymatic Therapy is one of the trustworthy supplements as it is a pioneer in science-based supplement development. They manufacture all their products only in Good Manufacturing Practice certified, kosher certified and Parve manufacturing facilities.
This supplement is perfect for people who are experiencing bloating, gas, digestive upset and constipation. If taken for longer period of time then it guarantees complete digestive and colon health.
It contains 6 bacterial strains – 2 Lactobacilli strains (good for small intestine) and 4 bifidobacteria (good for large intestine). These strains clinically proven to improve digestion, relieve constipation and defend urinary tract infections.
Probiotic strains die quickly if they get exposed to moisture, heat or oxygen. That is why, the manufacturers of probiotic pearls use an advanced packaging technology.
Each capsule has 1 billion live cultures which are good enough to start the re-colonization in the intestines. An advanced triple layer soft gel is used for the outer shell of the capsule. This protection ensures the capsule doesn’t rupture in the stomach and moves easily through the acid to reach the intestines.
It doesn’t contain artificial coloring, preservatives or sugar. As per the manufacturer, the cultures or strains in the capsule will be a suspended state. They will reactive once consumed or reach the intestines. So, there is no need of refrigeration.
Note: If you are taking prescription drugs, then consult your medical professional before taking these capsules. This product is not suitable for children. The dosage can be taken with or without food.
Things We Love:
- 6 bacterial strains – 2 lactobacillus and 4 bifidobacterium.
- Best suited for bowel regularity and colon health.
- Supports body’s immune system.
- Advanced triple layer soft gel.
- Maximum survival capacity and delivery to intestines.
- Easy to consume.
Things We Hate:
- Contains fish (tilapia) gelatin. So not suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
- Contains soy, wheat, gluten and trace amounts of dairy.
Renew Life is very popular for its products because they use superior quality ingredients. Among their products, colon care has been specifically formulated to improve digestive health and relieve constipation.
Its improved formula contains 14 different scientifically proven probiotic strains. Out of 14, 7 of them are Lactobacillus and 7 are of Bifidobacteria. These strains quickly colonize the colon as they are very familiar to our GI tract.
Each capsule contains 80 billion live cultures, 52 billion of them are bifidobacteria cultures and 28 of them are lactobacillus cultures. These cultures are encapsulated in a vegetable capsule made up of fiber (plant extracted) and cellulose. So, even vegetarians and vegans can take these supplements.
All the supplements from Renew Life are manufactured in a GMP facility. The manufacturer guarantees potency, purity and quality of the product until expiration. It does not contain any artificial or allergenic ingredients. The capsules are completely soy, gluten and dairy free.
Things We Love:
- 14 scientifically probiotic strains.
- 80 billion live cultures.
- Helps occasional constipation and digestive health.
- Delayed release vegetable capsules.
- Manufactured in GMP certified facilities.
- High potency formula for quick results.
Things We Hate:
- Refrigeration is required to maintain the potency of the supplement.
LoveBug supplements, especially their probiotic formulas are known as power house of high quality solutions for promoting proper health. As per a clinical study, the supplements presented by LoveBug have shown 15 times more efficacy than other supplements in the same price range.
The formula of this supplement is developed by carefully selecting 8 probiotic strains which include L. fermentum, L. plantarum, L. acidophilus, B. bifidum, B. Lactis, L. reuteri, L. rhamnosus GG, and L. gasseri. All these strains are known to improve digestive health and improve bowel frequency.
This company uses BIO-tract delivery technology which ensures optimal number of healthy live strains reach the intestines without getting damaged by stomach acid. This technology works by creating a protective barrier around the tablet when it enters the gastric fluids. This layer acts as shield and avoids the acids to damage the strains. Later, when they reach the intestines, the layer automatically sheds to let the live cultures colonize.
Each serving includes 10 billion CFU’s (colony forming units) which will be delivered to the intestines. As these supplements have time-release technology, you can avail the benefits throughout the day. Here’s the Skinny supplement also contains prebiotics, a natural fiber. They help the probiotic strains to re-colonize the intestines very quickly.
All the supplements are made under strict quality control guidelines and cGMP certified facilities. Each batch of product undergoes rigorous testing to ensure only high quality is delivered to the customers. The tablets are packed in a dark cobalt glass bottle and organic cotton (to prevent moisture buildup).
Things We Love:
- 8 strains and 10 billion colony forming units.
- No refrigeration required.
- Award winning probiotic range of products.
- Made in USA under strict guidelines and GMP certified facility.
- Does not contain gluten, nuts, sugar, GMO, artificial colors or flavors.
- 15X more effective.
- BIO-tract technology to withstand harsh stomach acid.
Things We Hate:
- Trace amounts of milk-protein.
When it comes to high quality supplements, Garden of Life is one of the most reliable companies. They only provide products that are USDA organic certified and completely vegan.
Usually, most of the brands contain isolated probiotic strains. But the colon care supplement from Garden of Life contains strains extracted from true, Non-GMO and organic foods.
This high potency RAW probiotic formula contains two important complete group of strains – Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria. Each serving contains 50 billion CFUs of beneficial bacteria.
The combination of these clinically studied strains is especially beneficial for improving digestion, supporting colon health and promoting regular and healthy bowel movements.
Apart from probiotic strain, this formula also contains 17 different digestive enzymes which are known to improve nutrient absorption from the food we eat.
This product is 100% vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free and non-GMO. It does not contain any fillers, binders or carriers. So, you don’t have to worry about any allergic reactions.
The only downside of the product is that – it has to be refrigerated for maintaining the potency of the strains. So, this may not be suitable for people who travel frequently.
Things We Love
- Contains more than 30 strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria.
- Also contains 17 different digestive enzymes.
- 100% vegetarian product.
- Can withstand the harsh stomach environment.
- Needs to be refrigerated
Phillips has been developing unique supplements successfully for complete digestive health since 140 years. Their products are backed by Bayer and trusted by many users for its quality. The main goal behind formulating Colon Health probiotic supplement is to
- Replenish good bacteria in the tract and improve overall digestive health.
- Provide relief from diarrhea, constipation, gas, occasional digestive upsets and bloating.
- Naturally support bowel frequency.
- Promote healthy immune system.
This supplement contains 3 carefully selected probiotics – Lactobacillus gasseri KS- 13, Bifidobacterium Longum MM-2, and Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1.
Each serving contains 1.5 billion live bacteria cells which will sufficient enough to recolonize the intestines and promote health colon.
The advantage of choosing this supplement is that – it can be taken with your laxatives. This is not recommended with other probiotic supplement available in the market. The capsule can withstand the harsh stomach environment and reach the intestines.
The ingredients present in Phillips Colon Health Probiotic are known to be safe in limited amounts of dietary supplementation. It does not contain any ingredients that have been known to pose any risks for health safety.
The outer shell of the capsule is made from gelatin so this product is not suitable for vegetarians and vegans. You can store this product in room temperature however, it is recommended to avoid placing it in extreme heat conditions. If you live in tropical climate then it is better to refrigerate for maintaining the potency.
Things We Love:
- 2 strains, 1.5 billion cells.
- Can be taken with laxatives.
- Don’t require refrigeration.
- Best suited for relieving digestive discomforts.
Things We Hate:
- Contains gelatin, so vegans and vegetarians cannot take this supplement.
- Also has traces of milk.
How Exactly Do Probiotics Help With Constipation?
Our gut or GI tract is a home for over 100 trillion bacteria (both good and bad) which is known as micro-biome. The majority of bacteria present in our large intestine are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
They are responsible for many of important tasks, especially in digestion. But various factors like low-fiber high sugar diet, antibiotics, and other factors lead to an imbalance (dysbiosis) in the micro-biome. This in turn leads to digestive issues like constipation, food intolerance, IBS, inflammatory bowel syndrome and many others.
Probiotics are live micro-organisms (majority of which are lactobacillus and bifidobacteria) similar to the ones present in our intestine. The bacteria strains present in probiotics re-colonize the intestines and restore the natural balance in the intestines.
This gut flora balance help in treating constipation in many approaches…
- The good bacteria produce enzymes that help in breaking down the food properly for improving digestion and absorption of vitamins and nutrients present from the food.
- Forms a coating over the GI tract lining which acts as a barrier against bad bacteria colonization and pathogens.
- Some probiotics produce lactic acid and short-chain fatty acids from prebiotics. This helps in lowering the pH levels of the intestine, promoting colon muscle contractions and improving bowel regularity.
- Probiotics convert bound bile salts into free bile salts which prevents dehydration in colon by pulling in more water. This softens the stool and aids in elimination of stools easily and regularly.
Although there are several triggers that can lead to constipation. Probiotics has been more effective in treating most of the triggers when compared to other solutions.
Scientific Studies that Provide the Efficacy of Probiotics
According to the study published in Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in a clinical trial, people with constipation were asked to take probiotics or placebo for certain period of time. After pooling out the results, it was found that people who took probiotics slowed down the gut transit time and increased the number of bowel movements. (1)
As per Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, a study was published which investigated the characteristics of gut microbiota in patients with constipation. After the trial, the results have shown a consistent relief in stool consistency, abdominal bloating and bowel frequency. (2)
Another clinical trial conducted by Dr. Mark Benninga from Univerity of Amsterdam included a group of 20 pregnant people with constipation symptoms. They were given probiotic supplement for 4 weeks. As per the results after 4 weeks, number of bowel movements per week was increased to 6 from 3.
As per the study published in Nutritional Journal, a group of 20 children aging 4 – 16 were experiencing constipation. They were supplemented with probiotics on a daily basis for 4 weeks. In the results, it was observed that, the bowel frequency has increased after taking probiotics. (3)
Which Probiotic Supplement Works Best?
Not all probiotic supplements are manufactured alike. Each supplement is different from another based up on the strains and potency. Which exactly works for constipation is the most important factor when it comes to purchasing them.
There is no specific single probiotic strain that treats constipation. For long term and effective results, you have to choose a supplement that has a combination of different strains. Because, what works for one person may or may not be effective for another.
We have mentioned the main bacterial strains below. Make sure the probiotic supplement you choose has at least 2 of these strains.
1. Lactobacillus Plantarum
This particular bacterial strain has been very popular for its effectiveness in relieving IBS symptoms. Many clinical studies have also been conducted to verify the same.
According to a clinical study, administering L. plantarum 299v has shown successful results in reducing abdominal bloating and other discomforts associated with IBS. But in regards to constipation, it wasn’t up to the mark. (4)
However in another double blind randomized trial, 68 healthy adults administered with L. plantarum SN13T and L. plantarum SN35N. After few weeks, they have observed a decrease in the constipation symptoms and improvement in liver function. (5)
2. Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus GG
This bacterial strain is also known as LGG. It is one of the well-researched strains for its efficacy in providing many health benefits. However, when it comes to constipation, we have mixed results.
In a pilot study, a combination of bifidobacteria strains and lactobacillus strains (including L. casei rhamnosus GG) were given. The results have shown that it was effective in increasing bowel movement. But a later study has shown no improvement for children who have been prescribed lactulose. (6)
Later on to test only the efficacy of L. casei rhamnosus, it was prescribed to children with chronic constipation. It has shown successful improvement in bowel frequency when compared to magnesium oxide and placebo. (7)
3. Lactobacillus casei shirota
This is one of the most familiar bacterial strains as it can be observed in the yogurt drinks available in supermarket. As per a study conducted in University of Napletested, 44 infants who are experiencing chronic constipation were administered with L. casei shirota. They have seen successful decrease in the constipation discomforts and improved bowel frequency.
Another random placebo trail was conducted on 70 chronic adult patients who were given yogurt drinks containing L. casei shirota or placebo. After a period of 2 weeks, the patients taking probiotics have seen a drastic improvement in bowel movements and frequency. (8)
4. Bifidobacterium Lactis
Lactis is also one of the well-researched probiotic strains which has shown effective results in reducing constipation every time. This particular strain is lives and colonizes in the colon, this is the reason why it is so effective.
A study was performed on 267 patients with IBS-C. They were given B. lactis DN-173 010 for 6 weeks. After this time period, a significant increase in stool frequency was observed. However, in another trial with constipated children, this strain was less effective when compared to its effect in adults.
5. Bifidobacterium animalis
Just like others, this particular strain is also effective in treating constipation. As per a random controlled trail, a group of 70 patients were given a daily drink containing 375g of fermented milk and B.animalis strain. After 11 days, 20% reduction in colon transit time has been observed. Surprisingly, the effectiveness was even more in women. (9)
6. Bifidobacterium Longum
In order to check the efficacy of this bacterial strain, a controlled clinical study was conducted on a large group of 636 patients (out of which 386 were women and 250 were men). All these patients were suffering from constipation dominant IBS. A combination of Bifidobacterium longum w11 and prebiotics FOS were given. After certain period of time the results were analyzed. When compared to women, men have shown a positive improvement in terms of stool consistency and frequency. (10)
7. Bifidobacterium infantis
This is one of the main bacterial strains that contribute to a healthy intestinal flora in infants and children, especially during their early years.
As per a study conducted by Whorwell, Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 was given to a group of patients. In the results, it is observed that the bowel frequency has been improved significantly.
How to Choose the Right Probiotic Supplement for Constipation?
Below, we have provided a detailed explanation of each factor you have to consider. Make sure to read them carefully to choose the right one as per your requirement.
1. Perfect Combination
As mentioned above, make sure to choose a probiotic supplement that has at least two important bacterial strains. Check the CFU’s (colony forming units) because higher the numbers, more effective the supplement will be. If the product you choose contains any micro-nutrients or enzymes then check the specific percentage of them on the label.
2. Delay Rupture Technology
If the supplement ruptures in the stomach then probiotic strains will die in the harsh acid contents. So, it is better to make sure the capsule can withstand the stomach acid and reach the intestines for colonization.
3. Free of Artificial and Harmful Ingredients
Avoid any supplement that contains harmful ingredients like preservatives, binders, chemicals, fillers, artificial colors, flavors and blenders. Prefer supplements that have naturally extracted probiotics. If you are allergic to some ingredients then make sure the product you choose doesn’t contain any of them.
4. Manufacturing Conditions
Supplements manufactured in a GMP and FDA regulated facility under go high quality standards. This ensures the efficiency and fidelity of the product.
5. Third-Party Verification
Though manufacturers claim that the product has millions of probiotic strains, there is no specific method to determine how many stay alive until you consume it. In order to find the product’s accuracy, some of them send their samples to individual labs for testing.
If Natural Flora is Already Present in My GI, why do I Need Probiotics?
It is absolutely true that your GI tract already contains good and bad bacteria since your birth. But with the lifestyle we are following and especially foods (processed, gluten and sugar rich) we are taking have a direct negative impact on the micro-biome.
And moreover if you have ever taken antibiotics then you have an imbalance in the gut bacteria. Because antibiotics not only vanish the affecting virus but also the bacteria present in the gut.
So ultimately, you are left with improper digestion process leading several GI issues like constipation, diarrhea, IBS, bloating and others. That is why consuming probiotics can be helpful in restoring the balance and kick starting your health.
Why Should I Consider Supplements? Are Natural Probiotics not good enough?
Natural fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, whey and others contain ample amount of probiotic strains. However, as these strains are not properly protected, even a small change (hot or cold) in the environment can make them weak or die. And moreover it is difficult to tell how many probiotic strains and CFU’s natural foods contain.
So, it is better to take probiotic supplements because they have a combination of carefully selected probiotic strains and maximum number of CFU’s. They are very easy to take and carry around. They have longer shelf life than natural probiotics. They are more feasible for people who are allergic to lactose.
Few Words before Leaving…
Constipation is a very annoying and frustrating condition to deal with on a regular basis. Though laxatives can be a temporary rescue, it is not a permanent solution. And moreover with long term usage, your bowel movements will be depended on them.
If you are looking for a long term relief from constipation then probiotic supplement are the best option. Because in most of the cases, improper gut balance is the main reason for it.
Not all probiotics are designed same. The product which works for me may or may not work for you and vice-versa. So, we have provided buying guide to help you out in choosing the right one as per your requirement.
As per our choice, Naturenetics Probiotics is the best among the list. Its packaging method and number of the live strains are the main factors we liked in this product.
Which product did you choose? What is your experience on probiotics for constipation? Share your experiences and queries in the comment section below. We provide the answers as soon as possible.