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Anyone who is afflicted with irritable bowel syndrome knows the multiple discomforts that can occur.

A dysfunction in the digestion tract, IBS can lead to pain, frequent bowel movements, frequent urination, constipation, bloating, and more.

The syndrome can additionally alter your emotional and psychological states by causing issues like insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

Some researchers have even deemed some probiotics “psychobiotics” for their ability to positively affect your psychological state in the gut-healing process.

Furthermore, many naturopath doctors will tell you that the body’s immunity begins in the gut, so IBS can affect the immune system too.

IBS patients who aren’t finding relief are turning to natural remedies, such as the use of probiotics, “good” microorganisms that assist the body.

Probiotics can regulate digestion and lessen IBS symptoms in a fairly short period of time.

In one study, Tina Didar, et al. assessed the effects of probiotic supplements vs. placebo in 1793 patients. The test mostly measured improvements in distention, abdominal pain, flatulence and global symptoms.

It was found that probiotics are more effective than placebo in relieving these symptoms.

What are Probiotics Anyway?

Did you know that we’re more microbe than we are human? Probiotics are members of the larger sect called human microbiomes.

They make up all the tiny microscopic organisms that have set up tiny ecosystems on and within the body. For the most part, these organisms aren’t harmful and contribute greatly to our well-being.

However, our diets and other facts have contributed to less “good” microbes or probiotics, and therefore “bad” ones are able to proliferate.

The good news is that we can repopulate our bodies with probiotics, which mostly reside in the gut, to help stave off issues like IBS.

This npr.org video explains the gist of microbiomes, probiotics and their important role in our health.

Which Probiotics Are Most Effective For IBS?

There are a variety of probiotic cultures in addition to many brands that contain one or more probiotic cultures. You might be wondering which ones to choose.

Although all probiotics can have some part in appeasing IBS symptoms, there are a few that are rather promising, according to a National Institute of Health study called “Probiotic Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

  • SCM-III- Consisting of Lactobacillus helveticus, Bifidobacterium sp, and L.acidophilus, SCM-III improves bloating, bowel movements and abdominal pain associated with IBS.
  • VSL#3- This probiotic blend consists of Lactobacillus strains ( L. delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus, L. casei, L. plantarum, and L. acidophilus), Streptococcus salivarius ssp. thermophilus, and bifidobacterium ( B. infantis, B.breve, and B.longum). VSL#3 is said to alleviate abdominal bloating.

Other organisms great for IBS include the following:

  • L. gassari- Anyone with IBS may find that maintaining a healthy weight is difficult due to improper elimination and lack of nutrient retention. This lactobacillus train has been purported to assist especially with obesity. A study by Kadooka, et al. found that l.gassari can improve metabolic disorders and lower body weight, especially abdominal fat.
  • L. rhamnosus- A National Institute of Health article was written by Marijke E. Segers and Sarah Lebeer purports l.rhamnosus treats and prevents diarrhea, promotes immune response and treats gastrointestinal infections. It can also help heal eczema and inflammation.
  • L. paracasei- This bacteria occurs in multiple strains and is found during the making of cheese and in the fermentation of dairy products. Authors Nouria Belkacem, et al. discuss the immune system benefits of l. paracasei. Specifically, it can restore immunity and stability within the intestines, where most of the immune system resides.
  • Saccharomyces Boulardii- According to Lynne V McFarland, this probiotic yeast is used to treat IBS because of its anti-diarrhetic effect and its ability to eliminate H.pylori, a harmful bacteria which can lead to IBS.

What Are the Best Probiotic Brands for IBS?

Different probiotic supplements will contain a variety of probiotics in unique combinations. It can be tough deciding which ones suit your needs. For this reason, you can find reviews below of some of the best probiotics on the market.GoodBelly Probiotic Supplement for Digestive Health

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Goodbelly Probiotic Supplement

Goodbelly probiotic supplement contains 10 billion live Lactobacillus Plantarum cells, one of the SCM-III probiotics.

In a study conducted by Ducrotté, Sawant and Jayanthi, two-hundred and fourteen patients suffering from IBS were divided into placebo and Lactobacillus Plantarum groups.

After 4 weeks, it was obvious that abdominal pain, bloating and frequency of bowel movements decreased more in the LP group than the placebo group.

The study proves that Lactobacillus Plantarum is effective at relieving IBS symptoms.

Ingredients

  • lactobacillus Plantarum (10 billion live cultures)
  • Hydroxypropyl-methylcellulose capsules
  • Vegetable form magnesium stearate
  • potato starch

PROS

  • Relieves symptoms associated with IBS, like constipation, bloating and abdominal pain
  • Easy to take the pill form
  • Non-GMO
  • Sugar-free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Dairy-Free
  • Vegan
  • Strengthens the Immune System
  • Metal container

CONS

  • It may take longer to work for some users.
  • Some may experience worsening of stomach discomfort.

Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Probiotics

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Hyperbiotics Pro-15 Probiotics

This unique formula contains 15 separate probiotics. In addition to the larger quantity of organisms, it contains, hyperbiotics are in pearl tablets that slowly release the bacteria throughout the day.

Ingredients

  • B. bifidum
  • S. thermophilus
  • B. breve
  • L.gassari
  • L.casei
  • L. rhamnosus
  • B. infantis
  • B. longum
  • L. reuteri
  • L. paracasei
  • B. lactis
  • L. salivarius
  • L. Plantarum
  • L. acidophilus
  • L. fermentum
  • prebiotic Fructooligosaccharides
  • sodium carbonate
  • pectin
  • stearic acid
  • turmeric
  • guar gum
  • hydroxyproplyL methylcellulose
  • microcrystalline cellulose

PROS

  • Contains 15 probiotics
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Cures acne
  • Treats mold poisoning
  • contains turmeric to boost the anti-inflammatory effect of probiotics
  • Pearl tablets can reach the large intestine
  • time-released formula prevents intestinal upset
  • Mood booster

CONS

  • Some users experienced worsened symptoms.
  • It may cause a histamine reaction

NOW Saccharomyces Boulardii

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NOW Saccharomyces Boulardii

This gluten-free formula comes in veggie capsules. 10 billion CFUs of Saccharomyces boulardii are proven effective at balancing the flora in the gut and treating IBS symptoms.

Ingredients

  • 10 billion CFUs of Saccharomyces boulardii
  • Organic inulin fructooligosaccharides
  • guar gum
  • cellulose capsule

PROS

  • Organic Inulin
  • treats diarrhea
  • gluten-free
  • vegan
  • treats ulcers
  • lessens bloating
  • balances the gut microbiomes
  • treats leaky gut

CONS

  • Some users reported no improvement.

VSL 3 High Potency Probiotic Capsules for Ulcerative Colitis

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VSL # 3 High Potency Probiotic Capsules

VSL # 3 contains 112.5 billion VSL # 3 probiotics in each capsule and few added ingredients.

Ingredients

  • L. Plantarum
  • L. acidophilus
  • L. delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus
  • L. casei
  • Streptococcus salivarius ssp.
  • Thermophilus
  • B. infantis,
  • B.breve
  • B.longum
  • stearic acid
  • microcrystalline cellulose
  • cornstarch
  • silicone dioxide
  • magnesium stearate
  • hydroxyphyl methylcellulose

PROS

  • treats chronic diarrhea
  • great for bloating and gas
  • helps alleviate ulcerative colitis symptoms

CONS

  • Needs to remain refrigerated
  • May cause adverse effects in some users

Jarrow Formulas Ideal Bowel Support

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Jarrow Formulas Ideal Bowel Support L. Plantarum 299v

This formula is a dairy-free, vegan L.plantarum supplement that is proven effective for treating IBS.

Ingredients

  • Lactobacillus Plantarum 299v
  • hydroxypropylmethylcellulose
  • vegetable magnesium stearate
  • potato starch

PROS

  • Prevents bloating
  • Promotes regularity
  • gluten-free
  • dairy-free
  • stable at room temperature

CONS

  • May cause adverse effects in a small percentage of users

Align Probiotic Supplement

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Align Probiotic Supplement

This probiotic comes from a highly reputable company. It’s also one of few products that contain b.infantis, one of the essential probiotics for IBS.

Ingredients

  • Bifidobacterium 35624
  • Sucrose
  • Hypromellose
  • Sodium caseinate
  • Propyl gallate
  • Titanium dioxide for color
  • Gellan gum
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Microcrystalline cellulose
  • Trisodium Citrate Dihydrate

PROS

  • works 24/7
  • balances gut flora
  • highly effective in the treatment of IBS

CONS

  • Some users experienced worsening of symptoms.
  • Lots of added ingredients

IBS Treatment by IBS Formula

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IBS Formula IBS Treatment

Thi is a vegan, gluten-free, non-gmo formula specially made for IBS sufferers. It treats symptoms such as gas, bloating, pain and diarrhea. It contains herbs with naturally occurring probiotics and other constituents to provide IBS relief.

Ingredients

  • Ginger root
  • Lycopene
  • Papaya powder
  • Black walnut hull powder
  • Psyllium powder
  • Hyssop leaf
  • Slippery elm bark
  • Inulin
  • Aloe Ferox Powder
  • Chlorella
  • Acai berry extract
  • Vegetable magnesium stearate
  • Cellulose

PROS 

  • Contains superfood extracts
  • plant-based
  • vegan
  • non-gmo
  • gluten-free
  • relieves all symptoms associated with IBS

CONS

  • May worsen symptoms
  • May cause heart palpitations

Final Thoughts

Now that you are familiar with how probiotics can be used to treat IBS, you should feel free to experiment with the various brands.

As research has shown, they can make a huge difference in your everyday life, providing much-needed relief so you can live symptom-free.

Chronic Pain Team

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