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The Best Probiotic Strains and What They Do

A probiotic supplement panel can be a little intimidating (to say the least).

Where we’re used to seeing calories, protein, fats and vitamins, we now see a list of scientific-sounding bacteria that doesn’t seem worth reading – until now.

In this article, we’ll go over how to identify cultures you should look for when picking up your next probiotic.

Benefits of Lactobacillus strains

As expected, not all strains are the same and different strains can provide different benefits. 
Let’s take a look at the benefits of some well-known Lactobacillus species and strains.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is arguably the most widely recognized and used species in probiotics.  
Its history can be traced back to the 1920’s where it was used in milk to ease the discomfort of occasional constipation and diarrhea.
This species helps the body absorb nutrients and digest dairy foods and support the body’s immune system. 

Studies have suggested the species role in supporting vaginal health and reducing the incidence of occasional diarrhea, e.g. “travelers” diarrhea.

The following are benefits associated to L. acidophilus:

  • Support lactose digestion
  • Help balance the microbiome to reduce gastrointestinal problems
  • Help alleviate mild occasional constipation
  • Support a healthy immune system

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is found naturally in your body as well as many dairy products. 

The species has been extensively studied in adults and children. 

Studies suggest that specific strains of L. rhamnosus are linked to the following benefits:

  • Support digestive and immune health
  • Assist with healthy weight management
  • Support women’s health

Lactobacillus reuteri is another naturally existing and acid and bile resistant probiotic in your intestinal tract.  This allows it to survive the gastrointestinal tract.

Specific strains of L. reuteri have been linked to a number of benefits:

  • Promote oral health
  • Support women’s health
  • Support heart health

Yes!  Heart Health!

    Lactobacillus plantarum is unique in that a specific strain of this species has shown to produce antibodies that attack bad bacteria in your gut. 

     L. plantarum grows best at a temperature near body temperature and is a pro at surviving the harsh journey of your gastrointestinal tract.

    For these reasons, L. plantarum is great for your body’s microbiome and specific strains have been connected to the following benefits:

    • Support digestion
    • Boost immunity
    • Relieve occasional bloating and intestinal discomfort

    Lactobacillus gasseri peaks curiosity with its connection to supporting weight management. 

    Other Lactobacillus strains to look for that support digestive and immune health include L. brevis, L. casei, L. paracasei and L. salivarius.

    Benefits of Bifidobacterium strains

    Bifidobacterium lactis is an extremely versatile strain found in foods such as yogurt and fermented milk.

    Specific strains of B. lactis are linked with the following benefits:

    • Support digestion
    • Support healthy immunity
    • Relieve occasional constipation

    Bifidobacterium bifidum is one of the most common probiotic found in your gut and has naturally lived there since you were an infant.

    Specific strains of B. bifidum have been associated with the following benefits:

    • Support digestion
    • Boost immunity
    • Provide symptom relief for lactose intolerance
    • Relieve bloating and iintestinal discomfort

    Bifidobacterium longum is known for protecting your intestinal walls from harmful bacteria by helping your body break down proteins and carbohydrates like lactose.

    Specific strains of B. longum have been linked to the following benefits:

    • Support digestion
    • Boost immunity
    • Relieve occasional constipation
    • Relieve stress

    Bifidobacterium infantis sounds very close to “infant” because it has been found particularly beneficial to an infant’s microbiome.

    Specific strains of this species have been linked to the following benefits*:

    • Minimize gastrointestinal distress due to microbiome composition
    • Aid in the digestion of human milk
    • Colonize the infant microbiome with healthy bacteria
    • Utilize the special sugars contained in breast milk

    The probiotics listed above are a mere sample of the trillions of bacteria living in your gut!

    Fortunately, the excitement surrounding probiotics has cultivated a rich environment for scientific discovery and caused the number of probiotic-related publications to climb drastically.

    With the influence of probiotics appearing limitless, scientists continue to explore the potential benefits of these tiny organisms and unlock a few more of their secrets every day.

    If you would like enjoy the benefits of probiotics click here to try our "Advanced Probiotic Formula with 18-Strains and 30 CFUs".