What are the best brands of probiotics?

Nature's Way Primadophilus Optima

We’ve talked here before about the best brands of probiotics, but I want to add some other considerations into the mix and give you a bit of an update.

Why probiotics for migraine and headache disorders?  Well, for migraine in particular, there is a growing body of evidence linking the frequency and intensity of your migraine attacks to the health of your gut.  And probiotics – those microorganisms that naturally live in your gut – are an important part of your overall health.

Probiotics have solidly entered the marketplace, and can be found in many health foods.  Also, they have begun to enter the mainstream of medical treatment, and are being used and investigated to treat a variety of infections, gastrointestinal disorders, and even allergic disorders and respiratory infections.  Research is being done to use probiotics to help cancer patients on chemo, and patients dealing with the aftermath of antibiotic treatments.  Probiotics are becoming popular for treatment as well as preventative health.

Ready to try it? Not so fast!

But when it comes right down to it, finding the best brands of probiotics is still a very difficult task.  For one thing, there isn’t even an agreement on what a "probiotic" is.  That means you can’t trust what you see on labels (here’s a discussion on some of these probiotics challenges in the USA).  Probiotics have been tested to see if they match the numbers that their labels claim, and the results have been pretty disappointing.  You pick the wrong brand, you’re wasting your money.  (For example, check this article on the best brands of probiotics yogurts)

Another issue is that the research of probiotics is still in its infancy.  Why do some studies show great benefits, while others show none at all?  One of the biggest problems is that different strains of microorganisms are used, in totally different amounts.  We’re still comparing apples to oranges.

So here are some things to consider, if you want to find the best brands of probiotics for you.  First, I’m not focusing on fermented foods (since these are often triggers for migraineurs), or other health foods (since many of these are new and untested).

Secondly, there are those who shouldn’t be taking probiotics.  Particularly those who are seriously ill, or have problems with their immune system for whatever reason.  Always check with your doctor.

Recommended probiotics brands

Widely recommended is Nature’s Way Primadophilus Optima.  This is a trusted brand with a wide variety of strains.  You can read more about this probiotic brand here.

But there is one more consideration.  If you’re looking at a long shipping time, or you are unable to keep your capsules refrigerated,

Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls

you may lose a lot of the benefits of the probiotics.  But there is another choice – "stable" probiotics.  Nature’s Way has a stable version of its products, called "Pearls", which do not require refrigeration and are protected from stomach acid (so the maximum amount of microorganisms make it to the gut).

Nature’s Way Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls are available at Vitacost, and also at amazon (though currently a little more at amazon).

In the future, look for more targeted and well researched brands of probiotics for specific conditions.  So far, the research has been promising, and more and more migraineurs are considering probiotics as part of their overall treatment.

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2 comments… add one
  • Mary Mar 12, 2011

    I’m trying to find a probiotic that has:
    1. At least 15 billion per serving
    2. at lest 10 strains of friendly bacteria and mostly L and B
    3. Delayed release supplement
    4. Potency at the time when you are about to finish your supply. Like if you have 100 how much potency when you have like 25 left.

  • S. King Mar 3, 2012

    YogurtZym is the best in history

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