How to choose the right probiotic, according to a nutritionist — plus three popular ones

Bustle / Amazon
ByElizabeth Enochs
Originally Published: 

To keep your gut health in check, try the best probiotics for men. To learn more, Bustle reached out to Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet, who says probiotics are a great addition to anyone's health regiment, including men, since they aid the digestive process, reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and help maintain a healthy flora balance in your gut. Below, I’ve rounded up probiotics based on her expert recommendation.

Richards advises, “There are no particular strains that men should seek to integrate more than women,” but bacterial strain diversity is essential as different strains provide different benefits. The three probiotic strains Richards recommends for everyone are L. plantarum, L. paracasei, and L. acidophilus; all of our picks have all three and that last strain has been shown to helps relieve chronic constipation.

For colony forming units (CFUs), or the number of active, living microorganisms in each probiotic serving, Richards suggests you “ensure your probiotic contains at least 10 billion CFUs of bacteria [...]”. Further, Richards advises a probiotic with a mechanism for getting its bacteria past your stomach acid to your gut since “regular probiotics in vegetable capsules deliver a tiny fraction (around 4%) of their bacteria past stomach acid,” but avoid probiotics with sweeteners or gums, since they might inflame your gut.

Below, I’ve included tablets, capsules, and powders, all of which are gluten-free and a few that are soy- and dairy-free. If you’re kosher or looking to avoid nuts and GMOs, the first pick checks those boxes, too.

Check out these highly rated probiotics for men (or anyone) below.


The best probiotic tablets: a nutritionist-backed pick with a 4.6-star rating

This shelf-stable probiotic pick with a 4.6-star rating is expert nutritionist Lisa Richards’ top recommendation. It contains 15 billion CFUs and 12 probiotic strains, including the three referenced above. It also uses patented BIO-tract technology — a time-released delivery method that works to protect vulnerable probiotic strains from stomach acid — to deliver more live probiotics to your gut. 60% of the probiotics in this supplement survive stomach acid, compared to only 4% in some brands, according to the manufacturer.

Additionally, this pick is dairy-, gluten-, soy-, wheat-, and nut-free. It’s also marketed as 100% non-GMO, kosher, vegetarian, and vegan.

What fans are saying: “I have used many probiotic supplements and struggle with continual digestive problems. This is the first probiotics that had almost immediate noticeable benefits. I highly recommend it.”


The best probiotic powder with 14 strains & organic fiber

Dr. David Perlmutter, a board-certified neurologist and fellow of the American College of Nutrition developed this probiotic for Garden of Life so that it can survive stomach acid and make it to your gut for maximum benefit. It has a 4.2-star rating and is a great option for those who would prefer to mix their probiotic into their drinks or food. Certified organic, vegetarian, and shelf stable (like the top pick), this pick is also dairy-, gluten-, soy-, sugar-, soy-, and sugar-free.

The 50 billion CFUs and 14 probiotic strains, including the three referenced above, make this a great option. The 4 grams of organic fiber per serving combined with L. acidophilus strain can really help your gut since fiber supplements can help those dealing with regular constipation.

What fans are saying: “This stuff is awesome! I add it directly to a shaker ball of cold water and throw some true lime in and there is no off taste. The first few times it definitely had a cleansing effect, so I recommend taking when you will be home. It never has given any discomfort though. Highly recommend!”


A fan-favorite probiotic with 4,000+ 5-star reviews

Vitamin Bounty's Pro50 Probiotic has 50 Billion CFUs and 13 strains, including the three referenced above as well as a patented time-release capsule that helps the supplement's living organisms survive stomach acid, which means more cultures make it to your gut. Plus, the capsule is made of vegetables containing prebiotic greens; since healthy gut bacteria feed off of the fiber in prebiotic foods that humans can’t digest — prebiotic intake is an essential part of keeping your healthy gut bacteria going strong.

This pick is gluten-free and made in the United States; though you should note it isn’t clearly labeled vegetarian, vegan, soy-free, or organic, but it has a stellar 4.7-star rating and over 5,000 reviews.

What fans are saying: “Wow, I noticed a difference within 24 hours! I was hesitant to buy since it was kinda pricey, but if your digestive system is unpredictable or slow, I highly recommend.”

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Lisa Richards, nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet