Millions of people struggle with digestive issues. In fact, 74% of Americans experience these symptoms every year. And it's just getting worse — digestive problems among Americans are on the rise.
As a result, the market is flooded with products promising relief for all sorts of digestive ailments. The truth of the matter is — it's just not that simple. But don't be alarmed. We created this page to make order of the chaos and give you guidelines for buying digestive supplements.
Let's kick things off with a look at what's causing America's growing digestive epidemic.
Why Digestive Issues Are On the Rise
The Western diet has become increasingly processed over the last several decades, with the addition of artificial materials such as fillers, flavors, and colors. Research shows that this can lead to bacterial overgrowth, a changed microbiome, obesity, and more.
While antibiotics have saved many lives and cured many infections, they are not without side effects. In fact, the CDC says that at least 33% of the time they are prescribed unnecessarily. They carry an increased risk of disease by changing the gut bacteria and increasing pathogens, even months after you've stopped taking them.
Pollution & Pesticides
Studies show that air and water pollution can have adverse effects on the microbiome, such as: inflammatory diseases, compromised gut lining, and increased pathogenic bacteria.
The biggest challenge the medical community faces in digestive health right now is that these symptoms can be very vague, making it difficult to know the condition causing them and thus the best way to find relief.
Further, each supplement works differently within the body, meaning some solutions will work for some conditions but not others. And of course, all people are different — some will respond to a particular solution, while others will not.
Regardless of the cause of your symptoms, there is one major component impacting everyone's digestive health — your microbiome.
So, What's a Microbiome, Anyway?
The human microbiome is a collection of microbes living in your gut. In fact, you have more bacterial cells than human cells in your body. It's an entire universe with trillions of cells living, thriving, and communicating within you.
Not only does the microbiome rely on you to survive, you rely on your microbiome for your health and overall well-being.
Keeping it balanced can have huge benefits not only for your digestion, but your brain, skin, and immune system.
The microbiome is so complex that there's a lot of confusion and misinformation out there making it challenging to distinguish fact from fiction. As a result, lots of people have come to us searching for answers.
So, Smarter Reviews invested in research and compiled years of information to get the bottom line. We compared dozens of supplements on the market. We'll break down the different digestive supplement types, fill you in on the latest advancements in digestive health, and finally show you our top 5.
The Different Types of Digestive Supplements
- Probiotics are well-known for their ability to help gut health by promoting the growth of good bacteria. Unfortunately, many of probiotics on the market are ineffective, as brands aim to capitalize on profits by providing subpar probiotics. Consistently taking a quality probiotic supplement is great for diarrhea, constipation, potentially weight management, and even skin and mental health.
- Prebiotics are becoming a more common household topic, appearing in everything from baby food and yogurt to probiotic supplements. Prebiotics on their own don't do much to help the gut, but they do feed probiotics, keeping them alive and thriving, thus increasing their effectiveness. If your probiotic supplement doesn't have prebiotics, it has little chance to survive and be effective.
- Naturally found in your body, digestive enzymes help break down the foods you eat into smaller particles for easy digestion and optimal nutrient absorption. A quality digestive enzyme provides immediate relief for heartburn, bloating, indigestion, and potentially even food intolerances. While they are great for fast relief, they do not provide long-term support for gut health or the aggravating symptoms associated.
Synbiotics - The Next Generation of Probiotics
- It is now possible, with advanced technology, to pair a specific probiotic strain with the exact prebiotic that feeds it, meaning we can now turbo-charge probiotics in ways never thought possible before.This process is called synbiotics.
- Synbiotics are the future of nutraceuticals. The latest research into these super supplements reveals dramatic capabilities never before conceived.
What's a Synbiotic?
Think of your gut like a farm with a wide variety of animals. If you feed the same food to the chickens, cows, and pigs, some animals will thrive while others will suffer from eating the wrong food.
Researchers have now found that, like animals, different probiotic strains need different foods to survive. Scientists have discovered how to pair a specific probiotic strain with the exact prebiotic needed to feed it. This is called a synbiotic.
Synbiotics are far superior to standard probiotics — boosting the strains' effectiveness dramatically for full-body support. While many probiotic supplements do contain prebiotics, very few include the exact prebiotics tailored to the probiotic strains in the supplement. Very few are truly synbiotics.
What To Look For In a Synbiotic Supplement
The substrains listed next to each strain on the label indicate that a specific probiotic strain has undergone clinical studies. They appear as a series of letters and numbers after the strain's name, like: Bifidobacterium lactis HN019. Time and again, studies show that clinically-tested probiotics have far superior potency and impact on your gut.
The latest research shows using fiber-based prebiotics (such as HMO or NutraFlora Fiber) will help the probiotics populate and flourish in your gut. Make sure your supplement contains a variety of different prebiotics specifically tailored to the probiotic strains. And be on the lookout for HMO, the newest prebiotic on the horizon, which is sure to be a game-changer.
A synbiotic with a wide variety of good bacteria strains is your best bet for balancing your microbiome. The most effective synbiotic supplements contain multiple different strains — at least 9.
High CFU count
Since our microbiome is composed of about 100-trillion good and bad bacteria, a high number of CFUs will have greater impact on the growth of beneficial bacteria within your gut flora. Look for a formula with a minimum of 40 billion CFUs.
Our Specialized Ranking System
At Smarter Reviews, we employ a comprehensive evaluation system to analyze and measure the full value of products, by looking at the ingredients, clinical studies, safety, projected effectiveness, return policies, and overall customer satisfaction. This method is known as the Smarter Reviews Ranking System.
Top 5 SYNBIOtic Supplements of 2020
We've compiled a list of what we've found to be the top five products in this category, on the market today.
- Bifidus Best Advanced Probiotic
- 1MD Complete Probiotics Platinum
- Align Probiotic Supplement
- Advanced Probiotics
- Probiotic-40 Supplement
- Nexabiotic Probiotic
- Bio K Plus Acidophilus Capsules
- BIOPRO-50 Ultimate Probiotic
- Bioprotics Probiotic
- Pro-X10 Probiotics
- Bowtrol Probiotics
- Culturelle Probiotics
- Digestive Advantage Probiotics
- Dr. Axe Probiotics
- Dr. Mercola Premium Products - Complete Probiotics
- Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics
- Probiotic 4 Strain Blend
- Earths Design Probiotics
- EarthWell 40 billion Probiotic
- Probiotic Pearls Acidophilus
- Florajen High Potency Probiotics
- Ganeden: Probiotic
- RAW Probiotics
- Probiotics 30 BILLION CFU's
- GNC Ultra 25 Probiotic
- Probiotic Pro-40
- Probiotics Supplement
- Healthy Origins Probiotics
- HyperBiotics Pro 15
- ULTRA-30 Probiotics
- Probiotic 10 Billion
- Jarrow Probiotics
- Just Potent Probiotic Supplement
- Optimum Probiotics
- LG 365 Probiotics
- Advanced Probiotics Balance
- Lumen Naturals Probiotic
- Miracle Health Labs Advanced Probiotics
- Natren Probiotics
- Probiotic 40 Billion
- Nature Made Probiotics
- Nature's Bounty Probiotic
- Natures Design Probiotics
- New Chapter Probiotic All-Flora
- Nova Probiotics
- Now Foods Probiodics
- Probiotic Ultra Max
- Nutrition Essential's Probiotic
- Organic Probiotics
- Origin Essentials Advance Strength Probiotics
- Pinnacle Nutrition Probiotics
- Probium Probiotics Multi Blend 12B
- Pure Life Probiotics
- Puritan's Pride ProBiotic 10
- Renew Life Probiotics
- Savi Wellness Probiotics
- Sedona Labs Probiotics
- Solgar Probiotics
- Sunbiotics Probiotics
- Suprema Dophilus Multi-Probiotic
- Probiotics by Supreme Potential
- Threelac Probiotic
- Triumvit Probiotics Supplement
- TruBiotics Probiotic
- Udo's Choice - Adult's Blend Probiotic
- Ultimate Flora Critical Care Probiotics
- UTVital Probiotics
- Vetri Probiotic Everyday
- Suprema-Dophilus Multi-Probiotic
- Complete Probiotic 5 Billion
- Well State
- Whole Body Research Keybiotics
- Zenwise Labs Ultra-15 Probiotic