What are the Over the Counter (OTC) Probiotics? In addition to Culturelle and Florastor, what is the list of the common top rated OTC probiotics? What are the best OTC probiotics for diarrhea, constipation, yeast infection, IBS, Bloating and dogs? What should you consider when buying or selecting/buying the best probiotic pills over the counter? Read on to find out
What are Over-the-counter (OTC) Probiotics?
Over-the-counter (OTC) probiotics are the types sold directly to you without a prescription from a healthcare practitioner, as compared to prescription probiotics, which may be sold to you only if you have a valid prescription. They are mostly supplements in form of capsules or liquid.
Culturelle, Florastor, Align & more OTC Probiotics List
Two of the most sought OTC probiotics are Florastor and Culturelle.
Since 1953, according to the manufacturer of the this product, Florastor is the most trusted name in probiotics around the globe. It can be taken by persons of all ages to promote whole-body health. Recommended by doctors and pharmacists in 100 countries and backed by more than 50 years of use, Florastor is made with all-natural ingredients using the highest standards. Read more on What is Florastor Probiotic is, Florastor Kids, Uses for diarrhea , the Side Effects and Reviews (250mg) of Florastor
The probiotic that powers and makes culturelle unique is Lactobacillus GG and according to studies it has been shown to survive stomach acid. It also forms a strong barrier against non-beneficial bacteria. Unlike many of its competitors, Culturelle delivers the optimal number of live, active cells recommended by medical research – in each capsule, tablet or packet.
Align probiotic supplement by Procter and Gamble (P&G) is another extensively reviewed probiotic. It is best known for IBS. Find out more on Align Probiotic Reviews: Side Effects, Ingredients, as a Medication IBS, Constipation and if it works for weight loss
More other OTC Probiotics List
Each of the OTC probiotic in the following list, as per this writing, has 4-5 star rating at Amazon online store. According to Amazon these are the top best
- Best Pearls Probiotic
- PREMIUM Ultra Blend
- New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin
- Jarrow Formulas MK-7, 90 mcg, 60 Count
- Jarrow Formulas MK-7
- Garden of Life Perfect Food RAW Organic Powder
- VSL 3 High Potency Probiotic Capsules
- Garden of Life Primal Defense
- Garden of Life RAW Enzymes Women
Here is a list of more other OTC probiotics;
- Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285(®)& Lactobacillus casei LBC80R(®) (Bio-K+(®));
- “L. acidophilus” and “Lactobacillus helveticus” (Lactinex(®)).
What is the best Over the Counter Probiotic for Yeast Infection, IBS, Diarrhea & Dogs?
There is no best overall over-the-counter probiotic since all probiotic strains are not created equally. It all depends on what you want them for.
Best OTC for IBS, Diarrhea, Constipation & Bloating
Studies have shown that probiotics can play an important role when it comes to stomach problems which include IBS, Constipation, Diarrhea, bloating etc. For details read this post: Probiotics and IBS.
So what are the best OTC for the aforementioned conditions?
Florastor has been reported to be one of the best OTC probiotic for stomach troubles. This probiotic is made up of Saccharomyces boulardii lyo. Its presence in the human body does not last for a long duration. In other words it is a short-term but not a long-term good bacteria. If used appropriately, studies show that it can reduce symptoms of diarrhea. It is also one of the best when it comes to preventing antibiotic-related diarrhea.
Another over the counter probiotic that could aid in relieving antiobiotic diarrhea that is triggered by antibiotics is Lacidofil. Lacidofil combines two Lactobacillus strains (Lactobacillus Rosell-52 and Lactobacillus Rosell-11) that have shown positive results.
Bio-K+ CL1285: a 2010 study found that BIO-K+ is effective for preventing and reducing the severity of AAD (Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea) in patients receiving antibiotic therapy in a hospital setting. Its benefits in helping prevent C.difficile-associated diarrhea have also been published in peer-reviewed journals. It is mostly found in the form of fermented soy, rice or milk products and capsules. It contains L. acidophilus and L. casei.
Studies have also shown that probiotic products or supplements with bifidobacterium infantis, also known as bifidobacterium or b. infantis are very effective in treating IBS. One example of such product is align probiotic
Best Over the Counter Probiotic for Yeast Infection
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, numerous clinical studies suggest that using L. acidophilus can help treating yeast infection. A limited number of clinical studies indicate that consuming yogurt with L. acidophilus cultures may play an important role.
There are some studies that have shed some light on the link between probiotics (acidophilus) and yeast infection. In a 2012 Italian study, women with chronic yeast infections saw their rates of infection drop by 87%.
According to Laurie Cullen, ND, a professor and a naturopathic physician at Bastyr, an alternative medicine university, one of the best supplement worth trying is Jarroe Fem-Dophilus probiotic. This pill can be found at health food and drug stores. However, the evidence on if L. acidophilus is effective is mixed. More clinical research is called for.
Best Over the Counter Probiotic for Dogs
When probiotics are mentioned, most individuals focus on good effects the good bacteria offer to human beings. Indeed there are just as many probiotics for pets (most especially dogs and cats) as they are for humans. For pets, particularly dogs, probiotics are regularly recommended for chronic intestinal infections, diarrhea, allergies, skin disorders etc.
So which are the best OTC probiotics for dogs?
According to WebMD Veterenarian, research on the most effective probiotics for pets is still on-going.
Craig Datz, DVM, associate teaching professor at the University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, while reporting to WebMD, notes that commercially sold probiotics are not regulated. Craig adds that in a test review, out of 13 probiotic supplements, only 2 had the number of probiotic organism advertised.
However, there are some canine probiotics that have been mentioned as the best for dogs.
Barbara Fitzgerald, AKC (American Kennel Club) Breeder of Merit and a contributing editor to The Modern Bark, an online magazine that focuses on promoting the health and well-being of dogs suggests the following top OTC probiotics for canines with allergies and diarrhea.
Purina Fortiflora– Recommended for canines digestive disorders, diarrhea and loose stools. It is highly palatable.
Vetri-Science Probiotic-This is recommended for dogs that need a daily dosage of probiotic supplement as part of general health course of therapy or routine.
Mercola – Complete Probiotics– Suitable for both dogs and cats. It reduces gas and bloating as well as lose stools. It is made up of 10 strainds of bacteria, the number of active live organisms is quite high 70 billion CFU(Colon Forming Unit) per capsule serving.
Probiotic Miracle– Meant to work for yeast overgrowth, loose stool and diarrhea.
Basing on user reviews on different online stores, Fortiflora seems quite a number of mentions meaning it is the best if not one the best
Recommended reading: Best Probiotics for Dogs
Tips for choosing the best OTC Probiotic
Talk to your veterinarian if you think probiotics might help your dog or cat. Your vet can probably recommend products they are familiar with that have had good results.
One of the key points that you should always remember is that probiotic brands vary in the way the work. More so, different probiotics are suited and work best for different conditions. This is basically why you need substantial amount of information before you purchase.
Well, you have gathered enough information and now you are ready to buy. What should you consider or how should you go about? What are the guides?
- The first and foremost place to check is the label and its content. The label must have at least the following information.
- The company details which include name, contact info (phone, email or social media business page or handles). Company website can also be a good resource to find more details about the product. Check for studies, research, reviews, testimonials that back up the supplement’s health statements
- The ingredients: this should indicate the specific bacterial species and strain of the probiotic. Under the ingredients you should also look for the number of CFU in millions or billions per gram. Having looked at the number do remember to check for another very important info: The expiry date. This will help you determine the number of organisms that will be alive by the use-by date. Do check for any other ingredients and find if they are appropriate for use
- The dose- Any OTC supplement should indicate how much of it (the supplement) should be taken and preferably how it interacts with other drugs.
- If possible consider only clinically proven OTC probiotics
- Do note where the probiotics are kept. Why check on storage? According to Anne Marie F., some individuals store probiotics in refrigerators to keep the microorganisms active. It implies that the microorganisms within the probiotics will not survive outside the refrigerators. Do check the label for details about this.
- As a matter of fact one of the most important step to take is to consult a certified practitioner about any OTC probiotic that you want to try. Do talk to your doctor if you are the idea that really need these products. If you want to try them on you pets, consult your veterinarian for further details. Veterinarians and doctors may recommend supplements that they know and probably have had positive effects.
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