Probiotics are some of the hottest and most sought after health products on the market today, but you’ll need to be sure you avoid some of the worst ingredients in probiotics if you have IBS or other digestive issues. Probiotics are supplements that help improve digestion, relieve bloating, gas, and constipation. They also help to keep the good bacteria in our digestive tracts in balance with the bad bacteria we encounter from the environment and toxins through our food. Along with buying from a brand you trust, be sure you avoid the worst ingredients in probiotics by simply turning over the product and reading the ingredient list under the label. If you see these seven items below, put the product back on the shelf and choose a better option.
Inulin is a natural prebiotic fiber found in certain plants, but it’s one of the worst ingredients in probiotics to consume if you have IBS. Inulin is added to probiotics because it feeds good bacteria in your body, but it causes bloating and gas quickly, which you definitely want to avoid.
FOS stands for fructooligosaccharides, which are fermentable carbohydrates (sugars) that also help feed good bacteria in the body. Yet just like inulin, FOS feeds the bacteria a little too much and causes fermentation in the gut, which leads to gurgling, gas, and bloating quickly.
Sadly, sugar is added to even some of the most recommended and well-known probitoics out there, such as Align. Sugar is one of the most toxic foods you can consume in terms of how it upsets your healthy gut bacteria. You certainly shouldn’t be consuming it through a pricey supplement when there are better options out there.
Milk contains lactose (milk sugar), so it can easily be cultured like yogurt to produce healthy bacteria cultures. Milk isn’t necessarily bad for you, but it can cause IBS symptoms to occur in especially sensitive individuals. Look for a vegan probiotic to be safe, or at least one that is dairy-free.
Soy isn’t the worst ingredient you’ll find in a probiotic, but it’s an unnecessary ingredient many people are sensitive to. Most high quality probiotics are free of all common allergens, soy included.
Individuals with IBS are usually aware they should avoid gluten in their foods since it aggravates the gut lining, but when it comes to supplements, avoiding gluten can be a bit more challenging. Gluten is often listed under many hidden names in supplements like probiotics so to be safe, always choose a probiotic that is certified gluten-free.
Yeast is one of the trickiest ingredients you’ll need to avoid in a probiotic. That's mainly because there are many “good” types of yeast that manufacturers put into probiotic supplements, because they allow for good cultures to thrive. However, you should be aware that all yeast, good or bad, can trigger IBS along with candida overgrowth (a type of yeast infection). Choose a probiotic that specifically states it does not contain yeast of any kind.
Even though it can be difficult to choose a high quality probiotic supplement if you have IBS, it isn’t impossible. Be sure to avoid these worst ingredients in probiotics and spend your money wisely. Many probiotic supplements out there can actually help fight IBS instead of make it worse. My favorite brands of probiotics are: Renew Life Women’s Probiotic 90 Billion count, Phillip’s Colon Health probiotic, Nature’s Bounty Acidophilus Gold probiotic, and Culturelle Vegetarian Formula probiotic. If you have IBS, what probiotic do you take?