I'll let you in on a secret - there IS no single best probiotic. It all depends on your need. The best probiotic for one health problem is not the best for another.
Let me tell you what I believe are the most beneficial probiotics for yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis and IBS. My opinion is based on a combination of personal experience, other people's experience and medical evidence.
And I'll say right up front - none of these will cure everybody - but the probiotics listed below all have had good success rates with many people as well as having a high level of scientific evidence behind them.
For general good health where you're not really trying to cure any particular problem I like a multi probiotic. This most resembles what you would get from eating a probiotic rich diet.
And, I'd go so far as to say, that for improving your health nothing is quite as good as eating a wide selection of foods that contain probiotics.
However I know that many folk find it easier to take a capsule. Iflora Multi Probiotic contains 16 different probiotics including all the important Bifidobacteria as well as a barrel load of Lactobacilli including both L acidophilus and L plantarum.
I'm a big fan of Iflora - one of the best.
I'm going to cheat here - I have two "best probiotics" for IBS!
The 299v strain of Lactobacillus plantarum is right up there at the top of my list for irritable bowel syndrome. TuZen Probiotic is a L plantarum 299v supplement that has been helping many people recently. There's quite a buzz about it and with good reason - some folk have had spectacular results - not everyone, but enough that it is certainly worth trying if you're looking for something to ease bloating, gas and diarrhea.
The probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii has also proved very helpful for some people and you'll find that Florastor comes in the correct strength. This is one of the old favorites for IBS - many suffers swear by it. Saccharomyces boulardii has been known since the days of its discovery as a popular "local cure" for diarrhea with Indo-Chinese. This yeast was found living on lychee fruit and is a good probiotic for any sort of gastrointestinal problem..
It just has to be Fem Dophilus or one of the other supplements that contain that dynamite duo, Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1.
You can buy Fem Dophilus 60 capsules or in a smaller amount of 30 capsules.
The two bacteria in Fem Dophilus have been:
Proven to normalize the vaginal tract
Come in the right strength - what more could you want!
One important thing to remember is that the women who have had the most success with Fem Dophilus are those who use it to prevent yeast infection from returning. They get rid of the yeast first, THEN use Fem Dophilus.
Now you might be thinking "what sort of cure is that" if I have to use something else to clear the yeast first. Point taken - but if you want a lasting cure then that is the way to do it.
The chances are that the reason you're reading this is because you're one of the unlucky women who find that the yeast infection keeps coming back.
Think of it this way. Your vagina has been taken over by yeast. Now you can take Fem Dophilus and let those good bacteria fight a long battle to reclaim the territory or you can blast the yeast with an anti fungal or boric acid suppositories and win the war immediately.
The only problem is that your vagina is left under populated and - don't you just know it - something will take over that area again.
Take Fem Dophilus to ensure that good bacteria are the first to set up home. They then ensure the right conditions are there for other friendly bacteria and before you know it, your vagina is wall-to-wall good bacteria and there is no room left for the candida yeast.
That is a simplistic view - in fact, even the healthy vagina will house a few "bad" bacteria and yeast but so long as the balance is in favor of the good bacteria you won't have any problems.
Fem Dophilus again - for all the same reasons that I mentioned with yeast infection. Bacterial vaginosis is an abnormal bacterial state - Fem Dophilus is able to normalize your vaginal flora.The best probiotic is of no use if it doesn't come in the right strain and the right amount
Bacteria come in families and each family consists of many different strains. Health results are almost always what they call "strain specific".
The problem that I have with many of the probiotic supplements is that they try to be all things to all people. Too many different types of probiotic bacteria in a supplement usually mean that each one is not in large enough numbers to do what you want it to.
And if the label on the product does not clearly state what strain of bacteria is in it - you're probably wasting your money.
If you're treating a particular health problem then you need to take the probiotic supplement in the same quantity as was used in the scientific studies. Unless you use the same strain in the same quantity then you won't get the same result. The brand names mentioned above all contain strains that have been studied for each health problem and come in the right amounts.
So - hopefully you are a little closer now to discovering your very own best probiotic.
Update: Having trouble "going"? Check out the bestprobiotics for constipation.
Look at the two best probiotics for children.
Measures pH in the correct range for women's health