The Best Dairy-Free Probiotic Supplements + Essential Label Reading Tips

This is the flagship post in our dairy-free probiotics section, which I will continue to update. Finding dairy-free probiotic supplements used to be a challenge, but these days there are quite a few options. Technically, probiotics themselves are free of all food. They’re live bacteria and yeasts that occur naturally in our digestive tracts. But two primary food issues can arise with probiotic supplements. Supplements often contain fillers, binders, and other types of ingredients to bulk them up and create a functional pill. Getting live bacteria to our guts without a transport system would be next to impossible. But these ingredients can include food, like dairy. Most of the time it’s lactose (milk sugar), but other dairy ingredients might be used. Nonetheless, the ingredients should be clearly visible on the label. And the probiotics themselves must be grown on a medium. This is often dairy. The bacteria is removed from the medium, and in theory shouldn’t be problematic for most people with a dairy issue. The bacteria itself doesn’t contain properties, like proteins, of the dairy it was grown on. However, there can be a concern for trace cross-contamination, and vegans might ...

Many health crazes come and go, but one that’s sure to stay for quite some time

Many health crazes come and go, but one that’s sure to stay for quite some time is probiotics, aka the good-for-you bacteria that lives in your gut and is also found naturally in fermented food as well as supplements. “We are just scratching the surface understanding all of the ways that probiotics benefit our health, but some of the big ones include for weight maintenance, digestive health, allergies, mental health, and immunity,” explains Abbey Sharp, RD, founder of Abbey’s Kitchen. When choosing a probiotic, she recommends looking for one that contains multiple strains of bacteria, since each type of bacteria has unique functions. Here’s why it’s time to get the facts straight about probiotics. For improved digestion, Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, New York City-based registered dietitian, recommends Life Extension FLORASSIST® GI with Phage Technology, a unique probiotic that’s been shown to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and promote the growth of the good bacteria. “Specifically, Florassist GI combines 15 billion CFU (colony forming units) of potent probiotics with innovative bacteriophage technology,” she says. “Bacteriophages, also known as ‘bacteria eaters are designed to...