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 object to dairy being used in the process. Like food, it’s important to contact the manufacturer to find out if their processes are safe and suitable for your needs.
If you see a probiotic that states “contains milk,” even though the ingredients appear to be dairy-free, it’s reasonable to assume that one or more of the strains might have been grown on a dairy medium. But it’s important to contact the manufacturer to confirm if you are dairy-free and still considering the supplement.
Don’t let the names of the different bacteria fool you. You will see probiotic strains called lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus), lactobacillus casei (L. casei), and bifidobacterium lactis (B. lactis). But in the world of bacteria, lactobacillus and and lactis doesn’t mean it contains lactose, and casei isn’t referring specifically to casein. And these types of bacteria weren’t necessarily grown on a dairy medium. In fact, these bacteria naturally occur in the human gut, even in those of us who are dairy free!
These are probiotics that are marketed as dairy-free, that we have used ourselves, and/or that we’ve been able to confirm as dairy-free. As I learn more about these products, I will add information. And always contact the manufacturer to confirm the product’s safety for your needs, particularly if dealing with a severe food allergy. This is for informational purposes only, and it shouldn’t replace your doctor’s recommendation or your own research.
This brand was recommended to me by my doctor nearly a decade ago. He touted it as a medically-backed, trustworthy company, and we’ve used their products over the years. Most of their probiotic supplements are touted as “hypoallergenic.” It comes in both capsule and powder formats.
You might know this company for probiotic shots and juices, but GoodBelly also has a probiotic supplement. Like their drinks, these supplements are marketed as dairy free, and I have used them myself.
According to MegaFood, “All of our products are tested and verified to be free of gluten, in addition to dairy and soy.” I’ve spoken with representatives from their company, and was very impressed by their commitment to quality and dairy-free testing. They have a small range of dairy-free probiotic supplements for men, women, and different ages, but I’m focusing on their base MegaFlora blend.
It’s hard to find dairy-free probiotic supplements with L. reuteri, which has been touted for women’s health. So this vegan brand is a find. I only wish it contained L. rhamnosus too. Nonetheless, it does contain organic prebiotics from Jerusalem artichoke.
If you don’t do pills, and have a sweet tooth, then probiotic gummies might be your answer. A lot of vegan supplement gummies fall short in taste and texture, but these are loved by most people. Surprisingly, these gummies should be refrigerated. If you need a shelf-stable vegan probiotic gummy option, Vibin might work well.
These dairy-free probiotic supplements are recommended for men, women, and kids, because they are very small, easy-to-swallow capsules. But check with your pediatrician – they might not want your child to take 2 capsules.
Consult a pediatrician to find out if your child is old enough for, or needs, dairy-free probiotic supplements.
This variety of “hypoallergenic” dairy-free probiotic supplements is similar to Ther-Biotic Complete, but it comes in a chewable cherry flavored tablet. It also has a different range of strains that I assume are more suited to little tummies. The manufacturer states that this probiotic is designed for children 2 years of age and older.
This dairy-free brand also has a popular kids probiotic supplement, which they say was created with kids aged 5 and up in mind. It appears to be a “light” version of their MegaFlora flagship probiotic.
This is one of the most popular kids brands of probiotics, and its a great dairy-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free option. Both kids (over 2 years of age) and adults seem to like the berry-licious flavor. If your child prefers gummies, Renew Life does make Ultimate Flora Kids Probiotic Gummies. They are also dairy-free (and soy-free) and well-loved for taste and texture, but they do contain wheat and gelatin and have less probiotics (strains and overall quantity) than these chewables.
This is a pediatric product, formulated specifically for kids, and recommended for ages 1 and up. But many adults love this probiotic too. Powders like this can be added to smoothies or spreads for a seamless, pill-free delivery.
Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.
Hello! Im looking for a liquid probiotic for my baby who has a dairy allergy. She’s 6 months old. I tried a brand but she’s had some big blow outs, fussy at night, and a rash developed. So im thinking it had dairy in it.
It’s not a liquid, but often recommend Klaire Labs. They make great products, doctor recommended, and they have an infant powder. They are dairy-free and allergy friendly. The seller on Amazon apparently isn’t great (no ice pack included) but you can learn more here -> https://klaire.com/k-tif-therbiotic-for-infants-powder
Do you know anything about the Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics? I don’t see any dairy, but then I keep having reactions to the smallest amounts of dairy, such as: breaking apart pretzel bark for my sister to take to her in-laws’ Christmas. Now I’m congested, have hives, and the edges of my tongue have that tingly feeling.
Janelle, I can’t weigh in on that brand specifically. Technically, probiotics are just the bacteria – no milk, they’re just grown on a medium that is sometimes milk. So there is a possibility of very trace amounts remaining. It sounds like you could have a severe reaction, so I would definitely contact the company directly to find out what medium they use to grow the bacteria and if dairy is introduced at all in the process. They should have this information.
I Have been using that product. I am lactose intolerant and have been for years. It was highly suggested to me by a little health grocery that I frequent. So far, I don’t feel it is helping much. Concerns me that it is not refrigerated like most probiotics I have consumed. And cannot tell helping my situation. I am very fragile and a CKD patient so not much agrees with me.
thanks for highlighting this. it’s something i learnt to do after taking antibiotics and thus having to take prebiotics. when i saw the difference in my gut health and the benefits to my overall well-being, i continued taking the pros. just a note, perhaps you could add what one should be looking for in a good probiotic as these brands are not available where I am
Hi Judith, that’s a good topic, but a big one! I might have to do more research and address that in a much bigger post. I chose the above ones because a) they are touted and supported as dairy-free b) they have come highly recommended by myself and others from usage and c) they are a range of shelf-stable and broad spectrum options. I personally like to use broad spectrum options, but shelf-stable are handy. And the different types of strains do different things support different things in our bodies. So which strains are going to be the right ones for a certain person does vary.
A lot of these aren’t sold in my local area either – we always order our probiotics online. If possible, I recommend stocking up in the cooler months. There seem to be a lot of issues with cold shipping probiotics in the warm months. Even with the shelf-stable ones, I feel iffy when they arrive really toasty!
As always, so much great information. You do the research and we reap the benefits. This really makes it so much clearer when choosing probiotics.
I love this site, it is and has been so helpful in transitioning from dairy to dairy free. I love you cookbook and look forward to getting your new one. Thank you so much for this helpful site. I recommend it to everyone who has a dairy allergy.
That is so sweet of you to take the time to comment like this Janet. Thank you and so glad I can help!
ora organic are my favorite too, love everything they do! Will look into pure, i know many people use them and recommend them.
Like all your posts, this roundup is really helpful!! I’ve been searching for probiotics for my family and there are so many that it’s hard to know which one to get. Thank you for this great info!
It’s just crazy to me where allergens can be hiding. Seriously pills are such a tricky thing when it comes to hidden things like dairy, soy and peanut if you can believe it!
Chewable Probiotic Tablets
This is very helpful information! It can be overwhelming for some who are trying to decide what to buy. Having this information can help guide them to making a good decision.
What a great post Alisa. I use probiotics daily but it’s such a challenge to find the right ones. I do like Klaire Labs and have also used Ora. I need to look for the Pure Encapsulations one as I do like their products.
Probiotics Blend, Probiotics Tablet, Probiotics Capsule, Probiotics Powder - Wecare,https://www.wecare-life.com/