Choosing vegan probiotics over dairy probiotics, probiotic yogurts, kefir and other non vegan probiotic supplements has become more common even for people who are not vegan. It turned that many people are sensitive to dairy, which is one of the reasons of the digestive issues such as gas and bloating people experience when using dairy based probiotics. These side effects of dairy probiotic supplements are very common, hence the preference for dairy free vegan probiotics.
The second reason many people prefer vegan probiotics has to do with the fact that no animals are harmed or abused while making the probiotic supplements. If you can get all the health benefits from vegan probiotics with less side effects and not hurting other living beings, what reason do you have not to choose vegan probiotics?
In This Guide
- Probiotics: vegetarian vs. vegan.
- How to choose the best probiotics.
- Best Probiotic Supplements For Vegans.
- Probiotic Foods.
If you are looking for vegan probiotics to treat or prevent candida and yeast infections, see: Probiotics for yeast infection.
Vegetarian VS. Vegan Probiotics
We have been getting many questions on the vegetarian vs. vegan probiotics topic. Vegetarian probiotics are not vegan probiotics.
Vegetarian probiotics usually have or are derived from dairy/milk. Vegan probiotics on the other hand, are 100% dairy free probiotics.
As we mentioned, the dairy free can make a big difference in terms of side effects and safety. We do not see any reason why anyone would choose a dairy based probiotics when there are 100% vegan probiotics available.
Best Vegan Probiotics
When choosing the best vegan probiotics, it is important to consider the probiotic strains used. Often overlooked, this is also true for non vegan probiotics as well. Different probiotic strains can have different properties and as such may offer different benefits. Furthermore, some probiotic strains are considered very safe and gentle, where others are known to cause more side effects.
To make sure you use the best vegan probiotic supplement that is the right one for you, here is a summary of what to look for as well as common problems and concerns you should be aware of:
probiotic strains are backed up by science as safe and effective
Many people are surprised to learn their vegan probiotic supplements caused side effects such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain and even acne. Using vegan probiotics is not enough. The probiotic strains also have to be safe and work in a gentle and safe way. For this reason, the general recommendation is to focus on the top most common probiotic strains that have been extensively studied and are widely used, and stay away from revolutionary new strains.
The top most common probiotic strains that are usually combined together in many studies usually include:
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
- Lactobacillus reuteri.
- Lactobacillus fermentum.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus.
- Lactobacillus plantarum.
- Bifidobacterium strains.
We have seen these strains in most of the top rated probiotics supplements we have tested.
The probiotic strains are stable and potent
Another important factor to consider with vegan probiotics is stability. The probiotic strains need to be stable inside the body so they can survive the stomach acids, as well as stable outside the body with a solid shelf life profile. Many probiotic strains must be kept refrigerated and by the time you get them lose their strength significantly; other may be potent at the time of manufacturing, but lose their strength due to low stability or poor manufacturing methods. These scenarios are very common, so it is essential to choose probiotic strains known to be stable from a trusted source that guarantees their potency and stability.
Vegan Probiotics: Purity & allergens
Vegan probiotics are dairy free. This solves the dairy sensitivity issue. While this is a great benefit of vegan probiotics, it is not enough.
A common problem we see in many probiotic supplements including a large number of vegan probiotics is that they use probiotic strains that contained wheat, gluten, soy or other allergens. Many of the negative vegan probiotics reviews that mentioned side effects such as digestive issues, gas and bloating are a result of these allergens.
These side effects are unnecessary and can be easily avoided. Your vegan probiotic supplement should specifically mention that it is soy, wheat, and gluten free.
Vegan Probiotic strength
Another common issue with many probiotic supplements is that they are either not strong enough or that they do not meet their label claim. This includes vegan probiotics as well. One study that tested 15 different probiotic supplements found that only 4 out of the 15 products (27%) that had specific claims of viable organisms met or exceeded their label claim (source).
For this reason, it is very important to get your probiotics from a trusted source that has their strength and potency guaranteed.
The Probiotic supplement contains prebiotics
Prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients known to promote the growth of probiotics by serving as a food source for probiotics (source). Taking prebiotics together with probiotics has shown by research to enhance the probiotic growth (source), and is considered a common best practice. This is especially important in cases of compromised gut flora where there’s a need to rebuild a healthy gut flora.
Probiotics supplements help to initially populate the intestines with good bacteria; prebiotics can help this new population of good bacteria to better grow in the intestines.
One of the best natural sources of vegan prebiotics is inulin. Chicory root, raw dandelion greens, dried garlic, Jerusalem artichoke and onions are considered the best food sources of inulin (source). Getting enough prebiotics from the diet is possible, although it can be challenging. For this reason, it is usually preferred to combine probiotics with prebiotics for the ease of use, in order to make sure you have enough prebiotics to rebuild a healthy gut flora.
Best Vegan Probiotic Supplements
FloraTrex by Dr. Edward Group from Global healing center is our preferred choice for a multi purpose vegan probiotic supplement for gut health, normal digestion and overall good health and immune system function.
It has been a part of many of our natural protocols for a very long time.
Floratrex contains 23 active highly researched probiotic strains optimized with organic inulin and organic gum acacia prebiotics.
Here is a summary of our research and experience with FloraTrex:
- Complete probiotic strains formula, no allergens: perhaps the biggest advantage we see in FloraTrex is the combination of the probiotic strains. FloraTrex contains all the top most studied probiotic strains shown by research to be both safe and effective.
More specifically, FloraTrex use the combination of the Lactobacillus – Bifidobacterium strains that was used in many studies and was shown to be very beneficial. This combination is considered a common best practice for improved effectiveness.
- No Allergens: FloraTrex uses a 100% vegan probiotics that are allergens free. There are no dairy, soy, wheat, gluten or other allergens. As we mentioned, this is where many vegan probiotic supplements fail, and one of the reasons of the digestive issues such as gas and bloating people experience when using vegan probiotic supplement that contain allergens.
- Purity: A common problem with many supplements is the added ingredients. The ones you see listed under the other ingredients section. Toxic fillers and binders are often added to reduce manufacturing costs, make ingredients bind together or look/taste better. Lubrication substances are commonly used to prevent powders from getting stuck to the machines. This has been a very serious concern raised by many health authorities, not only because our bodies do not need these toxins, but because these toxins can cause health issues and even cancer. FloraTrex has none of these.
- High Potency: high potency and stability of 50 billion CFUs (Colony forming units) is guaranteed.
- 100% Vegan: Dr. Edward Group has been committed to 100% vegan products. All Global healing center products are vegan.
This is specifically mentioned in all of his products.
For a complete list of all the probiotic strains that are included in FloraTrex: FloraTrex Ingredients.
Vegan Probiotic Foods
Fermented and vegan probiotic foods are very popular and are associated with many health benefits (source).
The potency of probiotic foods to effectively populate the intestines with good bacteria however, has always been controversial.
The reason is simple. It is possible to get probiotics from natural fermented vegan foods and drinks. Live probiotics cultured vegan yogurt from coconut, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Kombucha tea are excellent examples. The challenges are usually stability, quality issues, and contamination risks, especially store-bought probiotic foods which in many cases can’t be compared to homemade fresh raw probiotic foods.
For this reason, fermented foods as well as vegan probiotics shots and probiotic drinks are usually not recommended for people that have digestive issues, food sensitivities or compromised gut flora. So unless you make your own homemade fermented foods and know for a fact they have worked for you personally in the past, counting on these foods as a good and safe source of probiotics may not provide the best results. Very often, probiotic foods cause digestive issues such as gas and bloating. This is very common.
High quality vegan probiotic whole foods such as Sauerkraut, Kimchi or raw fermented salsa do taste great and can make a wonderful healthy addition to any diet. If you do enjoy the taste of probiotic foods and have no digestive issues, you may want to slowly introduce them to your diet and see how they make you feel.
Some common vegan probiotic foods that are very popular, actually contain known allergen. If you have digestive issues or food sensitivities, you may want to consider avoiding these foods or see how your body responds after eating:
- Miso: Japanese paste made from fermented soybeans and barley or rice.
- Tempeh: fermented soybeans, often grown using rice.
Is my vegan probiotic supplement 100% Vegan?
We get this question a lot. After doing an extensive research, it turned that many probiotic supplements that are vegetarian or milk free still have small amounts of dairy. Other use gelatin capsules. Gelatin is a protein derived from skin, tendons, ligaments, bones of cows, chickens or pigs. Unfortunately, this is very common not only in vegan probiotic supplements, but in many other supplements that use vegan ingredients.
Our recommendation: get your vegan probiotics from a trusted source that specifically mention they are vegan.
Vegetarian probiotic supplements do not mean they are vegan probiotics as they can still contain milk or dairy.
Is Lactobacillus dairy free?
Lactobacillus probiotic strain can be vegan, as long as no dairy was used in the growing process. Very often, Lactobacillus is grown on a dairy medium, although vegan sources can be used instead of the dairy. To make sure you are using a 100% vegan probiotic supplement, look for the vegan indication on the product. If you don’t see any, there’s a very good chance the Lactobacillus was grown using dairy.
gluten free vegan probiotics
The short answer is that since there are no benefits of having gluten in probiotics, it makes much more sense to look for gluten free vegan probiotics. This is especially important if you already have digestive issues.
Gluten is a protein naturally found in wheat and various grains such as semolina, rye and barely.
The biggest problem with gluten has to do with gluten sensitivity. When gluten is consumed by a person with gluten sensitivity, a reaction in the body is triggered that over time can lead to many digestive disorders. Furthermore, many people that remove gluten containing foods from their diets report they feel better and are able to lose weight with much less effort.
Is raw apple cider vinegar a probiotic?
Apple cider vinegar on its raw unfiltered unpasteurized form also known as apple cider vinegar with mother, has naturally occurring acids and good bacteria that can promote healthy digestion and gut health. Many people who consume apple cider vinegar with water on an empty stomach report more bowel movements and better digestion.
On its own however, apple cider vinegar may not be effective enough as a reliable source of probiotic.
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