Our intestinal microbiota keeps our gastrointestinal system functioning during the best and worst possible conditions. Any imbalance in this delicate bacterial system will have a negative impact on your health in both short and long term. If this ever happens, the bacteria lactobacillus rhamnosus can be a very valuable ally in restoring your gut health.

Stress, diet, illness, and especially the indiscriminate use (or abuse) of antibiotics can weaken the state of your gastrointestinal health. A probiotic supplement that contains lactobacillus rhamnosus will keep the symptoms of these types of imbalances at bay. Want to know more about this healthy bacteria? Keep reading!

Key Facts

  • If consumed regularly, the probiotic bacterium lactobacillus rhamnosus can contribute to the improvement and overall well being of your gastrointestinal health
  • The use of probiotics from lactobacillus rhamnosus is used by experts to treat disturbances or abnormalities in intestinal transit, it’s use is second only to antibiotic medication.
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus is considered a safe bacterium even in high concentrations. Nonetheless, experts suggest not to exceed the recommended daily dose of the product.

Ranking: The best lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements on the market

Lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotics are among the best-selling supplements in the world of gut health today. Unfortunately, a lot of the supplements offered on special sales are often of low quality. Our ranking contains five products that are of high quality, effective and well liked by consumers. You really can’t go wrong with any of these products, if you invest in any of them, you won’t regret it:

No.1: Swanson, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus with FOS 5 Billion CFU (vegetable capsules)

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus delivers a wide-range of beneficial gut bacteria. This supplement is especially good for protecting GI health during travel. This probiotic will not only improve the health of your digestive tract, but also of your immune system and emotional wellbeing. These capsules are specifically designed for vegetarians and they work to ensure consistent delivery of the bacteria to the lower GI tract.

Swanson assures their products are made with ingredients of the highest qualities. Moreover, they are known for their work with reputable developers and manufacturers who ensure the highest standards for quality production, purity and potency. If you are not happy with your purchase, Swanson promises a 100% money back guarantee.

No. 2: Jamieson, Probiotic 10 Billion (vegetarian capsules)

In accordance with the name, Probiotic 10 Billion offers a supplement that provides the body with 10 billion active cells via 14 unique probiotic strains. The supplement comes in the form of vegetarian capsules and supports complete digestive and intestinal health.

It’s advanced tube technology guarantees that the cells stay active and viable until ingestion. Jamieson has worked to create a combination of probiotics that increase digestive health by promoting favourable gut flora. This supplement is safe to be consumed by people of all ages, however children should use it only under strict adult supervision.

No. 3: Renew Life, Ultimate Flora – Probiotic 30 Billion (capsules)

This probiotic contains thirty billion individual bacteria cultures that target and support intestinal processes. This probiotic is free of gluten, dairy, soy and it does not contain any genetically modified ingredients. The capsule design ensures easy use and long-lasting effects for your gastrointestinal health. This product is made and dosed for daily supplementation.

Ultimate Flora includes a specific strain of bacteria that is resistant to the acid and bile in the stomach. This bacteria adheres to the intestinal mucosa, giving it a better opportunity to modulate the body’s immune response. This supplement doesn’t require refrigeration, making it perfect for travel and on-the-go users.

No. 4: Jamieson, Probiotic Gummies (chewables)

These probiotic gummies are the perfect combination of delicious fruit flavored goodness and natural intestinal medicine. These chewable probiotics are free of gluten, lactose and artificial flavours and preservatives. One billion active cells within one of these chewables help to balance intestinal flora, aids in digestion and promotes overall gut health.

Jamieson is a Canadian company adhering to the highest standard of supplement manufacturing. These gummies are suitable for children ages 3 and up and are made with natural fruit extracts that give them great flavour. The manufacturers recommend chewing one gummy daily. Take at least 2-3 hours before of after ingesting other types of antibiotics/antifungals you may already be taking.

No. 5: Webber Naturals, Probiotic 30 Billion – 8 Probiotic Strains (vegetarian capsules)

This probiotic contains 8 bacterial strains, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus. With 30 billion microorganisms per strain in every capsule, a daily dose will ensure rapid and effective colonization of these beneficial bacteria within the intestinal tract. This not only produces a healthier gut flora, it also supports a healthy immune system; helping to prevent digestive problems.

Each non-medicinal ingredient within the Webber Naturals probiotics are all natural and vegetarian friendly. This Canadian company guarantees a minimum of 75 billion active cells per capsule at the manufacture date, and 30 billion active cells per capsule by the expiration date. Because this probiotic comes in capsule form, it’s easy to ingest, even on the go.

No.6: Botanica Research, All Natural Probiotics Supplement (capsules)

At Botanical Research, they promise a 100% all natural capsule supplement made with no fillers, no GMOs, and no animal testing. The probiotic formula supports balanced PH levels and stops harmful bacteria from invading the urinary tract. This supplement is especially beneficial for woman, as its made to help manage yeast infections, UTIs and Candida overgrowth.

However, the versatile effects of this probiotic makes it valuable to people of all demographics. For example, it improves the digestive system’s ability to supply energy to your mind and body. This probiotic, like many, have been shown to improve mood by reducing fatigue, irritability and stiffness. One contraindication for the use of this supplement is for those who are currently on medication for high blood pressure, exercise caution as combining these medicines could cause adverse effects.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about lactobacillus rhamnosus

Did you know that in your body live hundreds of thousands of microorganisms? These small beings make up the normal microbiota of your body. Various factors such as diet or the use of antibiotics, can affect your body’s microbiota (especially in the gut) and consequently, this can negatively affect your health.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus

Lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements are effective and very popular. As a result, they are priced higher than other probiotics.
(Source: Guzhva: 39458295/123rf.com)

What is a lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic exactly?

A probiotic supplement is a product that harbors hundreds of thousands of microorganisms (ideally alive) that provide a multitude of benefits to human health. Most of these products are well backed by numerous clinical studies. Normally, these bacteria belong to the genus Lactobacillus (such as our probiotic, lactobacillus rhamnosus) or Bifidobacterium.

There are a number of criteria that a supplement must meet before it can be considered a probiotic. Below you will find a list of the most important qualities and characteristics to look for when considering a supplement for its valuable properties:

  • Safety: The supplement has been shown to be safe for human consumption and without causing undesirable effects, even at high doses.
  • Vitality: It is essential that, after packaging, the supplement contains a sufficient amount of living microorganisms.
  • Survival: For the supplement to be considered useful, bacteria must be able to survive their passage through the digestive tract.
  • Stability: Microorganisms must be kept alive inside the container during the useful life of the product.
  • Strains: If there are different varieties of the same bacterium (strains), it’s important to identify which strain has been used in the supplement. For example, lactobacillus rhamnosus. Keep in mind, this is referring to supplements that contain combinations of multiple strains.
  • Scientific evidence: One should always research and find studies or trials that verify the effectiveness of whatever probiotic you choose to consume.
  • Labelling: The label on the probiotic supplement should be thorough and accurate. The instructions for use should be concise and easy to understand.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is one of the most commonly used and studied probiotics. By meeting the above criteria, the pharmaceutical and food industries can isolate it and distribute it as a supplement. You’ll find lactobacillus rhamnosus as a fortifying agent in fermented foods and in the form of an encapsulated probiotic.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus

It is common to use cow’s milk to grow Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
(Source: Karandaev: 38887946/123rf.com)

How does lactobacillus rhamnosus relate to the microbiota (intestinal flora) in our digestive system?

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a bacterium, specifically a bacillus, that has been found in the normal microbiota of healthy humans. Although this microorganism usually appears in the intestine for short periods at a time, it has been shown that it’s ingestion favours the growth of other beneficial bacteria and inhibits the reproduction of pathogens.

Because lactobacillus rhamnosus is resistant to gastric acid and bile, the survival of these bacteria on their journey into the digestive tract is almost guaranteed, making it extremely useful as a probiotic supplement. Because of this, lactobacillus rhamnosus is used as a treatment for a number of pathologies, including:

  • Food allergies
  • Gastroenteritis-associated diarrhea
  • Antibiotic-associated diarrhea
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Cutaneous pathology (dermatitis, eczema)
  • Pervasive bowel syndrome
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Anxiety

However, the only application 100% confirmed and supported by clinical studies is the use of lactobacillus rhamnosus to treat diarrhea associated with antibiotic use. It’s proven to significantly reduce the duration of diarrhea, second only to certain, more complicated treatments.

Kefir

If you are vegan or vegetarian, be sure to choose an supplement free of animal products.
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Can antibiotics damage my microbiota?

Antibiotic treatments are usually prescribed to destroy a bacterial pathogen that has taken up residence in our body. Even Though taking antibiotics is sometimes necessary when a pathogen begins to cause havoc to our organ system, this type of treatment also destroys a plethora of the microorganisms living in the gut – including some of the beneficial bacteria in the intestinal flora.

The loss of beneficial bacteria (dysbiosis) leads to a series of harmful effects which, depending on the age of the affected individual, will have more or less of a serious impact. In the table below, you will find the effects of dysbiosis associated with the use of antibiotics depending on age:

Age Major life event Consequence dysbiosis
0 years Birth Colonization by antibiotic-resistant germs. Increased prevalence of infections, asthma, allergies and type 1 diabetes. Increased risk of childhood obesity.
1 year Breastfeeding – First Steps Colonization by antibiotic-resistant germs. Increased risk of childhood obesity. Increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
2- 10 years First steps – solid food intake Colonization by antibiotic-resistant germs. Increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
11 – 16 years Puberty Colonization by antibiotic-resistant germs. Increased risk of type 2 diabetes Increased risk of infection by Clostridium difficile.
16 – 40 years Reproduction Colonization by antibiotic-resistant germs. Increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Increased risk of Clostridium difficile infection.
+ 40 years Aging and loss of mobility Colonization by antibiotic-resistant germs. increased risk of type 2 diabetes Increased risk of infection by Clostridium difficile.

Without a doubt, babies and young children will be the most susceptible to the destruction of normal microbiota caused by the use of certain antibiotics. However, the consequences of dysbiosis in adults can be just as severe, as in the case of aggressive pathogenic infections like: clostridium difficile.

What are the symptoms of a weakened microbiota in the gut?

Anyone who wants to avoid any long-term consequences of damaging the intestinal microbiota (decreased bacterial resistance, increased infections and increased prevalence of allergies) should be aware of the following symptoms, which could indicate the onset of intestinal dysbiosis:

  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Stuffiness
  • Diarrea
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxious symptoms
  • Depressive symptoms

You may have noticed that in this list are symptoms normally classified as “neurological” or “psychological”. How is it possible that intestinal alterations affect our mental state? It’s often forgotten or simply not known that our microbiota deal with the production and regulation of our neurotransmitters. This greatly affects the state of our mental health, and because of this our gut is often referred to as our “second brain”.

If you begin to notice the presence of a few the symptoms mentioned above, especially during or after a treatment of antibiotics, the integrity of your intestinal microbiota may have been compromised. In order to reach and maintain optimum health, we suggest taking immediate action to reestablish equilibrium among the bacteria in your intestinal tracts.

Can I restore the balance in my microbiota with a diet rich in lactobacillus rhamnosus?

A balanced diet, rich in vegetables and low in animal fats will establish a perfect breeding ground for a healthy microbiome. Assimilating fermented foods (i.e. yogurt, kimchi and kefir) into your diet will automatically introduce beneficial bacteria into your body, including lactobacillus rhamnosus

If you want to increase your intake of lactobacillus rhamnosus specifically through your diet, look for products where the main component is that specific bacterial strain. There are countless ways to introduce this bacillus into your diet. Simple foods like milk and yogurt and more elaborate ones like chia and flax seeds supplemented with lactobacillus rhamnosus, the possibilities are endless!

Woman with yogurt

It’s very common to acquire L. rhamnosus through dietary products.
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Last but not least, its advisable to give up tobacco, alcohol and sweeteners if you’re considering taking a Lactobacillus probiotic. It has been shown that these products negatively affect the state of our microbiota, increasing ones risk for dysbiosis. Stress is another factor to keep under control if we want to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in our systems.

Can a probiotic of lactobacillus rhamnosus help repopulate the microbiota in our gut?

If after adopting healthy lifestyle habits, you are unable to restore your microbiota, the introduction of a probiotic supplement into your diet can help enormously.

Its ability to restore the microbiota has helped treat conditions of the gastrointestinal tract in children and adults alike. Although it is used as a remedy for food intolerances, infections, and irritable bowel syndrome, where this probiotic really shines is in the management of diarrhea.

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Major global health organizations, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authority, recognize the benefits of Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

The presence of lactobacillus rhamnosus inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria in those on antibiotic medication, while promoting the growth and development of beneficial microorganisms. This allows for healthy microflora to thrive, thus bringing about a multitude of positive health effects including:

  • Improved digestion
  • Relief from abdominal swelling
  • Reduction in severity of diarrhea
  • Constipation relief
  • Improvement of insomnia
  • Alleviation of the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression
  • Appearance of vitamin-producing microorganisms
  • Protection against infections by harmful pathogens such as Clostridium difficile

What is the price of lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic supplements?

Making probiotics of lactobacillus rhamnosus requires delicate preparation of the culture, followed by it’s efficient packaging and transport. As a result, the price of these supplements is slightly higher than normal, ranging between twenty and fifty bucks. Keep in mind that the use of exclusive bacterial strains will also increase the overall price of the product.

For this reason, it may be more realistic to look for a supplement whose main components are that of a different and cheaper bacterial strains (i.e. Bifidobacterium). Purchasing supplements with combined strains offers all the desired effects you’re seeking from the strain of interest, plus any extra benefits from the other strains. This not only provides a larger variety of benefits, but makes GI tract supplements accessible to a wider range of consumers.

How to take a probiotic with lactobacillus rhamnosus?

What is the recommended dose? The dose of any probiotic is measured in Colony Forming Units (CFU). This parameter refers to the number of living cells per supplement portion. The recommended dose of lactobacillus rhamnosus is two billion bacteria (2 x 109 CFU).

What is the best way to take it? Avoid taking the supplement accompanied by very hot liquids or acidic drinks (such as coffee). These kinds of substances are capable of destroying probiotics. Similarly, taking antibiotics can alter their effects and potentially cause complications. This can be avoided simply by taking the supplements 2-3 hours either before or after you’ve taken the antibiotics.

When to take it? We recommend taking the lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic every day at the same time. If you know you’ll soon start an antibiotic treatment or are going to travel to an area with high incidences of “traveler’s diarrhea”, it’s a good idea to start supplementing yourself two or three days beforehand.

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Did you know that the Yoba for Life Foundation distributes yogurt with lactobacillus rhamnosus to improve the health of the Tanzanian population?

Tanzania is a country with a large impoverished population, where most people cannot afford to buy supplements. This simple solution makes a significant improvement in the lives of many locals there.

What are the contraindications for the use of probiotics with lactobacillus rhamnosus?

Generally, ingesting lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements is safe, even at very high doses. However, it’s still recommended to stay at or below the recommended dosage from the manufacturer. Surpassing that amount has shown, in some cases, to actually inhibit the desired effects you want from this microorganism. Experts advise not to exceed two billion CFUs a day.

Under normal conditions, our bodies are perfectly capable of controlling and managing lactobacillus rhamnosus, by preventing it from growing uncontrollably. However, individuals with an already compromised immune system (AIDS patients, transplant recipients, and infants) will have higher risks of infections or other complications and should take caution when trying any new probiotic supplements.

No adverse side effects have been found in pregnant women when using of this probiotic. However, it is advisable to consult your family doctor before starting any probiotic treatment when carrying a child. One should always assess the real need for supplementation during pregnancy against the possible risks.

Austin ChiangDoctor. Endoscopist. Jefferson Health Hospital (Philadelphia, EE.UU)

“Basically, each person’s response to the use of probiotics varies…We need to look more closely at the safety data for these items. There is no supplement that serves everyone equally!”

Purchase Criteria

If you want to make an informed decision when purchasing a lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic, you can turn to our easy to follow purchase criteria section. We hope that it will teach you how to distinguish between a good quality supplement from a low quality supplement. So, make sure to pay close attention to the following section at the time of purchase.

  • Vegan or vegetarian friendly
  • Intolerances and allergies
  • Bacterial strains
  • Packaging and preservation
  • Quantity of CFU
  • Value for your money

Vegan or vegetarian nutrition

Lactobacillus rhamnosus grows extremely well on milk-based crops or their derivatives. Vegans and vegetarians should be very careful when buying a supplement made up of this probiotic, making sure to look for a vegan quality stamp. This ensures that the product has been created without using any animal byproducts.

In addition, people on a vegan or vegetarian diet should always pay attention to the composition of the capsules that surround the supplement. It’s not uncommon for the casing of certain probiotics to be made from gelatin of bovine or porcine origin. If you’re vegan fret not, vegetarian capsules do exist, most of them are made from vegetable cellulose.

Intolerances and allergies

Many of the laboratories that manufacture these supplements do so in environments that handle lactose, gluten, nuts, seafood and/or soy. If you are intolerant to any of these substances, remember to check the label carefully to make sure you’re getting a completely allergen-free probiotic. Always be aware of the possibility of cross-contamination during the production and distribution of whatever product you choose to consume.

There have been reports of rare allergic reactions to lactobacillus rhamnosus. If you are allergic to any other probiotic microorganism, consult your family doctor before starting treatment with this bacterium. If fever, diarrhea or abdominal pain occurs after taking the probiotic, make sure to see a health care practitioner right away.

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Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been used to treat infants, teens, adults and the elderly since the 1990s producing beneficial effects in all demographic groups.

Bacterial strains

There are different types of lactobacillus rhamnosus, known as “strains”. The strain most researched within the biomedical community and recognized to have the most benefits is the lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. There are many other lesser known strains that are isolated and used within different supplement products, many having similarly profound benefits.

Below we’ve created a table containing information on the most relevant strains and their functions:

Cepa Primary function
GG Prevention and treatment of diarrhea (especially secondary to antibiotic use). Relief of abdominal swelling.
CGMCC1.3724 Weight loss in obese people.
GR-1 Prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections in women.
HN001 Relief of postpartum depression.
ACTT 7469 Prevention of gastrointestinal infections by e coli.

Although Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is without a doubt the most effective strain endorsed by experts, any of the probiotics we’ve mentioned will considerably help improve the health of your intestinal microbiota. If you are looking for more specific benefits, we advise you to do thorough research on the different strains and choose the supplements that offer that strain you need in its purest and highest quality form.

Packaging and preservation

Remember that probiotics contain live microorganisms, which die and cease to be effective over time. Always check the expiration date of the item you’re about to buy, bearing in mind that three months after that date there will not be enough active bacteria left in the product to generate any of the desired beneficial effects in your gut.

If you want to ensure the life of the lactobacillus rhamnosus cells is preserved for as long as possible, we advise you to keep your probiotic in the fridge (never in the freezer!). Lower temperatures will paralyse the metabolism of microorganisms, thus preventing their death. Exposure to heat and sub-zero temperatures will have the opposite effect, speeding up the overall life cycle of the cells.

Andreu PradosPharmacist and Dietitian-Nutritionist

“We must be mindful about the way we store and ingest products containing probiotics in order to ensure that the probiotic can work to its highest potential.

As far as preservation is concerned, most probiotics should be kept in the fridge not the freezer, otherwise the living microorganisms lose their viability in an attempt to adapt to the cold.”

Quantity of CFU

Remember that the recommended dose of this supplement is two billion Colony Forming Units. However, we suggest choosing a supplement with a slightly higher dose per capsule. This will compensate for the inevitable death of a portion of the bacteria during the packaging, transport and delivery process.

Value for your money

Keep in mind that most probiotics need to be used continuously for at least two months before their beneficial health effects are noticed. Be patient and if possible, choose a product with lactobacillus rhamnosus that contains sixty or more capsules. This will provide you with supplements to last for several months and its likely that it will also be at a cheaper price.

Summary

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is one of the most acclaimed probiotics backed by experts in the fields of nutrition, sports and medicine. There are countless studies that corroborate the effectiveness of these different bacteria when treating a series of conditions. More specifically to this bacteria, profound improvements were found in those experiencing severe diarrhea.

To make sure that the lactobacillus rhamnosus supplement you choose can properly exercise all its protective and beneficial functions, it’s important that you take any other antibiotics you may be using at least two hours before or after taking your probiotic. If you follow our advice and use this product correctly, your microflora will flourish, your immune system will be stronger, and the intestinal discomfort associated with antibiotic drug treatments will be a thing of the past.

Did you find this article on lactobacillus rhamnosus useful? Please leave a comment with your thoughts and share with your loved ones!

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