Culturelle Probiotic: Why It’s the Best, Say Many Shoppers and Nutrition Pros
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Looking to try a probiotic? This product—beloved for its immunity benefits and gut-friendliness—earns an average 4.8-star rating from thousands of fans. Nutrition experts explain why it's a winner.
From bloating to cramps, diarrhea, and constipation, it turns out stomach issues are incredibly common. A population-based survey published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that more than 60 percent of people said they’d experienced at least one of these gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in the past week. But just because these complaints are familiar to so many of us doesn’t mean they’re normal, says Emily Alexander, M.Ed, FNTP, a nutritional therapy practitioner with Curated Wellness. And while many factors can contribute to gut discomfort, often it’s your gut microbiome that’s to blame.
“Your body is full of trillions of amazing microbes that work synergistically,” Alexander says. These friendly bacteria have many important roles, like digesting food, keeping your immune system functioning, and absorbing nutrients from food passing through your GI tract. “Unfortunately, the body’s preferred microbial ‘map’ is delicate and easily affected by dietary and environmental influences.” Anything from a lack of sleep to a big night out on the town can disrupt this natural balance—ushering in those unpleasant stomach issues. Still, the effects of ongoing microbiome imbalance are more far-reaching than a bit of tummy bloat. A lack of bacterial diversity in our gut is linked to many diseases and head-to-toe bodily impacts, from our skin to our mental health.
That’s where probiotics come in. While naturally found in fermented dishes (like these 11 yummy probiotic-filled-foods), taking a probiotic supplement like Culturelle Health and Wellness Probiotic is a convenient way to replenish your gut with its much-needed good bacteria.
What is Culturelle Health and Wellness Probiotic?
Many different types of probiotic bacteria make up a person’s unique microbiome. Michael Murray, ND, a naturopathic doctor and the Chief Scientific Advisor at iHerb, uses dog breeds as a comparison. “All dogs belong to the genus Canis and the species familiaris,” he says. “Within this one species, there is great diversity in size, shape, strength, and other physical characteristics, ranging from the Irish wolfhound to the Chihuahua.” He says that a similar division occurs within bacteria species—but instead of breed, bacteria are identified by strain.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus is currently the most well-researched probiotic bacteria species. “Some probiotic strains of Lactobacillus rhamnosus are resilient and robust, able to survive passage through the upper GI tract, and exert significant health benefits,” Murray says. But others simply can’t withstand the journey through our gut.
Culturelle Health and Wellness Probiotic contains 15 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) of the strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, which Murray says is one of the strong ones. Research from the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology confirms that it can survive—and even thrive—in our stomach acid and bile while working to protect the GI tract, prevent infection, and promote a strong immune system response throughout the body. This research also describes how Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG can help prevent disease-causing bacteria from sticking to human cells, says Cassie Madsen, MS, RD of Gut Health and Nutrition. “Specifically, [it’s] been associated with reduced respiratory infections like the common cold in children and adults.”
CFU is a dosing measurement that indicates the number of live bacteria in a supplement, Masden explains. “If a product has insufficient CFUs, it may not be beneficial,” she says. “However, more is not always better.” Scientists continue to study the ideal number of CFUs for different probiotic strains and health concerns. But research published in American Family Physician suggests that Lactobacillus rhamnosus strains are effective from 5 billion CFU and up.
And as for the nuts and bolts? According to the brand, Culturelle Health and Wellness Daily Probiotic:
- Requires no refrigeration (just make sure to store it in a cool, dry place)
- Is suitable for vegetarians and contains no milk, soy, gluten, wheat, or preservatives
- Offers a targeted, single-strain probiotic dose
Who should use Culturelle Health and Wellness Probiotic?
At 15 billion CFUs of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, experts point to Culturelle Health and Wellness Probiotic as a great option for people new to probiotic supplements. “Everyone tolerates a different amount, though [15 billion CFUs] is a good amount to start with,” says Jamie Feit, MS, RD of Jamie Feit Nutrition, LLC and expert at Testing.com. This is because stronger probiotics can cause side effects like gas, bloating, or headaches—and 15 billion CFUs is a sweet-spot dose that’s high enough to promote health benefits while reducing the risk of side effects.
The product’s Amazon reviews echo this advantage. One user says it’s “literally the only probiotic supplement I tolerate.” Another reviewer, Casey, explains how they’ve tried probiotics in the past to help ease gut issues caused by Ulcerative Colitis and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), but products have always either made symptoms worse or triggered an allergic reaction. “After years of trying very expensive, ‘clean ingredient’ probiotics, I finally broke down and tried Culturelle—it’s been great!”
And people with sensitive stomachs aren’t the only ones to benefit. “For those taking antibiotics, it may be helpful to also take Culturelle probiotics,” Madsen says. “The bacteria in Culturelle may help prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD). It may also prevent C. diff (Clostridioides difficile) infections, which can occur after taking antibiotics.”
Still, while Lactobacillus rhamnosus is the most well-studied probiotic species, scientists continue to explore the benefits other types of bacteria have to offer. Murray cautions that “like dogs, not all [probiotic] species play nicely with each other,” so products with more than one strain aren’t necessarily better by default. But some evidence is emerging that certain probiotic strains may enhance health benefits when taken together, according to research published in Biology. Talk to your doctor to see if adding another probiotic would benefit your health—and here are 12 nutritionist-recommended options to ask about.
Where to buy Culturelle Health and Wellness Probiotic
Another major benefit of Culturelle’s probiotic? It’s a great value for money. Users like Hanseol Ryu praise how this probiotic product is a must-have for a great digestive system—and the reasonable price is just a bonus. On Amazon, a 30-day supply is available for less than $20.
- What Are Probiotics?
- Dietitians Explain Just How Long It Takes Vitamin D to Work in Your Body
- How Safe Is Your Produce? Authorities List the 12 Dirtiest—and 15 Cleanest—Fresh Groceries of 2022
- Emily Alexander, M.Ed, FNTP, a nutritional therapy practitioner with Curated Wellness.
- Michael Murray, ND, the Chief Scientific Advisor at iHerb
- Cassie Madsen, MS, RD of Gut Health and Nutrition
- Jamie Feit, MS, RD of Jamie Feit Nutrition, LLC and expert at Testing.com
- American Journal of Gastroenterology: "Burden of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in the United States: Results of a Nationally Representative Survey of Over 71,000 Americans."
- Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: "Thirty Years of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
- A Review."
- American Family Physician: "Probiotics for Gastrointestinal Conditions: A Summary of the Evidence."
- Biology: "Multi-Strain Probiotics: Synergy among Isolates Enhances Biological Activities."