8 Best Probiotics For Acid Reflux (2022 Reviews)

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Last Updated on November 24, 2022

The 8 Best Probiotics To Treat Acid Reflux

The Best Probiotics For Acid Reflux

Surprised by the idea of probiotics for acid reflux? We associate probiotics with the microbiome in the large intestine. There are, however, also microbes in the stomach and the small intestine. Recent studies have shown that certain probiotics could relieve acid reflux, also referred to as heartburn.

Acid reflux is when the acidic stomach contents flows back from the stomach into the esophagus, the tube that carries the food from the throat to the stomach.

Most of us experience acid reflux from time to time. We can usually identify the reason, like having eaten too much or highly spiced foods. Other causes include certain medications, alcohol consumption, or excess stress.

Some people, however, experience frequent and severe discomfort from acid reflux which is usually due to the overproduction of stomach acid or infection with H.Pylori. When acid reflux is severe and chronic, it is diagnosed as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

This condition requires medical treatment because continuous irritation could lead to serious throat conditions and other health problems.

Promising studies are showing that specific probiotic strains could help to relieve acid reflux and some of the side effects of the commonly prescribed medications for GERD.

Below are our recommended probiotic supplements for acid reflux. Then we take a deeper dive into how probiotics might help with acid reflux, which strains are the best, whether probiotics can worsen reflux, and general tips on natural ways of dealing with this condition.

Editor’s Pick

If you don’t have time to read the complete article, check out our editor’s top picks below.

Our Top 8 Recommended Probiotics For Acid Reflux

Upset stomach

1. Labo Nutrition Gastricell

GASTRICELL - Eliminate H. Pylori, Relieve Acid Reflux and Heartburn, Regulate Gastric Acid - Targets...
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This product was formulated specifically for the relief of acid reflux. There are a number of reviews from people who have had good results with this supplement.

Gastricell contains a novel strain of bacteria, Lactobacillus johnsonii. It has been shown to reduce gastric acid secretion, eliminate H. Pylori bacteria and counteract the side effects of treatments for gastric reflux. (1)

The product comes in a box of 30 sachets. The content is poured into a glass for water and taken right away, preferably 2 hours after a meal. For mild reflux, one sachet per day is recommended, and 2-3 sachets for severe acid reflux. For best results, the treatment should be continued for three months.

Pros:

  • Contains two probiotic strains, a prebiotic, and added vitamins
  • The probiotics are resistant to acidic stomach environment
  • Included on the European Food Safety Authority list
  • Third-party tested and non-GMO
  • Gluten-free
  • Free from artificial colorants

Cons:

  • Not suitable for persons who are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk
  • On the higher end of the price scale
  • Not vegetarian
  • Manufactured in Japan, and although patented and distributed in the US, there might be delays in supply

2. New Rhythm Probiotics

NewRhythm Probiotics 50 Billion CFU 20 Strains, 60 Veggie Capsules, Targeted Release Technology,...
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This product contains 50 Billion CFUs of 20 probiotic strains which are resistant to stomach acid and bile. The strains include four of those indicated for possible relief of acid reflux. Highly rated in over 30 000 reviews and a number of reviewers have reported relief from acid reflux.

The product is packaged in containers with 60 capsules. The recommended dose is two tablets per day.

Pros:

  • A large number of strains and high CFUs count, with added probiotic fiber
  • GMP-certified, independently tested by 3rd party laboratory
  • Shelf stable, does not have to be refrigerated
  • Organic with no artificial ingredients and non-GMO
  • Free from gluten, sugar, yeast egg, peanuts, and other major allergens
  • Vegetarian and vegan friendly
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • In the lower price range for probiotics.

Cons:

  • Small business, so there might be a problem with supply

3. Physician’s Choice Probiotics

Physician's Choice Probiotics 60 Billion CFU - 10 Diverse Strains Plus Organic Prebiotic, Designed...
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This physician-approved product contains 10 probiotic strains with 60 Billion CFUs and an organic prebiotic. It includes two strains of Bifidobacterium indicated for the relief of acid reflux. 4.5/5 stars with over 119 000 ratings, and there are many customer reviews stating that the probiotics relieved their acid reflux.

Packaging is in 30 capsules, and the recommended dose is one per day.

Pros:

  • A very high number of CFUss of 10 different probiotic strains, including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and added organic prebiotic
  • Opaque bottle to keep out light and moisture
  • Shelf stable, does not need refrigeration
  • Vegetarian and vegan
  • Free from gluten and the major allergens
  • Climate Pledge Friendly
  • Third-party tested and certified carbon-free

Cons:

  • On the higher end of the price scale
  • No specific claim that it relieves acid reflux

4. Supersmart – H. Pylori Fight Natural Treatment

Supersmart - H. Pylori Fight Natural Treatment 20 Billion CFU Per Day - Lactobacillus Reuteri...
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The product offers relief from acid reflux by specifically targeting H Pylori infection with 20 Billion CFUs per day of one probiotic strain. The strain, Lactobacillus Reuteri, has been found to neutralize H. Pylori. There are a number of positive reports from reviewers that it helped with acid reflux. Capsules also contain acacia gum and rice bran as prebiotics.

Packaged in 60 capsules with the recommended dosage being two capsules per day.

Pros:

  • Specifically targets H Pylori infection
  • Natural and Non-GMO
  • Gluten-Free
  • Vegetarian and vegan friendly
  • Made in USA
  • Money back guarantee

Cons:

  • Keeps better when refrigerated
  • At higher end of the price scale
  • No mention of 3rd party testing or certifications

5. Garden of Life Dr Formulated Probiotics for Women

Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women & Prebiotics, 50 Billion CFU for Women’s Daily Digestive...
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This product, formulated by a doctor who is an expert in the human microbiome, provides 50 billion CFUs in 16 strains. It has a higher rating than most probiotics at 4.7/5 from over 43 000 ratings.

All strains are Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium, including five of the strains, which appear to provide relief from acid reflux. While this formulation is for women, with one of the strains also promoting vaginal health, Garden of Life also has a probiotic formulated for men.

They are packaged in multiples of 30, and the recommended dose is one capsule per day. The capsule can be opened and the content mixed with water or juice if you have trouble swallowing capsules.

Pros:

  • A large number of strains, providing 50 million CFUs at the end of the shelf life
  • Shelf stable, does not need to be refrigerated
  • Added organic prebiotic fiber blend
  • Gluten and dairy free
  • Vegetarian
  • No artificial additives, sweeteners, or preservatives
  • Third-party certified, carbon-free and organic

Cons:

  • Fairly expensive at $1 per capsule
  • Not suitable for the whole family

6. Bio Schwartz Advanced Strength Probiotic

Probiotic 40 Billion CFU - Probiotics for Women & Men - Lactobacillus Acidophilus & Prebiotics -...
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A probiotic with a high CFUs count but with only four strains which the company claims are those with the most impact. One of the strains is among those potentially most helpful for acid reflux.

Packaged in 60 capsules, and the recommended dose is two capsules per day

Pros:

  • High CFUs count, potent until the expiry date
  • Not broken down by stomach acid or bile
  • No refrigeration required
  • Added prebiotics
  • Natural ingredients only and non-GMO
  • Free from gluten, dairy, major allergens, colorants, and filler
  • Every batch third-party tested for purity (GMP)
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Inexpensive compared to most other brands

Cons:

  • Only four strains
  • Contains sugars in the formulation
  • No mention of whether organic certified
  • Small business, so might have problem with stock availability
  • Not recommended for children

7. BIOcult Advanced Probiotics

Bio-Kult Advanced Probiotics -14 Strains, Probiotic Supplement, Probiotics for Adults, Lactobacillus...
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A 14-strain probiotic with 2 billion CFUs. Contains both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains which could help with acid reflux. Customers have reported in reviews that the product relieved acid reflux. The product is approved for prescribing by the National Health service in the UK.

The package has 60 caps, and the recommended daily dose is 1-2 capsules per day. The capsules can be swallowed whole or opened with the contents dissolved in water.

Pros:

  • 14 probiotic strains
  • Shelf-stable, does not need refrigeration
  • Suitable children and pregnant women
  • Climate-friendly pledge with sustainability certifications and non-GMO
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten-free
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Priced on the lower end of the scale for probiotics

Cons:

  • Low CFUs compared to most other probiotic supplements
  • Contains milk but, according to the manufacturers, not at a level that would affect persons who are lactose intolerant

8. Golden After 50 Probio-Lite

Golden After 50 Probio-Lite - Acid Reflux Relief and Probiotics for Men and Women - 3 Bottles - 6...
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This product, with nine strains providing 6 billion CFUs, has been formulated to provide relief from acid reflux, heartburn, gas, and indigestion. It contains three of the strains which appear to provide relief from acid reflux.

This product came on the market as recently as 2021. However, there are already some positive reviews from customers who reported that they had less acid reflux after having used the product for a few weeks. The manufacturers recommend long-term use of the product.

There are 30 capsules in a container, and the recommended dosage is one capsule per day, 20-30 minutes before a meal.

Pros

  • Specifically formulated to provide relief from acid reflux and associated symptoms
  • Completely natural and GMO-free
  • Vegetarian and vegan friendly
  • Manufactured in the US
  • Money back guarantee

Cons:

  • Low CFUss compared to most other probiotics
  • Considerably more expensive than similar probiotics
  • Small business, so might have problems with stock availability
  • No mention of quality certifications.

Can Probiotics Help Acid Reflux?

How Probiotics Help Acid Reflux

Probiotics are bacteria and yeasts that live in our digestive tract and are essential for our overall health. Most of these organisms are in our large intestine, where the fermentation of food that passes through takes place. People usually take probiotics to balance this microbiome.

There are also, however, smaller numbers of organisms in the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. This is where probiotics may help to relieve acid reflux and associated symptoms.

Recent studies on probiotics to treat acid reflux and GERD are showing promising results. However, the initial findings need to be confirmed by studies using more subjects and also controls who take placebos. Research is also suggesting that probiotics should be prescribed as part of the treatment for GERD and H-Pylori infection.

The common medication used for GERD, proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), can disrupt the gut microbiome in the upper digestive tract. This could cause other problems in the digestive tract and delay healing. (2) PPIs have even been identified as a cause of SIBO. (3)

Furthermore, it has been found that if probiotics are used as part of the treatment for H. Pylori infection, it can help to clear up the infection faster and reduce the side effects of the standard antibiotic treatment. (4)

Which Probiotics Work For Acid Reflux?

Strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are those that seem to reduce upper gastrointestinal tract symptoms.

However, if you want to try probiotics for acid reflux, keep in mind that everyone is unique and also that the cause of the condition is not the same for everyone. You might have to try different probiotic supplements before you find one that works for you.

A 2020 review of 13 studies about the use of probiotics for GERD identified specific bacterial strains which appear to relieve acid reflux and associated symptoms like regurgitation, general indigestion, burping, and nausea. (5)

These strains are:

  • Lactobacillus gasseri
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
  • Bifidobacterium lactis HN019
  • Saccharomyces boulardii
  • Bacillus subtilis
  • E. faecium

Can Probiotics Make Acid Reflux Worse?

Probiotics have not been found to aggravate acid reflux. However, some people experience side effects when they start using probiotics, most often more gas and bloating. These symptoms usually disappear after two to three weeks when the balance of the microbiome is restored.

If you do experience increased digestive discomfort from probiotics, start with a lower dose and increase it gradually.

How Can I Heal My Gut From Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux has many causes. If you are using antacids a few times a week, or maybe even daily, you should consult a health practitioner so that the root cause of your problem can be diagnosed and treated. Pain from a blocked artery in the lower part of the heart can even masquerade as acid reflux while you are one step away from a heart attack!

You can also try the following to relieve the discomfort of acid reflux and GERD:

  • Include probiotics from food sources in your diet, like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, and apple cider vinegar. Just make sure the product you use has live cultures. Heat can kill bacteria and so it is best to buy products that are refrigerated.
  • Avoid eating too much at a time or eating too fast.
  • Avoid triggers like acidic and highly spiced foods, caffeine, and alcohol
  • Reduce your sugar intake
  • Quit or reduce smoking
  • Identify and eliminate foods that you might be sensitive to, for example, gluten, yeast, or dairy.
  • Take steps to deal with high levels of stress. You can drink calming teas like chamomile and make stress-relieving activities part of your lifestyle.

Considerations When Buying Probiotics For Acid Reflux

Firstly, buy the strain you need or, if unsure, get a product with multiple strains, including those which have been researched for treating acid reflux or GERD.

Also consider the following when you are buying probiotic supplements:

  • Choose products that list the strains of bacteria
  • Buy products with a high number of CFUs. Preferably the packaging should state that the CFUs are viable to the end of the product’s shelf-life.
  • Buy from an established company and ideally, one where products are quality tested by a third party.
  • Read customer reviews to see if they specifically mention relief from acid reflux.

Conclusion

Recent research supports the possibility that an imbalance in microbes might be related to acid reflux and that it can be treated with specific strains of probiotics.

You could use probiotic supplements to help relieve your symptoms of acid reflux but you should combine it with lifestyle changes to eliminate factors that trigger your problem. Even regular use of over-the-counter antacids could affect your digestive health.

Consult a health practitioner If your acid reflux and associated symptoms are severe. A proper diagnosis and treatment program could prevent serious long-term complications.

Written by Frieda Paton

Frieda is a registered nurse and published author with extensive experience throughout her career in research, scientific writing and journalism. She has now turned to writing full time to share her passion for health and wellness, helping readers to prevent and manage chronic conditions. Frieda lives and works in the small museum town of Pilgrim’s Rest in South Africa.

References

  1. Aiba, Y., Ishikawa, H., Masayoshi Tokunaga, M., & Komatsu, Y. 2017. Anti-Helicobacter pylori activity of non-living, heat-killed form of lactobacilli including Lactobacillus johnsonii No.1088. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 364(11).
  2.  Yoo, J.Y., et al. 2020. Gut Microbiota and Immune System Interactions. Microorganisms. 8(10).0
  3.  Sun, Q., Wang, H., Sun, S., Zhang, X. & Zhang, H. 2019. Beneficial effect of probiotics supplements in reflux esophagitis treated with esomeprazole: A randomized controlled trial. World J Gastroenterol. 25(17)
  4. Zhang, M. M., Qian, W., Qin, Y. Y., He, J., & Zhou, Y. H. 2015. Probiotics in Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 21(14).
    – Cheng, J. & Ouwehand, A.C. 2020. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Probiotics: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 12(1)
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