Do Probiotics Help With Bloating And Gas?

Digestive symptoms are common. Whether you have gas, bloating, or other GI issues, it can really affect your quality of life.

Key Takeaways

  • Probiotics can play a crucial role in improving gut health and minimizing digestive symptoms like gas and bloating.
  • Probiotics, found in fermented foods and supplements, can help with digestion by crowding out bad bacteria in the gut and promoting a diverse gut environment.
  • When choosing probiotics, aim for blends that contain lactobacillus or bifidobacterium species and a good level of colony-forming units (CFUs) per dose.

The good news is that probiotics can play a  key role in minimizing these symptoms and helping you to feel better on a daily basis.

Here we explore how probiotics can support your gut health for greater well-being.

Importance Of Gut Health And The Gut Microbiome

It’s hard to think of one area of your health that has so many wide-ranging effects. Because a healthy gut and a balanced gut microbiome can influence everything from your mental well-being to your risk of becoming overweight. (Source)(Source)

When you target your gut health, you are therefore simultaneously reducing your risk of heart disease, cognitive decline, and of course, annoying gut symptoms. (Source)(Source)

Your gut microbes can even  ‘speak’ directly to your brain, influencing your mood, and helping you to manage daily stressors.

So, when your microbiome is healthy and your gut is functioning well, the chances are you will be too. But when issues occur it can cause you to have wide-ranging health issues.

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The Connection Between Probiotics And Bloating

Probiotics and bloating are closely linked. Below we explain how.

Poor Digestion

When your gut bacteria is unbalanced, otherwise known as gut dysbiosis you can suffer from improper digestion. (Source)

This is because, in combination with stomach acid, and digestive enzymes, your beneficial gut microbes are responsible for the digestion of your food.

So, if any of these are impaired, then you can struggle with gas and bloating. This is because when your food isn’t properly broken down, excess gas is produced causing these symptoms.


Similarly, an overgrowth of bad bacteria can cause excess gas production, as food begins to putrefy within the gut environment. While most dysbiosis occurs in the large intestines, you can also get an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine.

SIBO is a common cause of bloating and gas – this is where bad bacteria have multiplied and your food is poorly digested and absorbed. (Source)

Some people have both SIBO and intestinal dysbiosis, increasing the risk of bloating and gas symptoms.

Intolerance nuts

Food Intolerances

Also, if you also have any food intolerances this can cause these types of symptoms. But sometimes, the reason for these intolerances is that you lack the types of good bacteria required to break down certain foods. (Source)

Of course, if you have lactose intolerance this is different, as here you lack the enzyme lactase.


But certainly, for people with IBS-type issues and other functional bowel disorders – there is often a type of dysbiosis worsening the symptoms. (Source)

This explains why IBS is often triggered by strong antibiotics or a gut infection which causes an alteration in the microbiome environment.

What Are Probiotics And How Do They Help With Digestion?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that have a beneficial effect on the gut. Your microbes help to support your immune defenses, break down your food and produce things called short-chain fatty acids to keep your gut lining strong. (Source)(Source)

Probiotic bacteria can be found in fermented foods and probiotic supplements, including powders, tablets and drinks.

Probiotics help to crowd out the bad bacteria in your gut and provide you with a more diverse, and therefore healthy gut environment.  They also help to modulate your bowel movements – aiming to prevent constipation and treat loose stools.

For people whose bloating is caused by an imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria then probiotic supplements can make a big difference.

And, if your bloating and IBS symptoms are linked to an increase in anxiety or depression then you’re not alone. This is because when your gut is disturbed it can affect the type of neurotransmitters your brain produces – leading to depletions in feel-good serotonin and relaxing GABA.

This is through something called the gut-brain axis, or the vagus nerve. Just as you might feel an upset stomach when you are nervous, digestive issues can also worsen your mental state.

So, improving your gut health can do more than just fix your bloating.

Research On The Effectiveness Of Probiotics For Bloating Relief

A key systematic review conducted within the last ten years has confirmed that there is indeed potential for probiotics to reduce bloating in a number of patients. (Source)

This review showed that specific probiotic strains can reduce symptoms in people with IBS and other lower GI disorders.

The strains used to produce these results were mainly lactobacillus species, but also bifidobacteria and some saccharomyces yeasts.

Another study showed promise for the use of bacillus coagulans in the treatment of IBS-induced bloating. (Source)

But, it’s important to consider the full picture here, as for example IBS has multiple causes, and for some, the triggers are anxiety and specific foods rather than purely dysbiosis.

In these scenarios, a number of treatment options would be required to manage the condition holistically and reduce these key symptoms.

For people with SIBO, there is also a chance that taking probiotics will worsen symptoms. In some studies, there are signs that probiotic use can actually increase the chance of people testing positive for methane-dominant SIBO. (Source)

This may be because the probiotics are stimulating the growth of the wrong type of bacteria – making things worse. But, for others with SIBO probiotics, in combination with specific antibiotic treatments, have helped.

female with bloated belly

Factors To Consider When Choosing Probiotics For Bloating

Aim to choose blends that contain lactobacillus or bifidobacterium species, as these tend to be used in studies showing positive effects on bloating and gas symptoms.

And aim for a good level of colony-forming units (CFU’s) per dose – ideally a minimum of 25 million per serving.

If you plan to take the probiotics on the go, or if you travel a lot then do consider the shelf stability of the product. So this means ensuring that it does not require refrigeration to stay alive.

And remember that you can also improve your gut health by focusing on gradually increasing your intake of fermented foods – as here you will also find a wide range of beneficial probiotic strains too.

Aim to include foods like kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut in your weekly diet plan, in combination with a high-quality probiotic supplement in order to get the best results.

Other Strategies For Managing Bloating

Aside from adding probiotics into the mix, there are lots of other strategies you can try for better gut health.

Whilst fiber is important, and can help to feed your beneficial gut bugs, some people find that excessive intake of foods such as beans and pulses can make bloating and gas worse.

So make sure to keep a food diary noticing any patterns between what you eat and any symptoms.

Generally, reducing your sugar intake is a good idea as excessive sugar intake can actually feed the bad bacteria in your gut causing an increase in dysbiosis and other symptoms.

You may like to try taking digestive enzymes alongside your probiotic supplement, as these can help with the breakdown of certain hard-to-digest foods.

You can also try a greens powder for bloating too. These contain plenty of good gut health ingredients without causing you extra gas.

And crucially, make time to relax. When we are stressed and anxious we can swallow more air which can produce bloating. And we are more likely to eat quickly, rush our meals, and consume the wrong types of foods.

So a low-stress lifestyle is one of your best defenses against bloating.


Maintaining a healthy microbiome should be a priority for everyone. This is because the benefits are so wide-ranging and can affect everything from your general well-being to your risk of chronic disease.

In particular, there is some really promising evidence that promoting a healthier gut environment can reduce annoying lower GI symptoms including constipation, bloating, gas, and more.

But, probiotics are not the only solution – we need to also focus on a low-stress lifestyle, with plenty of fiber, hydration, and movement.

That being said, the evidence base is strong enough to suggest there may be merit in slowly introducing both fermented foods and probiotics into your daily diet if you don’t already.

Just remember to start slow, and choose a high-quality product like our new probiotic powder.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Helps Bloating In The Gut?

Eating slowly, chewing your food properly, and avoiding foods you are intolerant to can all help. If you have IBS then it’s important to avoid having large portions of the type of FODMAP you react to.

Increasing your probiotic intake, and slowly adding in small amounts of fermented foods can also help over time. But you may experience increased symptoms in the short term.

Should Probiotics Be Taken In The Morning Or Night?

You can take probiotics either first thing in the morning or right before bed. This is because it can be a good idea to take them on an empty stomach to aid absorption in the gut.

If you forget you can still take them alongside foods – but taking them first or last will give you the best results.

How Long Does It Take Probiotics To Help With Bloating?

This really depends on the reasons for your bloating. If you have mild dysbiosis then it might not take long for you to notice effects – but if you have long-standing gut issues, or IBS, it could take longer.

Several of the studies looking at probiotics for bloating tend to see results in a number of weeks.

Do You Bloat When First Taking Probiotics?

Some people do. This can actually be a good sign as it shows the bacteria are active in your gut and are starting to crowd out the bad.

The best way to prevent this is to start with small doses and slowly build up. Remember to stay away from excessive consumption of other gas-causing foods during this time such as beans and onions. 

What Is The Best Probiotic To Take For Bloating?

Lactobacillus species appear effective at reducing bloating. Specifically, L.acidophilus.

Studies have also shown that bifidobacteria may also be able to reduce bloating and gas when taken regularly over time.

Do Probiotics Really Help With Bloating?

This really depends on the cause of your bloating. If you have symptoms as a result of gut dysbiosis then there is a good chance that introducing probiotics into your daily diet can reduce your symptoms and make you more comfortable over time.

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