Best Probiotics for Bloating & Gas: What Works?

Best Probiotics for Bloating & Gas: What Works?

Bloating is a common and stubborn gut problem. The causes are many—from lifestyle factors to stress to diet to other gut issues. Yet, all have one common denominator: gut microbiome imbalances. Probiotics can help relieve bloating and gas, as long as you know which strains are worth trying. We review the complete scientific evidence in this article, so read on!

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. Please discuss your health concerns with your care provider and consult them before taking any supplements to avoid disease and drug interactions.

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What Causes Bloating & Gas?

How common is it?

You probably know the basic definition: bloating is when gas builds up in the digestive system, often causing pain and heaviness after meals. For some people, this happens occasionally, and for others—it’s a daily struggle. 

Studies suggest that between 16% and 31% of the general population experience bloating regularly. This percentage spikes up to 90% if you have other gut-related health issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with constipation. Also, women report higher rates of bloating than men (Lacy et al., 2021).

What are functional GI disorders?

Doctors usually talk about so-called functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, an umbrella term for many disorders of the gut-brain axis including IBS and indigestion. They are called functional because there is a change in activity somewhere along the axis but no obvious damage to tissues that can be picked up with standard diagnostic tests. 

A recent survey estimated that functional GI disorders are the most common gut disorder in the general population—about 40% of people worldwide are affected (Wei et al., 2021).

Symptoms include abdominal pain, burning, bloating, nausea, fullness, vomiting, and altered bowel habit (Wei et al., 2021).

Causes & triggers

Although there are many potential triggers for functional gut disorders, the main underlying culprit seems to be an imbalanced gut microbiome (Wei et al., 2021).

Individual factors like genetics, brain health, diet, lifestyle, stress, allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, and gut conditions like SIBO, IBS, and constipation also play in (Levy et al., 2017).

Your gut microbiome becomes imbalanced or dysbiotic when it starts contributing to dis-ease. Gut bacteria become less diverse and more inflammatory and toxic. Initial gut dysbiosis is often triggered by infection, inflammation, a diet high in processed foods, certain medications, and chemicals (Levy et al., 2017; Gómez de Cedrón et al., 2020).

In a nutshell, here’s what to also pay attention to if you have bloating and gas (Serra, 2022; Levy et al., 2017):

  • Diet: Make sure to eat high-fiber foods, fruits, and vegetables. Choose organic if possible. Consider a low-FODMAP diet if you have SIBO and bloating.
  • Eating habits: Chew your food well, eat slowly, and avoid overeating. 
  • Intolerances: If you have indigestion or food intolerances, consider an elimination diet and temporarily adding a digestive enzyme supplement tailored to your needs. 
  • Lifestyle: Reduce stress and be sure to stay active! Exercising improves digestion and bloating. 
  • Environment: Avoid chemicals and microbiome disruptors. 

It’s vital to understand that there is no one cause of bloating and gas. Work with a practitioner to pinpoint the cause for you. Although rebalancing the gut microbiome is key to resolving bloating and gas, taking a probiotic supplement is unlikely to help without holistically addressing all factors. 


Bloating and gas are very common gut problems. Possible triggers include lifestyle, diet, genetic predispositions, and other health issues—all of which are tied to gut microbiome imbalances. 

Can Probiotics Help with Bloating & Gas?

There is good evidence to claim that probiotics may improve IBS symptoms. Moderate evidence suggests that probiotics may also help relieve bloating in some people with IBS. 

It’s uncertain if probiotics can reduce bloating and gas in people with other gut issues. 

According to a recent systematic review, 8 out of 15 studies show that specific probiotics could improve overall symptoms in people with IBS, compared to the placebo (Hungin et al., 2018).

Two studies included in the review also found that certain probiotics reduced bloating in people with IBS. However, two other studies found no benefit. Those suffering from constipation-IBS were more likely to experience bloating relief, alongside more regular bowel movements (Hungin et al., 2018).

In one placebo-controlled clinical trial, probiotics improved symptoms of bloating in people with functional GI disorders (Ringel-Kulka et al., 2011).

Probiotics also reduced bloating in a study including lactose intolerant patients (Hungin et al., 2018).

In another study, probiotics didn’t affect gassiness after meals in healthy people nor did they reduce bloating in other types of gut problems unrelated to IBS (mild digestive symptoms, abdominal discomfort, hard stools) (Hungin et al., 2018).

Overall, more research is needed to assess the benefits of specific probiotics in people with bloating and gas.


Specific probiotics may help relieve bloating from IBS, but it’s not yet clear if they affect bloating caused by other gut issues. 

Best Probiotics for Bloating & Gas

Probiotics for bloating infographic

Lactobacillus vs. Bifidobacteria

Probiotic benefits are strain-specific! Scientific studies used different probiotics, the most common ones belonging to Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria genera. These genera encompass dozens of species and strains with specific actions in the body. 

To roughly break it down…

Lactobacillus strains have been linked to better digestion, less bloating and gas, and healthier cholesterol levels. They help rebalance and replenish the gut microbiome. Among them is Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242, which has been through 7 clinical trials for supporting normal LDL cholesterol, gut, and heart health (Agah et al., 2020; Ringel-Kulka et al., 2011; Cerbo et al., 2016). 

Lactobacilli are naturally found in yogurt and fermented foods like miso and kimchi. Similar fermented foods contain Bifidobacteria such as water kefir, buttermilk, and curd (Kok & Hutkins, 2018). 

Plus, Bifidobacteria are abundant in human breastmilk—this makes them the first probiotic bacteria to colonize the gut of newborns. These bacteria support healthy development, immunity, gut health, and nutrient absorption (Hidalgo-Cantabrana et al., 2017).

Bifidobacteria help move food along the digestive tract more efficiently. This encourages regular bowel movements and relieves constipation. But, bifidobacteria are less likely to specifically help with bloating and gas (Dimidi et al., 2014; Hidalgo-Cantabrana et al., 2017)


Lactobacillus strains are better for bloating and gas than Bifidobacterium strains, based on the evidence. Bifidobacteria are more likely to help with constipation. Both can support rebalancing the gut microbiome. 

List of probiotic strains

While fermented foods tend to have broader benefits for gut health, probiotic supplements contain specific strains and dosages for a more targeted effect. 

The following probiotic strains have been adequately clinically researched for bloating (Ringel-Kulka et al., 2011; Ibarra et al., 2018; Niedzielin et al., 2001; Whorwell et al., 2006; Yuan et al., 2017; Hun, 2009; Spiller et al., 2016; Hungin et al., 2018):

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus (NCFM and LA-5)
  • Lactobacillus plantarum (LP299v)
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus (LBY-27)
  • Lactobacillus reuteri (DSM 17938 - for lactose intolerance)
  • Bifidobacterium lactis (DN-173 010, HN0199, Bi-07, and BB-12)
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum (MIMBb75)
  • Bifidobacterium infantis (3562411)
  • Streptococcus thermophilus (STY-31)
  • Bacillus Coagulans (GBI-30, 6086)
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae (CNCM I-385613)
  • E. coli (DSM17252)

Prebiotics for bloating

It’s typically a good idea to take probiotics with prebiotics. Prebiotics act as “food” for prebiotic bacteria, helping to fuel their growth. A science-based combination of probiotics and prebiotics is called a synbiotic (Kolida & Gibson, 2011). 

Synbiotics work to establish a healthy and stable gut microbiome. Secondly, they support effective digestion and gut motility. Both of these are important pieces of the puzzle if you want to get to the bottom of your bloating issues.

In one study done on children with IBS, both probiotics alone and synbiotics reduced symptoms like bloating after meals and belching/abdominal fullness. However, synbiotics offered broader benefits and increased the percentage of patients in full recovery (Basturk et al., 2016).

Another study tested different Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains alongside fructooligosaccharides (FOS). This combination was beneficial for people with diarrhea-IBS, particularly for flatulence, pain, stool pressure, and diarrheal stools (Skrzydło-Radomańska et al., 2020).

Sensitive individuals may experience bloating once first taking prebiotics. This usually goes away within a couple of days, as the body adjusts. In the long run, prebiotics should help with bloating and overall gut health. Track your response and consult your healthcare provider if you experience any unwanted effects. 


Consider taking prebiotics like FOS alongside probiotics for better digestion and more effective bloating and gas relief. 

Best Time to Take Probiotics for Bloating 

Research suggests that probiotics work best when taken up to 30 minutes before a light meal high in fiber or carbs. A good option is to take them shortly before or with your breakfast (Tompkins et al., 2011; Corcoran et al., 2005).

Read more here:

How Long Does It Take for Probiotics to Work for Bloating?

The time it takes to feel that probiotics are working for bloating is individual. 

This may depend on your unique gut microbiome, health status, diet, and genetics.  Some people experience initial relief after a couple of days while others may need to wait for several weeks before noticing any benefits. 

Most clinical trials tested probiotics for at least 4 weeks. 

It’s recommended to take probiotics for at least 2-3 weeks before assessing their effects. 

At the same time, be sure to address any other issues that may be contributing to your bloating or gas. 

Ideally, use targeted strains tailored to your needs. Consult a holistic practitioner if you’re not sure which probiotic strains might be best for you. 

Bottom line

Bloating has many possible causes. Triggers include diet, food intolerances, toxins, stress, and other gut conditions. These are all tied to gut microbiome imbalances or dysbiosis.

Certain probiotics may help rebalance the microbiome and reduce bloating. 

Several probiotic strains have been researched for relieving bloating and overall symptoms in people with IBS. A couple of studies point to benefits for bloating and gas in people with other gut issues, but more research is needed. Overall, Lactobacillus probiotic strains currently show the most promise. 

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Ana Aleksic, MSc Pharm

Ana is an integrative pharmacist and scientist with many years of medical writing, clinical research, and health advising experience. She loves communicating science and empowering people to achieve their optimal health. Ana has edited 800+ and written 200+ posts, some of which reached over 1 million people. Her specialties are natural remedies, drug-supplement interactions, women’s health, and mental health. She is also a birth doula and a strong advocate of bridging scientific knowledge with holistic medicine.

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Ana Aleksic

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