Do Probiotics Help With Bloating Symptoms?

Almost everyone has experienced bloating at some point during their life. This can be painful and inconvenient, especially when going about daily activities. 

Typically, bloating occurs when intestinal gas or air is trapped in the gastrointestinal or digestive tract.

Bloating symptoms can occur for several reasons though - from food intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease and other digestive issues. 

Our digestive systems are very complex, so pinpointing the exact cause of bloating can be difficult. However there are so many ways to maintain a healthy gut to reduce your bloating symptoms. Probiotics are key!

Here, we’ll look closely at how probiotics can help to support your digestive system. 

What Is Bloating?

Abdominal bloating is a common digestive symptom that causes discomfort in and around the belly. Bloating has been described as a feeling of tightness, heaviness, or fullness. For many people who experience bloating, the discomfort it causes can also contribute to abdominal pain. 

As a digestive symptom, bloating is very common. In fact, according to a recent report by the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, bloating affects around one in seven adults in the United States every week. On average, women tend to experience bloating symptoms in greater numbers. 

Bloating can be triggered by many things. Most symptoms of bloating are linked to excess gas production in the gastrointestinal tract. Intestinal gas (including methane, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide) is produced by the digestion of carbohydrates by the gut bacteria. This process is known as fermentation.

When these gasses are trapped in the GI tract, they’re typically removed through burping and flatulence. Gas buildup can be caused by eating too fast, chewing gum, drinking carbonated beverages and stress. 

Other causes of abdominal bloating include:

  • Dyspepsia, better known as indigestion, can cause bloating, as well as stomach pain and heartburn. Indigestion is generally caused by eating certain foods or eating too much too quickly. 
  • Some medication side effects can contribute to indigestion and bloating. 
  • Functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders can also cause bloating. For example, bloating is a common IBS symptom.
  • Period bloating is also very common for many experiencing hormone level changes during menstruation. Bloating and cramping are common premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.
  • Another source of bloating is stomach infections. This can be stomach viruses like the rotavirus or norovirus, or bacterial infections and parasites. 
  • Digestive problems like constipation, bowel blockages, and other motility issues can cause symptoms of bloating.
  • Food intolerances are a big contributor to bloating. This can include food sensitivities like lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity. 
  • Dysbiosis can also cause symptoms of bloating. In short, dysbiosis combines the loss of beneficial bacteria and a reduction in microbial diversity in the gut microbiome. 

Bloating and Gut Health

The digestive system is an intricate network of tissues and organs that help to absorb and break down essential nutrients for your body. 

This process starts when we chew our food and ends when waste products exit our body through bowel movements (stool). Hollow digestive organs include the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus. 

According to Digestive Disease Statistics, digestive diseases affect around 70 million people in the United States. This includes conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, motility issues that affect bowel movements, and more chronic conditions like celiac disease and Crohn’s disease. 

The good news is, it’s easier than ever to care for your gut. Our overall health is linked to the state of our digestive health and our mental health can be directly impacted by the quality of our digestion.

Even immune health is closely tied to gut health - as the gut houses the majority of immune cells. So, how can we better support this? 

The Gut Microbiome

Our body is filled with trillions of microorganisms and bacteria. Many of these microbes reside in our gut. The gut microbiome is essential for our digestive health and our overall wellness. 

The “good bacteria'' within the gut microbiome play a pivotal role in digestion and eliminating waste from our bodies. This community of good gut bacteria can: 

  • Digest and assimilate nutrients in the body
  • Metabolize certain medications
  • Synthesize many essential vitamins — like B12, folate, etc.
  • Promote a healthy immune system by protecting you against bad bacteria
  • Break down carbohydrates into fatty acids for the body to use

Unfortunately, the bacteria balance in the gut can be disrupted quite easily. For example, poor diets loaded with refined sugars and carbohydrates and processed foods can wreak havoc on your gut microbiome. 

The excessive use of antibiotics can also disrupt microbiome function.

The factors above can create a bacteria imbalance in the gut microbiome, stunting the proliferation of good bacteria. Many digestive issues and symptoms (including bloating) are linked to poor gut health.

Thankfully, this is where probiotics can help!

Probiotics for Gut Health

In short, probiotics provide essential bacteria enzymes to help boost healthy gut bacteria. Probiotics are essentially strains of good live bacteria. Probiotic strains can help restore gut microbiome balance. These strains of probiotics work to restore and maintain the balance of gut bacteria by reducing the bad and by replenishing the good. 

There are two primary ways to get probiotics: 

  • Probiotic supplements
  • Prebiotics - Fermented foods and beverages (e.g. sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha)

Probiotics are sometimes confused with prebiotics. While probiotics add good bacteria to your gut, prebiotics help stimulate the growth of preexisting good bacteria. Dietary prebiotics include oats, beans, garlic and more. 

Probiotics need prebiotics to flourish - and vice versa. 

The Different Probiotic Strains

There are numerous strains of bacteria. Here, we will focus on the two most common types of probiotics found in foods and probiotic supplements: L and B-strain probiotics. 

Lactobacillus, the “L” strains

One of the most important and predominant species of bacteria is Lactobacillus, which resides in the small intestines. This strain produces lactase, a digestive enzyme used to break down lactose, which is found in dairy.

The L-strain probiotics are also important for producing lactic acid. Lactic acid creates an acidic environment within the digestive tract to encourage the absorption of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron. They can be found in fermented foods and probiotic supplements. 

Examples of L-strain probiotics include:

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Lactobacillus paracasei 
  • Lactobacillus plantarum

Bifidobacterium, the “B” strains

The B-strain of probiotics resides and lines the wall of the colon and large intestines. These strains protect against bad bacteria and microorganisms like yeast. Like L-strains, they also support lactic acid production. B-strains provide a protective layer along the intestinal walls and promote pH balance within the gut. 

B-strain probiotics also help absorb vitamins and aid in the production of some B-complex vitamins. These probiotic strains can help improve IBS symptoms like bloating and abdominal discomfort. They can also be found in fermented foods and probiotic supplements. 

Examples of B-strain probiotics include:

  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Bifidobacterium longum

Can Probiotics Help With Bloating?

As mentioned above, a dysbiosis condition can lead to gut bacteria imbalances. One symptom of this digestive condition is bloating. Probiotics can help restore bacteria balance in the gut and help restore symptoms of bloating. 

The effects of probiotics also prove beneficial for digestive conditions like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). In the case of SIBO, harmful bacteria from the colon can overflow into other parts of the digestive system, including the small intestines.

This overflow of bacteria can disrupt the healthy balance of gut bacteria and contribute to bloating symptoms and difficulties digesting and absorbing necessary nutrients. Research has shown that probiotic use can reduce bacterial overgrowth and abdominal discomfort for those with SIBO.

Probiotic supplements are broken into CFUs or colony-forming units. Our JSHealth Vitamins probiotic supplements contain 35 billion CFU, including L and B-strain probiotics to help support digestive system function and maintain beneficial intestinal flora. They also don’t require refrigeration! 

In addition to probiotics, our Detox + Debloat formula can help soothe feelings of abdominal bloating while supporting the body’s natural detoxification process. This formula is based on Western herbal medicine; this formula contains ingredients like turmeric, milk thistle, and fennel to help soothe symptoms of bloating and digestive discomfort.

The Bottom Line

Abdominal bloating is a very uncomfortable digestive symptom that can stem from multiple causes, ranging from intestinal gas to gut bacteria imbalances. 

You can aim to support your gut health through a holistic approach. A healthy diet, reduced stress and adequate water and exercise will relieve symptoms. Plus, highly quality probiotics can restore the capability of your digestive system so you will be back to feeling comfortable and confident. 


Abdominal Bloating in the United States: Results of a Survey of 88,795 Americans Examining Prevalence and Healthcare Seeking | Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Digestive Diseases Statistics for the United States | NIDDK

Introduction to the human gut microbiota | PMC

Bacterial growth, flow, and mixing shape human gut microbiota density and composition | PMC

Probiotics for Preventing and Treating Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review of Current Evidence | NIH