Best Probiotic After Stomach Bug

Get Rid of the Stomach Bug for Good

Multiple studies demonstrate that probiotics are useful in treating the stomach bug.

So if you or your loved one are making too many "trots" to the toilet...

Listen up!

Mini Med School

Technically speaking the stomach bug or stomach flu is not a flu virus. It is a common term for acute infectious gastroenteritis. This can be caused by a more than 20 different viruses, bacteria or parasites. This type of infection usually leads to multiple loose stools in a day -- usually more than 3. 

Complications from not treating gastroenteritis include: dehydration, hospitalization, or even death. 

Always treat gastroenteritis with oral rehydration as the main treatment. Read more about a homemade oral rehydration solution

5 Facts About Probiotics and the Stomach Bug

1. Stop Diarrhea Faster

If you take probiotics for the "stomach bug" you will get over the diarrhea about 1 day sooner.

Results from randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses show that taking a probiotic will shorten diarrhea anywhere between 16 hours to 26 hours with the largest studies suggesting about 25 hours. 

References (1-8)

2. Shorten Hospital Stays

For kids hospitalized for diarrhea they will get out of the hospital about 1 day sooner (13-21 hours). Because of these findings it is becoming standard of care at many Children's Hospital to treat with probiotics in addition to standard supportive treatment for acute gastroenteritis. 

References (2, 5, 6, 8, 9)

3. One Probiotic Strain is Enough

Taking a single strain of probiotics is as effective as taking multiple strains.

A large meta-analysis showed that treating diarrhea with a single strain of probiotics was as effective and using a multi-strain probiotic. Taking a single strain of probiotic reduced diarrhea by about 24 hours and a multi-strain probiotic reduced diarrhea by about 21 hours. 

Reference (1)

4. Choose a Live Probiotic Strain

Live strains are more effective than killed strains. In fact, taking a live strain of probiotic shortens diarrhea by nearly 27 hours and taking a killed strain only gets you over diarrhea about 10 hours sooner. 

Reference (1)

5. Probiotic Strains That Work for a Stomach Bug

The most studied strains with positive results are:

  • Lactobacillus casei GG
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
  • Saccharomyces boulardii
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus reuteri

References (1-11)

Best Probiotic For Stomach Bug

From a review of the research studies there are 2 clear winners for a best probiotic after stomach bug

1. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG)

Brand (Strain):

Culturelle (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG)


Take 1 capsule of 10 billion CFUs daily for 5-7 days. 

This probiotic is available from Culturelle in a capsule form of live LGG. For kids it can be opened and dissolved in water. 

==> Buy Culturelle on Amazon <==

NOTE: Culturelle makes a probiotic for Kids that only has 1 billion CFUs. This is not a high enough dose to treat diarrhea. 

2. Saccharomyces boulardii

Brand (Strain):

Florastor (Saccharomyces boulardii)

Infant Dose (less than 1 year old):

Take one 250 mg capsule daily for 5 days

General Dose (for 1 and older):

Take two 250 mg capsules daily for 5 days

==>Buy Florastor on Amazon<==

References for "Best Probiotic After Stomach Bug"

1. Allen SJ, Martinez EG, Gregorio GV, Dans LF. Probiotics for treating acute infectious diarrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Nov 10;2010(11):CD003048.
2. Szajewska H, Skórka A, Ruszczyński M, Gieruszczak-Białek D. Meta-analysis: Lactobacillus GG for treating acute diarrhoea in children. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Apr 15;25(8):871-81. 
3. College of Paediatrics. Academy of Medicine of Malaysia/Malaysian Paediatric Association. Guidelines on the management of acute diarrhea in children. 2011.
4. Szajewska H, Skórka A, Dylag M. Meta-analysis: Saccharomyces boulardii for treating acute diarrhoea in children. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Feb 1;25(3):257-64.
5. Szajewska H, Kołodziej M, Gieruszczak-Białek D, Skórka A, Ruszczyński M, Shamir R. Systematic review with meta-analysis: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG for treating acute gastroenteritis in children - a 2019 update. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Jun;49(11):1376-1384.
6. Patro-Gołąb B, Szajewska H. Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis: Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 for Treating Acute Gastroenteritis in Children. An Update. Nutrients. 2019 Nov 14;11(11):2762. 
7. Nixon AF, Cunningham SJ, Cohen HW, Crain EF. The effect of Lactobacillus GG on acute diarrheal illness in the pediatric emergency department. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2012 Oct;28(10):1048-51.
8. Ansari F, Pashazadeh F, Nourollahi E, Hajebrahimi S, Munn Z, Pourjafar H. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: The Effectiveness of Probiotics for Viral Gastroenteritis. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2020;21(11):1042-1051.
9. Szajewska H, Kołodziej M, Zalewski BM. Systematic review with meta-analysis: Saccharomyces boulardii for treating acute gastroenteritis in children-a 2020 update. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2020 Apr;51(7):678-688. 
10. Ali R. The Use of Probiotic with ORS and ORS Only in Children with Acute Diarrhea. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2019 Dec;29(12):1179-1182. doi: 10.29271/jcpsp.2019.12.1179. PMID: 31839091.
11. Guarino A, Ashkenazi S, Gendrel D, Lo Vecchio A, Shamir R, Szajewska H; European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition; European Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases. European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition/European Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases evidence-based guidelines for the management of acute gastroenteritis in children in Europe: update 2014. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2014 Jul;59(1):132-52.