- Contains decent serving of B. coagulans
- B. coagulans has been shown to improve digestion and reduce symptoms of infection
- Provides just ONE strain of probioic bacteria
- B. cogaulans may not be the right bacteria strain for your gut issues
- No diversity of probiotics
- No prebiotic fibe
- No added ingredients
Olly Probiotic Review Summary
Overall, I don’t rate Olly Probiotic very highly. Unusually for a probiotic, Olly Probiotic goes ‘all-in’ on one strain of bacteria: B. coagulans. While it has proven to be effective for treating specific digestive tract infections, this bacteria is not a cure all, and it is not found in very large amounts in the healthy human gut. Taking Olly Probiotic may therefore do very little for you, and it could even make things worse. There’s also no prebiotic fiber in this supplement, which means it does not foster long-term gut health. If you want to maximize digestive health for the long-term, we strongly recommend using a high quality probiotic and pebiotic supplement instead.
What is Olly probiotic?
Olly is a relatively new but highly successful supplement brand, and Olly Probiotic currently one of their best-selling products. Olly is steadily building a reputation as a maker of high quality supplements with no fillers and no unproven ingredients.
According to the website, Olly Probiotic is an extra strength probiotic which can:
- Promote the growth of healthy gut flora
- Optimize digestion
- Support immnune system function
Of course, regular readers of our content will know that any good probiotic will boost immune system function and enhance digestion. The best probiotics will enhance cognitive function and reduce fatigue too, as the gut microbiome affects every aspect of health and performance.
The question I need to answer in this review is, does Olly Probiotic deliver?
Is Olly Probiotic a good probiotic supplement? Is it safe for daily use? How does Olly Probiotic compare to the best probiotics on sale right now? Read my full Olly Probiotic review below to find out!
Olly Probiotic ingredients
So what is in this probiotic exactly?
Here is the Olly Probiotic ingredients list as it is currently shown on the website:
In case that isn’t clear, here’s a list of the Olly Probiotic ingredients with dosages:
- Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 (1 Billion CFU) – 66mg
As you can see, this probiotic contains just one strain of bacteria: B. coagulans. This is unusual for a probiotic; typically probiotic supplements will combine a number of different bacteria strains in an attempt to rectify all common microbiome imbalances.
That said, this isn’t the first probiotic I’ve see going ‘all-in’ on bacillus coagulans – ProbioSlim also uses B. coagulans and no other bacteria strains!
I’ll now explain what this probiotic bacteria does, why Olly Probiotic has just one ingredient, and then tell you what I think of this formula as a whole.
What is B. coagulans?
Bacillus coagulans is a bacteria strain known to be highly probiotic; that is, it is conducive to good overall gut microbiome health.
B. coagulans is often referred to as Lactobacillus sporogenes. This was the name first given to the bacteria, as it was observed producing lactic acid.
However, the taxonomy of this bacteria has long been contested, and it is now officially a Bacillus strain, not a Lactobacillus strain. The reason is that, by definition, lactic acid bacteria like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus do not form spores, while B. coagulans is sporeforming.
Bacillus coagulans is found in abundance in a healthy human gut, where it performs a number of important roles, chief among them being the production of the enzyme lactase. Lactase breaks down lactose into lactic acid; a process vital for the digestion of dairy.
Clinical trials indicate that Bacillus coagulans is highly effective at enhancing digestion and attenuating symptoms of harmful bacteria gut infections, such as Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea.
Formula analysis: My take on the Olly Probiotic ingredients
Overall, I have to say that I’m not overly impressed with Olly Probiotic.
My main issue with this probiotic supplement is the lack of diversity in the bacteria strains it delivers.
The best probiotics tend to deliver a diverse array of probiotic bacteria strains. This is because it is difficult to know the exact nature of your gut microbiome imbalances, and it is equally hard to know which type of bacteria your microbiome will respond best to. Therefore the best approach for optimizing gut health overall is to consume a range of different probiotic bacteria, so all your bases are covered.
Going ‘all in’ on one single ingredient which may or may not fix a gut microbiome imbalance is a suboptimal way to appraoch gut health enhancement. A lack of bacillus coagulans might not be your main problem; it could be a lack of Bifidobacerium strains, an overgrowth of one type of healthy bacteria, or a lack of diversity in bacteria species.
If you think you have a gut microbiome imbalance, then a probiotic which uses several different strains is the way to go.
Then there’s the lack of prebiotic fiber in Olly Probiotic.
In order to survive, probotic gut bacteria need prebiotic fibers to feed on. If you are not consuming any prebiotic fiber on daily basis, then the best probiotic supplement in the world is never going to really give you the results you’re looking for; to fix gut health and maintain halthy digestion over the long term, you need to be consuming prebiotic fiber on a regular basis too.
I would not recommend Olly Probiotic to anyon looking for an effective, reliable supplement to optimize overall gut health. B. coagulans might be effective for fixing specific microbiome imbalances, and for fighting specific strains of harmful bacteria, but it is not a cur efor very problem with gut microflora.
For optimal digestion and gut health for the long-term, I strongly recommend using a good prebiotic supplement on a daily basis backed up with the occassional use of probiotics.
What about Olly Probiotic + Prebiotic?
Olly Probiotic + Prebiotic is an augmented version of the original product discussed in this review.
The difference between Olly Probioic and this supplement is the addition of 1.5g of prebiotic fiber (fructooligosaccharides) and a the reduction of the B. coagulans dosage (from 1 Billion CFU to 500 Million CFU).
In all honesty, I don’t quite know what to make of this change.
On the one hand, the introduction of prebiotic fiber makes Olly Probiotic a much better supplement for enhancing gut health; probiotics can add in much-needed bacteria strains, but they need prebiotic fiber to feed on or they’ll starve.
On the other hand, I don’t understand why Olly reduced the serving of probiotic bacteria when it was already so small. A 500 million CFU count is ridiculously low compared to almost ever other probiotic on the market right now; CFU counts usuall start at about 6 billion and can go as high as 30 billion (although this would cause side effects in most people).
Olly Probiotic side effects
Is Olly Probiotic safe to use every day?
In my opinion, the answer is yes, assumign you are not planning on taking Olly Probiotic every day for long periods of time.
Probiotics in general are not suitable for everyday, long-term use. They are meant to provide quick fixes for serious ut microflora issues, like imbalances, overgrowths or infections. Clinical trials have shown that probiotics are highly effective at this; they can often fight digestive tract infections as well as antibiotics.
However, because probiotics work by introducing large doses of exogenous bacteria in configurations not necessarily identical to a healthy human gut, using them evey day can cause problems. In simple terms, probiotics like Olly Probiotic are designed to fight infections and cause drastic changes in microbiome composition. They are not meant to be taken ever day.
The side effects of taking probiotics every day include:
- Stomach cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Food cravins
- Low mood
- Poor cognitive performance
Olly Probiotic is not suitable for use every day for several weeks and months.
However, using Olly Probiotic for a few days or a couple of weeks is unlikely to cause side effects. B. coagulans has been studied in numerous clinica trials and it has ben deemed safe for human supplementation.
Probiotics & Joint Pain
One reason why some people use probiotics is to help ease joint pain. This might sound ridiculous at first; what could your gut microbiome have to do with your joints? But it does make sense.
Your gut microbiome has a profound effect on practically every aspect of your health. There isn’t a single bodily function or process that is not in some way affected by what happens in your gut. That includes the maintenance and formation of the connective tissues that make up your joints too!
For example, some clinical trials have found that giving probiotics to patients suffering with certain forms of arthritis can drastically improve subjective measures of joint pain and stiffness. There are a number of different mechanisms by which this might work, but the most likely is immune system modulation. Your gut microbiome directly influences your immune system. Some forms of arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis) happen because your immune system mistakenly attacks your joint cells.
Some of the best joint supplements today work by reducing inflammation, stimulating connective tissue repair and slowing down cartilage erosion. But few actively work by influencing the immune system to stop it attacking your joints.
You may hear people claim that low quality joint supplements such as Relief Factor can help with arthritis, but this simply isn’t true since it does nothing to address the causes of arthritis.
Other ways probiotics can help with joint pain include reducing inflammation, promoting calcium absorption, and facilitating the absorption of other important compounds for joint repair.
Olly Probiotic review conclusion: Is this a good supplement for gut health?
While there is no major red flag here, I would not recommend Olly Probiotic to anyone looking to optimize overall gut health.
Olly Probiotic is just a bacillus coagulans supplement; it contains no other ingredients. While bacillus coagulans has been shown in numerous studies to be highly effective at fighting spoecific harmful bacteria infections and fixing certain microbiome imbalances, it is not always necessarily the best option in every instance.
For most people, the best way to fix gut microflora imbalances and digestive problems is to use a probiotic that delivers a diverse array of probiotic bacteria strains known to perform multiple different roles in the gut.
For optimal gut health over the long term, I strongly recommend using a prebiotic supplement (if you can’t eat lots of prebiotic fiber every day).
Even the best probiotic cannot posisbly help you if the healthy bacteria you are consuming doesn’t have any food on which to feed and thrive!
For fixing acute microbiome imbalances, Olly Probiotic may help if B. coagulans is the right bacteria strain for the job. If you need more Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus strains, then it will probably have little impact.
Johan Theorin is an author, editor, and competitive cyclist. He is the author of most of the content on this website, and he is the site editor. Johan has spent years researching joint health, sports performance and recovery. He is a leading biohacking expert and an experienced physiotherapist.