GNC Probiotic Review: Does This Work as Advertised?

(Last Updated On: June 25, 2018)

Gut bacteria has been a hot topic in the fitness world of late. Research has found that our gut bacteria composition may be responsible for a whole lot of things other than how queasy we feel. For instance, research has shown that gut bacteria may determine whether we are lean or obese, and even our mood and behavior.

Science still has yet to determine the full extent of our gut microbiome’s influence on our physical and mental health. But from what is already known, it wouldn’t be surprising if we find out that maintaining ideal gut bacterial health may be one of the most important things we can do for our health.

So it’s no surprise that many people aren’t taking any chances and are already taking steps to ensure to maintain consistent gut health. And the route that most people are going with is through taking probiotic supplements. And some of the most popular probiotic supplements on the market today are the range of probiotic supplements offered by GNC.

In this review, we will go over the basic mechanisms of probiotic supplements and how to evaluate them. From there, we will give you a detailed and in-depth review of GNC probiotic supplements. By the end of this review, you will be better informed as to which probiotic supplement would be best for you.

How do Probiotic Supplements Work?

To put it simply, probiotic supplements work by directly adding beneficial gut bacteria back into your digestive system. While there are dozens of beneficial gut bacteria strains, most probiotic supplements contain a blend of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains. Some probiotic supplements may contain other strains, namely Streptococcus Thermophilus.

If you see a probiotic supplement with only one strain, you’ll want to avoid it. That’s because the research shows that probiotics are synergistic, meaning that multi-strains are more effective than single strains.

When you look at the label of a probiotic supplement, you’ll note that it will say ‘X billion CFUs’. CFU stands for ‘Colony Forming Unit’ and is a unit of measurement used to estimate the number of viable bacteria in a sample. Generally, probiotic supplements have 10 to 50 billion CFUs per serving, with anything over that amount considered to be very high or extra strength.

GNC Probiotic Supplements Review

Currently GNC has two main lines of probiotic supplements: GNC Probiotic Complex and GNC Probiotic Solutions. Each line has several product variations which we will examine in detail.

GNC Probiotic Complex Review

GNC Probiotic Complex Products

Beneficial Ingredients

First things first, you should know that all of GNC’s Probiotic Complex products are both gluten-free and lactose-free.

Product NameBeneficial Gut BacteriaOther Beneficial Ingredients
GNC Probiotic Complex Daily Need – 1 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Lactobacillus Salivarius

Lactobacillus Plantarum

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

Streptococcus Thermophilus

GNC Probiotic Complex Daily Need – 10 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Lactobacillus Salivarius

Lactobacillus Plantarum

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

Streptococcus Thermophilus

Fructooligosaccharides (100mg)
GNC Probiotic Complex Daily Need – 25 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

Fructooligosaccharides (100mg)
GNC Probiotic Complex – 50 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

Fructooligosaccharides (150mg)
GNC Probiotic Complex Extra Strength – 75 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

Fructooligosaccharides (250mg)
GNC Probiotic Complex Extra Strength – 100 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Lactobacillus Salivarius

Lactobacillus Plantarum

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

Streptococcus Thermophilus

Fructooligosaccharides (50mg)

Ginger Root Powder (50mg)

Looking at the formulations above, it is clear that GNC opts for two different blends of beneficial gut bacteria for its GNC Probiotic Complex Products.  The first has three different strains, and the second with seven different ones. Let’s take a look at how the different blends may differ in their effects.

Beneficial Gut BacteriaBenefits
Lactobacillus AcidophilusHas been shown to help with diarrheaconstipationdepression, and even reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
Bifidobacterium BifidumCan help boost immunitygeneral health, and reduce symptoms of depression.
Bifidobacterium AnimalisMay help with constipation.
Lactobacillus SalivariusA species prevalent in human saliva that can help with your dental health.
Lactobacillus PlantarumCan help with constipation.
Lactobacillus RhamnosusCan help with constipation, diarrhea, weight loss, and obesity, as well as brain health.
Streptococcus ThermophilusMay inhibit antibiotic-associated diarrheaimprove immune system function, and help with lactose intolerance.

In addition to the primary ingredients above, most of the supplements also contain fructooligosaccharides (“FOS”), which is a prebiotic. The human body cannot digest FOS so it functions as fiber. However, some bacterial strains do have the necessary enzymes to break it down and thus it serves as ‘food’ to help good bacteria thrive and grow.

Price per Serving

To make the various products easier to compare, we have listed the above products by approximate price per serving. Prices are based on official prices from the GNC store. All serving sizes in this case are one capsule.

Product NamePrice per Serving
GNC Probiotic Complex Daily Need – 1 Billion CFUs$0.10 (Check here for the latest price)
GNC Probiotic Complex Daily Need – 10 Billion CFUs$0.33(Check here for the latest price)
GNC Probiotic Complex Daily Need – 25 Billion CFUs$0.65 (Check here for the latest price)
GNC Probiotic Complex – 50 Billion CFUs$1.08 (Check here for the latest price)
GNC Probiotic Complex Extra Strength – 75 Billion CFUs$1.75 (Check here for the latest price)
GNC Probiotic Complex Extra Strength – 100 Billion CFUs$2.20 (Check here for the latest price)

As you can see, the price per serving increases with the amount of probiotics, however it’s not a linear scale. For instance, the price per serving for 25 Billion CFUs is 6.5x more than then one with 1 Billion CFUs despite containing 25x more probiotics.

GNC Probiotic Solutions Review

GNC Probiotic Solutions Products

Beneficial Ingredients

First things first, you should know that all of GNC’s Probiotic Complex products are both gluten-free and lactose-free.

Product NameBeneficial Gut BacteriaOther Beneficial Ingredients
GNC Probiotic Solutions Women’s – 30 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Lactobacillus Gasseri

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

Cranberry fruit extract (200mg)

(for urinary tract support)

GNC Probiotic Solutions Weight Management Support – 25 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Lactobacillus Gasseri

Lactobacillus Plantarum

Lactobacillus Paracasei

Lactobacillus Reuteri

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

Grapefruit extract, Sweet orange extract, Blood orange extract, Guarana extract (900mg)

Caffeine (36mg)

GNC Probiotic Solutions Multi Strain – 25 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Lactobacillus Salivarius

Lactobacillus Plantarum

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

Lactobacillus Paracasei

Lactobacillus Gasseri

Lactobacillus Casei

Lactobacillus Fermentum

Bifidobacterium Lactis

Bifidobacterium Breve

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

Streptococcus Thermophilus

Pediococcus Pentosaceus

Fructooligosaccharides (100mg)
GNC Probiotic Solutions Adults 50 Plus – 55 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Lactobacillus Reuteri

Bifidobacterium Lactis

Bifidobacterium Breve

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

Fructooligosaccharides (100mg)
GNC Probiotic Solutions with Enzymes – 25 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

Fructooligosaccharides (100mg)

Digestive Enzyme Blend (305mg)

Ginger Root Powder (100mg)

GNC Probiotic Solutions Immune Support – 25 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

Vitamin C (125mg)

Vitamin D (25mcg)

Zinc (15mg)

Elderberry Fruit Extract (75mg)

Echinacea Fruit Extract (40mg)

GNC Probiotic Solutions Sport – 25 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

L-Glutamine (150mg)

Ancient Peat & Apple Extract (150mg)

Protease Enzyme Blend (120mg)

GNC Probiotic Solutions Prenatal – 20 Billion CFUs*Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

Bifidobacterium Animalis

GNC Probiotic Solutions Energy – 25 Billion CFUsLactobacillus Acidophilus

Bifidobacterium Bifidum

Bifidobacterium Animalis

Various vitamins and minerals

Enzyme Support Blend (130mg)

Antioxidant Support Blend (205mg)

GNC Probiotic Solutions has a few probiotic strains not found in the GNC Probiotic Complex line. Here’s how these gut bacteria can help you.

Beneficial Gut BacteriaBenefits
Lactobacillus GasseriBeneficial for weight loss and obesity as well as immune system support.
Lactobacillus ParacaseiBoosts immunity, helps digestion, and also in alleviating allergies.
Lactobacillus CaseiHelps with antibiotic-associated diarrheaconstipation, as well as depressive symptoms.
Lactobacillus FermentumIncreases nutrient bioavailabilitylowers cholesteroland boosts immunity.
Bifidobacterium LactisProvides constipation relief and helps with fat loss.
Bifidobacterium BreveHelps with both digestive and skin health.
Pediococcus PentosaceusA relatively new strain with probiotic properties.

Most of the products within the GNC Probiotic Solutions line also contain other beneficial ingredients. The most common are fruit and root extracts, digestive enzymes (to boost probiotic effectiveness), and even multivitamins.

Price per Serving

Product NamePrice per Serving
GNC Probiotic Solutions Multi Strain – 25 Billion CFUs$0.90 (check here for the latest price)
GNC Probiotic Solutions with Enzymes – 25 Billion CFUs$0.97 (check here for the latest price)
GNC Probiotic Solutions Immune Support – 25 Billion CFUs$1.00 (check here for the latest price)
GNC Probiotic Solutions Sport – 25 Billion CFUs$1.00 (check here for the latest price)
GNC Probiotic Solutions Energy – 25 Billion CFUs$1.00 (check here for the latest price)
GNC Probiotic Solutions Women’s – 30 Billion CFUs$1.10 (check here for the latest price)
GNC Probiotic Solutions Prenatal – 20 Billion CFUs*$1.17 (check here for the latest price)
GNC Probiotic Solutions Adults 50 Plus – 55 Billion CFUs$1.33 (check here for the latest price)
GNC Probiotic Solutions Weight Management Support – 25 Billion CFUs*$1.33 (check here for the latest price)

*denotes two capsules per serving.

So Many Options But Which to Choose? See Our Top Picks Here

GNC has an extensive line of probiotic products, and with 16 different products to choose from, it can be hard to pick one. You may have looked at all the information presented above and still asked yourself “So which one do I choose?”

Well, after extensive analysis of the beneficial ingredients and prices of GNC’s probiotic supplements range, here are our top picks.

Best Overall GNC Probiotic Supplement

The winner for this category would have to go to GNC Probiotic Solutions Multi-Strain – 25 Billion CFUs. The reason we chose this product as our top overall choice is the sheer amount of probiotic strains it contains; 16 of them!

We know that probiotics are more effective in groups and that each strain can have differing benefits. By packing this product with so many different strains at once, we feel that this is definitely the best overall choice.

Its price per serving, at $0.90 for 25 Billion CFUs, while not the cheapest, falls somewhere in the middle range which is reasonable. We also note that it has the lowest price per serving out of all the GNC Probiotic Solutions series, even though it has the highest number of strains!

Best GNC Probiotic Supplement for Weight Loss

Some of the most interesting applications of probiotics research has been the role that gut bacteria plays in weight management. The research has shown that the gut bacteria that are probably the most beneficial for weight management and combating obesity are Bifidobacterium Lactis, Lactobacillus Gasseri, and Lactobacillus Rhamnosus.

Hence, the best GNC Probiotic Supplement for Weight Loss is also GNC Probiotic Solutions Multi-Strain – 25 Billion CFUs! It is the only product on this list that contains all three strains. While GNC does have a probiotic advertised specifically for weight loss, it does not contain all three strains and only adds in caffeine for a thermogenic effect. You can easily get your caffeine anywhere else if you wish.

Best Value for Money GNC Probiotic Supplement for Daily Use

If you are on a tight budget, then the best choice for you would be GNC Probiotic Complex – 50 Billion CFUs. While its per serving cost seems on the high side at $1.08, when considering how much it would cost to get 50 billion CFUs from the other products, you will find that this is actually the top value for money option.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.