Can Probiotics Be Harmful
- Probiotics have an extensive history of apparently safe use, particularly in healthy people. However, few studies have looked at the safety of probiotics in detail, so thereâs a lack of solid information on the frequency and severity of side effects.
- The risk of harmful effects from probiotics is greater in people with severe illnesses or compromised immune systems. When probiotics are being considered for high-risk individuals, such as premature infants or seriously ill hospital patients, the potential risks of probiotics should be carefully weighed against their benefits.
- Possible harmful effects of probiotics include infections, production of harmful substances by the probiotic microorganisms, and transfer of antibiotic resistance genes from probiotic microorganisms to other microorganisms in the digestive tract.
- Some probiotic products have been reported to contain microorganisms other than those listed on the label. In some instances, these contaminants may pose serious health risks.
Then He Said In My 25 Years In Nutrition Ive Never Heard Of Side Effects With Probiotics
Ronda told him, Well, it sure happened to me!
Rondas been doing great ever since the whole incident and is elated to be herself again. But she learned a hard lesson. Harmless probiotics deserve respect for their power and impact on the human system.
From now on, shell ALWAYS follow directions when it comes to over-the-counter remedies. And especially probiotics!
The good news is that if probiotics can cause this much change in someone whos healthy, they can also make a significant difference in anyone whos not.
Along with improving health in your stomach and intestines, as well as reducing inflammation and infection throughout your body, they can also relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
But be aware, theyre not to be taken lightly. Experts say that since each individual is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all for probiotic supplementation.
Remember: In general terms, up to 10 billion CFUs daily. Start gently. Watch for out-of-the-ordinary symptoms. A specific strain may not be right for you, or a specific combination. Take several days or a couple weeks to test the effects of partial doses, raising the dose a little each day as long as you have no negative symptoms. Include your doctor in the process.
This story isnt to scare you away from using a preparation that can help you become stronger and more resilient. But rather to alert you to possible risks if you use probiotics without supervision or awareness of potential side effects.
Issues To Be Aware Of
If you’re considering trying probiotics, there are a few issues you need to be aware of.
Probiotics are generally classed as food rather than medicine, which means they don’t go through the rigorous testing medicines do.
Because of the way probiotics are regulated, we can’t always be sure that:
- the product actually contains the bacteria stated on the food label
- the product contains enough bacteria to have an effect
- the bacteria are able to survive long enough to reach your gut
There are many different types of probiotics that may have different effects on the body, and little is known about which types are best.
You may find a particular type of probiotic helps with one problem. But this doesn’t mean it’ll help other problems, or that other types of probiotic will work just as well.
And there’s likely to be a huge difference between the pharmaceutical-grade probiotics that show promise in clinical trials and the yoghurts and supplements sold in shops.
Page last reviewed: 27 November 2018 Next review due: 27 November 2021
Adding Probiotics To The Gut Microbiome
Ingesting probiotics adds healthy bacteria to the gut microbiome, which helps improve the balance of good vs bad gut bacteria in a couple ways.
First, by adding probiotics to your routine you are adding beneficial bacteria directly to the microbiome, at least temporarily increasing counts of these useful bacteria in your system.
In addition to this, probiotics actually exert antimicrobial activity against pathogens in the gut. This means they can help push out those bad bacteria, bringing balance back to your gut microbiome.
Rebalancing your gut by taking probiotics may help to alleviate digestive symptoms, especially if your symptoms were caused by an imbalanced gut microbiome in the first place.
What Quantity Of Probiotic Should You Take Daily
Okay, there isnt a recommended dosage of probiotics that you should take daily. Researchers are still conducting studies to discover the optimum strain and quantity of probiotics. It is essential to recognize that the daily dose can differ because not all probiotics are the same. A lot of probiotics are delivered in a range of 1-10 billion CFU/dose. Yet, there are some products that have proven to be effective at lower levels, whereas others demand significantly more.
Probiotic Dosage For Adults
As with anything you take to improve your health, dosage is important. If you take too much, you may cause new problems, and too little won’t do anything at all.
There’s a common misconception that probiotics should be taken every day, according to an article published in May 2016 by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Probiotics are a tool that can be helpful when trying to improve certain conditions typically related to the gastric system, but are not a daily supplement.
There is still a need for a lot more research on the microbiome of the gut. Because of the lack of deeper information, we don’t know what the optimum balance is for bacteria in the stomach.
While you can find recommended dosages for adults with different ailments, it’s best to talk to a doctor about the right dosage for you. Only a physician who has examined you will be able to determine what your health needs or to provide your specific dosage amounts.
Probiotics Can Cause Allergic Reactions
Another possible side effect of taking probiotics is an allergic reaction. Humans can be allergic to just about anything, including milk which is often used in the probiotic production process.
The purification process used in the production of some probiotics such as Nexabiotic® Advanced should remove most of these allergens.
If you are lactose intolerant you should be able to tolerate the small amounts of milk in probiotics. Furthermore, probiotics themselves break down lactose. This is the reason why probiotic-loaded kefir yogurt is advertised as being lactose-free.
However, if you have developed an allergic reaction to milk ingredients that results in problems breathing then you should avoid probiotics.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Probiotics
For most of us, probiotic supplements are perfectly safe. The most common side effect is mild stomach discomfort gas, diarrhea, bloating and nausea. Youre certainly more likely to experience these side effects at higher doses, but they usually resolve in a few days anyway.
There are some people for whom probiotics are not recommended. People with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of complications due to probiotic use. This includes people with immune disorders such as HIV and those using immunosuppressant drugs like chemotherapy.
There have been reports of probiotics causing serious infections in people with weak immune systems. Whether taking too much probiotics could have played a role in these instances is unknown. People who are at an elevated risk of infection should not use probiotics unless directed to by their physician.
Another potential, but rare, issue is an allergic reaction to a bacterial strain contained in the probiotic supplement. Humans can be allergic to almost anything, so this risk isnt specific to probiotics, however if you are affected, it can be quite severe. If you have an allergy to probiotics, even low doses can have serious effects.
How Many Probiotics Should I Take A Day
I figured the more good bacteria in my gut, the better, which is why I went from never taking probiotics to downing 30 billion CFUs a day. However, the National Institutes of Health notes that many doses range from one billion to 10 billion CFUs for adults.
“There is no exact amount of probiotics a person should take a day, as every person’s gut is different,” Dr. Sonpal said. “However, it is advised to avoid taking more than 10 to 20 billion colony forming units as that is usually the maximum amount a person can handle per day.”
He added that, if you eat a diet full of probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, fermented vegetables, or kombucha, it may be beneficial to lower the number of probiotics you take in supplement form. There’s one notable exception. “Antibiotics harm the good bacteria in our gut as well as the bad bacteria causing infection,” Dr. Sonpal said. “So upping the number of probiotics you take per day will likely help maintain a balanced gut when on antibiotics.”
For regular use, it can take about one to two weeks to get acclimated to a lower dose of probiotics, Dr. Sonpal explained at that point, you can decide whether or not to move up. “If you feel improvement in your stomach, then you can try to take a higher dosage,” he said. “However, if you feel bloated, nauseous, gassy, or are having diarrhea, then you likely need to decrease the number of colony forming units you take per day.”
Should You Take Probiotics
The “good bacteria” may help healthy people but aren’t formally recommended.
Probiotics are “good” bacteria touted to help maintain digestive health and boost the immune system. You can take them in a dietary supplement or get them from food sources, such as yogurt. But should you? They can be helpful in some cases, but we still need more studies to tell us if and when they are safe and effective for older adults.
Should I Try Probiotics
If you are interested in adding probiotics to your diet, its worth a conversation with your healthcare provider. Many providers may suggest giving them a try to see if they help with your general health. It is important to remember that not all probiotics behave the same way and have the same effects. Each has their own individual benefits. They generally dont cause harm. One easy way to start can be by simply introducing probiotic-rich foods into your diet, like yogurt.
Before you start any supplements, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider may be able to point you in the right direction, helping you figure out the best probiotic to take, how much to take and when to take it. A conversation is always worth the time when it concerns your health.
What Dose Should I Take
A push towards using natural methods to maintain digestive health in recent years has led to an increased interest in probioticslive microorganisms which confer health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts, often for immune and digestive health. Probiotics are thought to exert beneficial effects by supporting protective barriers, enhancing immune responses, and rebalancing the microbial community by displacing potentially pathogenic bacteria.
Upon learning of probiotic benefits, people often want to know what constitutes as an adequate amount? However, because there are so many different probiotic organisms and variables to consider when making recommendations it is difficult to generalize one optimal dose as adequate for providing probiotic effects for everyone.,
Consequently, the answer to what dose should I take? will ultimately depend on an individuals purpose for taking probiotics.
How Safe Are Probiotics
Because microbes used as probiotics already exist naturally in your body, probiotic foods and supplements are generally considered safe. They may trigger allergic reactions, and may also cause mild stomach upset, diarrhea, or flatulence and bloating for the first few days after starting to take them.
There are certain people who need to use caution when using probiotic supplements. There is a risk of infection in some people. These people include those who have:
- A weakened immune system .
- A critical illness.
Caution should also be used when giving probiotics to very sick infants.
Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement.
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How Effective Are Probiotics
Researchers are currently unsure how effective probiotic supplements are for treating conditions. Theres constant research on the topic. While many research studies have had positive results on the impact of probiotic supplements, more research is still needed.
Its also important to keep in mind that unlike medications, dietary supplements do not need to be approved by the FDA. This means that manufacturers can sell supplements simply with claims of safety and effectiveness.
Always talk with your healthcare provider before taking a supplement or giving one to your child. Supplements might interfere with medicines you may be taking. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, check with your provider before taking any supplement.
When Should I Talk To A Doctor
If you have consistent stomach pain, talk to your doctor about it. “Probiotics can definitely help ease symptoms of stomach issues like diarrhea and cramping,” Dr. Sonpal told POPSUGAR. “However, probiotic supplements should not replace going to a medical professional for intense abdominal pain or daily stomach problems. If you feel your daily life is being negatively affected by your stomach, it is advised to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist for a diagnosis and treatment plan.”
I’m now taking five billion CFUs of probiotics a day, which helped my stomach feel much better after only a week. This change drastically improved my quality of life, as I was able to enjoy meals and daily activities again. If you think you’re taking too high of a dose of probiotics, stop and talk to your doctor. You don’t have to live with dreadful stomach pain!
How Many Probiotics Can You Take Per Day
As probiotics are exogenous gut bacteria, consuming large amount of them or consuming them every day for too long can cause problems.
So how many probiotics should you take each day?
Th strength of probiotic supplements is measured in CFUs, or colony-forming units. This refers to the number of different bacteria in the supplement capable of forming a colony in the gut.
As you can imagine, the average number of CFUs across different probiotics is both very variable and extremely high. Anywhere fro 1 billion CFUs per dose to 20 billion CFUs per dose is common.
As a general rule of thumb, it is safer to take a probiotic with a lower CFU count on a daily basis from a side effect point of view. The higher the CFUs, the more ptoentially upsetting the probiotic is to your gut if you take it on a daily basis, as your microbiome can become overwhelmed by the foreign bacteria species.
But realistically, the CFU count matters less than the sheer number of different bacteria species youre pouring into your gut on a daily basis.
We recommend using a single probiotic product at time. That means avoiding fermented foods and probiotic drinks if using a probiotic supplement, and vice versa. Try not to consume too many different probiotic foods each day if you are not using a probiotic supplement; more is not better!
Do I Need To Take Probiotics After I Take Antibiotics
Antibiotic medications are often needed to fight an infection. However, while antibiotics are killing the bad bacteria, they are also knocking out the good bacteria in your body. Some people develop conditions like diarrhea after taking an antibiotic. In other people, this may allow for really bad bacteria to take over and populate the gut, such as with C. diff. Some research has shown a positive connection between taking probiotics after an antibiotic and relief from diarrhea. This hasnt been proven yet and doesnt work for everyone.
The thought behind adding probiotics back into your body after taking an antibiotic is that it can repopulate the good bacteria that was destroyed by the antibiotics and re-boot your system. The extra good bacteria helps repopulate your gut and fight off any remaining bad bacteria. Many people feel that adding in probiotics wont hurt, might help you feel better a little faster and prevent diarrhea.
Overdosing Can You Take Too Many Probiotics
There is absolutely no harm in taking probiotics in the long term, and there is generally no harm in increasing one’s dose of a probiotic supplement if you feel the need. Of course, this should be done in line with the individual manufacturers guidelines, and it is worth bearing in mind that taking very large amounts of a particular probiotic: Saccharomyces boulardii could possibly lead to temporary constipation in some cases. Even this unwanted side-effect would be temporary, and would be easily remedied by reducing the dose taken. Healthcare professionals can learn more about the research behind Saccharomyces boulardii on the Probiotics Database.
For more information, we also recommend the following article: Probiotics and Prebiotics.
Healthcare Profesionals may also like to head over to our Professionals site to read: Is there a risk of addiction/dependency with probiotics?
What Is The Right Dosage
The dosage of probiotics is measured in colony-forming units , which represent the number of bacteria or fungal cells in the sample that can form their own colony. An average probiotic supplement will include anywhere from 1 to 10 billion CFUs, however, the right dosage of probiotics looks different from person to person and depends on diet, age, weight, and the bodys tolerance for probiotics.
A healthy adult will generally consume about 20 billion CFUs daily through food and supplements, so its unlikely you will overdo it on probiotics by simply taking one daily supplement along with a balanced diet. Nevertheless, its best to determine the dosage that you need by consulting with your personal healthcare provider or nutritionist. They can best evaluate your current diet and medical needs and make personalized dosage and strain recommendations that will prevent bloating or other discomfort.
How Often Should You Take Probiotics
Probiotics are live yeast and bacteria that are good for you, particularly in your digestive system. Your body is full of bacteria; some of which are good, and some of which are bad. Its no surprise that probiotics fall into the good category. They help to keep your gut healthy, providing many benefits, which we will touch on below. A lot of people wonder whether they should take daily probiotic supplements or whether this is too much. You came to the right place were going to answer all of the questions you may have about when to take your probiotic supplement so that you can get a better understanding. So, lets get to it…
What About The Bad Bacteria
We are continually exposed to potentially disease-causing bacteria. This is in addition to strains of bugs that are not considered pathogenic, though they may cause symptoms of bowel disturbances if left to grow in high numbers. This is known as dysbiosis: an imbalance of gut bacteria where a person has too many of a particular strain, not enough bacterial variety, or unbalanced ratio of beneficial to non-beneficial strains.
Whilst gut bacteria should ferment the fibre we eat, dysbiosis can cause an excess of fermentation, particularly when fed with too much sugar and refined white carbohydrate. The results are unpleasant: generally, lots of wind, bloating and abdominal discomfort, as well as a potentially higher risk of developing IBS, leaky gut syndrome, and other health issues.7
Probiotics Can Cause Diarrhea
Studies have shown how helpful probiotics can be for infectious diarrhea, traveler’s diarrhea, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and C diff diarrhea. However, they can cause diarrhea in some people.
This negative side effect should pass as your body gets fully adjusted to the new probiotics. In the long run, probiotics should not cause diarrhea. If you have diarrhea that lasts greater than 2 weeks while taking a probiotic then stop taking probiotics.
How To Choose Probiotic Supplements
The best way to choose a probiotic supplement is to check how many probiotic strains and live cultures the supplement has. For instance, Navan Skin Care’s probiotic supplement contains 10 probiotic strains and 30 billion live cultures. Next is to learn about the benefits of the strains. It is also best to consult your doctor to make sure the probiotics wont interact negatively with any medications youre taking.
Ready to buy a probiotic supplement? Check out Navan Skin Cares Probiotic or contact us to learn more about our products.
How To Support The Right Balance Of Gut Bacteria
There are many factors which can affect your gut’s microbial balance, including stress and the quality of your sleep. Start by looking at your lifestyle and sleeping patterns, and aim to get at least 7 to 8 hours quality sleep per night. If you struggle with stress, introduce more mindful breaks into your daily routine, with a few minutes of deep breathing several times per day, or some relaxing exercise such as yoga, walking outside, or a regular massage.
When it comes to your diet, once again it’s important to remember that variety will stimulate a varied gut microflora. Here are some key factors to consider:
Probiotics And Side Effects
If you are a healthy person, you likely won’t have many, if any, negative side effects from taking probiotics. The only adverse effect you might experience is gas, which is a sign that you’re taking too much. For people with certain health complications taking probiotics can lead to more severe complications. So, as always, talk to your doctor before you start taking these supplements.
Of particular concern are those with compromised immune systems. An April 2019 article published by the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy indicates that cancer patients taking probiotics have poorer immune systems and recovery rates.
The National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine also noted the poor reactions between probiotics and immunosuppressant medications. Overall, this further provides evidence that you need to confirm with your doctor that taking probiotics will benefit you.
There still needs to be additional research on the safety of probiotics. Unfortunately, the focuses of most studies have been their impact on different ailments. While these benefits are essential to prove or disprove, there hasn’t been enough investigation into possible adverse reactions.
Different Cfus For Different Needs
As with most supplements and drugs, there is a large dose range over which probiotics are clinically effective, and higher dosages may be advisable for certain individuals and health conditions. For example, research suggests that supplementing with a high CFU may be beneficial for people whove experienced a significant alteration to their gut microbiome due to illness, use of antibiotics, or other lifestyle factors.,
Adding to the complexity of dosing, research studies show that different health conditions can respond differently to different probiotic strains and dosages. For some health conditions, a lower dose may work as well or even better than a higher dose, whereas for other health conditions, higher amounts are necessary to provide a clinical effect.,, More and better studies investigating the dose-response relation of probiotics for different health conditions can further inform our understanding of optimal dosing.
Use Probiotics To Your Benefit
Because of the differences in dose, diversity, and delivery mechanisms, not all probiotics are created equal. One probiotic will not have the same benefits or side effects as another.
For example, a probiotic using one strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus may help your digestive health, but another using a different Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain may not have the same effect. It may take some experimenting to determine the right brand for you.
After Taking Probiotics Regularly I Started To Feel Super Sick
It happened at a Jonas Brothers concert. One minute I was singing along to “Year 3000,” feeling my happiness beginning, and the next I was in the bathroom trying not to throw up. My stomach hurt the entire ride home, and I remember thinking I must have eaten something weird or maybe I was getting sick. A week later, on a flight to Los Angeles to visit my brother, I started to feel sick again, and this time, my symptoms didn’t let up the entire trip.
After forgetting to take my nighttime pills for a couple days – including the 30 billion colony forming units of probiotics I had recently started taking to help my IBS – I started feeling better. That’s when I realized the two might be connected. Is it possible to take too many probiotics? And what exactly are the side effects? I talked to a gastroenterologist to find out more.