What Are The Side Effects Of Too Many Probiotics
If you take too many probiotics, youll probably suffer with bloating, gas, and possibly diarrhoea. There are currently no maximum RDAs for any probiotic strains, as they arent considered a vital part of your diet by any health authority.
However, research findings generally suggest anything from 1 billion CFU to 10 billion CFU as an effective daily dose, depending on the strain .
Use Probiotics To Your Benefit
By now you should be more aware of the potential side effects of overdosing on probiotics and how to eliminate or minimize those side effects. If you continue to have discomfort while taking probiotics, I recommend you stop taking that particular brand.
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.
Will Bloating From Probiotics Go Away
It is normal for some people to experience gas, abdominal distension, burping or flatulence soon after starting a probiotic regimen. This typically happens because the microbiome of your gut has been disrupted by antibiotics or other medications that alter the natural balance of bacteria in your stomach and intestines.
Some people may also notice an increase in gassiness as their body adjusts to increased levels of healthy gut flora from the probiotics.
In order for these changes to take place naturally, there needs to be enough good bacteria present and they need time and space so they can gradually adapt to the change in their routine.
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Probiotics Can Cause Gas
The most common negative side effect of probiotics is mild gas and bloating. This usually happens when you first begin taking probiotics but usually gets better with use.
What causes gas and bloating? Gas and bloating means that your digestive system is not breaking down and absorbing your food completely. The undigested food gets passed into the gut where probiotics and other gut microbes ferment the undigested food and produce gas.
The feeling of bloating is usually because your body is not used to the increased probiotic activity. Taking a probiotic can increase the number of probiotics inside your gut. This increased microbial activity produces additional gas which your body is not used to.
After the initial period , your body should gradually adapt to the new friendly bacteria, allowing for improved digestion.
If your gas and bloating do not get better while taking probiotics there are two things you can do:
1. Try taking a digestive enzymes supplement along with your probiotics to help your body break down, digest, and absorb food. More complete digestion helps reduce gas and bloating.
2. Try taking the probiotics on an empty stomach before bed. Probiotics can produce gas when provided with certain kinds of foods and taking probiotics before bed minimizes the chance of that happening.
Can Probiotic Supplements Expire
Like all living things, probiotics eventually dieor expireat some point. And because probiotics need to be alive to work, considering the expiry date of your probiotics is especially important.
When looking at a probiotic supplement, you’ll see that each one contains a specific number of organisms per capsule. For example, one probiotic may have 5 billion colony-forming units per dose, while another has 25 billion CFUs. But, as Pedre points out, those numbers only represent what’s in the capsule up to their expiration. After that, the probiotic numbers go down and the supplement becomes less effective over time.
While this is true no matter how you store your probiotics, the less closely you follow the storage instructions, the more quickly it happens. For example, if your probiotic calls for refrigeration but you leave it out on the counter in the middle of the summer, the heat and moisture from humidity can kill some, or all, of the bacteria, even before the expiration date.
If your probiotic doesn’t have an expiration or best-by date, most supplements are formulated to last at least two years beyond the manufacturing date . If you like your probiotic, you’ll probably use it well before two years though.
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Are There Any Risks Related To Probiotics
Probiotics are generally considered safe. However, there are some risks linked to the supplements. These risks are increased if you have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, have recently had surgery or have other serious medical conditions.
Unlikely, but possible, risks can include:
- Developing an infection.
- Developing a resistance to antibiotics.
- Developing harmful byproducts from the probiotic supplement.
Dna Extraction And Pcr Amplification
For probiotic products labeled as containing only one strain, a colony was isolated when there was growth. From probiotic products containing multiple species that were differentiable by selective growth media, all differentiable colonies were collected. DNA was extracted from the samples using the InstaGene Matrix following the manufacturers protocol, or the microwave method. For the microwave method, a small portion of a colony is spread on the inside of a PCR tube and then microwaved on high for 3 min and then PCR mix is added directly to this tube.
Bacterial DNA PCR protocol: 5 µL 10× PCR Buffer, 3 µL MgCl2 , 4 µL BSA , 2 µL pA , 2 µL pH , 1 µL Taq, 2 µL dNTP , 2 µL template DNA and then topped off to 50 µL with NFH2O. Run at 95°C for 2 min, then 30 cycles at 95°C for 30 s, 55°C for 30 s and 72°C for 1 min followed by a 10-min hold at 72°C. PCR of bacterial sequences was conducted with 16S rRNA primers pA and pH .
Fungal DNA PCR protocol was taken from White et al. . PCR of fungal sequences was conducted using ITS primers, ITS1 and ITS4 . Samples were amplified using Taq DNA polymerase. Reactions were primed at 95°C for 5 min, followed by 35 cycles of 95°C for 30 s, 50°C for 30 s, 72°C for 1 min and a final extension at 72°C for 10 min. Nucleotide Basic Local Alignment Search Tool was then used to determine the identity of the bacterial and yeast species in the probiotic.
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How To Know That Probiotics Are Working
Now we all understand everyones big concern to the question how long does it take for probiotics to work? But dont forget that your gut is a big home to trillions of microbes. Thats why this ecosystem is called the microbiome where the microbes are living inside. Theyre known as gut flora, which completely fit into two different categories: bad gut flora and good gut flora.
When the microbiome of each person is different, its hard to know how the body responds to beginning a new probiotic supplement. Theres a positive impact on our health for one week and then a few months after you start to take a probiotic supplement. If youre fresh to these pills, here are the top signs that probiotics are working:
Efficient Absorption Of Probiotics & Instant Gut Modification
If youre using a high quality probiotic supplement with respect to CFU count and formatting , your probiotic supplement should exhibit efficient pharmacokinetics. In other words, after ingesting your probiotic supplement, the supplement should be efficiently transported to the gut wherein itll introduce healthy bacteria for gastrointestinal colonization.
According to Marteau and Shanahan , when probiotic microbes colonize in the gastrointestinal tract, there may be immediate physiologic effects resulting from this colonization particularly with regard to immune function and inflammation. Some believe that rapid modulation of immune function and suppression of inflammation may be the reason as to why some individuals notice probiotics working quickly.
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Some Probiotic Strains Are Better Than Others
Are some probiotic strains better than others? Yes and no. While probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in your intestinal tract, there are trillions of organisms in your intestinal tract and dozens if not hundreds of different strains of good bacteria there as well. As a result, its impossible to say for certain which probiotic strain is best because it varies significantly from one person to the next.
Everyones gut microbiome is different depending on diet, genes, climate, age, the acidity of our digestive tract and countless other variablesand our microbiomes are continually shifting.1 The best probiotic for you will also depend on why you are using a probiotic in the first place since different probiotic strains may benefit your health in different ways.
So, whats ideal for you will be different from whats ideal for your neighbor. This is also a big reason why most people prefer probiotic combination formulas like Swanson Ultra Probiotic Complex, which contains 25 different probiotic strains for digestive and immune support, instead of supplements offering just one or two strains of probiotics.
The bottom line is that the best probiotic for you may not be the same probiotic that is best for someone else. If you need help finding the best probiotic for your needs, read The 4 Steps to Choosing a Probiotic for You.
Selective Media For Enumeration
Several selective media were used to isolate all possible species from each probiotic. Streptococcus salivarius was grown on Mitis Salivarius Agar aerobically at 37°C. SF Broth with 15 g/L agar was used to isolateEnterococcus faecalis grown aerobically at 37°C. ST agar was used to isolate Streptococcus thermophilus, grown aerobically at 37°C. Standard YPD media with 15 g/L agar dissolved in distilled water were used to isolate Saccharomyces boulardii, grown aerobically at 37°C.
For differentiation of lactobacilli strains, MRS agar and antibiotic MRS agars were used, all grown anaerobically in a jar at 37°C for up to 48 h. MRS agar with 50 µg mL1 tetracycline and 15 µg mL1fusidic acid was used to differentiate Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, respectively . Modified deMan-Rogosa Sharpe agar containing bromophenol blue was used to isolate different lactic acidproducing bacterium, from the mixed culture .
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Probiotic Dosage & Bioavailability
The dosage and bioavailability of your probiotic supplement could determine how quickly you derive therapeutic or noticeable benefit from supplementation. Probiotic dosage generally refers to the number of colony forming units per tablet, capsule, bead, etc. A majority of probiotic supplements created for adults contain between 10 and 20 billion colony forming units per capsule.
Nevertheless, someone who takes a probiotic supplement with 20 billion CFUs per dose may report a noticeably a quicker onset of action than someone who takes a probiotic with just 5 billion CFUs per dose. The person using a probiotic with 20 billion CFUs per dose should end up with a greater number of healthy microbes that survive delivery to the gastrointestinal tract and that colonize within the gastrointestinal tract compared to the individual using a probiotic with just 5 billion CFUs per dose.
That said, CFUs per dose dont always determine the efficacy of probiotics and/or the rate at which they take effect. The bioavailability of the probiotic supplement, or the percentage of bacterial constituents that actually survive transport to the gut and exert an effect can also impact how long probiotics take to work.
Can Too Much Probiotic Cause Bloating
When it comes to probiotics, people are often tempted to take more than they need in the interest of achieving better health. However, this may not always be a good idea.
Case in point: when someone takes too much probiotic for long periods of time, they might experience bloating and gas production.
It is possible that some strains might not agree with your system well enough to produce noticeable benefits but remember this is rare!
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How Long Does It Take For Probiotics To Work
Probiotics can take as long as they need to for giving you the results youre looking for. It all depends on your symptoms.
For example, some studies show that those who are suffering from IBS-related symptoms can take up to 4 weeks to see improvements from using probiotics.
Then again, those who are taking probiotics to boost their immune system only start to see a rise in antibodies in their gut after 12 weeks.
12 weeks is also the case for those who are prone to getting upper respiratory infections like the flu who are taking probiotics .
However, its faster for some other issues. If you are suffering from diarrhea, some research shows it can take as little as 2 days for probiotics to help rectify the issues in your gut.
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.
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I Dont Need Probiotics Because I Eat Yogurt
This assumption can be tricky. Although yogurt is made with bacterial cultures, not all yogurts contain viable probiotics by the time they make it to store shelves. Some yogurts are heat-treated after fermentation, which can kill the live cultures that were used to make them.3 Youll need to read the label of your yogurt to make sure it contains live, active cultures, and even then it might not contain enough to make a difference.
If your yogurt does contain viable probiotics, the question becomesHow much beneficial gut bacteria are you really getting from yogurt? There are a couple of brands that have plunked down quite a bit of money on short studies so they can show some benefits from consumption of their yogurt, but the participants in those studies ate the yogurt a few times each day.
So, unless you plan on eating a few cups of yogurt every day, you are not likely to see the same benefits or gain any regular digestive support. You also have to keep an eye out for added sugars in yogurt, which equate to extra calories.
Probiotic supplements, on the other hand, deliver carefully measured daily servings of probiotics in much higher concentrations, and without the extra calories from eating all that yogurt. If regular maintenance is what you want, a high-quality probiotic formula may be a better choice.
Whats your take? Do you take probiotics on a regular basis? What results have you experienced?
Did You Know Most Probiotics Need To Be Refrigerated
Unlike supplements, most probiotics have a short shelf life and should be refrigerated to ensure their potency. Supplements contain nutrients, while probiotics contain living bacteria, the kind that is good for you and your body. This is a key factor to remember, because it is up to you to keep the bacteria in your probiotics alive, even before the expiration date found on the bottle.
How do you do that? It depends on the type of probiotic you purchase. For Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains found in the most common store-bought brands, refrigeration is your only option. Because these bacteria die at room temperature, they must be refrigerated to maintain efficacy. At room temperature, the rate of loss in a typical probiotic can be as much as 10-15% per month!
Just think about this: Probiotics leave the manufacturer and travel to the store. While at the store they sit on the shelf, at room temperature, before being purchased and then brought to your home. During this entire transition, the Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium strains within are actively dying. This is also true for many other strains, including yeast strains, found in most probiotics.
The one exception to this is a new class of probiotics known as soil-based probiotics, which are naturally resistant, shelf stable probiotics to heat, and safe at room temperature.
What can you do to ensure that valuable organisms within your probiotic are available when you need them?
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What Has Science Shown About The Effectiveness Of Probiotics For Health Conditions
A great deal of research has been done on probiotics, but much remains to be learned about whether theyâre helpful and safe for various health conditions.
Probiotics have shown promise for a variety of health purposes, including prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea , prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis and in premature infants, treatment of infant colic, treatment of periodontal disease, and induction or maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis.
However, in most instances, we still donât know which probiotics are helpful and which are not. We also donât know how much of the probiotic people would have to take or who would be most likely to benefit. Even for the conditions that have been studied the most, researchers are still working toward finding the answers to these questions.
The following sections summarize the research on probiotics for some of the conditions for which theyâve been studied.
Should You Take A Break From Probiotics
It is safe to take a small break from probiotics here and there. You should check in with your body. Consider how youre feeling. If you still feel like you have stomach problems and probiotics are helping, continue to take them.
If you are no longer getting results or your problem has been resolved you have no other need to take them.
Probiotics have their uses, and may take a different amount of time to work depending on what youre using them for. However if youre looking for more reliable results we suggest you look into prebiotics.
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