Reasons To Take Probiotics Daily
Theres a vast amount of scientific research behind the benefits of probiotic supplementation.
Some people take them to treat specific ailments, such as IBS or other digestive disorders. Some people might only take probiotics after a course of antibiotics. However, the main aim is to improve the quantity and quality of bacteria in your gut so that they can help your body function more efficiently.
No matter how healthy you think you might be, your gut flora can be affected by many different things on a daily basis. Stress, diet, medications, hormones, and environmental factors have an enormous influence on how well things are in your intestines.
Its because of these external factors that many of us need to nurture our gut microbiome every day.
Here are some of the reasons to take probiotics daily.
When To Take Probiotics
Its not just the dose but also when you take it that matters. Probiotics on an empty stomach early in the morning is not recommended, primarily because your stomach is in a heightened acidic state.
In the morning your stomach has a pH level of 2 which means there is a lot of stomach acid there. Probiotics are living bacteria and do not survive an acidic environment.
They essentially live in your gut and when ingested need to escape your stomach acids into the intestines. Many supplements come with an enteric coating or delayed release. This ensures that the probiotics are still living by the time they reach the intestines.
The stomach pH level increases to a 4 right after you have a meal. It is best to take probiotics right after your breakfast. You should not double up on the dose if you miss your supplement one day.
Risk Of Infection For Some People
If your immune system is compromised, then you may be advised to avoid taking probiotics. You could have a weakened immune system if you are undergoing chemotherapy or have other immune deficiency issues.
A report from 2010 said that patients who are critically ill, have serious issues with their immune system, or have central venous catheters should seek a doctors advice before taking probiotics. However, the risk of infection from probiotics is very rare.1
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Should I Take Probiotics With Other Medication
Generally, it’s safe to take your probiotic with other supplements in the morning or at another hour of your choosing. Antibiotics, however, should be taken alone, and a doctor may instruct you to discontinue other supplements due to temporary illness. Dr. Asike maintains that probiotics are generally safe for most individuals, and the likeliest side effect may be some temporary bloating or extra gas, which usually sorts itself out over time.
The Time It Takes For Probiotics To Work On Constipation
It can often be difficult to know how long its going to take for probiotics to work if you are constipated. It can depend on you as an individual and how you respond to the supplements.
It can also depend on what is causing your constipation. In most cases, it can take between four weeks and 3 months for the effects to truly kick in.
Most research does not tell you an accurate answer, but the vast majority of people say that they feel better within a couple of hours or days after they first start taking a great quality supplement.
There are also other things that you can do to help balance your gut microbiome to support the supplements, though this depends on why you are actually having the digestive issues to begin with.
For people that struggle with irritable bowel syndrome constipation, eating more fiber can be a very effective way to increase the frequency of your bowel movements. It will help to make your probiotic more effective and can put your digestion back in balance.
You can also increase the amount of physical activity that you have each week as this can help to keep your bowels effectively moving.
You are likely to experience fewer symptoms of constipation if youre active. This may not be possible for everyone though.
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Can You Overdose On Probiotics
Is it possible to take too many probiotics?
Is it possible to take too many probiotics?
Since our bodies normally host upwards of 100 trillion bacteria, its very hard to overdose on probiotics, or good bacteria. If anything, research suggests that eating lots of these bugs via fermented foods, like yogurt or sauerkraut, or supplements can help you maintain a healthy balance of intestinal microbes that aid digestion and keep your immune system strong.
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Healthy adults can consume anywhere up to 20 billion CFUs of probiotics from food or supplements daily theres a wide range because everyones microbiome is different. To keep your gut in shape, work more fermented foods into your diet. If you want to add a supplement, ask your doctor for brands she recommends. For some people, a probiotic boost leads to bloating or diarrhea, so cut back if your stomach gets upset.
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The one exception to all this: People with depressed immune systemssuch as those with HIV, cancer or other illnessshould talk to their physician before starting them. In rare instances, if your immune system is very weak, probiotics may cause a serious infection.
How Long Should I Be Taking Probiotics
How long should I be taking probiotics? Is there a time limit? Or can I take them limitessly? Thanks
16 March 2021
Probiotics are microbial food supplements that help keep your digestive system healthy. Currently there is no recognised or definitive duration of use of probiotics, but it is noted that there is no evidence of harm caused by them.
Evidence from randomised controlled trials suggests that probiotics are effective at relieving some of the symptoms in a variety of gastro-intestinal disorders. For example, in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the use of probiotics is a valid discussion point between patient and doctor in the lifestyle and diet management. NICE guidance suggests people who wish to try probiotics be encouraged to select one brand and take it at the recommended dose for at least four weeks while monitoring the effect. However, there is insufficient evidence to recommend named bacteria or probiotic products.
Further studies and research are required into the duration of use, likewise the results of long-term use of probiotics, type vs type and the dose taken.
In summary, probiotics are a recognised option in symptom management in some gastro-intestinal disorders, with no evidence to suggest harm, but the selection and treatment length is independent to the original need and should be continued under careful monitoring.
We hope this information is helpful.
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Why You Should Eat Probiotic Food On An Empty Stomach
For the beneficial bacteria in probiotic foods to make it to your large intestinethe gut of your gut microbiomeit must first pass through your harsh stomach acids. Your stomach is designed to break down food, drink, and any other particles. Unfortunately, that includes probiotics.
When you eat, the production of gastric acid in your stomach is increased to aid the digestion process. But while this acid is crucial for digestion, it can be greatly detrimental to probiotic foods. In fact, when eaten at the wrong time, a whopping 60% of the beneficial bacteria could be killed by gastric acids!
You want to give the beneficial bacteria in your food the chance to make it through that hostile acidic environment relatively unscathed. That means consuming probiotic-friendly food when your stomach isnt in digestion mode, to minimize the amount of gastric acid that might attack the probiotics.
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The Lack Of Consistency In The Findings On Probiotics Comes In Part Because They Are Being Treated Like Conventional Drugs
This opens the door to developing personalised probiotic treatments based on someones genetic profile. Such a system is realistic and could be developed relatively soon, says Elinav, but at this stage it remains a proof of concept. To become a reality, it will need more research on probiotic tailoring and testing more bacterial strains in larger groups of people.
This kind of personalisation may release the full potential of probiotic treatments for gut health. At the moment, the lack of consistency in the findings on probiotics comes in part because they are being treated like conventional drugs. When you take a paracetamol tablet, you can be more or less sure that the active component will do its job and work on receptors in your brain, dulling your sensation of pain. This is because most peoples pain receptors are similar enough to react in the same way to the drug.
But the microbiome is not just a receptor it is closer to an ecosystem, and sometimes likened to a rainforest in its complexity.
As a result, finding and tailoring a probiotic treatment that will work on something as intricate and individual as your own internal ecosystem is no easy task. And with that in mind, its not so surprising that a dried-out pack of bacteria from a supermarket shelf may well not do the trick.
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What To Know About Prebiotics
What are alternatives to both probiotic and fecal transplants to get the gut back to health? Meyer, of the IFIC Foundation, wrote that if you are planning on taking probiotics, you should make sure to incorporate prebiotics in your regimen.
Prebiotics are defined as a substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit, which means these foods cant be broken down by the human digestive system, she added. Simply stated, prebiotics are food for probiotics. Fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, cereals are all prebiotics. Specifically, artichokes, asparagus, bananas, berries, chicory, garlic, green vegetables, legumes, onions, tomatoes, as well as grains like barley, oat, and wheat prebiotics. In addition, other fibers like inulin are also prebiotics that are added to foods like granola bars, cereal, and yogurt.
She said the jury is out on what the ideal amount is for daily prebiotic or probiotic intake.
Id recommend incorporating prebiotics and probiotics predominately from food. Think yogurt topped with fruit and an oat-based cereal or an Asian-inspired veggie stir-fry with kimchi, she wrote.
Mayer said that even though there is no scientific evidence for support, consuming a variety of naturally fermented food products could be helpful for your gut.
Again, without scientific evidence, I would suggest not to increase fiber intake drastically, as it may result in gas and bloating type symptoms, he added.
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Probiotics Are Good Bacteria
Your body is home to billions of organisms like bacteria, fungi and yeasts. Most of these organisms are harmless and many help your body work properly they form whats called the human microbiome.
Probiotics are some of the helpful good bacteria that make up your microbiome, explains Dr. Drass. They come in supplement form, but they also occur naturally in certain foods.
These fermented and aged foods are packed with probiotics:
Why You Need Probiotics
If we lived in a perfect world the way Mother Nature designed it
The soil would be microbially rich with critically important, gut-health promoting beneficial bacteria. Plants would grow organically, free of chemicals and toxins, and be naturally covered with health-promoting strains.
Every bite of food, starting with that very first mouthful when a baby transitions off the breast, would reintroduce these bacteria back into the gut to once again start their important, gut-cleansing-and-balancing journey down the intestinal tube.
After digestion and evacuation, they would be excreted and RETURNED TO THE SOIL to start the process all over again. The beneficial microbes in our bodies would live in harmony with nature, each fueling the other.
But life today is far from perfect Instead, in the westernized, industrial world, we have interrupted that natural cycle in virtually every way possible, starting with pressing down the toilet handle.
Since the late 40s and the advent of conventional farming, we have been systematically sterilizing beneficial bacteria out of:
- The soil
- All our agricultural growing practices
- All our food processing systems
- Our environment in general
In our misguided attempts to remove all bacteria, were also eliminating the beneficial bacteria that our bodies need.
This is why we now must supplement either via diet or products Theres no other way we can give our body the bacterial support it needs!
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Daily Probiotics Are Good
Your gut is home to nearly 500 different species of bacteria and other micro-organisms. Like all living things, these bacteria live the course of their life and die.
Probiotic supplements and dietary sources introduce good bacteria to your intestines. These bacteria are merely visitors and not long term occupants. After a while they die and disappear. Hence, a regular dose of sustainable probiotics is a must to maintain your health.
According to American Dietetic Association , the best way to make probiotics boost your immunity and help in overall health, is to take them daily. There are a number of ways you can cover your daily requirements and this should not including eating chips and drinking soda like Ryan must have been doing every day in the movie Drillbit Taylor. If you dont eat right it does not matter how many amazing foods you consume with probiotics.
You can include multiple food sources like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi among others to your diet. On top of this, you could eat a probiotic dietary supplement.
You might have to check the label or speak with your healthcare adviser if you go the supplement way because there is no set dosage where they are concerned. There are different strains of probiotics available in supplements.
The dosage depends on the number of colony forming units required for that particular strain of bacteria. You should make sure to have multi-strain probiotics for all-round benefits.
Is It Safe To Take Probiotics Every Day
Probiotics have repeatedly been shown to be safe for healthy adults and can be taken daily. However, some people should avoid taking probiotics, including those with a severely weakened immune system due to an illness. You can talk to your doctor before starting a probiotic supplement.
Scientific research has looked at the daily use of probiotics, and many studies show that taking probiotics every day can help with a variety of health concerns.
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Which Probiotics Should You Take With Antibiotics
Your pharmacy probably has shelves filled with different bottles of probiotics. How do you choose the right probiotics to take with your antibiotics? Dr. Bryan Tran, cofounder of DrFormulas, recommends looking for probiotics that have the three Ds:
Dose: The amount of active micro-organisms in a probiotic is measured in colony-forming units, or CFUs. You want a dose with 10 billion CFUs or higher, Dr. Tran says. This dose may appear on the product label as 1 x 1010. And while you may see probiotics with 100 billion or more CFUs, according to Dr. Hoberman, you generally stop reaping added benefits after about 20 billion.
Diversity: The label on a bottle of probiotics will also tell you which bacteria strains the capsules contain. Look for probiotics that have five to 10 unique strains. Studies that compare single-strain probiotics to multi-strain probiotics have found that a variety of strains is more effective at reducing diarrhea, Dr. Tran says.
Delayed-release mechanism: Finally, look for probiotics that use delayed-release capsules. When you take probiotics orally, you expose them to your stomach acid and that reduces the effective dosage that makes it to the gut, Dr. Tran says. Probiotics with delayed-release mechanisms wont release the microorganisms until they go past the stomach.
How Often Should You Take Probiotics
As we stated at the outset, this is a difficult question, and the answer is it depends. First, addressing the problem strictly from a safety point of view, the general answer is that it is safe for healthy individuals to take probiotics daily. However, if you eat a nutritious, balanced diet, the medical community is unsure if probiotic supplementation is necessary and if you dont have a healthy diet, they are uncertain if probiotics will improve your digestive health.
Perplexed, we turned to the WGO for their position. Heres where it depends comes into play:
The dose needed for probiotics varies greatly depending on the strain and product. Although many over-the-counter products deliver in the range of one to ten billion CFU per dose, some products have been shown to be efficacious at lower levels, while some require substantially more.
As we like to say, it appears the data is mixed.
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