How Often Should You Take Probiotics What Researchers Know So Far
- There’s no daily recommended dose of probiotics because researchers are still studying which strains of probiotics help and how much you need.
- Many over-the-counter probiotic products contain a range of 1 to 10 billion colony forming units .
- The World Health Organization says some products are effective at levels below 1 billion CFU while others require substantially more than 10 billion CFU.
There’s no simple answer to how often you should take probiotics. In fact, researchers are still figuring out whether taking probiotics is valuable for your health, in what situations they may help, and which bacteria should be given.;
If, for example, you’re generally healthy and have a diverse, balanced diet, then you probably don’t need to focus on eating more probiotic foods or taking probiotic supplements, says Ashley Gilmore, MD, a gastroenterologist at Indiana University Health.;
Moreover, if you eat poorly, it’s unclear if taking probiotic supplements or adding a lot of foods with probiotics to your diet will help you gain a healthier gut. Here’s what experts do know so far for when probiotics can help and how much it takes to make a difference.
Are Probiotics Good For You
Youll find that probiotics are a mixture of good bacteria, yeast, and live cultures that are naturally occurring in the body. The trouble you may encounter is the fact that the ecosystem of the gut can be disrupted very easily. This probably explains why probiotics have gained such popularity in recent years, resulting in many of us adding them to our everyday lifestyle and routine.
The reason why probiotics are so effective is the fact that although the guts microbiome contains over one trillion bacteria it is highly diverse with everyone having their own unique microbiome cells. This often leads to an imbalance that can easily disrupt your overall health. So, with that in mind, we are going to find out more about probiotics and figure out are they good for you?
Benefits Of Probiotic Supplementation
Probiotic supplementation is useful for those with a compromised immune system. It can also be helpful after youve had surgery to remove your intestines or after youve had chemotherapy.
Probiotics are even useful to those with problems like diabetes and IBS. For many people, taking a probiotic supplement is the easiest and most convenient way to get their bodys systems back in balance.
For others, it may also be the best option.
Many doctors will only prescribe probiotic treatments when theyre accompanied by antibiotics. This is because probiotic treatments may have different outcomes depending on the individual: some respond well to antibiotics while others do not.
If you have an ongoing health problem that is unrelated to your gastrointestinal system, you should discuss whether or not taking probiotic treatments with your doctor is appropriate.
In general, however, there are no reasons not to use probiotics, as long as you dont exceed the recommended dosage.
You can buy Probioitilus packets containing active cultures at many health food stores, online, or at your local pharmacy.
While many people take supplements as food supplements, they can also be used to replace the good bacteria that was removed during an intestinal procedure, such as colon cleansing.
To use a probiotic supplement, take one or two tablets once or twice per day with your usual daily meals. Make sure that the foods you eat contain enough live or active microorganisms.
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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.1 Probiotics are thought to exert beneficial effects by supporting protective barriers, enhancing immune responses, and rebalancing the microbial community by displacing potentially pathogenic bacteria.24
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.5,6
Consequently, the answer to what dose should I take? will ultimately depend on an individuals purpose for taking probiotics.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Taking Probiotics Daily
Taking probiotics daily will allow you to reap the most benefits from all the good bacteria entering the gut. Firstly, they help to support your immune system. Did you know that roughly 70% of your immune system is in your gut? Therefore, a balanced and healthy immune response is very much dependent on strong communities of helpful bacteria in the gut.
A premium-quality probiotic supplement can help to support the foundation of your health at its core.;Probiotics can also encourage a balanced microbiome. The bodys delicate balance of bacteria can be under attack by unhealthy lifestyle choices and environmental factors some of which you cant help, like medications and aging. These factors can have significant impacts on your healthy microflora balance. This is why taking probiotic supplements everyday are essential, as they will help to make sure that the healthy bacteria levels in your body are replenished so that your body can maintain a healthy state.
Probiotics can also help in terms of your day-to-day mood. Did you know that having a gut feeling is much more than having a hunch? A healthy gut environment plays a significant role in terms of your emotional and mental balance. The good bacteria in your intestinal tract support hundreds of nervous system chemicals being produced, which will regulate your mood.
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Antibiotics And Other Medications
If you have been to the doctor lately for an infection of any kind, the treatment plan most likely included antibiotics. By definition, antibiotics kill bacteria even the good ones. Antibiotics are quite literally the opposite of probiotics. Taking probiotics helps counteract this potential side effect of a medication you need to combat an illness. In fact, recent studies have indicated that a normal course of many commonly used antibiotics can alter the gut flora balance for up to a year after youve taken them!
Other kinds of prescription drugs and even alternative therapies like herbal treatments can change the balance of the gut microbiota, too. Add to the list products we often use daily like mouthwash, antibacterial soaps, and hand sanitizer.
Do Probiotics Even Work
Probiotics do work in certain circumstances, but we need more research. More and more clinical trials are taking place to explore the effects different probiotics have on a huge array of health conditions.
For instance, we know from meta-analyses that certain strains of probiotics provide benefits for infectious and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea . Some GPs now recommend taking these strains to their patients who complain of diarrhoea during a course of antibiotics. However a recent study in the journal Cell found that taking probiotics after antibiotics could prevent or slow down the return of the bacterial families lost as a result of the treatment .
Interestingly, a group of people in the study who received autologous faecal microbiota transplantation recovered their microbiota the quickest, with the composition of the microbiota returning to normal within days. These researchers found that bacteria re-grew in the test subjects colons in very different ways, with some peoples guts rejecting the new guys and others allowing them to set up shop with no issues.
Essentially, this means that for some people, taking certain probiotic supplements is a waste of time and money, while for others, the same probiotics can be very effective. Right now, theres no way to predict how youll react to any probiotic, so your best bet is to start low and go slow .
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Choose The Right One For Your Health Condition
If you have a particular health condition, you may want to consider a specific strain of probiotic or consult a medical professional to find one thats best for you.
Experts agree that Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains benefit most people .
In particular, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Saccharomyces boulardii may reduce your risk of antibiotic-related diarrhea, while E. coli Nissle 1917 may help treat ulcerative colitis (
For a probiotic to work, its live microorganisms must reach your large intestine and colonize it. Look for a supplement that guarantees at least 1 billion live cultures on the label and ask your healthcare provider whether a particular strain is best for you.
Should I Eat Before Taking A Probiotic
Taking a probiotic after or during your meal may negate some of the benefits of the supplement due to busy digestion efforts in your gut. But Dr. Asike explains that some bacterial strains are naturally more resistant to stomach acid, and can be taken with meals safely in some cases, multiple times a day. You’ll likely see printed language on your chosen probiotic packaging that indicates it’s safe to take with meals.
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How Long Does It Take For Probiotics To Start Working
Everyones taking probiotics these days. At least, it seems that way: they now command an estimated $37 billion market worldwide. Maybe the growing stack of research connecting our microbiomes to an ever-increasing list of diseases, ranging from obesity to IBS and depression, has something to do with it.
Theres still a lot we dont know about the microbiome. While probiotics are helpful for many of us, if youre looking for concrete evidence theyll work for your gut issues, youre unlikely to find it. Read on to find out what to expect on your quest for the perfect probiotic.
How Many Times In A Day Is It Recommended To Take A Probiotic
As mentioned, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to probiotics, so it is crucial to figure out what works for you. Luckily, there is a lot of research that you can draw upon to help make a more educated decision when taking probiotics.;The efficacy of your probiotics depends heavily on the dosage of your probiotics.
For example, a study in the American Family Physician August 2017 issue indicated that a dosage of a minimum of five billion colony-forming units per day was more effective when compared with lower dosages . Research from Harvard Health Publishing encourages people to take this in one dose per day, rather than taking several smaller doses.;
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The Probiotic That Worked For Your Friend Might Not Work For You
Even with antibiotic-associated diarrhea, which has the best evidence, “you could have seven people take the same probiotic and only have one report a definite difference,” says gastroenterologist Matthew Ciorba, M.D., a medical professor who studies human gut microbiota at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. That’s because each person’s microbial makeup is as unique as a fingerprint, influenced by age, genetics, and gender. For example, animal research from the University of Texas at Austin found the microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to the same diet. Scientists are now studying ways to harness a person’s own microbes to treat illnesses, rather than going for a mass approach.
Put Miso Soup On Your Menu
Miso soup is easy to make with hot water and miso paste, and it adds a probiotic punch to any meal. In Japan, it can be served at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Miso is fermented soy that contains healthy bacteria, says Gabriella Vetere, RDN, CSOWM, a California-based medical health coach in the corporate setting in Silicon Valley.
Just remember that high temperatures can kill probiotics, which eliminates their health boost. Add the miso paste just before serving and avoid too-hot temperatures to preserve as many beneficial microorganisms as possible.
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Can I Get Probiotics From Food
You can absolutely increase beneficial microbes in your body from the foods you eat. Certain foods have probiotics in them and can benefit the health of your microbiome.
These foods can be introduced into your diet at any point of the day. You may even be regularly eating them now and not realize that they contain probiotics. You will want to check the food label for live and active cultures. A few suggestions for just some of the probiotic-rich foods you can add to your diet and some times to try them include:
For breakfast, try:
Probiotic supplements may be combined with a prebiotic. Prebiotics are complex carbohydrates that feed the microorganisms in your gut. Basically, prebiotics are the food source for the good bacteria. They help feed the good bacteria and keep it healthy. Prebiotics include inulin, pectin and resistant starches.
When you have a supplement that combines a probiotic and prebiotic, its called a synbiotic.
Tips To Maximize The Health Benefits Of Probiotics
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The Role Stomach Acid Plays
The acidic environment;of your stomach plays an important role in the bodys digestion process. Stomach acid;helps in the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins and kills germs that enter your body via your mouth.
The pH value of the stomach is between 1.7 to 2.0. The pH value increases throughout the small intestine up to a pH of 7.0 in some parts of the large intestine. Most of the beneficial bacteria;in your digestive system;live in the small and large intestine;due to the higher pH value.
Prolonged exposure to the acidic environment;in the stomach can kill the beneficial bacteria, which is why timing probiotic;use is so important.
Balancing The Intestinal Ecosystem
Although the vast majority of existing clinical trials indicate that probiotic doses of 10-20 billion CFU per day are sufficient for maintaining immune and digestive health, research studies examining the dose-response of larger CFUs and products featuring CFUs of 50 to 100 billion are becoming increasingly common.6,7 While it may be tempting to assume that a larger CFU automatically translates to greater probiotic benefits, this is not necessarily the case for every individual or health indication.8,9
One of;the mechanisms of probiotic therapy is restoration of intestinal balance by replacing harmful microbes with more favorable ones. Because not everyone needs very large amounts of probiotic bacteria to achieve this, regularly providing the body with a moderate infusion of high-quality bacteria may represent a more biologically meaningful approach to health maintenance than overwhelming the gut microbiota ecosystem with more bacteria than is needed.
Thus, for individuals in relatively good health,;a daily dose of 10-20 billion CFU is likely sufficient for supporting everyday immune and digestive support.;
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Do Probiotics Detox The Body
Yes, they do, by taking daily probiotics you are boosting the number of good bacteria in the gut. This will result in you detoxifying your system and enabling the gut to absorb nutrients more effectively. It is considered that after taking antibiotics the imbalance of good bacteria will have negative results which can last a considerable amount of time, even after youve stop taking your course of antibiotics.
Can Long Term Use Of Probiotics Be Harmful
Yes and no, this is very much dependent on your overall health. If you find you are having trouble with your immune system, suffering from long term illness, and currently taking antibiotics probiotics could lead to any negative systems to worsen over time. Therefore, it is so important to check with a doctor before introducing probiotics into your daily routine.
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Better Alternative For Long
The fact that probiotics can eventually cause their own imbalances in gut microflora composition is precisely why we recommend people use prebiotics rather than probiotics.
Whereas probiotics give you a huge influx of exogenous bacteria to the gut, prebiotics nurture and feed your existing healthy gut bacteria. By selectively feeding your healthy gut bacteria, prebiotic fibers rebalance gut microflora without introducing anything foreign to the gut.
Again unlike probiotics, the best prebiotics are suitable for daily use for prolonged periods of time.
In summary: Is it OK to take probiotics daily?
A common question in regards to probiotics is whether it is okay to take probiotics daily. Whilst there may be a few exceptions to this rule, the general answer is yes, its safe to take probiotics every day. However, using probiotics every day for the long-term can cause side effects.
Increased Risk Of Infection
review from 2017 suggest that children and adults with severe illnesses or compromised immune systems should avoid using probiotics. Some people with these conditions have experienced bacterial or fungal infections as a result of probiotic use.
If a person has a condition that affects their immune system, they should speak with their doctor before taking probiotics.
Also, anyone using antifungal medication should wait until the infection has cleared up before taking probiotics.
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