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Is It Possible To Take Too Many Probiotics

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Side Effects Of Too Much Probiotics How To Deal With

Can You Take Too Many Probiotics? – How Much Is Too Much?

Probiotics are living bacteria that provide health benefits. They can be ingested through natural dietary sources or supplements. There are a few side effects of probiotics that creep up from time to time. Dont despair if you feel these as probiotics are generally very good for you! The side effects of probiotics include gas, migraines and infection risk.

Probiotics include gut-friendly yeasts too. While the benefits are numerous, there could be a few potential side effects too.

However, most of the side effects are caused when the probiotics are not taken as intended or in the correct dosage. It is important to note that there is no FDA approved dosage as yet because of lack of significant research.

How Do Probiotics Work

Probiotics work by introducing new strains of bacteria to the gut bacteria strains known to help bring about healthy changes in the gut microbiome. Probiotics is actually just a word we give to gut-friendly bacteria.

Different probiotics work in slightly different ways.

Some probiotics are designed specifically for weight loss. For example, Bio X4 is sold explicitly as a weight loss probiotic. These supplements will generally contain probiotic strains known to be effective for weight loss, along with other ingredients designed to suppress appetite, accelerate fat metabolism, etc.

Other probiotics are designed specifically for mens health. These probiotics for men will generally contain a variety of probiotic cultures and a handful of other ingredients known to support male health, vitality, and testosterone levels.

But what all probiotics have in common is that they bring about positive changes in gut bacteria. They do this by using a range of bacteria strains which are either identical to the strains found in your gut or which are known to fight off harmful bacteria that might be causing you digestive issues.

Obviously, this means that probiotics are not without risks.

Since you are introducing foreign bacteria strains to the gut in varying quantities, it is possible for you to inadvertedly cause an imbalance in your gut microflora that is, to actually create severe imbalances between gut bacteria strains.

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!

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Is It Possible To Take Too Many Probiotics

Probiotics are supplements or foods containing living microorganisms that maintain or improve the good bacteria in the body, particularly in the gut. Theyve been shown to improve a variety of health conditions, including digestive issues, inflammation, and allergic reactions, says Naples, Fla.based integrative neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, who studies gut health.

There are no known dangers of overdose with probiotics, Perlmutter notes, but theres no reason to take huge doses, either. Its more a matter of effectiveness, he says. If youre having a good clinical benefit from the amount youre taking, its really unlikely that doubling or tripling the dosage will result in much improvement.

Probiotic doses are measured by colony-forming units , and they range from 1 billion to 100 billion CFUs. Perlmutter considers 100 billion to be the highest daily dosage anybody needs to take and most people need much less than that. A variety of bacterial strains, he says, is more useful than a higher dose of one strain.

But if you suffer from conditions such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth , which causes bloating and poor digestion, supplemental probiotics may make matters worse, explains Amy Myers, MD, who treats patients with SIBO at her clinic in Austin, Texas.

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Is There Such A Thing As Too Many Probiotics Experts Explain

Can Taking Too Much Probiotics Be an Issue?

Probiotics are often recommended for people dealing with uncomfortable gas, bloating, and/or digestive issues. Since the word probiotics actually refers to a healthy bacteria, that recommendation can be a bit confusing. Is it best to consume probiotics through food or through supplements? And is it ever OK to double up?

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Make Sure To Introduce Probiotics Alone

To determine whether or not youre getting the benefits of probiotics, its best to introduce them alone . This is a general principle that applies to most new treatments.

Introducing each new treatment in isolation is the best way to determine how theyre affecting you. If you introduce probiotics at the same time as you introduce a bunch of other supplements and dietary changes, you wont have any way of knowing whats actually helping. Thats a big part of why we recommend making changes one at a time.

Probiotic therapy should be second in an overall diet and lifestyle change process. This is what we recommend at the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine to our patients:

  • Start with finding your ideal diet.
  • Add probiotics.
  • If your symptoms have not resolved, add one new therapy at a time, such as an antimicrobial agent.
  • When youre experiencing difficult symptoms, its tempting to want to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. But ultimately, that method will cost you more stress, money, and likely, confusion.

    This step-by-step method might take a little longer, but ultimately, it pays off to take things one change at a time.

    Dont Mistake A Reaction For An Overdose: Thedie

    You may experience a reaction while re-balancing isoccurring. A few days of turbulence is OK. However, reactions lasting over a week indicate this particularprobiotic is not a good fit for your gut.

    Simply remove the probiotic that is not working for you, andcontinue with the categories of probiotics that you tolerate.

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    You’ll Enjoy Fresher Breath

    Our mouths are no stranger to bacteria, but adding more of the good kind seems to have some payoff. Research suggests that probiotics may help kick bad breath to the curb.

    Oral probiotics, including streptococcus salivarius strains K12 and M18, are linked to combating the growth of bacteria that’s associated with halitosis, per the University of Connecticut. After one week of using probiotic lozenges, 85 percent of study participants showed a reduction in volatile sulfur compounds associated with bad breath.

    Stinky smells aren’t the only mouth-related condition that probiotics may be able to tackle. An October 2009 pilot study in Clinical Periodontology tested the effect of drinking probiotic milk daily for eight weeks and found that those who drank probiotics saw a decrease in gum inflammation.

    A 2006 Swedish Dental Journal study, in which participants were given a certain dose of probiotics or placebo, found that those given the highest probiotics dosage showed the greatest reduction in gingivitis symptoms over a two-week period.

    The Takeaway

    If theres anything conclusive about how probiotics affect parts of the body, its that just about every variable about probiotics affects people differently.

    Mechanisms, strains and clinical direction are poorly understood at this point, Moreno says, but one day we should have a way to tailor probiotic strains/doses for individuals based on their health needs.

    How Long Probiotics Take For Different Conditions

    How to Take Probiotics for Maximum Benefit

    While everyones experience with probiotics is different, we can look to some of the research on probiotics to give us a general idea of how long it takes to see results with different conditions.

    Something important to note is that just because a study may have evaluated benefits after two months of probiotic use doesnt mean that it took two months for the benefits to occur. In reality, a participant may have seen benefits much sooner, but the study did not measure results until the two month mark.

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    When Taken In Excess Probiotics Can Be Dangerous

    People at higher risk for adverse effects, like infection, of taking too many probiotics are those with serious illnesses or weakened immune systems, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

    If you fall into either of those categories, it’s important to consult your doctor before taking probiotics.

    Side Effects Of Taking Too Many Probiotics

    Although it is not possible to overdose on probiotics, taking too many can cause some unpleasant and potentially harmful side effects. In fact, consuming large quantities of probiotics can actually counteract their many health benefits. For instance, taking too many probiotics can cause gas and bloating . While it’s not unusual to experience these side effects after you first start taking probiotics, they should not last for more than a few weeks. If the gas and bloating do not subside, you might have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth , a condition caused by an excess of bacteria growing in the small intestine.

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    Can I Use Probiotics To Help With Medical Conditions

    There is currently a large amount of research happening around the idea of what probiotics can do for your body. Even though there are a lot of possibly positive outcomes, researchers are still working to find definitive answers about how probiotics can help with various conditions.

    However, there are some medical conditions where probiotics may help. This can vary between people meaning that what works for one person may not work for another. These can also vary based on the certain probiotic that is taken.

    Some of the conditions that might be helped by increasing the amount of probiotics in your body include:

    • Upper respiratory infections .
    • .

    Find Your Peak Improvement

    Can Taking Too Much Probiotics Be an Issue?

    Once youve reached a point where youve seen as much improvement as possible, celebrate! Youve reached another milestone in your healing journey, and even if not everything has completely resolved, youve still made a lot of progress. Maintain this dose for another four weeks to give your body a chance to integrate the changes and stabilize itself.

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    Some Ingredients May Cause Adverse Reactions

    People with allergies or intolerances should read the labels of probiotic supplements carefully, since they might contain ingredients they could react to.

    For example, some of the supplements contain allergens such as dairy, egg or soy.

    These ingredients should be avoided by anyone who is allergic, as they may trigger an allergic reaction. If necessary, read labels carefully to avoid these ingredients .

    Similarly, yeast-based probiotics should not be taken by those with yeast allergies. Instead, a bacteria-based probiotic should be used .

    Milk sugar, or lactose, is also used in many probiotic supplements .

    While studies suggest that most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate up to 400 mg of lactose in medications or supplements, there have been case reports of adverse effects from probiotics (

    39 ).

    Some people experience gas and bloating when consuming synbiotics. Those who experience these side effects may want to select a supplement that does not contain prebiotics .


    Probiotic supplements can contain allergens, lactose or prebiotic fibers that may cause adverse reactions in some people. These ingredients can be avoided by reading labels.

    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.

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    They Can Increase Infection Risk For Some

    Probiotics are safe for the vast majority of the population, but may not be the best fit for everyone.

    In rare cases, the bacteria or yeasts found in probiotics can enter the bloodstream and cause infections in susceptible individuals (

    50 ).

    Research also suggests that people with severe acute pancreatitis should not take probiotics, as this may increase the risk of death .


    People with compromised immune systems, venous catheters, recent surgery, acute pancreatitis or prolonged hospitalizations should avoid taking probiotics.

    Stomach Aches Or Cramps

    The Truth About Probiotics And Gut Health

    An upset stomach can go hand-in-hand with symptoms like gas and bloating, says McCallum, and should fade in a few weeks if itâs just a matter of your body adjusting to your new probiotics. But if unwelcome bloat continues living in your gut, it can cause everything from nausea to cramping in the longer term, and could be a sign that your probiotics arenât agreeing with you.

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    Balance Is The Secret To Natures Success

    When you think about the jungle, it may be tempting to remove everything you consider unpleasant so you can enjoy an exotic hike when youre on vacation.

    So lets say we had a way of removing all the mosquitos, spiders, and other pesky insects, as well as lions, and snakes, and gila monsters. That does make it sound like strolling through the jungle would be so much safer for us

    What Are The Most Common Types Of Probiotic Bacteria

    Though there are many types of bacteria that can be considered probiotics, there are two specific types of bacteria that are common probiotics found in stores. These include:

    • Lactobacillus.
    • Bifidobacterium.

    Probiotics are also made up of good yeast. The most common type of yeast found in probiotics is:

    • Saccharomyces boulardii.

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    Possible Side Effects Of Probiotics

    Probiotics are living bacteria and yeasts that provide health benefits when consumed in large amounts.

    They can be taken as supplements or consumed naturally through fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha .

    The health benefits of probiotic supplements and foods have been well documented, including a lower risk of infections, improved digestion and even a reduced risk for some chronic diseases .

    While there are many health benefits linked to taking probiotics, there can also be side effects. Most of these are minor and only affect a small percentage of the population.

    However, some people with serious illnesses or compromised immune systems may experience more severe complications.

    This article reviews the most common side effects of probiotics and how to reduce them.

    Whats Too Much Too Little Or Maybe Its The Wrong Strain How Do You Get It Right

    Is It Possible To Take Too Many Probiotics? Experts Explain

    You know the saying, If a little does a little bit of good then a lot must do a whole lot of good But when it comes to probiotics, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

    Weve talked before about the microbiome, the ginormous collection of microbes that live in your gut.

    Some of those bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microbes maintain a thriving ecosystem of sorts that assists your body in many of its functions. And they also provide a powerful immune system to protect you from infections, cancer, and viruses from the common cold to HIV.

    There are at any given moment -10 microbes to every single cell in the human body. So were vastly outnumbered from the start.

    But thankfully, the majority of those microbes help us function and protect us from invaders. The rest of them are always on the attack and being destroyed or eaten by the good bacteria.

    Until something happens that jars that system out of balance. For example:

    An infection treated by antibiotics, where the good bacteria are wiped out along with the bad.

    Stomach upset that results in vomiting or diarrhea, where massive evacuation of the intestine leaves behind a weakened balance of beneficial and destructive microbes.

    An injury that drives you to take a heavy load of ibuprofen, and your stomach lining becomes irritated, causing pain and bleeding.

    In each of these examples, ingesting probiotics can help to restore balance in your gut, and relieve symptoms.

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    You Might Lose Weight

    The findings around probiotics and weight are a little muddy, but certain probiotics may be a useful tool for weight loss and reducing belly fat.

    A strain called Lactobacillus gasseri may slow down dietary fat absorption and, instead, increase the amount of fat excreted by the body, per a March 2015 study published in Lipids in Health and Disease.

    Eating yogurt with the probiotic Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus is linked to lowering body fat by three to four percent over a six-week period, per a January 2013 study in Journal of Functional Foods. Similarly, an April 2014 study in the British Journal of Nutrition observed that women with obesity who took Lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements lost more weight than the control group over three months.

    While probiotics for weight loss may seem auspicious, certain strains of probiotics, namely, Lactobacillus acidophilus, are linked to promoting weight gain, per an August 2012 Microbial Pathogenesis study.

    This discovery further supports the fact that more research on individual probiotic strains is necessary for understanding probiotics’ effects on our health.

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