Probiotics Improve Gut Health
Probioticshave been shown to positively affect digestive health in several ways:
- Increase the diversity, or health, of the living organisms in your digestive system .
- Fight pathogens and their toxins .
- Promote a more rapid recovery from imbalances in your gut microbiota .
- Promote a healthy immune system response in your gut .
- Reduce gut inflammation .
- Encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut .
- Reduce leaky gut aka damage to your gut lining .
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.
The Consequences Of A Probiotic Overdose
So, what happens if you consume too many probiotics at once? By too many, we mean a deliberate effort by consuming 10x the recommended dosage of a probiotic supplement. Will you drop dead in your tracks?
No, you wont instantly croak. In the worst-case scenario, you may experience some minor adverse reactions. In a previous post, we discussed the possible side effects of probiotics. These include migraines, gas, skin rashes and nausea. These side effects dont occur in the majority of users only among a minor number of first-time users. However, if you take probiotics in mega-doses, then you elevate the risk of one or more of the side effects manifesting. Furthermore, the unwanted reactions may be more pronounced.
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Certain Ingredients Can Cause Adverse Reactions
In addition to offering different strains of bacteria, probiotics supplements can often include other ingredients introduced during manufacturing which can lead to adverse reactions. Some people may experience side effects from probiotics not because of the microbes themselves but because of other ingredients within the supplement, such as lactose, soy, or egg. Its important to check supplement labels and avoid these probiotics if you have sensitivities or allergies to these types of common ingredients.
Are There Any Storage Instructions For Probiotics
Several probiotic strains are very fragile and need to be protected from heat, oxygen, light and humidity. The probiotics might start to break down or die if they are exposed to these elements. Because of this, you may need to refrigerate your probiotics or store it in a particular place. Refrigerating certain probiotic strains ensures that theyre still viable when you go to use them and will still provide the full benefit of the probiotic. Always read the labels on any probiotic product you purchase to make sure you store it correctly and use it within the expiration date.
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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.
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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How Many Cfus Can I Take In A Day
Probiotic doses are measured in colony forming units , which means the number of live bacteria in each dose.
Many probiotic supplements contain 1 to 10 billion CFU per dose, but some products contain up to 50 billion CFU or more. However, a higher CFU count doesnt mean the product is more effective.3
The number of CFUs you need to take in a day will vary from person-to-person and is dependent on the type of probiotic you are taking, the health benefit you are trying to achieve, the product formulation and the quality of the product you are taking.6
It is best to use the recommended dose of a product that has been clinically-trialled and shown to have the benefit you are looking for,
However, depending on a person’s health condition, most people can take a maximum daily dose equivalent to 400 billion CFUs.
There Is No Way To Know What Dose You Are Taking
The probiotic supplement market is relatively unregulated, so it’s hard to know how many CFUs we actually are consuming when we take probiotics in pill form. Moreover, it’s difficult to know if the organisms in those probiotics are even still alive and capable of doing their job, or if they’re dead and useless. Even if the bacteria are alive, there’s a question about whether they can survive once inside your gut.
If you are getting your probiotics from foods like store-bought yogurt, there are also very few ways to be sure that you are consuming a significant dose of good bacteria. The conditions that the yogurt is stored in down the supply chain, the temperature of your refrigerator, and the strain of probiotic that the yogurt contains all have a significant effect on the dosage of CFU. Many of the beneficial microbes could have perished before you consume the yogurt.
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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.
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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Visiting A Healthcare Provider
After trying all methods and nothing seems to be working, you have one last resort. You can visit a healthcare provider because they will be able to help. You can explain to them all the methods you have tried, the products and strains you have used, and the condition you are trying to treat. After getting your history with probiotics and doing proper diagnostics, they will be able to proffer solutions to your ordeal.
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.
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Signs You Are Taking Too Many Probiotics
Many use probiotic supplements for added health benefits since you can consume more beneficial bacteria through probiotic supplements than in a probiotic-rich diet. Probiotics are typically safe, but there is such a thing as too much probiotics. Below we will look at the most common indicators that you’re taking too many probiotics.
Bloating is the most common side effect associated with many different types of digestive problems.
Your stomach may appear enlarged or swollen, and it may feel tight to the touch. While bloating is rarely fatal, it can cause pain and discomfort.
If youre feeling abnormally bloated, you may want to lower your daily probiotic intake.
There is an increased risk of adverse effects when you have a weakened immune system or have a serious illness. Although this isn’t a typical indicator of supplement overload, it can have serious repercussions if you have a condition that affects your immune system, recently had surgery, or been in the hospital for an extended period of time.
Since your immune system is directly linked to the health of your gut, tampering with your microbiome may have an impact on its function.
If this describes you, you should talk to a doctor about probiotics before attempting them on your own. Some strains are better than others depending on your health, so consult with your healthcare provider to determine which sort of probiotic is suitable for you.
Signs You Are Taking Too Many Probiotics: 3 Diarrhea
Diarrhea is characterized by loose, watery bowel movements that may happen more frequently. Diarrhea may also be accompanied with general abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea.
Acute diarrhea lasts only about a day or two and goes away on its own. It is usually caused by food or water that has been contaminated by a harmful bacteria, virus, or parasite. Diarrhea that lasts longer can point to a more serious underlying problem.
Probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Saccharomyces boulardii have actually been found to reduce the duration of diarrhea. However, overdosing on probiotics can irritate your gut and result in loose stools.
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Probiotics Can Have Some Side Effects
Probiotics are good bacteria that help to give you a better balance of microorganisms in your gut. Theyre very safe for most people and can have a lot of benefits. It would help if you were not afraid to take them.
However, it is vital to realize some potential side effects of probiotics, especially if you have an infection or certain medical conditions. Here are some things you should know:
Remember: probiotics are food, not drugs. This means the FDA doesnt regulate them, so they dont require proof of safety or efficacy before being sold on store shelves. That said, most research shows that probiotics do little harm when used appropriately and can benefit most people in some way or another, depending on their needs/issues at any given time.
Should I Give Probiotics To My Kids
Probiotics can be beneficial for both adults and kids. If your child has an illness that requires an antibiotic medication for treatment, taking a probiotic can help shorten symptoms. Probiotics can also be used to help relieve constipation, acid reflux, diarrhea, gas and eczema in children.
Introducing probiotics into your childs diet through food is typically a safe way to give them probiotics. Foods like yogurt and cottage cheese are often part of a balanced diet and can add in good bacteria without much risk.
There are commercially available probiotic supplements specifically designed for infants and children. However, it is important to talk to your childs pediatrician before giving them any probiotic supplement or changing the childs diet to include probiotic-rich foods.
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Fiction: Probiotics Are A Substitute For A Healthy Diet
Fact: Probiotics cant take the place of eating well and maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein sources such as chicken or fish at most meals each day to ensure that youre getting all essential vitamins and minerals that promote good health including calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zincwhich is important when taking antibiotics since they deplete these nutrients faster than usual.
What Is The Right Amount
Probiotic dosage is measured in colony-forming units , which are the amount of bacteria or fungal cells in a sample that can form their own colony.
A typical probiotic supplement will include anywhere from 1 to 10 billion CFUs. However, the optimal probiotic dosage varies from person to person and is determined by diet, age, weight, and the bodys tolerance for probiotics.
How many probiotics should you take a day?
A healthy adult would typically consume roughly 20 billion CFUs per day through food and supplements, thus taking probiotics with fooddaily is unlikely to overdo it.
Nevertheless, its important to consult a doctor to understand what dosage is suitable for your individual needs. They can assess your current diet and medical needs and provide tailored dosage and strain suggestions to avoid bloating and other discomforts.
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Certain Strains May Increase Histamine Levels
Lactic-acid bacterial strains in foods can produce histamine, a type of biogenic amine. During the production of fermented foods, like cheese and yogurt, Lactobacillus is commonly used and can result in foods that are high in histamine.
While histamine plays an essential role in many physiological functions like the immune response and secreting gastric acid during digestion, high amounts of histamine can be mildly toxic. Increased levels of histamine lead some to experience nausea and shortness of breath.
When choosing a probiotic, be sure to pick one with strains that do not produce histamine. All probiotic strains in Omni-Biotic products are tested to ensure that they cannot produce histamine.
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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Never Take More Than One Probiotic At A Time
Maybe you have tried different probiotics withoutexperiencing the results you were after. I see this all the time in my clinical practice. Patients often take only 1 type of probioticand call it quits. Taking more than oneprobiotic at the same time has often been the major difference between minimalresults and impressive results.
I have seen the best results when patients use Probiotic Triple Therapy.
This consists of the 3 most studied categories of probiotics,taken together to provide the best results:
So What Happens When You Start To Consume Probiotics
Probiotics are powerful invisible microorganisms that go a long way to turning your digestive and immune health around. In fact, in the conference at the International Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Immunology Georgetown University Medical Center in 1999, Dr. Michael McCann, MD said:
Probiotics will be to medicine in the twenty-first century as antibiotics and microbiology were in the twentieth century.1
The first thing you may notice is that these good guys go to work cleaning up your digestive system, so symptoms like gas and bloating are common at first.
Leonard Smith, M.D., is a renowned gastrointestinal, vascular and general surgeon as well as an expert in the use of nutrition and natural supplementation. As a surgeon, Dr. Smith has first-hand experience of the problems associated with faulty digestion and the surgical necessities they can cause.
For the past 20 years, Dr. Smith has investigated many holistic medical programs, including nutrition, exercise, chelation, stress management and the relevance of mental and spiritual attitudes in healing. Acknowledging the effectiveness of whole organic foods and nutritional supplementation, Dr. Smith strives to stay on the leading edge of research and breakthroughs in the field of functional nutrition.
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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 (
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.