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What Are The Side Effects And Risks Of Probiotics

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Probiotics May Increase The Risk Of Infection For Some People

Probiotic Side Effects

In rare cases, taking probiotics can lead to infections in some people. Caution should be taken when considering probiotic supplements if you have a weakened immune system, current illness or have recently had surgery as there is a higher risk for infection.

Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement.

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.

The Benefits Of Probiotics Bacteria

In a society of anti-bacterial warfare, who would have thought that anyone would tout the benefits of bacteria? Living microorganisms found in yogurt and other cultured foods may help improve your bodys bacterial environment inside and out. Theyre called probiotics, a name that means for life.

More and more people are using probiotic products to treat or improve illnesses or to maintain overall well-being. In fact, a 2017 report estimated annual global sales of probiotic supplements at $3.7 billion in 2016, and that is expected to rise to $17.4 billion by 2027.

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Is It Better To Take Supplements Or Eat Probiotic

This is a complex question. Humans can theoretically get enough nutrients from food alone. But dietary restrictions, convenience, poor food quality and human nature often get in the way of achieving the perfect balance, and quantity, of key nutrients. Taking a probiotic supplement is a safe way to ensure youre getting your daily dose of good bacteria.

Eating probiotic-rich foods such as kombucha, kimchi and yogurt can provide an added boost of probiotics. But because theres no right way to measure how much of these critical nutrients youre consuming, high-quality probiotic supplements can give your body an extra line of defense.

If youre planning on purchasing a probiotic supplement, be sure to check the expiration date. Bacteria will start to die off after a certain point, so the fresher the supplement, the better. Also, keep in mind that slow-release supplements can prevent your stomach acids from killing off incoming probioticsensuring good bacteria actually makes it into your large intestine.

Some Probiotics Contain Additional Ingredients

Pin on Probiotics, Prebiotics &  Fermented Foods

Probiotic products often contain additional ingredients. Sometimes these additions have the potential to cause problems for certain individuals.

For instance, some probiotic supplements contain soy, egg, dairy, yeast, and/or other ingredients some people need to avoid.

If you have any allergies or intolerances, its important to thoroughly scrutinize the label before you buy a probiotic product. Its the only way to be certain the product does not contain ingredients that have the potential to make you unwell.

Some probiotic products contain prebiotic fiber as well. It can be a smart inclusion because prebiotics nourish probiotic bacteria and help it to multiply. Products that have this paring are known as synbiotics.

Unfortunately, some people who do not have a problem tolerating probiotics find synbiotics give them bloating and gas. Those who do will need to adopt a purist attitude and stick to normal probiotics.

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What To Look For

In the United States, probiotics are classified as dietary supplements. Under this classification, the products are not strictly regulated and they can be sold without support from clinical research. With that being said, the Food and Drug Administration forbids manufacturers from making any claims that the products can cure, treat, or prevent any disease or health condition.

To ensure quality and safety, only buy supplements that have been tested and certified by an independent certifying body like the U.S. Pharmacopeia, ConsumerLab, or NSF International. This helps ensure that products contain the ingredients and dosages they claim.

When used as a food ingredient, probiotics fall under the FDA umbrella category “GRAS,” meaning they are “generally regarded as safe.”

Probiotics Can Help Reduce Symptoms Of Certain Digestive Disorders

Over one million people in the US suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease .

Certain types of probiotics from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains have improved symptoms in people with mild ulcerative colitis .

Surprisingly, one study found that supplementing with the probiotic E. coli Nissle was just as effective as drugs in maintaining remission in people with ulcerative colitis (

31 ).

Nevertheless, probiotics may have benefits for other bowel disorders. Early research suggests they may help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome .

They have also been shown to reduce the risk of severe necrotizing enterocolitis by 50%. This is a fatal bowel condition that occurs in premature infants .

Bottom Line:

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How Does It Work

ProDentim is provided in capsules that are made from natural ingredients. It is different from typical toothpaste that gradually affects the teeth and gums due to toxic substances and dangerous chemicals. ProDentim works by balancing the mouths microbiomes and replenishing the mouths healthy bacteria.

The supplements are also made up of more than 3.5b nutritional substances, which collaborate with several plant-based ingredients to promote the consumers overall health and mouth wellness.

ProDentim also manufactures its capsules using organic particles backed with scientific evidence for treating oral problems caused by most toxic-filled dental healthcare solutions used at home.

Can I Take Or Eat Something To Increase The Good Probiotics In My Body

5 Possible Side Effects Of Probiotics

You can increase the amount of good microbes in your body through foods, drinks and supplements. You may already have certain foods in your daily diet that contain probiotics. Fermented foods in particular are home to a host of good bacteria that benefit your body. There are also fermented drinks like kombucha or kefir that introduce extra probiotics into your diet.

Apart from food, you can add probiotics to your diet through dietary supplements. These arent drugs, so they do not need to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration . Its important that you always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any kind of supplement or major change to your diet.

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Health Benefits Of Probiotics

A lot of research has been devoted to evaluating the benefits of probiotics, most especially in the area of digestive health. While some of the results have been positive, other long-held health claims have been unsupported by research.

The American Gastroenterology Association released clinical practice guidelines specifically addressing the use of probiotics in managing digestive health disorders. The guidelines were developed based on a review of available research and are intended to provide healthcare providers with evidence-based guidance about the appropriate use of specific probiotics.

Here are some of the key findings from the research on probiotics and the AGA’s guidelines:

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.

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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:

  • Bifidobacterium.

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

  • Saccharomyces boulardii.

Some Probiotic Strains May Increase Histamine Levels

Cancer cells are comfy havens for bacteria

Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus hilgardii, and certain other probiotic bacteria strains increase histamine levels in the digestive organs.

Histamine is a molecule the body produces in response to threats. It plays an important role in the human immune response.

When histamine levels increase, it causes the blood vessels to dilate. This allows extra blood to flood into the area of infection.

Histamine also causes the blood vessels to be more permeable. This makes it easier for the immune cells to access the infected tissue and neutralize the pathogens.

This process may trigger allergy symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, or itching. In severe cases, the process may also present breathing difficulties.

Histamine produced in the digestive tract is normally degraded by the enzyme diamine oxidase . This prevents histamine levels from becoming sufficiently elevated to cause symptoms.

Unfortunately, some people have histamine intolerance. People who have this problem do not produce enough DAO to keep histamine levels under control. This can have unfortunate repercussions.

When histamine builds up, the excess passes through the intestines and enters the blood. This produces a reaction that is similar to an allergic response.

Anyone who suffers from histamine intolerance needs to avoid foods that increase histamine.

Needless to say, it may also be necessary to avoid probiotic products that provide histamine-boosting bacteria strains.

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Get Functional Gi Lab Testing

If you find that you experience side effects of probiotics or eating probiotic-rich foods, even after using a high quality product recommended by your practitioner, titrating them in slowly and persisting for a few weeks, then functional GI testing is definitely recommended.

The inability to tolerate probiotics is a common sign of gut pathogens like parasite and bacterial infections, as well as bacterial and yeast overgrowths like SIBO and Candida. For this reason, and because each condition requires separate treatment approaches, functional GI lab testing is key to working out exactly what is going on in your gut.

If you would like to learn more about four tests that cover-off the five most common root causes of IBS, check out this blog post for the full details. For those who dont tolerate probiotics, Id definitely recommend a comprehensive stool test and a SIBO breath best as a good place to start.

If you want to learn more about the testing process, or how we can help, please head to the Work With Us page to learn more about how we work online at The Functional Gut Health Clinic with clients in many countries to test for and treat the many root causes of IBS symptoms and other GI conditions.

Did you find this post on the side effects of probiotics helpful? Want to get back to this post later? Save THIS PIN below to your Gut Healing board on Pinterest!

How Probiotics Might Be Bad For You

Because these good bacteria already exist in the body, theyâre considered safe for most people. But there are some things to consider.

They can trigger an allergic reaction. They might cause mild stomach problems, especially the first few days you start taking them. You might have stomach upset, gas, diarrhea, or bloating. Those symptoms usually go away after your body gets used to them.

If you have an immune system problem or another serious health condition, you may have a greater chance of issues. Some reports have linked probiotics to serious infections and other side effects. The people most likely to have trouble are those with immune system problems, people who’ve had surgery, and others who are critically ill. Don’t take probiotics if you have any of those issues.

Always talk to your pediatrician before giving probiotic supplements to your child. If you’re pregnant or nursing, you should also talk to your doctor before you try one.

Most probiotics in the U.S. are sold as dietary supplements. That means the companies that make them don’t have to test their products and show that they work or that they are safe. More research is needed to confirm that probiotics are safe and effective.

Ask your doctor which probiotics are the right ones for you. Be sure to stop taking them if you have any problems.

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You Might Go To The Bathroom More Regularly

The good bacteria in probiotics improve digestion, which may translate to more consistent bathroom visits.* While this may be a side effect that can be inconvenient at times, especially when you’re at work or out to lunch with your friends, your body and your belly will thank you once you start eliminating regularly.*

Are There Any Storage Instructions For Probiotics

Probiotic Side Effects

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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Duration Of The Side Effects

The duration of side effects differs from person to person, but they should only last a few days after you start on a new supplement.

If the symptoms persist for more than a few days, are severe, or you suspect an underlying health problem, discontinue the use of the probiotic and speak to a qualified healthcare professional.

Keep in mind that probiotics hardly ever have any negative side effects. As a result, rather than assuming that any significant or alarming symptoms are due to the probiotics, consult with a qualified healthcare professional.

Who Recommends Probiotics

Your doctor is a good place to start if you are interested in probiotics. This could be your primary care doctor or a specialist that manages the condition you are looking to treat. For example, a gastroenterologist may have the most experience using probiotics in digestive disorders. Dietitians and pharmacists can also be valuable resources for finding the right product.

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Issues To Be Aware Of

If you’re considering trying probiotics, there are a few issues you need to be aware of.

Probiotics are generally classed as food rather than medicine, which means they don’t go through the rigorous testing medicines do.

Because of the way probiotics are regulated, we can’t always be sure that:

  • the product actually contains the bacteria stated on the food label
  • the product contains enough bacteria to have an effect
  • the bacteria are able to survive long enough to reach your gut

There are many different types of probiotics that may have different effects on the body, and little is known about which types are best.

You may find a particular type of probiotic helps with one problem. But this doesn’t mean it’ll help other problems, or that other types of probiotic will work just as well.

And there’s likely to be a huge difference between the pharmaceutical-grade probiotics that show promise in clinical trials and the yoghurts and supplements sold in shops.

If you have an existing health condition or a weakened immune system, you should talk to a doctor before taking any probiotic supplements.

Page last reviewed: 24 November 2022 Next review due: 24 November 2025

Why Its Important For Most People To Take A Probiotic

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Many people today lack naturally-occurring probiotics in their diets, due to eating little fermented/probiotic foods and not consuming fresh, organic fruits and veggies that can carry beneficial microbes from soil.

This means that most can afford to boost their intake with help from a convenient probiotic supplement, which is most often taken in capsule form.

Is it safe to take probiotics daily? Each person has a unique microbiome, but yes, most can safely take probiotics on a daily basis. This is why probiotics are generally recognized as safe by organizations such as the FDA.

Probiotics can be taken daily by both adults and children to support digestion, gut health and immune function.

Ideally, look for a hardy supplement such as one that contains soil-based organism probiotics, plus prebiotics and postbiotics for powerful gut benefits.

What makes SBO probiotics special? SBOs are uniquely resilient because they can withstand the harsh environment of the digestive tract, meaning they actually make it to the right part of the gut where they confer benefits. They also dont require refrigeration to survive.

Additionally, prebiotics act as fuel for probiotics, while postbiotics are the metabolites that are created by probiotics. Together, these three work together to provide the best support for overall digestion.

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Can Probiotics Cause Constipation

Probiotics do not typically cause constipation. In fact, those who have sluggish bowels may find that a probiotic can help improve their bowel regularity. However, there are also probiotic strains that may slow down stool transit time if taken in higher doses such as Saccharomyces boulardi which those prone to constipation may choose to avoid. In this case, there would be other strains of live cultures which would be more appropriate for their needs such as Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12® which has been shown in clinical trials to promote bowel regularity in those with low stool frequency compared with a placebo2.

Probiotics Can Cause Diarrhea

Studies have shown how helpful probiotics can be for infectious diarrhea, traveler’s diarrhea, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and C diff diarrhea. However, they can cause diarrhea in some people.

This negative side effect should pass as your body gets fully adjusted to the new probiotics. In the long run, probiotics should not cause diarrhea. If you have diarrhea that lasts greater than 2 weeks while taking a probiotic then stop taking probiotics.

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