How Probiotics Are Good For You
They might lower the number of “bad” bacteria in your gut that can cause illness or inflammation. They can also replace those problem germs with good or helpful bacteria.
Researchers are studying when and how probiotics might best help. There’s more research for some illnesses than others. They might help people with:
- Diarrhea, especially when it’s linked to specific antibiotics. Probiotics also might help with infectious diarrhea, especially in children.
- Inflammatory bowel diseases including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Some probiotics might keep ulcerative colitis in remission and prevent Crohn’s disease from relapsing and getting worse.
- Irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics can sometimes help ease symptoms, including stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
Probiotics also are being studied for many other conditions. There isnât as much research yet, but some people say that probiotics have helped them with:
- Decreasing inflammation, such as from rheumatoid arthritis
Is It Safe To Take A Break From Probiotics If You Are Consuming It Everyday
Yes, it is safe to take a small break here and there. We always recommend checking in with your body. After all, you know your body better than anyone else does. Once you have been on probiotics for a while, consider how youre feeling. Some people give themselves a few days off probiotics every month to evaluate the way they feel their body changing. It is all a learning experience learning about your body and what works for you.
So there you have it: a little bit of insight into probiotics and answering how often should you take probiotics. Sure, probiotics can feel like a choose your own adventure ride, but its important to remember that consistency is key hopefully now you understand the benefits of taking probiotics daily.
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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 .
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When Should You Not Take Probiotics
Although probiotics are generally safe to use, findings of a 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.
What Has Science Shown About The Effectiveness Of Probiotics For Health Conditions
A great deal of research has been done on probiotics, but much remains to be learned about whether theyâre helpful and safe for various health conditions.
Probiotics have shown promise for a variety of health purposes, including prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea , prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis and in premature infants, treatment of infant colic, treatment of periodontal disease, and induction or maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis.
However, in most instances, we still donât know which probiotics are helpful and which are not. We also donât know how much of the probiotic people would have to take or who would be most likely to benefit. Even for the conditions that have been studied the most, researchers are still working toward finding the answers to these questions.
The following sections summarize the research on probiotics for some of the conditions for which theyâve been studied.
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They May Cause Unpleasant Digestive Symptoms
It is not known exactly why some people experience these side effects, but they typically subside after a few weeks of continued use .
To reduce the likelihood of side effects, start with a low dose of probiotics and slowly increase to the full dosage over a few weeks. This can help your body adjust to them.
If the gas, bloating or any other side effects continue for more than a few weeks, stop taking the probiotic and consult a medical professional.
Some people experience an increase in gas, bloating, constipation or thirst when they start taking probiotics. These side effects should go away within a few weeks.
Stomach Aches Or Cramps
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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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.
Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Gas And Bloating
This paragraph is related to the above paragraph and might explain the pathophysiology of the acidosis and brain fogginess described above. Rao et al. described a new syndrome relating post-prandial brain fogginess, gas, and abdominal bloating to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and probiotic-induced d-lactic acidosis . Additional complaints were fatigue, weakness, disorientation, and restlessness. The authors put forward the hypothesis that probiotic fermented carbohydrates in the proximal small bowel induce intestinal bacterial overgrowth, resulting in d-lactic acid production, increased gas output, and abdominal bloating. The d-lactic acidosis is the culprit for the brain fogginess. They suggested that this unique entity is an additional side effect of probiotic consumption.
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Can I Take Or Eat Something To Increase The Good Probiotics In My Body
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.
Whats Too Much Too Little Or Maybe Its The Wrong Strain How Do You Get It Right
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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What Dogs Shouldnt Take Probiotics
While probiotics support the dogs gut and immunity, they are not universally suited for all individuals. Namely, probiotics should not be used in dogs with severely compromised immune systems. The same applies to dogs with severe infection or inflammation of the Gi tract like for example, inflammatory bowel disease .
They should also be avoided in dogs with certain chronic diseases. It is best to talk to a vet to see whether your dogs chronic illness can benefit from this supplement or, in case it cannot, whether the probiotic can be used in conjunction with the dogs regular medications.
Finally, probiotics should not be used immediately after surgical procedures. Dogs recovering from surgeries should not be supplemented during the initial recovery period. However, once recuperated, they can benefit from probiotics, especially if using antibiotics for prolonged times.
What Other Drugs Will Affect Probiotic Formula
Antibiotic medicines can make Probiotic Formula much less effective when taken at the same time. If you take an antibiotic, take your this medicine dose 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take the antibiotic.
Do not take Probiotic Formula without medical advice if you are using an immunosuppressant medication, such as:
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Can Dogs Overdose On Probiotics
While it is possible for dogs to consume too much probiotics, they cannot actually overdose. This is because ingesting higher amounts of probiotics is not directly harmful or toxic.
Worst-case scenario, dogs that eat too much probiotics will develop mils and transient digestive issues in the form of stomach upset diarrhea, vomiting, gassiness, and bloating.
These side effects are not always linked with overdoses and can appear if using low-quality probiotics or introducing new strains of bacteria. Sudden probiotic introductions can also result in adverse reactions.
Do I Need To Take Probiotics After I Take Antibiotics
Antibiotic medications are often needed to fight an infection. However, while antibiotics are killing the bad bacteria, they are also knocking out the good bacteria in your body. Some people develop conditions like diarrhea after taking an antibiotic. In other people, this may allow for really bad bacteria to take over and populate the gut, such as with C. diff. Some research has shown a positive connection between taking probiotics after an antibiotic and relief from diarrhea. This hasnt been proven yet and doesnt work for everyone.
The thought behind adding probiotics back into your body after taking an antibiotic is that it can repopulate the good bacteria that was destroyed by the antibiotics and re-boot your system. The extra good bacteria helps repopulate your gut and fight off any remaining bad bacteria. Many people feel that adding in probiotics wont hurt, might help you feel better a little faster and prevent diarrhea.
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Can You Take Too Many Probiotics
Your body already has over 30 trillion bacteria, so it is very unlikely that you could take too many probiotics, which add more healthy bacteria to your digestive tract.
Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms found in some foods, like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut, and can also be obtained through supplements. Common strains of probiotics include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which offer different benefits, but both help keep your intestinal environmentor gut microbiotabalanced.
In adequate amounts, these good bacteria are associated with many health benefits, including helping to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome , lactose intolerance, and some infections.
While research indicates probiotics have a history of being safe, its still important to safely consume probiotic supplements. This article reviews the potential side effects of probiotics, who should avoid taking probiotics, how to know if youve taken too many probiotics and how to determine the right amount to take.
Can You Take Too Many Probiotics Heres What You Need To Know
We know what youre thinking probiotics is so good for our gut health, surely theres no such question such as can you take too many probiotics right? Wrong! Probiotics, though it is fantastic for our gut, can cause a negative impact to our body when taking too much.
Probiotics can be consumed through supplements or foods such as kombucha or yogurt. You can experience an imbalance of microbiome when you have too much good bacteria in your gut. Several side effects occur such as stomach pain or mood changes.
Now, we arent saying probiotics are not good for you, but rather should be taken in a moderate amount based on the recommended dosage. You may seek a professional to get the right medical advice on how much good bacteria your body needs.
That being said, you should also get to know what happens when you take too many probiotics and understand the common signs.
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The Probiotic Market Is Booming Sky High
According to several reports, probiotics were used, unintentionally, nearly 10,000 years ago, but spread as fermented milk in previous centuries, mainly in Europe, where in the Balkan regions life span longevity and healthy life were attributed to their fermented yogurt. Their food application expanded earlier and on a larger scale compared to the sales in sachets, capsules, or other pharmaceutical preparations . It seems that the trend is changing since direct personal consumption is surging abruptly alongside the adoption of self-care, integrative medicine, social enterprises, and aggressive media advertisement . In fact, according to global market analysts, the global probiotic market size is predicted to exceed 3 billion US dollars by 2024 . The market size for lactobacilli strains was valued at 1.2 billion US dollars in 2017, while the Bifidobacterium market size prediction will increase close to 6% until 2024 and the Bacillus strain market size may surpass 180 million US dollars by 2024 . According to the discussion group at the 2017 meeting of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics, the estimate of product creation and sales will reach 50 billion US dollars within the next five years .
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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Symptoms Of Going Too Far
How can you tell if you’ve hit your limit? Dr. Bush explained some signs. After you experience some relief , if you keep going, you’re creating an “unstable intestinal environment,” he said. This could result in “gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, diarrhea, gas, or bloating.” Basically the opposite of what you were trying to do. Because you’re typically taking only one strain of probiotics, “you are creating a monoculture of a certain strain.” Too much of the same strain, and you’ve got problems.
Krishan said, “If someone takes way too much, the equivalent to 10-15 of Silver Fern’s drink packs in a day, they may experience some loose stool. In a clinical trial with liver failure patients, we used what is equivalent to six drink packs per day and there were no adverse reactions at all and these were very sick subjects.”
What we’ve gathered is that it’s quite difficult to overdo it, but it is possible, and the results are pretty uncomfortable.
How Much Is Too Much
Here’s where it gets sticky: there’s no FDA-approved limit or dosage. It varies based on who you ask. “I limit probiotic use to two to three weeks following an antibiotic exposure or intestinal illness,” said Dr. Bush. “Depending on your medical condition, a medical professional may prescribe an even larger dose that’s appropriate for the patient.”
And we know you’re probably hoping for a simpler “here’s exactly how much you should take” answer, but your best bet with probiotics â and all things medical, for that matter â is to consult your doctor. But for now, don’t worry about your favorite probiotic drink or supplement you should be just fine!
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell
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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.