Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Does Stomach Acid Kill Probiotics

Can Probiotics Survive Stomach Acid And The Gi Tract

Do Probiotics Really Need to Survive the Stomach Acid?

Before any probiotic, whether a food or a supplement can have a benefit to your gut microbiome, it must be able to survive the acidity of your stomach, the temperature and the lack of oxygen in the GI tract, and lastly the availability and competition for chemicals and nutrients required for it to exist and colonise.

Immediately after swallowing, any bacteria will encounter the enzymes in your saliva before being swallowed and reaching the stomach. Once in the stomach the bacteria is then exposed to a strong acid bath with a pH less than 3 as well as destructive digestive enzymes, such as pepsin, which break down proteins into smaller amino acids. Most bacteria we consume is not able to survive this.

However the bacteria that do survive then move to the small intestine where the acidity decreases, but they are exposed to more digestive enzymes such as amylase, lipase and protease as well as bile. Bacteria must be able to survive this process of digestion and recover in order to colonise and grow either in the small intestine or the colon.

According to Bethlehem University, probiotics contained or consumed in milk and other dairy products have a greater chance of survival as the dairy can reduce the effect of the stomach acid, and increase the chances that the probiotic bacteria will reach the small intestines unharmed.

In all cases the probiotic bacteria are more likely to survive when consumed in sufficient quantities.

Research Has Shown That Probiotics Survive The Digestive Tract

This is not all theory. There is actually lots of research demonstrating that probiotic bacteria can make it safely though your stomach. Here are a few of the research papers, along with a relevant quotation from each one.

Recovery of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG from human colonic biopsies The colonization of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in five human colonoscopy patients was studied In all patients L.GG was the dominant faecal lactic acid bacterium as a result of the administration.

Analysis of the Fecal Microflora of Human Subjects Consuming a Probiotic Product Containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus DR20 The composition of the fecal microflora of 10 healthy subjects was monitored before , during , and after the administration of a milk product containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus DR20 DR20 was detected in the feces of all of the subjects during the test period, but at different frequencies.

Dietary supplementation with the probiotic L. reuteri ATCC 55730 induces significant colonization of the stomach, duodenum, and ileum of healthy humans, and this is associated with significant alterations of the immune response in the gastrointestinal mucosa.

Which Probiotics Should You Add To Your Diet

Probiotics are commonly found in food. They are also available in dietary supplements.

Food. Many foods have good bacteria. However, these bacteria dont always survive strong stomach acids and may not be able to add to gut health. Other foods have probiotic strains that can survive the digestion process and successfully reach the gut.

Whether a food truly has beneficial probiotics depends on three things: the levels of good bacteria contained when eaten, whether the good bacteria can survive passage through the stomach, and whether those strains of bacteria are able to support your health.

These are a few foods that provide a good source of probiotics:

  • dried beans and other legumes
  • garlic
  • green bananas
  • wheat

Dietary supplements. Probiotics are also available as capsules, powders, liquids, and more. The wide variety of available products can make it difficult to determine which ones offer health benefits based on science.

Some of the best probiotic strains for health include:

Lactobacillus acidophilus. Lactobacillus acidophilus balances potentially harmful bacteria that can otherwise grow in your gut due to illness or antibiotics.

Lactobacillus fermentum. Lactobacillus fermentum strengthens your immune system and prevents gastrointestinal and upper respiratory infections.


Lactobacillus plantarum. Lactobacillus plantarum stimulates your digestive system, fights off disease-causing bacteria, and helps your body produce vitamins.

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Does Stomach Acidity Kill Probiotics

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Do Probiotics Survive Stomach Acid

Does Stomach Acid Kill Probiotics?

If you are reading this, then the chances are that you have some concerns about whether or not the probiotics you are taking, or thinking of taking, survive to reach the gut alive. You may be confused as to whether spending money on probiotics is indeed an investment in your own good health, or if it is a waste of money. I’d say that this common concern about survival through stomach acidity is a very valid one, but if you read on, I hope to put your mind at rest that there are some effective, well tested and researched probiotic supplements available on the market. Learn more about how to identify high quality probiotic supplements by reading the article: Researching probiotics online – how to identify quality content.

In part, the concern over the survival of probiotics through the stomach has been perpetuated by one small study1 performed at University College London back in 2014, which tested 8 probiotic products and found that only one of the probiotics tested survived gut acidity and then flourished in the intestines. We reported on this study at the time, and our response to this study on probiotics can be read on the Probiotic Professionals site. It is important to state that no Optibac Probiotics products were included in this study, and we are very confident that if they had been, the results would have shown that our strains show excellent survivability in most acid conditions.

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What Are Probiotics And Prebiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that deliver health benefits for the consumer. Beneficial microorganisms have been consumed by humans to improve health for thousands of years, mainly in the form of fermented foods.

In the early 1900s Elie Metchnikoff, a Nobel Laureate in Medicine, first introduced the concept of probiotics as it is known today. They are mostly bacteria, but some fungi are also known to have health benefits and are found in foods like yoghurt, kefir , sauerkraut and tempeh.

Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are the most widely used probiotic bacteria in the food and nutraceutical industries. These species are also referred to as lactic acid bacteria or acidophilus strains. They are generally-recognised-as-safe , which means consumption of GRAS products have no health risks to people.

Food products also contain prebiotic substances, which are basically undigestible plant fibres that feed the probiotics and native gut microbiota the bacteria that normally live in the intestines. Fibre-rich foods including vegetables, fruits and wholegrain cereals contain prebiotic substances.

How Can We Maximise The Benefits Of Probiotics

Eating fresh probiotic foods within a week or two from the date of manufacturing in the case of yoghurt-like products, would ensure sufficient numbers of live probiotics into your gut.

These days, probiotics are sold as supplements in the form of powder or capsules which are becoming very popular.

The best way to take these supplements is incorporate lots of fruits, vegetable and whole-grain cereals in your diet. Taking them with a meal could be more effective as well, by providing the probiotics with prebiotics and some protection from the harsh stomach environment.

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Most Probiotics Are Dead Before You Take Them

Commercially produced probiotics that are sold in stores like Walmart, Target, GNC, etc. are mass produced for cost savings and may sit in warehouses and on shelves for several months or years before being consumed by you.

Because the live, living bacteria are very sensitive to temperature and die naturally over time, many probiotics are dead or dying before you ever take them when you buy commercially available probiotics! For this reason, we highly recommend staying away from off the shelf probiotics.

Studies show they simply do not work as well and are hit or miss meaning a complete waste of money! Find a company that specializes in Probiotics and produces small batches of probiotics at a time. This means they do not sit on the shelf for months or years before you consume them!

Can I Use Probiotics To Help With Medical Conditions

Q& A: How to fix low stomach acid, how to lower estrogen & why do probiotics make me feel worse?

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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Know How Antibiotics Can Mess With Your Gut And Cause Acidity

Antibiotics kill bacteria, thats their job after all. It is how they have saved millions of lives over the centuries. However, killing the harmful bacteria responsible for your infection should not be the cause to kill healthy flora crucial for your stomach. In case you have recently finished a course of antibiotics read on how you can prevent antibiotics from killing good gut bacteria and fix acid reflux.

Acid reflux or acidity is a common condition caused due to backflow of stomach contents into the food pipe . It is primarily characterised by regurgitation and heartburn felt around the lower chest area.

Although improper food habits and poor lifestyle choices are major causes of acidity and heartburn, certain types of medicines such as antibiotics and painkillers can also trigger acidity.

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.

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Its All About The Benefits Baby

So now that we know where kefir came from and what probiotics do, heres a bit more about WHY you should drink kefir by the glass:

  • GI disturbances: the probiotics in kefir have been found to prevent diarrhea, and reduce to the duration of that very uncomfortable and unfortunate condition
  • Kefir has been found to alleviate symptoms of many stomach conditions, including infants diarrhea, IBS, Colitis, Crohns disease, Gastroenteritis and travelers diarrhea
  • Kefir can reduce the symptoms of chronic constipation
  • Essentially kefir is good for your gut and can be especially helpful if you have a GI condition

Without a doubt, there are countless benefits to including probiotics, such as kefir, in your diet mental, emotional and physical. To us, one of the very best things about kefir is that it does something for everyone! You dont have to suffer from GI distress to benefit from probiotics, nor do you need to have a compromised immune system. Lifeway Kefir is above all a tart and tangy cultured milk smoothie that is creamy, nutritious and a great addition to a healthy diet.

Check back soon for our next Interview with and RDN. In the mean time, check out our What is Kefir section for more information, and never hesitate to send us an email with your questions at .

For more information about how Jewel Osco Dietitians can help you Build a Better Basket, email

Should You Start Eating Probiotics

Does Stomach Acid Kill Probiotic Supplements?

Russian microbiologist Elie Metchnikoff was the first to associate the large amounts of fermented dairy products with the good health and longevity of Bulgarians back in 1907. He proposed that the acid-producing organisms in fermented dairy products could prevent what he called “fouling” in the large intestine. He believed if eaten regularly, these foods could lead to a longer, healthier life. One version of the Old Testament even attributes Abraham’s long life 175 years to the “consumption of sour milk.” Fermented milk products may have also been used to treat illnesses of the digestive tract during Roman times.

The scientific community agrees that there are potential health benefits to eating foods with probiotics. However, more research is needed to solidify the claims. The best we can say right now is they won’t hurt and may help.

Remember that dietary supplements are not tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration like medications. And the probiotic strains in the supplements may not be specific for the condition you’re looking to treat. You may want to consult with a practitioner, like a registered dietitian, who is familiar with probiotics. Always tell your physician what you are doing that may affect your health.

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Taking Probiotics And No Prebiotics May Be A Waste As Stomach Acid Kills Them

With Ryan McFadyen Co-founder and Head of Strategy at Have You Heard explains.

Refilwe Moloto chats to trend guru Ryan McFadyen about the rise in the word ‘immunity as the Covid pandemic continues to be top of mind across the world.

‘Immunity’ has become a buzzword in the wellness category, with Google searches for the term hitting a five-year high in March 2020and healthcare brands are adjusting their offerings accordingly.

Ryan McFadyen, Head of Global Strategy at HaveYouHeard

He says immunity cannot be spoken about without gut health intrinsically linked to that and so with immunity growing as a key trend so is the focus on gut health.

70% of the immune system is housed in the gut and hence the focus on ensuring that the bodys gut microbiome, a term which refers specifically to the microorganisms living in your intestines, remains healthy and hence the growth of probiotics.

Ryan McFadyen, Head of Global Strategy at HaveYouHeard

McFadyen shares two seemingly little-known facts around probiotics.

Probiotics often dont make it through the stomach and the acid environment thereof into the gut where they are needed.

Ryan McFadyen, Head of Global Strategy at HaveYouHeard

Probiotics need pre-biotics, a form of dietary fibre which feeds the probiotics within the gut for the microbiome to flourish.

Ryan McFadyen, Head of Global Strategy at HaveYouHeard

He recommends a product on the market which takes addresses both issues called Probitec.

Can Probiotics Survive Stomach Acid

Many people have asked themselves: Do probiotics survive stomach acid? The answer to this question is not necessarily yes, but it can certainly depend on the species of bacteria and the amount youre consuming.

You may wonder if spending money on probiotics is a good investment for gut health or if it is a waste of money on a product that cannot survive long enough to reach the gut alive. Read on to find out the real story.

The recent worries over the survivability of probiotics in the stomach were based on one small study in the UK in 2014. The study tested 8 probiotic products and discovered only one survived gut acidity to enter the intestines. Eight products in todays market is a minuscule sampling of all the products out there in the market.

What the test seems to indicate is that only certain probiotic strains are able to survive the acidic conditions of the stomach while others may not.

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What Are Probiotics Used For

The word probiotic is derived from the Latin word pro meaning for in Latin and bios meaning life in Greek. Probiotics colonize the lining of our digestive system and ensure that the natural intestinal flora can perform its role in vital functions in your body.

Probiotics are good bacteria that naturally occur in a healthy intestine. Our intestine consists of billions of bacteria that are critical to many important processes within the body, including digesting food, absorbing nutrients, eliminating toxins, and preventing pathogens from spreading.

When this world of bacteria is disrupted by a poor diet, stress, or strong medication, probiotics help to restore the balance within our intestine. Taking a high-quality probiotic supplement can improve and maintain your long-term health and wellbeing.

Probiotic Supplements: Does Time Of Day Matter

Use Probiotics for Acid Reflux

July 9, 2021 by Clare Fleishman MS RDN

After deciding which probiotic supplement offers the beneficial strains that meet your health goals, you may consider what time of day to take it. Is a probiotic supplement best taken on an empty stomach? Or perhaps it should be taken with food?

Various health sites and blogs offer advice on those very questions. Unfortunately, the inconsistent recommendations some unsupported conjecture can cause confusion among consumers:

Lets take a look at what is known, gathered from evidence-based sources.

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