Lay The Foundation For Good Gut Health With Your Dietary Habits
Traditionally, we consumed much less of the above, and we included more foods that naturally replenished our microbiome regularly in the diet. But over the last several generations, much of this has changed for the worse. However, we can bring back many good foods and habits simply by improving awareness and incorporating them back into our routine. Foods that have naturally occurring probiotics include:
- Fresh, organic produce that hasnt been thoroughly washed
- Raw sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, kvass and other fermented veggies/fruits
- Fermented dairy including yogurt, kefir, skyr and filmjolk
These foods have traditionally helped give us a reinnoculation of these good bacteria that over time naturally die and get damaged in the gut due to common exposures I mentioned previously as well as general age-related senescence.
In recent years, taking probiotics as a supplement has also become much more popular and medically accepted. So, is there any concern with taking them when youre on a current antibiotic course?
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How You Analyze The Working Of Probiotics
This question is related to the working that depends upon the product and its ingredients. There is an infinite product out there, and different foods are also available in the category of probiotics. But, still, this question remains unanswerable because there is no specific reply to this query.
Moreover, individual and personal cages also matter when it comes to analyzing about probiotics working. But one can get the idea if you have the benefits for what you have picked a particular product. If you are getting the profits, then it is the right choice.
After using probiotics, and facing no gut issues, improved digestion and mental health, glowy skin, balance in insulin and cholesterol levels, and overall well-being, then this is what you are looking for.
Should I Eat Before Taking A Probiotic
Taking a probiotic after or during your meal may negate some of the benefits of the supplement due to busy digestion efforts in your gut. But Dr. Asike explains that some bacterial strains are naturally more resistant to stomach acid, and can be taken with meals safely in some cases, multiple times a day. Youll likely see printed language on your chosen probiotic packaging that indicates its safe to take with meals.
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Find Your Peak Improvement
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.
What Happens When Your Gut Is Not In Balance
Acute symptoms you might notice include:
diarrhea, constipation, or both
While all of these are common symptoms and happen to most people from time to time, chronic digestive issues could be a sign that your gut bacteria are not able to digest your food properly.
There is no one-size-fits-all fix for these issues, but changing your diet to be more gut friendly can have a big impact.
With the ZOE program, you find out which foods work best for your metabolism and your unique gut microbiome to help your good bugs thrive.
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How Long Does It Take For Probiotics To Work
Any time you consider a new therapy to try, one of your first questions is probably How long will it take before I see results? This is especially true when you are trying to resolve frustrating and possibly painful symptoms.
However, its important to give any new therapy time to work and time for your body to adjust. Taking probiotic supplements adding beneficial bacteria to help balance the microorganisms that make up your gut microbiome is no different.
In this article, well review what probiotics are good for, what kinds to take, how long it generally takes for probiotics to work, and how to evaluate your progress.
The Bottom Line: Be Patient With Your Probiotics
Between controllable factors like purchasing the right brand of probiotics and total unknowns like your bodys unique response to probiotic formulas, theres no exact timeline on how quickly your digestive symptoms will subsideyou can only approximate how quickly itll take for your probiotics to work.
And even then, your approximation may be way off. That doesnt mean its not a routine worth sticking to.
Remember, Rome wasnt built in a day, and neither will your optimal gut microbiota. If youve been struggling with issues with your intestinal tract for years, improving them can take some time. Even if you dont notice results right away, knowing how probiotics work can help you stick to the plan, knowing that theyre doing their job behind the scenes.
How To Take Probiotics
Study after study has proven that probiotics work. Theyre widely known as friendly bacteria that help maintain a healthy digestive system, and theres even research to suggest that probiotics can improve your mental health. But do you know how to take probiotics correctly? Are you storing them properly? These sensitive bacteria need care and attention before they give you those health-boosting benefits. Find out if youre making any of these probiotics mistakes.
Reasons To Start Taking Probiotics
There are a lot of documented reasons to take probiotics, from improving your gut microbiome to addressing mental health and regulating the immune system. Probiotics can be very helpful for:
- Blood pressure
Probiotics can be a core therapy that addresses multiple symptoms at once, even if you are primarily targeting something specific . The trick is to find the right combination and the right dose for you as an individual.
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What Does The Research Say
Probiotic doses are listed as colony forming units , which means the number of live strains in each dose.
Different brands will have different suggested doses and uses, so its important to understand the information listed.
Recent research found that the type of microbe strain, health condition, product formula, dose, and the quality of the product are all important for effectiveness.
The condition or symptom youre trying to treat can affect how the probiotic works and when youll see results. If youre taking a probiotic for general gut or immune health, youll need to take it awhile to see results.
On the other hand, if youre taking a probiotic for relief from diarrhea, you may see faster results.
For example, has shown that, when used in combination with rehydration therapy, treatment with probiotics can reduce the duration and frequency of infectious diarrhea in as little as 2 days.
Another study demonstrated that people who consumed a high-dose probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus casei, and Lactobacillus fermentium for 12 weeks experienced significantly less upper respiratory infections and flu-like symptoms compared to a placebo group.
Plus, it was shown that the probiotic drink boosted the immune system of the participants by increasing levels of antibodies including sIgA in the gut after 12 weeks.
Depending on what youre taking probiotics for, you may see symptom improvements anywhere between a few days to a few months.
When To Take Probiotics
To start their journey through the digestive tract, probiotic bacteria need to be able to survive the stomach environment. Even robust strains will find this a challenge, so to give them the best chance of survival probiotic supplements are best taken in the morning with, or just after, breakfast. The reason for this is that the acid in our stomach is at its lowest level in the morning1, and this acidity is buffered still further by the presence of food in the stomach. Stomach acid is an important defence against pathogens as it helps to kill harmful bacteria as they enter the stomach in our food and water. In this way, it helps to prevent foodborne disease and is very useful. However, in a similar manner, it can also damage certain probiotics as they pass through the stomach to the gut2.
So, to sum up, we can see that timing can be a key factor to ensure the survival of probiotics through the harsh stomach environment. By taking a probiotic supplement in the morning with breakfast you can ensure that the bacteria travel safely through the acidic stomach environment and arrive at their destination in the gut. It is important to select robust strains of bacteria that are naturally resilient to acidic conditions and have been tested to ensure their viability at different acid levels3. To learn more, read: Do probiotics survive stomach acid?
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Selecting The Right Probiotic Strains
There are a lot of different probiotic strains, but all you really need to know are the three main probiotic categories. Nearly every probiotic product can be classified into one of these categories .
|Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source].|
This is great news. This means you dont need to tryevery probioticstrain on the market, simply pick one high-quality probiotic product fromeach category.
You also dont need to match specific probioticstrains to specific medical conditions. All strains of probiotics workin a similar way by addressing the health of your digestive system. Onecategory of probiotics may be more effective for you than another, simplybecause of the unique profile of gut flora in your intestinal tract.
You can also add healthy, probiotic-rich foods like kimchi, tempeh and Lacto-fermented sauerkraut to your diet. Just dont expect these to take the place of supplements as the amount of probiotics they contain are much lower.
For a detailed comparison of probiotic-rich foods and supplements, see my recent article: The Best Time to Take Probiotics.
Reaching The Gut Alive
Once through the stomach, the probiotic bacteria embark on the next stage of their journey. They are released into the small intestines, where some strains will begin to take up residence for a short time. Other strains may pass through the small intestine and take up residence when they reach the large intestine . Where probiotics choose to reside is governed predominantly by the specific conditions in different areas of the gut including pH , oxygen levels, and the type of bacteria in the microbiome4.
Some areas of the gut have more oxygen available like the small intestine, whereas other areas have little or no oxygen like parts of the large intestine, making those areas only suitable for certain strains of bacteria that do not need oxygen to survive. Additionally, the pH differs at different points along the digestive tract, with the small intestine typically being more acidic than the large intestine. Although, as we have learned, it can be a challenge for probiotic bacteria to travel through the highly acidic stomach, which can reach acidity levels of around pH 1.5, probiotic bacteria actually prefer a slightly acidic or pH neutral environment5. All these factors influence where particular strains of bacteria choose to live.
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More Regular Bowel Movements
An imbalance in the composition of good bacteria in your intestine can contribute to irregular bowel movements. For example, frequent diarrhea can be a sign of pathogenic bacteria present in your intestines. A high-quality probiotic will help bring more good bacteria into your gut so that they crowd out the bad bacteria.
Constipation, on the other hand, can be due to low mucus production or low motility of your intestinal muscles. Certain probiotic bacterial strains are known to increase mucus production, which can regulate constipation.
What Is The Gut Microbiome
Our digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria as well as fungi and viruses these are known as the gut microbiome.
The makeup of this biome is largely genetically determined however, it is heavily influenced by several factors such as whether we are born naturally or by cesarean section, if we were breastfed, our use of antibiotics, and our exposure to chemicals, pesticides, and other toxins.
Scientists now know that this microbiome is critical to our overall well-being. Some call it our second brain. Small imbalances can cause significant changes to our mental health and in the appearance of our skin and has been linked to almost every known condition such as Alzheimers disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Type 2 diabetes.
An imbalance may also cause constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, yeast infections, and a suppressed immune system. Your likelihood of putting on weight also comes down to your microbiome and the influence it has on your response to insulin and thyroid gland function.
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Efficient Absorption Of Probiotics
One of the major reasons why probiotics might work rapidly is the efficient absorption of the good bacteria. If you are consuming a high-quality probiotic supplement, it will contain billions of good bacteria.
Needless to say, that the number of bacteria in a good quality probiotic supplement will be higher than any average ones. So, this high amount of bacteria makes the supplement a great Colony Forming Unit , and it will also have a great format.
This format allows bacteria to work in your stomach efficiently regardless of the acidic atmosphere of it. The supplement will have effective pharmacokinetics, which will ensure that the bacteria go and target the point where the actual problem is.
This way, the gastrointestinal colonization takes place. This is how your body absorbs the probiotics very well the problem goes away quickly.
Probiotics Can Have A Profound Impact On Your Health
Its difficult to say how long it will take for probiotics to work for a specific individual. However, both solid research and clinical observation has shown that probiotics can have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing.
Probiotics have initiated improvements in a wide range of conditions, from healing microbial infections to promoting digestive health to improving mood.
Looking for more personalized guidance? Reach out to us to book a consultation at the Ruscio Institute for Functional Medicine.
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How Long Does It Take For Probiotics To Work For Bloating
Studies have clearly shown probiotics can help reduce and prevent bloating. Some individuals noticed less bloating and feeling better after 21 days. Another study was also carried out, and the participants were given probiotics, and after four weeks, their condition started improving. Bloating is a common issue to many people today. However, probiotics can help with issues like bloating within three to four weeks.
Reduce Inflammation With Probiotics & Improve Digestive Symptoms
Here comes the big one probiotics reduce inflammation within the gut .
Inflammation is particularly detrimental to proper digestion. It exaggerates intestinal permeability, interferes with insulin signaling, and can cause digestive symptoms .
Why does dysbiosis cause inflammation in the first place? Well, bad bacteria living within the gut have toxic molecules called lipopolysaccharides in their outer membrane, which trigger an immune and inflammatory response in the body. And that response is associated with digestive symptoms, among other health issues.
With less bad bacteria and LPS around, inflammation will go down.
So lets connect the dots since probiotics may increase the amount of beneficial bacteria and reduce counts of bad bacteria in your gut, they may also reduce the amount of lipopolysaccharides in your body, which in turn lowers inflammation.
And lowering inflammation is key to improving your digestion, since inflammation is associated with digestive issues .
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Improved Immunity And Energy
If you’re feeling more energized and haven’t been knocked down by a cold recently, it’s possible that your probiotics may have helped play a role. “Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome can also boost immunity and energy by aiding in proper digestion and absorption of nutrients,” Dr. Hughes explains. “So, not only is the microbiome responsible for protecting us against infection in the gut directly, it also contributes to our overall well-being by allowing us to use what we are feeding our body efficiently.”
Tips For An Effective Probiotic Trial
If youre starting a course of probiotics, it helps tohave realistic expectations about how quickly they will start working. Youdont want to give up on your probiotic supplements before theyve had a chance toimprove your well-being.You also dont want to waste money taking probiotic products that dont have any health benefitsfor you.
Based on my observation in the clinic, some patients notice the benefits of probiotics as soon as 1-3 days. For others, it takes as long as 2-3 weeks to see the effects of probiotic supplementation. A look through the research generally supports my observations about how quickly probiotics work, with one interesting exception. Heres a summary of the research results:
|Research Summary: How Soon Do Probiotics Start Working?|
|Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source]||2 months 3 years|
There are hundreds of studies that show the benefits ofprobiotics for a wide variety of medical conditions including digestiveproblems andnon-digestive symptoms. However, most studies dont collect daily symptom data.That means that, for most studies, we know that probiotic supplementationwas effective but we dont know how quickly it worked.
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