Who Should Take Probiotics
Probiotics are safe for most people to take. Depending on your overall health, you may benefit from specific species and strains clinically tested and shown to help support a healthy microbiome. Scientific evidence suggests that certain species and strains of probiotics may help support a healthy microbiome in people who are dealing with:
- antibiotic-associated diarrhea
- maintenance of bowel inflammation
In addition, probiotics have potential effects on weight, digestion, and neurological disorders and may support heart health, immune function, and symptoms of low mood and anxiety.
How Long Do Probiotics Take To Work Your Probiotics Questions Answered
Probiotics are live bacteria that are often added to or found naturally in foods like yoghurt or taken as a supplement. Not all probiotics are the same and some strains of bacteria are specific to easing the symptoms of certain conditions. For example, the most common probiotics used to treat IBS come from bacteria strains called Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.
Probiotics are classed as a food rather than medicine, which means they dont go through the same strict testing that medicines do. Probiotics should be safe for you to take if youre generally healthy and have a good immune system if youre unsure, speak to your doctor first.
The Takeaway: How Long Does It Take For Probiotics To Work
The short answer: It takes most people 2 to 3 weeks to feel significant benefits when they start taking probiotics.
Thats because probiotics need time to accomplish their three key goals: increase your good bacteria count, decrease your bad bacteria count, and reduce inflammation.
Overthrowing the bad bacteria thats already in power, working to remove them, and reducing the inflammation that the bad bacteria had produced is a process.
Adding good bacteria in the form of probiotics is not a one-time thing — you need to consume them consistently to win the war thats going on down there.
Think of taking probiotics as adding more soldiers to the microbiome battlefield every day — and think of taking prebiotics as giving your soldiers supplies.
Expecting one dose of probiotics to fix your symptoms is like expecting to win a war in a single day. Sending one small wave of good soldiers to the battlefield — taking one probiotic pill — wont be enough to overthrow the king in power .
But sending a well-supplied group of soldiers to battle on a daily basis will eventually be enough to put your desired ruler back in power, so they can clean up the damage that bad bacteria has done .
Give your gut the soldiers, supplies, and time it needs to fix things up, and youll finally feel your best again.
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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 .
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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.
For Good Health Take Probiotics Right After Your Meal
This will help the good bacteria reach the intestine by protecting them from stomach acids maintaining their efficacy.
Taking probiotics on an empty stomach when your digestive system is active is bad.
The stomach acid dilutes the enteric coating of the capsule destroying the delicate strains of bacteria. Eventually, following probiotics dosages become useless.
When you take the healthy bacteria right after eating, you create a buffering system.
This gave a better chance to the good microbes to pass through the digestive tract.
Besides protection, food in your stomach provides nourishment to the probiotics. This helps the microbes to survive, thrive, and grow.
This was a short guide on how to use probiotics in the right way. Following these tips will boost the effectiveness of good bacteria to a great extent. But, do you even need it?
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Find Your Maintenance Dose
Now your body has adjusted to its new state. Good news! You may be able to reduce your dose or even come off probiotic therapy completely.
If you are comfortable with your current state and dont want to rock the boat, you dont have to make a change. But if youre curious to see whether you can maintain your health with less external support, you can try cutting your dose in half and reevaluating again after 3-4 weeks.
If that goes well, you can try stopping completely. But these are just guidelines. You might find it easier to reduce by half again, or stay at half the original dose.
If your symptoms return, simply return to the last effective dose. When you get back to where you want to be, you can try reducing again. It can be that simple dont stress too much about it.
How Long Until Probiotics Start To Work
Unlike nootropics or energy supplements, gut health supplements do not have effects that you can instantly feel.
Nor do they really start to work until youve been taking them for a couple of days at the very least, and noticeable effects will not usually kick in until some time later.
This is true of both prebiotics and probiotics if youre expecting to take one capsule and feel all your digestive problems dissipate, youre going to be sorely disappointed!
However, probiotics do have an effect on your digestive system relatively quickly, especially when compared to prebiotics.
Generally speaking, a probiotic will start to work after about 4-7 days. For some people, it may take up to 2 weeks to see noticeable benefits.How long until a probiotic starts to work will depend on the composition of the probiotic, its quality, and most important of all, your diet and lifestyle.
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How To Ensure The Probiotic Will Work
To ensure your probiotic is working, make sure to follow the recommended use instructions on the packaging. Depending on the delivery mechanism, the method of taking your probiotic may differ. For example, some probiotics may need to be dissolved in a liquid, whereas others may need to be taken on an empty stomach.
Certain medications such as antibiotics can have a negative impact on the good bacteria in your gut and in your probiotic supplement, so probiotics are best taken away from other medications.
Check the product label for storage instructions to make sure your probiotic is stored properly. Improper storage can make your probiotic less likely to work.
Lastly, check the expiration date to make sure that the probiotic supplement has not expired.
Do Probiotics Cause Weight Gain
Some probiotic strains may increase the risk of weight gain and obesity. Some studies havent found that probiotics help with weight loss. Some studies have found that certain strains may lead to weight gain. If youre trying to lose weight, the best way to do it is to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
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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:
Probiotics are also made up of good yeast. The most common type of yeast found in probiotics is:
- Saccharomyces boulardii.
Dont I Have Enough Good Bacteria In My Gut
Really, its all about balanceand everyday factors such as stress, travel, an unhealthy diet and even using certain medications can upset the balance of bacteria in your digestive tract. When this happens, it can lead to occasional tummy issues and may impact your overall health. Taking a daily probiotic supplement may be useful in helping to maintain good intestinal balance to support digestive and immune health.*
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Can We Overdose Or Become Dependent On Probiotics If We Use Them In The Long Term
One concern people often have is whether their digestive system will become lazy if they take probiotics every day. But, rest assured, probiotics are not thought to be like laxatives which can cause the gut to become lazy and reliant on them in order to function. There is no current research to suggest the body becomes dependent on probiotics.
Healthcare practitioners can read more on the subject of long-term use of probiotics, and whether that can lead to dependency, in the following FAQ: Is there a risk of dependency when taking probiotics?
In regards to overdosing, even when taken on a daily basis and at high doses it is extremely difficult to overdose on probiotics. For more on this subject you may like to read our FAQ Is it possible to overdose on probiotics? and Can I take two probiotic supplements at the same time?
Mistake #: Youre Not Taking The Right Dose
Like mentioned previously, the dose must be proven effective to make a claim on package in Canada. A dose is measured in colony-forming units . Look for a product with at least 10 billion CFU, because that appears to be a minimum dosage across the scientific literature, and take as directed, says Nielsen.
The best way to ensure youre getting the most out of your probiotics, experts say, is to follow a balanced high-fibre food plan, understand the type of probiotic youre taking, review its clinical research, take the appropriate dose and store them according to the package directions. And if you have any concerns talk to your health care provider. Then youll have no worries that your probiotics are failing you.
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How Much Do I Take
In addition to choosing a probiotic with multiple strains of good bacteria, another thing to look for is a high culture count this refers to the overall number of bacteria in each serving. Did you know there are more than 100 trillion bacteria inside your digestive tract?
Choosing a probiotic with billions of live cultures per serving will help you get more of the friendly microbes that occur naturally in a healthy gut.* Some of the most effective probiotic supplements have at least 10 billion cultures per serving.
Should You Take A Probiotic Every Day
Its important to understand that you shouldnt be taking it on a daily basis and that its a natural supplement. Probiotics are bacteria that live in your gut.
They are beneficial to your health and can be used to treat a number of conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome , Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis , inflammatory bowel disease , and many more.
Probiotics have been used for thousands of years as a treatment for a wide range of diseases, but they are now becoming more widely used in the treatment of IBS, UC, IBD and other conditions.
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Decreased Abdominal Pain And Discomfort
While it might seem like general knowledge, it turns out that a decrease in overall gastrointestinal symptoms is one of the easiest ways to tell if your probiotic is working. “Decreasing the stretch imposed on the small bowel and colon, is typically caused by ‘bad’ bacteria, can lead to decreased pain and discomfort in the abdominal region,” , MD, a gastroenterologist in North Carolina, tells POPSUGAR.
What Are The Signs You Need Probiotics
Probiotics maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria, so you will need them when you have stomach problems.
Do you experience constipation, loose bowels, or suffer from bloating and gas?
If so then probiotics could be just what you need to regulate your bowel movements.
Does your skin have acne, rashes, and other irritations? If you have digestive problems, it often manifests as skin problems.
This study shows that a link exists between metabolism and weight gain.
If you are gaining a lot of weight in spite of eating relatively healthy foods, this could be a sign that your metabolism is slow and you need probiotics to restore it.
In case you experience unexplainable cravings for sugar-rich foods then this could also be a sign.
Most unhealthy gut bacteria tend to depend on sugary foods for survival, so if they are excessive, they will create that craving in order to cater to their needs.
More and more people are giving in to the need to take a lot of over-the-counter antibiotics.
The bad news is, antibiotics have the unwanted effect of killing off healthy gut bacteria.
Therefore, if you take a lot of antibiotics, then probiotics could be the perfect antidote. They will reverse the dire consequences of too many antibiotics in your gut system.
Finally, if you are one of those people that have compromised immunity, probiotics could help. Falling sick all the time shows that your bodys defense against diseases is weak.
Lower Anxiety And Better Response To Stress
The gut and the brain stand in constant communication with one another. Oftentimes, an imbalance in gut bacteria goes along with increased anxiety. In fact, several psychological disorders including Alzheimers disease and depression have been linked to an altered gut microbiome.
In addition, leaky gut is often associated with inflammation in the brain, which can also impact mood and how you respond to stressful situations. OMNi-BiOTiC STRESS Release has demonstrated in clinical studies to improve positive mood and focus by strengthening the gut barrier function and by acting on the gut-brain axis.
How Long Does It Take For Probiotics To Work For Constipation
Safe and effective probiotics enhance the gut microbiome, thereby eliminating any risks. The beneficial bacteria help regulate digestion, immune function, inflammation, and heart health. For the probiotics to work for constipation, you may have to wait for about three to four weeks. Constipation is not easy to treat, which is why many people will look for remedies elsewhere, including probiotics. Constipation is a common problem, and studies show it affects around 16% of adults. Further studies indicate that intake of probiotics reduces blood sugar levels, enhances liver function and other things like weight loss and skin health.
Irritable bowel syndrome
A digestive disorder can cause several issues such as bloating, stomach pain, and constipation. We recommend probiotics for these symptoms. However, you may wonder how long the probiotics will take to work. The time taken for the supplements to work may not be standard for everyone due to different factors. However, studies indicate that it could be around three or four weeks for some people until they can start seeing results.
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What We Like About Align Probiotic
After a careful review of this product, we found that there were several pros that make Align stand out:
1) Contains Bifidobacterium infantis:
Align is the only probiotic supplement that actually contains this strain of probiotics.
This makes it especially helpful for people looking for a supplement for upset stomachs and other gastrointestinal distress since this strain is linked to IBS relief and is hard to get from food alone.
2) Backed by scientific research and medical professionals
Align capsules have an impressive 20 years of research behind it and is backed by several doctors and medical professionals over the years.
It has even been featured in more than 50 different scientific reviews and publications.
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Why Do Probiotics Not Work Sometimes
Probiotics may not work sometimes or for some individuals because the way a probiotic work is different for every individual depending on their gene makeup, age, health, bacteria present in the body, and diet. Some other reasons why your probiotics are not working are:
- You are not taking enough doses of probiotics. Too less probiotics will not show any effect on your gut. For treating gastrointestinal problems, a dose of 5 billion CFUs or greater was proven to be more beneficial than smaller levels.
- Youre not taking it the way you should. Probiotics are known to be the most effective when they are taken on an empty stomach or at least 30 minutes before a meal. It is better to read the label and follow the product guidelines before use.
- You are consuming the wrong strain of probiotics. Not all strains are effective for every condition. It is important to find the best match for you by consulting medical personnel.
- Using low-quality probiotics may not work the same as high-quality probiotics. Probiotics can be very fragile, so you may find it challenging to utilize them properly. To be effective in your intestines, they must survive the production, storage, and stomach acid processes.
- Badly stored probiotics may not work properly. Probiotics can be harmed by humidity, heat, and light. Some may even require refrigeration.
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