Proper Probiotic Dosages For Adults
Less often, products will report the milligram input dose instead of CFU. These doses are found on the product labels .
For more detailed info on the different strains and what they do, see this guide.
While there are plenty of foods that contain probiotics, “amounts vary from brand to type of food,” Morse says, adding that, “probiotic levels change due to time on the shelves, manufacturing, heat, and refrigeration.”
Meaning, it can be tough to even know how many CFU you’re getting from a particular food, and that amount can vary based on a slew of different factors.
It can also be difficult to get higher CFU from food alone, says Jessica Cording, R.D., CDN, author of The Little Book of Game-Changers. That’s why many people turn to supplements to get their probiotics.
How Are Probiotics Regulated In The United States
Government regulation of probiotics in the United States is complex. Depending on a probiotic productâs intended use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration might regulate it as a dietary supplement, a food ingredient, or a drug.
Many probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which donât require FDA approval before they are marketed. Dietary supplement labels may make claims about how the product affects the structure or function of the body without FDA approval, but they arenât allowed to make health claims, such as saying the supplement lowers your risk of getting a disease, without the FDAâs consent.
If a probiotic is going to be marketed as a drug for treatment of a disease or disorder, it has to meet stricter requirements. It must be proven safe and effective for its intended use through clinical trials and be approved by the FDA before it can be sold.
What Is The #1 Probiotic
The probiotic strain in Culturelle® Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is the #1 most clinically studied strain of probiotic. Considered the premier probiotic in the world, over 1,000 scientific studies and over 30 years of research have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG .
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Why Are Probiotics Important
The bacteria in your lower intestinal tract of the large intestine have many important jobs! It is truly an activity hub where bacteria digest food and support immune health. Sometimes, life happens and bacteria become unbalanced or disrupted. Common digestive disruptions occur due to stress, interruptions from medication, and eating too much sugar and processed foods. When this happens, bacteria levels can dip below where they should be, and probiotics can help restore balance.
Plus, probiotics can assist with occasional and uncomfortable and embarrassing digestive issues. In 2017, a study published in Antibiotics stated that across several studies, probiotics helped relieve diarrhea experienced after taking antibiotics. Another study in the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that probiotics helped ease constipation in adults. These are only two of many studies and clinical research that show the benefits of probiotics on human health.
How Do Probiotics Work
The main job of probiotics, or good bacteria, is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Think of it as keeping your body in neutral. When you are sick, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number. This knocks your body out of balance. Good bacteria works to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better.
Good bacteria keeps you healthy by supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation. Certain types of good bacteria can also:
- Help your body digest food.
- Keep bad bacteria from getting out of control and making you sick.
- Create vitamins.
- Help support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria that you may have consumed from entering your blood.
- Breakdown and absorb medications.
This balancing act is naturally happening in your body all of the time. You dont actually need to take probiotic supplements to make it happen. Good bacteria is just a natural part of your body. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber every day helps to keep the number of good bacteria at proper levels.
Taking Excess Probiotics Can Cause Mild Discomfort
Taking more than a usual dose 1 to 10 billion colony forming units of probiotics doesnt necessarily mean better results and, instead, might provoke some mildly uncomfortable side effects.
Some research has shown that using more bacteria may, in fact, counteract . If the bacteria get to the food before us, they can turn it into gas, says Farhadi. On top of excess gas, you might experience bloating or a generally upset stomach. Diarrhea can also occur, but thats about as bad as it gets.
Side effects, most commonly gas, may also occur when someone first starts taking probiotics, as their gut may experience some changes in bacteria levels. Usually, though, if someone is taking an average dose, these side effects should wear off soon, once the body adjusts.
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Diarrhea Gas Bloating And Other Digestive Symptoms
Some people experience mild upset stomach, excess gas, diarrhea, or bloating during the first few days of taking probiotics as the gut microbiome rebalances. These side effects typically subside within a few days and dont necessarily mean youre taking too large of a dose. But experiencing continued side effects may be a sign to decrease the amount of probiotics youre taking.
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?
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How Many Probiotic Drinks Per Day Should I Take
18 May, 2021
If you want to achieve a healthy lifestyle, it is all about balancing out the proper nutrition. This concept is especially true for those looking to boost the health of their gut. If you consume too much of anything, it can cause your digestive system to act strangely. The same is true for health drinks.
While the average person can eat and drink to their hearts content, the gut is not invincible. When a digestive system is out of balance, it can lead to issues with your health. You may want to introduce probiotics into your diet to boost gut health.
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Probiotics Dosage For Children & Adults
Children who are new-borns and infants need special attention in the determination of their dosage.
The use of a pediatrician is key in determining dosage. There are forms of probiotics that can aid in diaper rash, but at the same time, there are those forms that before taking, should the child be on antibiotics, it would not be advisable. As such, there is need to seek the doctors advice on both the dosage and strain to avail to a child.
Adults too have varying needs. If you intend to avail to an adult, , your health status is vital in this determination.
Packet inserts would normally indicate the strain as well as the dosage requirements. Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Centre indicate that, as a general guide, take 1 2 billion colony forming units per day.
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The Health Benefits Of Daily Probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial microbes that help with digestion, keep your gut microbiota balanced, and can help fight off harmful bacteria. These bacteria can be found in some foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and yogurt, and can also be obtained through supplements.
Choosing your probiotic is important because the quality differs and there are many strains of probiotics that provide different effects within your gut. Certain probiotic strains also work in teams. The quality of the probiotic also matters. Thats why its best to find a probiotic that has been studied for the specific health benefit you are looking for, is rooted in extensive research and testing, and made up of clean ingredients
The three most studied probiotic strains are the bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and a yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii.
- Nutrient absorption, including some vitamins and minerals
- Support for your immune system
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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.
Probiotics Can Be Dangerous For Some People
People at higher risk for adverse effects, like infection, of taking too many probiotics are those with serious illnesses or weakened immune systems, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
If you fall into either of those categories, it’s important to consult your doctor before taking probiotics.
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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.
Generally Probiotics Are Safe But You Can Have Too Much Of A Good Thing
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that have been found to help promote better digestive health and support your immune system. These microorganisms exist in your intestines and help to break down food, absorb nutrients, and minimize harmful bacteria that may otherwise cause disease. You can get more probiotics by incorporating probiotic-rich foods or supplements into your diet. Foods containing probiotics include yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir.
Many people take probiotic supplements for additional health benefits as they offer higher doses of probiotics than probiotic-rich foods. Generally, probiotics are safe, but you can have too much of a good thing. Lets take a look at the four common signs that you may be taking too many probiotics.
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There Is No Right Dose Of Probiotics
The average dose of probiotic supplements is 1 to 10 billion colony forming units according to the National Institutes of Health.
Most probiotics on the market have this amount, though you may see products that claim to have up to 50 billion CFU. However, there’s no concrete research that says what the most effective dosage is, says Farhadi.
“This is kind of uncharted territory. Most of our knowledge about probiotics is not pharmaceutically scientific or chemically scientific, and it’s a little bit different from other medications,” he says. For these reasons, researchers don’t know exactly which probiotics and what the effective dose is for health benefits.
However, if you are taking probiotics to deal with the uncomfortable effects of antibiotics, there is some evidence that a higher dose of certain probiotics might help abate the side-effect of diarrhea. In a small 2010 study, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, patients who were given two capsules of probiotic, each containing 50 billion CFU, had fewer instances of antibiotic-induced diarrhea than patients who were given one capsule or no probiotic at all.
Should You Take A Daily Probiotic Supplement
Probiotics are good for your gut, but the source matters.
Theres a lot of buzz around probiotics. Theyre endorsed by celebrities and fill grocery stores aisles.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut. Scientists believe they could unlock a deeper understanding of our health. Probiotics are found in some foods and drinks, like yogurt or fermented tea.
Just like vitamins, probiotics are available as supplements. Manufacturers make steep claims about their benefits. They include digestive health, strengthened immune system, weight loss and reduced cancer risk. But can a supplement really do all that?
To learn more about probiotic supplements, we spoke with Carrie Daniel- MacDougall, Ph.D., M.P.H., a nutritional epidemiologist at MD Anderson who studies diet and the microbiome.
Heres what you should know about probiotic supplements.
Its always better to get nutrients from food. That includes probiotics.
More research needs to be done on probiotics in general and probiotic supplements, but its always better to get your nutrients from food rather than supplements, Daniel-MacDougall says. They just dont deliver the same benefits as food.
One reason is because supplements arent regulated as closely as medications. So the quality and ingredients can vary greatly from product to product.
Unless your doctor is prescribing probiotics for a specific purpose, stick to getting them from foods like yogurt that may have other nutrients, like calcium.
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Can Probiotics Be Taken Multiple Times A Day
Its possible to take probiotics multiple times a day without issues. Nonetheless, youve always got to follow the intake instructions on the label of your probiotic supplement. Doing so will minimize the chances of receiving any adverse effects from taking too much probiotics.
Doctors generally recommend that you take probiotics once a day. That said, some conditions warrant that you take multiple doses. Examples of such afflictions include IBS and diarrhea, which are both conditions that affect your digestive system and your intestines microbiota.
Mistake #: You Think All Probiotics Are Equal
Its not good to assume that all probiotics will provide the same benefits, says Millette. There are a variety of probiotic strains and not all strains have the same health benefits. The human body houses more than 500 different strains of bacteria. Some are for immune support. Some are for digestive issues. Some are for weight maintenance. And there are even strains for heart health.
Examples include: Lactobacillus Acidophilus has been shown to help blood pressure, cholesterol, allergies and digestion, while Lactobacillus Rhamnosus can help with blood glucose, immune function and cholesterol, and Lactobacillus helveticus reduces blood pressure, improves sleep quality and bone health.
Check the packaging, talk to your health care provider or even double-check with a pharmacist to make sure what youre buying is what you need. Thankfully in Canada, foods with probiotic claims must be truthful and not misleading , and supplements must meet requirements for its claims as well as science to support its efficacy, safety and quality.
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How Often Should You Take Probiotics
If you take supplements, you have probably seen the acronym RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance on the label. According to the National Institutes of Health Office for Dietary Supplements, this means average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy people. You might also see Percent Daily Value on the label, which tells you how much of that nutrient is in a single serving. For probiotics, its different. Currently, there is no official recommended dose because researchers are still trying to understand how many probiotics are beneficial on a daily basis.
If youre thinking, that doesnt answer my question, theres more to it! The National Center for Complementary and integrative Health states that probiotics have a long history of safety. The National Institutes of Health Office for Dietary Supplements probiotics fact sheet also references two studies where daily probiotic use was beneficial. And the Harvard Medical School states that probiotics can be taken once per day. Experts also agree that when taking probiotics or any other supplements, you should consult your physician first to make sure it is the right fit for you.
So the answer is probiotics are likely safe for daily use, but because human health is so unique from person to person, it is always best to consult your physician first.