Should You Take Probiotics
The good bacteria may help healthy people but arent formally recommended.
Probiotics are good bacteria touted to help maintain digestive health and boost the immune system. You can take them in a dietary supplement or get them from food sources, such as yogurt. But should you? They can be helpful in some cases, but we still need more studies to tell us if and when they are safe and effective for older adults.
Probiotics Dosage With Antibiotics And After Taking Antibiotics
Antibiotics when ingested target to kill the harmful bacteria in the body. Unfortunately, this also leads to the death of the good bacteria.
When this happens, the ratio of the good to bad bacteria is tilted and can result in diarrhea. You may use probiotics to aid in the restoration of the bacteria in the gut.
However, this needs some caution. For instance, there is need to take the probiotics at least 2 hours after ingesting the antibacterial.
Secondly, you need to follow the manufacturers advice on the number of capsules for instance to take per day so as to lead to a good gut re-colonization.
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, its important to consult your doctor before taking probiotics.
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How Much Probiotics Should I Take Per Day
The gut microbe is something thats not yet fully understood by scientists. For that reason, a lot of research is still being conducted regarding the matter. Nevertheless, the general consensus is that its good to take probiotics daily. Doing so will provide many medical benefits that will let you continue living a healthy lifestyle.
You see, probiotics are types of good bacteria that balance out your digestive system when they are taken in the right amounts. Every type of probiotic strain has a different effect on your body, which is why there are currently no general standardized dosages for most kinds of probiotics.
With all that being said, theres evidence showing that daily probiotic intake is good for you. In fact, studies have even revealed that its good to take probiotics several times a day. Now by reading this guide, you will learn everything there is thats currently known about the subject.
A Primer On Probiotics & Your Gut Flora
Probiotics are supplements that contain some of the types of good bacteria that live and thrive in your gut . When there are enough of these good bacteria, they can conquer the effects of the bad bacteria that inevitably grows within your gut as well. Bad bacteria are normal they live in everyone, but they shouldnt take over the beneficial gut flora.
According to Kelsey Kenney, dietitian, Potential pathogens are gut flora that have the potential to be pathogenic Pathogens or pathogenic bacteria are the bad gut bugsthese are ones that, if found, are very like to make you symptomatic. Depending on the pathogen, that could mean symptoms from anything like bloating, excessive gas, flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, reflux, and more. When your gut microbiome is well-balanced, it helps you digest food, make nutrients, influences the immune system and the metabolic system, and more.
Probiotics are best obtained from eating a healthy, natural diet, and while most people could probably benefit from the addition of a probiotic supplement, they are not appropriate for everyoneand taking a probiotic supplement should not be a replacement for eating healthy. You should discuss if you would benefit and which one to take with your doctor before adding it to your daily regimen.
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Too Muchor Not Enough
To keep your digestive system healthy, you need to make sure that youre taking the correct probiotics dosage. Too much of one type of probiotic bacteria may be an unnecessary dent in your wallet. If youre maintaining a consistent dosage of probiotics, your body does not need high potency products daily. Too little probiotics may not have much of an effect on your overall health. Typical daily probiotic consumption of 1 to 10 Billion CFUs is recommended. Remember, the key is to take probiotics consistently to maintain the probiotics in your gut. It is not intended to be a quick fix. Before you begin taking a probiotic supplement, discuss your options with your doctor. Because probiotics are all different, your doctor will likely instruct you to start with the dosage suggested by the manufacturer. Be patient. Probiotics can take a while to start making a difference. Your doctor might adjust your dosage up or down depending on your progress. Keep in touch with them to ensure that the probiotic youre taking is working for you, not against you.
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How Is Activia Probiotic Yogurt Different Than The Other Yogurts
All yogurts are made with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, but most yogurts do not contain probiotics. Probiotics are live friendly bacteria that have been scientifically studied and when consumed in sufficient amounts provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition. Activia yogurts contain Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactococcus lactis AND our probiotic culture, Bifidobacterium lactis DN 173 010/CNCM I-2494.
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What Are Probiotic Supplements
Your digestive system relies on enzymes to break down the food you eat and bacteria to finish the job. There are more than 300 types of bacteria currently living in your gut. They are there to salvage energy from undigested carbohydrates, produce B and K vitamins, and help your immune system fight off harmful bugs by competitive inhibition and other methods. Intestinal bacteria are broken down into two types: the good and the bad. The ideal ratio between good bacteria and bad bacteria in the gut is about 85:15. If the amount of good bacteria in your intestines dips below 85 percent, youll start to feel off. You might experience indigestion, bloating, diarrhea or constipation. You might also experience changes in your appetite. Probiotic supplements are made up of good bacteria. While there are few large research studies on the use of probiotics, anecdotally, theyve helped many patients regain their digestive health by restoring the balance of the 85:15 ratio between good bacteria and bad bacteria.
How Many Probiotics Should You Take
The first thing to know about probiotics is that they come in far larger doses than most other supplements or nutrients.
While dosage can vary, American Family Physician recommends children take 5 to 10 billion colony-forming units of probiotics per day, and suggests adults consume 10 to 20 billion.
Additionally, some research shows theres potential value in consuming multiple strands of probiotics daily rather than just one.
These findings suggest that probiotic-rich foods, like Cleveland Kitchen sauerkraut, pack multiple strands of beneficial bacteria that can be more valuable than probiotic supplements with far fewer strands.
So, instead of opting for a single supplement with one billion CFU, try a few tablespoons of sauerkraut, or other fermented veggies, for up to 100 million CFU in a more diverse and flavorful package.
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Should You Take Probiotics As Often As Daily
Yes you should be able to. Aside from How often should you take a probiotic? another common question in regards to probiotics is whether or not it is ok to take probiotics every day.
With some probiotics there may be a few exceptions to this rule, but generally the answer is yes, its safe, and often recommended to take them daily. The first point to mention here is that probiotics are a natural supplement and not a medicine.
Theyre natural so theyre less likely to cause harm, with a medication, you should be more reluctant about taking it often without a doctors supervision.
Probiotics Dosage For Weight Loss
There has been studies that have been investigating the role of probiotics in weight loss. A study conducted by Peter Jones, University of Manitoba in Canada indicated that probiotics can have an impact in the loss of weight. It is more targeted to the belly fat.
The findings indicated that the probiotics interfered with the normal absorption of all calories by the body and led to the calories going out of the tailpipe. This leaves the body with less calories that could be deposited in the abdomen as fat deposits. The net effect is weight loss.
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How Much Probiotics Should I Eat A Day
However, common dosages for adults range from five billion to 10 billion colony-forming units per day. Take just one dose of probiotics per day. Some people may experience loose stools in the first few days of taking probiotics, but this goes away. Taking probiotics at the end of a meal may help to reduce the symptoms.
Additional Conditions Eased Through Probiotics
Constipation and irritable bowel syndrome aren’t the only conditions that can be helped by probiotics. With each ailment, you’ll need to make sure you’re taking the proper dosage, for the right duration, to experience the benefits.
There’s more evidence that lactobacillus is effective for:
- Hayfever. Probiotics can improve the quality of life of those with these types of allergies by 18 percent.
- Diarrhea caused by antibiotics. When you get sick and take antibiotics, you strip your gut of essential bacteria that helps to keep you healthy. So, when you’re taking antibiotics and experience diarrhea due to the change in balance, taking a probiotic can improve these symptoms.
- Eczema. It is improved in children and infants through the administration of probiotics. Giving these supplements to children can prevent them from ever getting eczema in the first place.
- Bacterial vaginosis. Lactobacillus suppositories may be the solution to this, but talk to a doctor first.
- Constipation. It won’t stop right away, but with four to eight weeks of regular dosages, you may find relief from lactobacillus.
- Diabetes. Probiotics have also been found to help reduce the chances of the onset of diabetes during pregnancy.
- Heart disease. This particular strain can be used to reduce your cholesterol levels.
- Ulcerative colitis. Lactobacillus can effect a remission in this condition of the bowels.
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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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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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Can You Take Probiotics And Vitamins At The Same Time
Some vitamins, minerals, supplements, and medications can compete for absorption. Taking certain supplements at the same time can reduce the potency or effectiveness of those supplements. You should always know when to take each supplement for maximum efficiency.
If your child uses a daily multivitamin supplement, they can take it at the same time they take their probiotics. There are no interactions between the two supplements, and they wont reduce the potency of each other. You can keep your mornings simple and dole out both at breakfast time.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Taking Probiotics Daily
As mentioned, probiotics are a group of microbes that have health benefits when taken. Besides aiding with digestion, they also balance your guts microbiota and combat harmful bacteria. You can find probiotics in many foods. However, most people take them as supplements nowadays.
Scientific studies have produced evidence that probiotics help with:
- Nutrient absorption
- Immune system support
Remember that there are hundreds of strains of probiotics. Each of them yields different health benefits. Furthermore, some probiotics are meant to be taken in tandem with each other. Apart from that, there are probiotics that should only be dosed by themselves.
To know whats the best kind of probiotic for you, we recommend consulting a licensed medical professional. That way, youll know exactly what to take and how much to take on a given day.
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The Abc Of Probiotics
There are a few different strains of beneficial probiotic bacteriathe main ones being Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardii. Lactobacillus can help improve digestive health while Bifidobacterium has been found to reduce inflammation. Saccharomyces boulardii can also help reduce digestive issues and issues associated with antibiotics.
Not every probiotic strain is a quick fix for everything. Its important to talk with your healthcare provider about which particular strain can help with your specific symptoms.
This is because not all probiotics are created equal. In fact, far from it. According to the National Institutes of Health, Probiotics are not all alike. For example, if a specific kind of Lactobacillus helps prevent an illness, that doesnt necessarily mean that another kind of Lactobacillus would have the same effect or that any of the Bifidobacterium probiotics would do the same thing.
The NIH also states, We still dont know which probiotics are helpful and which are not. We also dont know how much of the probiotic people would have to take or who would most likely benefit from taking probiotics. Even for the conditions that have been studied the most, researchers are still working toward finding the answers to these questions.
Other bad bacteria that are linked to diseases include Blastocystis hominis , Giardia , H. pylori , and Proteus mirabilis , among many others.
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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Different Cfus For Different Needs
As with most supplements and drugs, there is a large dose range over which probiotics are clinically effective, and higher dosages may be advisable for certain individuals and health conditions.1012 For example, research suggests that supplementing with a high CFU may be beneficial for people whove experienced a significant alteration to their gut microbiome due to illness, use of antibiotics, or other lifestyle factors.5,13
Adding to the complexity of dosing, research studies show that different health conditions can respond differently to different probiotic strains and dosages. For some health conditions, a lower dose may work as well or even better than a higher dose, whereas for other health conditions, higher amounts are necessary to provide a clinical effect.7,10,1418 More and better studies investigating the dose-response relation of probiotics for different health conditions can further inform our understanding of optimal dosing.
Are There Side Effects Of Taking Probiotics
This is a question we hear often, and the answer is pretty simple. Side effects is a medical term used in the labeling of some pharmaceutical products. Probiotics are not pharmaceutical drugs they are dietary supplements that support good digestion and immune health.*
However, similar to when you consume a new food or make changes to your diet, taking a daily probiotic may produce occasional gas or bloating at first. We recommend gradually increasing the amount each day until your body adjusts and you are satisfied with the results.
If youre concerned about how your daily probiotic supplement may interact with other medications or supplements youre currently taking, we recommend talking to your doctor about any possible effects that may occur.
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The Best Time To Take Probiotics
So… when should you pop your probiotic capsule? “Research shows that the best time to take probiotics is just before a meal or as you begin your meal,” says Lisa Richards, CNC, nutritionist, and creator of The Candida diet. “This is the time when your stomach environment is at its least acidic because your body has not yet begun to produce stomach acid in large quantities to digest your food. Taking your probiotics at this time will make their passage to your gut a little easier and ensure you get the most from those beneficial bacteria.”
However, Richards says the when-to-take aspect of probiotics depends on what type you opt for. “If your probiotic is enteric-coated or uses delayed-release capsules, it is more likely to survive stomach acid and so the exact timing is less important,” she says. If you’re taking a live strain probiotic supplement, “ideally you want to take them 20 minutes after you eat, first thing in the morning or right before bedtime,” Greenfield says. “This allows more of the probiotics to get into the large intestines where they will have the most benefits. If you are taking a soil-based probiotic, you can take them with food for the most impact.”
Not sure what kind you have? Dr. Sonpal says brands put that info on the packaging.