If You Take A Probiotic You Need To Eat Prebiotics
The bacteria in your gutboth visitors and residentsneed to eat too. Enter prebiotics, nondigestible carbs that feed friendly bacteria and help them multiply. They may even be helpful on their own, at recalibrating microbiota that have been thrown out of whack by stress a recent study found mice who ate prebiotics slept better after a stressful experience. Hutkins advises taking them daily in the form of food, not pills, because its difficult to get the needed amount from a supplement. Prebiotics are found in wholegrain oatmeal, bananas, onions, garlic, and asparagus.
You May Like: Are Probiotics Safe For Kidney Transplant Patients
Probiotics Are Sensitive Microorganisms
If youre taking a probiotic already, then well done you. Youre actively populating your gut with healthy bacteria that will confer an array of health benefits.
But bacteria are sensitive microorganismsâtheyre easily affected by things like temperature, stomach acid, and food sources.
Its the condition of your gut that can easily make bad bacteria wreak havoc or good bacteria thrive.
So, the short answer is: yes âit does matter when and how you take your probiotic.
But theres a longer answer behind it, too.
Whatever the label may tell you âbelow are some tips to make your probiotics wrk smarter, not harder.
Risks And Side Effects Of Prebiotics And Probiotics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point out that the use of commercial prebiotics and probiotics is generally safe for healthy people. But there are rare instances where a healthy person becomes sick after ingesting certain types of bacteria contained in probiotics. Probiotics arent regulated according to drug standards by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . This means that some of the live bacteria being used in probiotics hasnt been evaluated according to strict safety measures. Thats something important to keep in mind when considering prebiotics and probiotics.
When you start a synbiotic regimen, there are some common side effects. Gas, constipation, loose stool, and loss of appetite sometimes happen, especially at the beginning of the regimen. Bloating and acid reflux have also been reported .
There is one side effect of probiotics that is known to be dangerous: having an allergic reaction to the bacteria that are being added to your body. If you break out in hives or experience extreme stomach pain after ingesting a prebiotic or probiotic, stop taking the supplement. Contact a doctor to determine if youre having a reaction.
You May Like: Is Digestive Advantage A Good Probiotic
Can Probiotics Hurt Me
For most healthy people, probiotics dont cause any harm. They are generally considered safe and are often given a try to see if they could help with various medical conditions. Theres a lot of research around the topic of probiotics. Scientists are trying to determine when and how they should be used, as well as how effective they are. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement because there are some cases where you shouldnt be taking them. Its always best to have the conversation first before starting a new supplement.
Mistake #: You Put Your Probiotics Into A Personalized Pill Box
Sure, organizing your daily pills and supplements in a handy pill box will help you to remember to take them, but it could compromise how effective your probiotics are. Like crackers, probiotic capsules will expire more quickly when exposed , says Millette. And Nielsen agrees. She says to keep your probiotics in sealed individual doses away from bright light and heat.
Read Also: Align Prebiotics And Probiotics Review
When To Take Your Probiotics
After you eat, your stomachs pH rises to about a four, which is much less acidic and easier for probiotics to survive, so its best to take your probiotics alongside a meal, says Friedman. By consuming your probiotic with food, you provide a buffering system for the supplement and ensure its safe passage through the digestive tract, he says. Plus, aside from protection, food also provides your probiotic with the proper nourishment it needs to survive, grow, and multiply once in your gut.
A study published in the journal Beneficial Microbes found that probiotics taken with a mealor even within 30 minutes of eating somethingsurvived in much higher numbers than those taken 30 minutes after a meal. You see, about a half hour after you eat, the pH of your stomach once again becomes more acidic .
The study also noted that probiotics taken with food containing healthy fats had the greatest survival rates, so the authors recommend the meal you take your probiotics with contain some fat.
Balancing The Intestinal Ecosystem
Although the vast majority of existing clinical trials indicate that probiotic doses of 10-20 billion CFU per day are sufficient for maintaining immune and digestive health, research studies examining the dose-response of larger CFUs and products featuring CFUs of 50 to 100 billion are becoming increasingly common.6,7 While it may be tempting to assume that a larger CFU automatically translates to greater probiotic benefits, this is not necessarily the case for every individual or health indication.8,9
One of the mechanisms of probiotic therapy is restoration of intestinal balance by replacing harmful microbes with more favorable ones. Because not everyone needs very large amounts of probiotic bacteria to achieve this, regularly providing the body with a moderate infusion of high-quality bacteria may represent a more biologically meaningful approach to health maintenance than overwhelming the gut microbiota ecosystem with more bacteria than is needed.
Thus, for individuals in relatively good health, a daily dose of 10-20 billion CFU is likely sufficient for supporting everyday immune and digestive support.
- Prevent many common alignments that occur in childhood
Probiotics can also:
- Overwhelm the gut eco-system with one species of bacteria, creating a monoculture
- Build a temporary environment in your system on a daily basis because they cant colonize the human gut
Read Also: Udo’s Choice Infant Probiotic
More Research Is Needed To Clearly Understand Probiotics
Though researchers don’t have the full picture yet, the National Institute of Health says there is evidence to suggest probiotics might be helpful for certain health conditions.
For example, in a review published in Antibiotics, across multiple studies, researchers found that probiotics can help relieve diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics. On average 8% of people who took a probiotic experienced antibiotic-associated diarrhea compared to almost 18% of people who did not take a probiotic.
Two stand-out strains that the researchers found helped were L. rhamnosus GG and S. boulardii. The dosage, however, varied among the different studies ranging anywhere from as little as 106 colony forming units to 1010 CFU taken one to two times a day for one to two weeks straight.
And another review, published in 2014 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that probiotics helped ease constipation in adults, including upping stool frequency and decreasing bloating. When it came to boosting stool frequency, for example, the B. lactis strain seemed to be the most effective, resulting in an additional 1.5 go’s weekly.
While this difference was statistically significant, it is a very small effect, if you think about it. And it may be that some people respond better than others, though researchers don’t yet know how to identify them.
Probiotics Help Balance The Friendly Bacteria In Your Digestive System
Probiotics include good bacteria. These are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits when consumed .
These benefits are thought to result from the ability of probiotics to restore the natural balance of gut bacteria .
An imbalance means there are too many bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria. It can happen due to illness, medication such as antibiotics, poor diet and more.
Consequences can include digestive issues, allergies, mental health problems, obesity and more .
Probiotics are usually found in fermented foods or taken as supplements. Whats more, they appear to be safe for most people.
Probiotics are live microorganisms. When taken in sufficient amounts, they can help restore the natural balance of gut bacteria. As a result, health benefits may follow.
Recommended Reading: Probiotics Containing Bifidobacterium Infantis 35624
Next Steps To Take If You’re Considering Probiotic Treatments
If you’re looking for where probiotic research stands on specific conditions, like acne or UTIs nothing conclusive on either of those topics as well as the limits of certain studies the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health website provides an informative breakdown.
The bottom line is that you should discuss your best course of action with a doctor or registered dietitian especially “if you are considering starting a probiotic to treat a specific illness, have a chronic disease or if you are immunosuppressed,” Gilmore says.
When Is The Best Time To Take Probiotics
Youre ready to introduce probiotics into your body, but when are you supposed to take them? Is the best time to take probiotics before or after meals?
Probiotics offer the best benefits to your body when they can be fully absorbed through the digestive tract. However, the digestive tract is filled with obstacles that make effective absorption difficult.
If you take your probiotic right when you wake up, the excess stomach acid in your digestive system will kill the probiotics before they ever make it to their destination.
This is why its so important to identify the best time of day to take probiotics.
Select a time when you know youll be eating food or finishing a meal. Stick to that time every day to establish a reliable rhythm and reduce the likelihood that you will forget in the future.
The only way its possible to take your probiotic in the morning is to purchase a probiotic with a protective casing around the live bacteria.
A product like Vive Biotics is formulated to protect the probiotic as it moves through the digestive tract. Bacteria are able to bypass common absorption obstacles even destructive stomach acid and move directly into the gut.
Don’t Miss: Garden Of Life Probiotics Primal Defense
Can Long Term Use Of Probiotics Be Harmful
Yes and no, this is very much dependent on your overall health. If you find you are having trouble with your immune system, suffering from long term illness, and currently taking antibiotics probiotics could lead to any negative systems to worsen over time. Therefore, it is so important to check with a doctor before introducing probiotics into your daily routine.
Also Check: Are Probiotics Good For The Immune System
How Probiotics Might Be Bad For You
Because these good bacteria already exist in the body, theyâre considered safe for most people. But there are some things to consider.
They can trigger an allergic reaction. They might cause mild stomach problems, especially the first few days you start taking them. You might have stomach upset, gas, diarrhea, or bloating. Those symptoms usually go away after your body gets used to them.
If you have an immune system problem or another serious health condition, you may have a greater chance of issues. Some reports have linked probiotics to serious infections and other side effects. The people most likely to have trouble are those with immune system problems, people who’ve had surgery, and others who are critically ill. Don’t take probiotics if you have any of those issues.
Always talk to your pediatrician before giving probiotic supplements to your child. If you’re pregnant or nursing, you should also talk to your doctor before you try one.
Most probiotics in the U.S. are sold as dietary supplements. That means the companies that make them don’t have to test their products and show that they work or that they are safe. More research is needed to confirm that probiotics are safe and effective.
Ask your doctor which probiotics are the right ones for you. Be sure to stop taking them if you have any problems.
Don’t Miss: Best Probiotic For 2 Year Old
Which Probiotics Should You Take With Antibiotics
Your pharmacy probably has shelves filled with different bottles of probiotics. How do you choose the right probiotics to take with your antibiotics? Dr. Bryan Tran, cofounder of DrFormulas, recommends looking for probiotics that have the three Ds:
Dose: The amount of active micro-organisms in a probiotic is measured in colony-forming units, or CFUs. You want a dose with 10 billion CFUs or higher, Dr. Tran says. This dose may appear on the product label as 1 x 1010. And while you may see probiotics with 100 billion or more CFUs, according to Dr. Hoberman, you generally stop reaping added benefits after about 20 billion.
Diversity: The label on a bottle of probiotics will also tell you which bacteria strains the capsules contain. Look for probiotics that have five to 10 unique strains. Studies that compare single-strain probiotics to multi-strain probiotics have found that a variety of strains is more effective at reducing diarrhea, Dr. Tran says.
Delayed-release mechanism: Finally, look for probiotics that use delayed-release capsules. When you take probiotics orally, you expose them to your stomach acid and that reduces the effective dosage that makes it to the gut, Dr. Tran says. Probiotics with delayed-release mechanisms wont release the microorganisms until they go past the stomach.
Portioning Out Your Probiotic Versus Having It All At Once
If you really want to, you can even split up your probiotics dose to rev up its impact on your gut. âIf youÃ¢re splitting up your dose, it might make sense to take one half in the morning and one half in the evening to maximize the beneficial effect on your gut flora,â says Richards. Dr. Sonpal agrees, noting that taking probiotics this way wonât overwhelm your gut, and âitâll help you assess your systemâs reaction to the probiotic in increments instead of all at once,â he says. âIt also gives your system the opportunity to adjust to the effect of probiotics at smaller doses.â
So, since the time itself doesnât exactly matterÃ¢you donât have to take them in the a.m. or p.m. specifically, just plan it around your meal timesÃ¢Greenfield says the only downside to not taking them at one of these optimal times is that there would be a decrease in potency. But you really donât want that, so stick with what the pros say for the sake of your healthiest gut ever.
Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cult-fave wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. , our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.
You May Like: Does Pantoprazole Cause Diarrhea
Also Check: Is Ultimate Flora A Good Probiotic
Certain Probiotic Strains Can Help Keep Your Heart Healthy
Probiotics may help keep your heart healthy by lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.
Certain lactic acid-producing bacteria may reduce cholesterol by breaking down bile in the gut .
Bile, a naturally occurring fluid mostly made of cholesterol, helps digestion.
A review of 5 studies found that eating a probiotic yogurt for 28 weeks reduced total cholesterol by 4% and LDL cholesterol by 5% .
Another study conducted over 6 months found no changes in total or LDL cholesterol. However, the researchers did find a small increase in HDL cholesterol .
Consuming probiotics may also lower blood pressure. A review of 9 studies found that probiotic supplements reduce blood pressure, but only modestly .
In order to experience any benefits related to blood pressure, supplementation had to exceed 8 weeks and 10 million colony-forming units daily .
Probiotics may help protect the heart by reducing bad LDL cholesterol levels and modestly lowering blood pressure.
Probiotic Foods To Start Eating
Pills aren’t the only . You can get your dose of healthy intestinal bacteria through everyday foods. The process of fermentation encourages the growth of different bacterial species, like those commonly used in probiotics.
âRead more:â The Benefits of Fermented Foods and 5 DIY Recipes
Anything pickled, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, is a great option for probiotic foods. If pickled food isn’t your favorite choice, there are still plenty of other options. There’s a reason miso, tempeh and kombucha are found in the health food section of the grocery store, and that’s because of the critical fauna these items have stored up for you.
Yogurt is a widely popular food that contains considerable probiotics and is also enjoyed by many different cultures as part of their regional cuisines. If you have an aversion to vinegar, yogurt might be the better choice for you.
Don’t Miss: Best Over The Counter Probiotic For Women
When Is The Best Time Of Day To Take Probiotics
Do you suffer from uncomfortable gas and bloating? Are you constantly exhausted or craving sugar and carbs? Do you feel surrounded by a cloud of depression and anxiety on a daily basis?
If so, you could be coping with just a few of the harmful symptoms associated with imbalanced bacteria in your intestinal tract.
Though bacteria has a bad reputation for causing trouble, the truth is that billions of beneficial bacteria must exist in the gut to prevent health problems and optimize your wellness.
Taking a daily probiotic like Vive Biotics at the right time each day is one of the easiest ways to restore a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.
Will Taking Probiotics Reduce The Bodys Natural Production
Some people have expressed concerns that if they take probiotics for prolonged periods that it would eventually inhibit their bodys ability to produce probiotics of its own. We understand why some people would get this idea. Think about testosterone as an example. Testosterone replacement therapy, after all, is known to diminish the bodys ability to produce its own testosterone hence why you need to cycle on and off.
READ MORE: The Top 4 Probiotics Strains For Women
Is the same true with probiotics? There is no evidence suggesting that such a thing happens when you consume probiotics from food or supplement. Heres another way of looking at it: the body produces some vitamins naturally, including vitamins D and K. Does this mean you should limit your intake of these vitamins from food? We have never heard of doctors suggesting to anyone to reduce foods naturally rich in these beneficial vitamins.
To be more precise, the human body doesnt even actually produce probiotics. Gut microflora is formed in your body as a baby. From there, the bacteria self-regulate its population by reproducing and dying. This means there is no chance of probiotic supplements hampering your bodys natural production because it doesnt create probiotics to begin with.
Also Check: Is Cottage Cheese Considered A Probiotic