Some Simple Advice For Scheduling Your Probiotic Supplements
Research shows that certain probiotic strains may not survive the harsh acidic environment of your stomach. If thats true, how do you ensure the viability of the probiotic supplements you take? Should you take them with meals? Without meals? At bedtime?
It turns out that concerns about probiotic viability are a bit of a red herring.
If you look to the internet for medical advice on these questions, you will get a lot of conflicting information.
Heres a sampling of advice about probiotics from different sources:
- Take probiotics just before a meal or as you begin yourmeal.
- Take probiotics 20 minutes after you eat.
- Take probiotics at bedtime.
- Dont take probiotics with a heavy meal.
- Take probiotics with fats.
- Dont take probiotics with garlic, herbs or prescriptionmedicine.
Crazy-making, right? Well, I have some good news for youthats both uncomplicated and flexible
Just find an approach thats convenient for you. That makesit much more likely you will remember to take your probiotic supplements,which is what matters most if you want to get all the health benefits of probiotics.
Get More From Your Probiotics
We know how important it is to take probiotics at the best time and in the best way, and so we’ve compiled a few tips to help you get the most out of your probiotic supplements. It may seem a little daunting at first but, rest assured, you don’t need to drastically change your lifestyle to maximise the effects from your probiotics.
S To Get Rid Of A Candida Overgrowth
There are three indispensable parts of any Candida treatment plan: a low sugar diet, natural antifungals, and good probiotics. These three things help deprive Candida albicans of the food it needs, prevent it from colonizing your gut, and restore a healthy balance of good bacteria. Avoiding foods that cause inflammation can also go a long way towards recovering your gut health.
Here are three steps on how to get rid of Candida overgrowth.
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When Should Someone Not Take Probiotics
Probiotics are some of the safest natural supplements available, and have very few contraindications. There are a few groups of people who we recommend exercise a degree of caution when they are considering supplementation with live cultures, an example of which is people who are immunosuppressed , and people with dark blood in their stools. Under these circumstances, it would be wise to seek the advice of a GP before considering probiotic supplementation. In fact if ever in doubt, always speak to your doctor about any health supplements. For more information see our contraindications FAQ.
With regards to medications and natural remedies, there are no known contraindications. The only point to take in to account here is if a supplement has antibacterial or anti-fungal properties. If it does, like garlic for example, then it is recommended that you take the probiotic at least a couple of hours either side of the other supplement, so as not to damage the bacteria. But with regards to safety, probiotics can be taken alongside all natural remedies without any problem.
Can I Take Or Eat Something To Increase The Good Probiotics In My Body
You can increase the amount of good microbes in your body through foods, drinks and supplements. You may already have certain foods in your daily diet that contain probiotics. Fermented foods in particular are home to a host of good bacteria that benefit your body. There are also fermented drinks like kombucha or kefir that introduce extra probiotics into your diet.
Apart from food, you can add probiotics to your diet through dietary supplements. These arent drugs, so they do not need to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration . Its important that you always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any kind of supplement or major change to your diet.
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Increased Risk Of Infection
review from 2017 suggest that children and adults with severe illnesses or compromised immune systems should avoid using probiotics. Some people with these conditions have experienced bacterial or fungal infections as a result of probiotic use.
If a person has a condition that affects their immune system, they should speak with their doctor before taking probiotics.
Also, anyone using antifungal medication should wait until the infection has cleared up before taking probiotics.
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What Is Antibiotic Resistance
Theres no doubt that antibiotics have a crucial place in modern medicine, but their use does come with some significant downsides.
The overuse and misuse of antibiotics have led to antibiotic resistance, which is when bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.
This trait can be passed on from bacteria to bacteria even among different species! which leads to even more resistance.
Heres how it works:
- Lets say you have a population of harmful bacteria causing problems some of these are naturally resistant to antibiotics.
- Antibiotics kill both the good and bad bacteria in your body, but the naturally antibiotic-resistant bacteria stand strong.
- Without all the antibiotic-susceptible bacteria taking up space, the resistant bacteria have room to multiply and they pass their resistance on to other bacteria.
- These super bugs no longer respond to certain antibiotics, leading to longer, more intense, and sometimes untreatable infections.
Every time we take antibiotics, more resistant bacteria have the opportunity to flourish and some even become resistant to several different antibiotics, turning them into dangerous pathogens.
This is where taking probiotics with antibiotics can make a critical difference in your health.
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The Benefits Of Probiotics
What are probiotics? They are friendly bacteria, thousands of strains, that prevent the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, yeast, and fungus in the gut. Here is a laundry list of some of the beneficial functions performed by probiotics in the gut.
- Produce substances that normalize cholesterol
- Enhance the protective barrier of the digestive tract to prevent leaking of gut contents into the bloodstream .
- Produce Vitamin K1
- Lower the pH of the intestines
- Utilize oxalates in foods like spinach to prevent kidney stones
- Detoxify carcinogens that are consumed
- Produce beneficial compounds which inhibit the growth of tumors
- Much much more!
No wonder Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, famously said that all disease begins in the gut.
What Happens When You Start Taking Probiotics
When you start taking probiotics, you may notice some changes in your digestive system. These are signs probiotics are working. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can help improve your gut health by breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, and keeping your intestines healthy. But in the beginning, some people experience symptoms of gas or bloating. This is usually a temporary side effect that goes away as your body gets used to the new bacteria. Once the adjustment period is over, probiotics support your digestive system, and a healthy digestive system improves your overall health.
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Mixing Probiotics Into Food Or Drinks
While most adults and some children can swallow a pill without any problems, there are times you may wonder if its ok to mix probiotics with food or a drink. You can mix your probiotics like Life Start, Megadophilus, Bifido Factor and Digesta Lac with liquids like milk, water, or non-acidic juice.
Alternatively, these probiotics can be stirred into applesauce or yogurt for easy consumption. At Natren we have probiotics available that are appropriate to give as early as an infants day of birth. For infants, you can make a thin paste from the probiotic and formula or water.
You do not want to mix probiotics into acidic or hot beverages, since this may compromise the healthy bacteria. For example, do not use orange juice or coffee. Instead, apple juice or grape juice are better choices.
Choose Reliable Probiotic Brands
Some companies have been around for years, and you may know their names. Those that have made probiotics for a while may be more likely to have tested and studied them over and over. It’s smarter to choose a product from a reputable maker. Check a third-party certifier to see if they have tested the product and found that itâs safe and reliable. If you’re in doubt, ask your doctor.
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Probiotics Break This Destructive Cycle
An unhealthybalance of gutflora can lead to a poorly trained immune system and result in excessiveinflammation. This inflammation canfurther damage the good bacteria in your intestinal tract and damageyour gut lining. More inflammation anddamage futhers the dysfunction, and so starts a self-feeding cycle.
Probiotics help tobreak this destructive cycle and can lead to a self-perpetuating cycle ofhealing and improvement.
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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Take Probioticsat A Specific Time Of Day
A lot of advice about when to take probiotics is simply conjecture. Basically, if you are worried about the potential effects of stomach acid on probiotic supplements, then of course you start thinking up ways to save probiotic lives.
One study, which is often quoted, finds better survival rates for some probiotic strains if they are taken just before a meal.. This study uses a model digestive tract and simply measures bacteria survival rates. This study doesnt actually tell us anything about whether the probiotic supplements provided health benefits in humans.
With so many humanclinical trials showing that probiotics work, no matter what time of daythey are taken, it doesnt make sense to focus on one mechanistic study.
Theres no harm in taking your probiotic supplement rightbefore a meal and its even possible that this may provide some benefit. Butdont stress about it.
Also, Ive seen a few silly suggestions like: Take probiotics at bedtime if you suffer from insomnia. Preliminary evidence suggests that probiotics can help with sleep quality, however they dont work in the same way as a sleeping pill. Take probiotics for a couple of weeks and you may start to experience sleep improvements.
Bottom line: Take probiotics when its convenient for you.
When Is The Best Time To Take Probiotics
As with many supplements and medications, there are certain times and factors that can change their efficacy, for good or bad. Research shows that the best time to take a probiotic is 30 minutes before a meal. Consistency is key when it comes to taking a probiotic and experiencing as many of the potential health benefits as possible. This means that it is necessary to take it daily to ensure routine and regular replenishment of the guts bacteria.
The stomach is a highly acidic environment, which can make it difficult for many supplements to pass through in their most bioavailable form. The same is true for probiotics. Look for a high-quality probiotic that uses time-release tablets to deliver its bacteria safely to the gut.
The composition of your meal can also help or hinder your probiotics efficacy. A large meal will move more slowly through the stomach and trigger more stomach acid production. If your probiotic is taken along or prior to this type of meal, the probiotic will move more slowly and be exposed to a hostile environment for longer.
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Are Some Strains Better Than Others
Many probiotics contain mixtures of two or more individual strains of bacteria or yeasts. They may also contain prebiotics, which are compounds that the probiotics can feed on. If a formula contains both probiotics and prebiotics, it is called a synbiotic.
Products most often contain Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium species, although many other species exist. Different strains of the same species of probiotics can act in different ways, according to some research .
Some people take probiotics for maintaining everyday health. When using a probiotic for a specific health concern, people should speak to a healthcare professional about the best strategy. This is because show that different probiotics and dosages are effective for different conditions and situations.
Read on to learn more about the best probiotics for specific uses.
People can take probiotics in supplement form or in the form of foods and beverages such as yogurt and drinks that have live cultures added to them.
Fermented foods also naturally contain beneficial bacteria. Examples of fermented foods include:
Probiotic manufacturers measure amounts of bacteria in colony-forming units . Supplements can vary, with some commonly having a CFU of billions. Foods with added probiotics often contain lower numbers of bacteria. Generally, people might take higher-CFU products for specific conditions and a lower-CFU product for general health maintenance.
Are There Any Storage Instructions For Probiotics
Several probiotic strains are very fragile and need to be protected from heat, oxygen, light and humidity. The probiotics might start to break down or die if they are exposed to these elements. Because of this, you may need to refrigerate your probiotics or store it in a particular place. Refrigerating certain probiotic strains ensures that theyre still viable when you go to use them and will still provide the full benefit of the probiotic. Always read the labels on any probiotic product you purchase to make sure you store it correctly and use it within the expiration date.
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The Best Time To Take Probiotics
The best time to take a probiotic is on an empty stomach, Dr. Wallman says. For most people, that means taking a probiotic first thing in the morning , or right before you go to sleep. Leave the probiotic by your bed so you dont forget.
Why take a probiotic on an empty stomach? The goal is to deliver the probiotics to the large intestine tract, Dr. Wallman explains. Or, to be more specific, the goal is generally to get anywhere between five and 100 billion colony-forming units to the large intestine, where the microorganisms ultimately do the most good. If you already have food in your stomach, your stomach becomes more acidic, likely killing off some of the specialized bacteria and limiting the ultimate number of CFUs that make it to their final destination, Dr. Wallman says.
Be sure to check the dosage instructions, though, as that can affect what time is best to take your probiotic. Some research suggests its best to take a probiotic with, or just before a meal. A 2011 study published in Beneficial Microbes, for example, shows uncoated probiotic supplements may be best taken with, or just prior to a meal containing fat. Why? Fat helps keep the stomach less acidic, which ensures more bacteria from the probiotic supplements can survive long enough to make it to the large intestine.
Which Probiotic Is Best For You
Probiotics may help:
Relieve constipation. Probiotics can help soften stools so theyâre easier to move.
Diarrhea. Good bacteria in probiotics combats the bad and may help make your bouts shorter.
Improve IBS.Certain strains of probiotics work better than others for this condition. Ask your doctor which is right for you.
Support brain health.Your gut is often called your âsecond brainâ because it makes some of the same neurotransmitters that regulate moods. When your gut is happy, you feel happy. When your gut is sluggish, your brain doesnât work as well.
Improve heart health.Gut bacteria produces chemicals that affect your blood pressure.
Boost immunity.Probiotics warn your immune system when bad bacteria may become a disease.
Your General Health.Good gut bacteria affects the way you feel mentally and physically. It can prevent and even treat some diseases.
Many types of bacteria are probiotics. Each has its own benefits. Talk to your doctor about which one might help you the most.
Lactobacillus youâll find this in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains can help with diarrhea and may help with people who canât digest lactose, the sugar in milk.
Bifidobacterium is in some dairy products. It may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and some other conditions.
Saccharomyces boulardii is a yeast found in probiotics. It seems to help fight diarrhea and other digestive problems.
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Choose The Right One For Your Health Condition
If you have a particular health condition, you may want to consider a specific strain of probiotic or consult a medical professional to find one thats best for you.
Experts agree that Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains benefit most people .
In particular, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Saccharomyces boulardii may reduce your risk of antibiotic-related diarrhea, while E. coli Nissle 1917 may help treat ulcerative colitis (
For a probiotic to work, its live microorganisms must reach your large intestine and colonize it. Look for a supplement that guarantees at least 1 billion live cultures on the label and ask your healthcare provider whether a particular strain is best for you.