Safety & Side Effects
According to the Cleveland Clinic, probiotics are generally considered safe since they contain bacteria and microorganisms already present in the human body. In the first few days after taking them, they can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and bloating as your digestive system adjusts to the new strains of probiotics.
There are certain instances where people should be extremely cautious when taking probiotics because of a risk of infection. This includes those with a weakened immune system, those who recently had surgery, and anyone with a critical illness. Though rare, probiotics are linked to certain side effects including a risk of infection, developing a resistance to antibiotics, and developing harmful byproducts from the supplement.
Always talk to your doctor before starting probiotics, especially if you have any serious digestive or gastrointestinal disorder or illness.
Lizzy Briskin is the founder of Earthen Food Co. She is a chef, food writer, and recipe developer who helps people eat more mindfully for themselves and the environment, without overthinking it.
Conditions That Benefit From Probiotic Supplementation
Based on current research, the following gastrointestinal diagnoses benefit from probiotic supplements:
Antibiotics can sometimes create an imbalance, or dysbiosis, of microbes within the microbiome and trigger frequent loose stools, aka diarrhea. The goal of probiotic supplementation is to re-establish balance within the microbiome. To create this balance, research has shown that the use of Saccharomyces boulardii, a yeast-based probiotic, taken within 48 hours of the first dose of antibiotics can reduce the risk of antibiotic-induced diarrhea.
The AGA recommends that if a person is concerned with the cost of probiotics, and is not at risk for Clostridium difficile, a bacterial infection in the gut that impacts those who are immunocompromised, then they can go without supplementation as antibiotic-induced diarrhea is a temporary condition.
Some people with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases such as Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis may eventually need to have their entire colon and rectum removed. This is done via a procedure called Ileoanal anastomosis or J-pouch surgery. Once the J-pouch is in place, there is a risk of an infection known as Pouchitis.
Sign Up For Our Free Indybest Email
Gut health, a domain once the reserve of nutritionists and alternative therapists, has gone mainstream. The trend can be seen playing out on supermarket shelves with an explosion in the number of foods with added good bacteria and on social media, #Guttok has more than 500 million views on TikTok.
So, what is it all about, and how can we achieve good gut health? We asked an expert to find out. Dom Kristy, a nutritionist and the founder of Evolved Foods, tells us that our gut microbiome is made up of trillions of active microorganisms that help us stay happy and healthy.
When we look after our microbiome, in return, it looks after us, he says. The science between our gut and immune health, mental wellbeing and longevity is well documented, and a strong link is clear.
As a nutritionist, Kristy recommends looking at what we eat first and ensuring we are getting a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables and whole foods such as beans, legumes and pulses and low on ultra-processed junk food. Adding probiotics a group of bacteria-containing foods that may help our gut microbiome, and prebiotics, which supply our existing bacteria with the fuel they need to flourish to your daily routine in supplement form can also help.
Also Check: Do Probiotics Make Your Balls Bigger
Best On The Go: Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic Extra Care Go
Improves digestive balance with 12 probiotic strains
Delayed-release design survives stomach acid
No refrigeration necessary
Effects may be subtle
A major obstacle when it comes to staying consistent with taking probiotics is that many of them need to be refrigerated. Refrigeration keeps bacteria viable and supports overall efficacy. Finding a probiotic that ensures potency not just at the time of manufacture, but at the time of purchase is difficult.
Renew Lifes On The Go Probiotic takes away the stress of refrigeration. Renew Lifes Extra Care probiotics provide 50 billion live cultures from 12 different probiotic strains, designed to re-establish digestive balance. Ensuring quality and potency through expiration, Renew Lifes capsules are designed to be delayed-release, making sure the contents make it past the acidic environment of the stomach. As a bonus, these probiotics do not need to be refrigerated, a plus when shipments might be delayed, routines are disrupted by travel or emergency times without refrigeration.
Type: Capsules | Colony Forming Units: 50 billion | Dosage: 1 daily | Certified: Non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free
Price at time of publish: $20
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.
You May Like: Probiotics Weight Loss Walmart Reviews
Dr Tobias Deep Immune Probiotics
The probiotic blend offered by Dr. Tobias includes five different types of bacteria which total to a bit under five billion colony-forming units.
The capsules are another major selling point Dr. Tobias claims that their capsules resist the digestion of the stomach acid, making it so that more bacteria make their way into the intestinal tract instead of being destroyed by stomach acid.
When Is The Best Time To Take Probiotics
The best time to take your probiotic depends on the strain. One study concluded that the Saccharomyces boulardii strain could be taken with or without a meal, but the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains survived best 30 minutes before a meal.
Most probiotics on this list contain both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, so it is advised to take them 30 minutes before a meal. However, research is limited. Consult your probiotics’ manufacturer recommendations.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
You May Like: Puritan’s Pride Probiotic 10
Nature Wise Daily Care Probiotics
- Unclear how the delayed release actually works
- Contains trace amounts of milk
- Additional CFUs in the MaxCare product provide no real benefit
NatureWise Daily Care Probiotic is a solid choice for general health. It contains a variety of strains at a reasonable price point. There is no need to spend the extra money on their Max Care product.
Nature Wise has two different probiotic products for general health.
The Daily Care product provides 30 different bacterial types with a variety of both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus and 10 billion CFUs.
The MaxCare Probiotics is similar but has 30 Billion CFUs and a higher price point. Both products contain 30 mg of prebiotics.
Both products have an additional benefit of a delayed-release capsule called WiseBiotics.
NatureWise claims that this makes the products 15x more effective because it can protect the probiotics against destruction by stomach acid so that the bacteria can reach the intestine.
Price: $26.04 for a 60-day supply on Amazon.
How We Chose These Brands
To pick the probiotic supplements for this list, we evaluated each brand based on the following factors which you can use as a frame of reference when looking for a probiotic supplement to take:
- Brand Reputation: Does the brand have a good reputation in the industry? Are the products made in a certified Good Manufacturing Practices facility?
- Professional Involvement: Are there healthcare professionals involved with the brand?
- Intended Use: Is there research to support using the strains in the probiotic for a specific health condition?
- Supported by Research: Is the brand committed to research? Is the product designed with the latest research in mind?
- Price: Is the price of the product comparable to other similar products?
In addition, you should also consider the following factors when choosing the right probiotic supplement for you:
Read Also: Best Probiotic For Hair Growth
Best Refrigerated Probiotic Formula: Garden Of Life Dr Formulated Probiotics Once Daily
Garden of Life
Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics Once Daily is a probiotic with a prebiotic supplement that uses stomach acid-resistant strains that claim to support digestive health and regularity. The Garden of Life also claims to be the first supplement company to be certified carbon-free.
Strains:Prebiotic: Acacia fiberProbiotic: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus salivarius, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium, infantis, Bifidobacterium longumCFUs: 30 billion Directions: Take once daily with or without food. You can also open the capsule, mix it with water or juice, or put it on food. Quality: It is a certified non-GMO and gluten-free product. It is also dairy-free, soy-free and vegetarian.Storage: Must refrigerate after purchasingCost: $23.51/ 30 capsules
How Long Does It Take For Probiotic Supplements To Work
As every person has a unique colony of bacteria in their digestive system, there is no guaranteed amount of time after which probiotic supplements will start to take effect after you begin taking them.
The strain of probiotic youre taking, the products brand, the supplements formula, and your overall health are all key factors impacting the effectiveness of probiotics and the speed with which they work.
Although some products may yield results against minor complaints such as occasional diarrhea within a few days, most people need to wait 2 to 3 weeks before experiencing significant benefits from taking the supplements. This is because the probiotic needs time to rebalance the level of bacteria in your gut and support healthy digestion.
Some people also notice symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, and gas when they begin taking probiotics. These symptoms are a result of changes in your guts microbiome, and they should resolve themselves within several days or weeks.
If, however, you notice any persistent or serious side effects after taking probiotics, you should consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner immediately, and discontinue using any probiotic products.
Don’t Miss: Intelligent Labs Probiotics And Prebiotics
Clostridium Difficile Associated Diarrhea
C.difficile-associated diarrhea is a common nosocomial and community-based medical condition. While typically linked to antibiotic induced disturbance of the intestinal microbiota, CDAD is now increasingly identified in patients without recent antibiotic exposure.32 Antibiotic therapy with metronidazole, oral vancomycin and now fidaxomicin makeup the current treatment paradigm.33 Recurrence of CDAD remains a clinical problem. In 1994 a trial reported that S. boulardii offered for 4 weeks after antibiotic therapy reduced overall CDAD recurrence rates.34 However, the finding was only significant for those with a history of recurrent CDAD. A follow up study, designed to be confirmatory, did not find S. boulardii to significantly reduce CDAD recurrence after standard therapy.35 Though a favorable trend was found in patients treated with high-dose vancomycin in the latter study, the clinical significance of this is less clear. Lactobacillus probiotics have been tested as single species and as combination probiotic products for preventing CDAD recurrence. While some results have been promising, most studies are underpowered, have methodological flaws, or have not been reproduced.36
While controversy exists, current society guidelines and expert opinion panels state that existing data are not sufficient to justify recommending available probiotics for preventing primary or recurrent CDAD.15, 36, 37
Ways Probiotics Can Skyrocket Your Health
A recent study has shown a direct relationship between bad bacterial growth in the gut and the ability to fall and remain asleep. This can lead to sleep disorders that zap our energy during the day and create erratic sleep patterns. In short, the more good bacteria in our gut, the better our sleep!
When the bad bacteria in our gut start outnumbering the good, not only does it make it more difficult to digest food, but it can sometimes lead to embarrassing gut issues such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea. A high-quality probiotic can help correct this imbalance, leading to a marked improvement of these symptoms.
If you ever wondered how people slide past the age of 100 so effortlessly, chances are its because of their healthy, youthful gut. In fact, recent studies show that participants over the age of 100 who are less physically frail and enjoy greater mental acuity had one thing in common: an abundance of healthy bacterial strains in their gut. So, the fountain of youth may just be located in our gut after all!
With over 70% of our immunity residing in our gut, it becomes important to support it in any way we can. Probiotic supplements replenish the gut with helpful bacteria to boost our immune system so it can respond to unanticipated attacks.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Probiotic Supplement For Dogs
How Probiotics Support Gut Health
The balance of bad and good bacteria in your gut can be upset by medical conditions, physical stress, emotional stress, or the use of antibiotics â which are known to destroy bacteria.
Probiotics can tip the balance back to good bacteria. They can also boost your immunity, fight inflammation, and provide relief for painful digestion related to irritable bowel syndrome or infectious diarrhea.
What Should I Look For In Probiotics For Dogs
When choosing probiotics for dogs there are several things to consider. Here is a closer look at those factors:
- Bacteria Strains. The first thing is to check the type of bacteria in the supplement. Some probiotics for dogs have one and others have several different strains of beneficial bacteria.
- Colony Forming Units . CFUs measure the number of beneficial bacteria in the supplement. In general, the higher the CFU of the supplement, the better its quality.
- Added Ingredients. In addition to good bacteria, some probiotic supplements feature added ingredients such as prebiotics or dietary fiber, fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Supplement Form. Probiotics for dogs come in different forms such as powders, capsules, liquids, and edibles . You should get the type that is easiest to give.
- Probiotic Flavor. To ensure straightforward use, manufacturers add flavors to the dog probiotics. Popular flavors are bacon, beef, and chicken. Choose the flavor your dog likes best.
- Brand. Finally, pay attention to the probiotic brand. A trustworthy brand will be open about its ingredients and practices. It will also feature reviews from previous customers.
You May Like: What Does A Digestive Probiotic Do
Frequently Asked Questions About Probiotics
What are some of the benefits of probiotics?
While we are still learning about the potential benefits of probiotics, it is understood that they have a wide variety of health benefits. These include digestive health, brain health, immunity, weight loss, heart health, and oral health, to name a few.
What is the optimal dosage for probiotics?
Currently, the optimal dosage for probiotics is unknown. Anywhere from 1020 billion CFUs is adequate.
Which probiotic strains are best?
The best strain depends on your health concern. Each one plays a different and particular role. A product with several different strains may be optimal.
Do probiotics need to be refrigerated?
Always follow the instructions on the bottle. There is no difference in health benefits between refrigerated vs. non-refrigerated probiotics.
When is the best time to take a probiotic?
Most probiotics are taken once a day on an empty stomach for best absorption.
I dont want to take a supplement all the time how else can I support my gut microbiome?
Fermented foods, like kombucha or yogurt, may be even more beneficial than probiotic supplements. These foods contain a wide variety of beneficial bacteria that cannot be found in one dietary supplement.
Who should avoid probiotics?
While probiotics are generally safe for most people, those that are immunocompromised should avoid taking probiotics. They may sometimes make certain digestive conditions, like gas or bloating, worse.
Are probiotics good for children?
What Is The Quality Of The Probiotic
Probiotics are currently not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which means quality and purity testing are not required because probiotics are not intended to prevent, treat or cure disease. But there are other ways to measure quality. Look for reputable brands and probiotics that say they are third-party reviewed and tested. For example, the label may say that the probiotics are manufactured in cGMP certified facilities. A cGMP certification means that manufacturers evaluate their ingredients’ identity, purity, strength and composition.
Some companies will also list where their ingredients are sourced. You will want to select something that says traceable or DNA identified. This means that the strains are verified and come from quality sources. Does the manufacturer do clinical tests on the strains or discuss using clinically tested strains? Different strains have different functions, so you will want to select a strain that is proven to be beneficial.
Last, check the expiration date. If the date has passed, the probiotic likely wont be as potent as the label claims. Bacteria only live for so long, so many probiotic companies only guarantee their products until the best if used by date.
Also Check: Align Probiotic Reviews For Diarrhea
Larger Than Normal Belly
Bloating can be a very uncomfortable experience. If you are experiencing recurring bloating that requires treatment on a regular basis then it may be wise to speak with your doctor.
There are a variety of conditions that can cause bloating. As such, it is important that you are proactive in trying to figure out the cause. A visit to your doctor will go a long way to helping you figure out the best path forward. In most cases, you might just need to adjust your diet and take some probiotics.