Can Probiotics Be Harmful
- Probiotics have an extensive history of apparently safe use, particularly in healthy people. However, few studies have looked at the safety of probiotics in detail, so thereâs a lack of solid information on the frequency and severity of side effects.
- The risk of harmful effects from probiotics is greater in people with severe illnesses or compromised immune systems. When probiotics are being considered for high-risk individuals, such as premature infants or seriously ill hospital patients, the potential risks of probiotics should be carefully weighed against their benefits.
- Possible harmful effects of probiotics include infections, production of harmful substances by the probiotic microorganisms, and transfer of antibiotic resistance genes from probiotic microorganisms to other microorganisms in the digestive tract.
- Some probiotic products have been reported to contain microorganisms other than those listed on the label. In some instances, these contaminants may pose serious health risks.
How Might Probiotics Work
Probiotics may have a variety of effects in the body, and different probiotics may act in different ways.
- Help your body maintain a healthy community of microorganisms or help your bodyâs community of microorganisms return to a healthy condition after being disturbed
- Produce substances that have desirable effects
- Influence your bodyâs immune response.
What Are The Side Effects Of Probiotics
Probiotics are generally safe for most people. However, some people may experience side effects, such as gas and bloating. Probiotics may also trigger allergic reactions in some people.
To reduce the risk of side effects, start with a small dose of probiotics and gradually increase your intake. If you experience any severe side effects, stop taking probiotics and see your doctor.
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Are Probiotics Better In Pill Form Or In Yogurt
Your gut is home to trillions of microorganisms. Known as your gut microbiota, these friendly bacteria and yeasts help you digest food, produce vitamins and function as a vital part of your immune system, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health .
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While over-the-counter probiotic supplements are a popular option, probiotic consumption through foods like yogurt is one way to get more of these helpful bugs into your system from your diet. Ultimately, your choice of probiotic source may depend on your food preferences and the type of probiotic you’re looking for.
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Side Effects Of Probiotics
Overall, probiotics have an extensive history of safe use in healthy people. Side effects of probiotics are usually minor, such as gas.¹
To date, though, few studies have looked at their safety in detail, especially over a long period of time. If you’re an otherwise healthy person, it’s probably safe to include probiotic foods, like live-culture yogurt, in your diet. But ask your healthcare provider before starting probiotic supplements.¹, ,
Is it possible to take too muchor overdoseon probiotics? “Generally not,” Matthew A. Ciorba, M.D., professor of medicine in the gastroenterology division at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, told Health.
“One may experience GI distress or bloating if taking too high of an amount, depending on the probiotic,” Dr. Ciorba explained. But that wouldn’t be considered an overdose.
That said, Dr. Ciorba noted that people who decide to take a probiotic supplement for their digestive health should weigh whether they’re seeing any benefit, such as reduced GI distress. If not, it might not be worth the money.
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Learning About The Microbiome
The community of microorganisms that lives on us and in us is called the âmicrobiome,â and itâs a hot topic for research. The Human Microbiome Project, supported by the National Institutes of Health from 2007 to 2016, played a key role in this research by mapping the normal bacteria that live in and on the healthy human body. With this understanding of a normal microbiome as the basis, researchers around the world, including many supported by NIH, are now exploring the links between changes in the microbiome and various diseases. Theyâre also developing new therapeutic approaches designed to modify the microbiome to treat disease and support health.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health is among the many agencies funding research on the microbiome. Researchers supported by NCCIH are studying the interactions between components of food and microorganisms in the digestive tract. The focus is on the ways in which diet-microbiome interactions may lead to the production of substances with beneficial health effects.
Fermented Foods And Probiotics
The probiotics present in fermented foods vary from one food to the next. The most common, however, are the micro-organisms that belong to Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces boulardii, and Bifidobacterium groups.
But, before you go and purchase some beer and wine in the hopes of increasing your probiotic intake, know that probiotics may not be present in all fermented foods. According to Harvard Health Publishing, beer and wine remove the probiotics before bottling. High heat during baking and canning inactivates micro-organisms, as does pickling with acids like vinegar.
Incorporating fermented foods into your diet is a no-brainer. They help keep your gut healthy, which, in turn, can alter your mood and may even stop the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Just be sure to look for labels that state they are naturally fermented or contain live cultures .
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How Do I Store And/or Throw Out Probiotic Capsules
- Some brands of this medicine need to be stored in a refrigerator. Some brands of this medicine need to be stored at room temperature. If you have questions about how to store this medicine , talk with your pharmacist.
- Be sure you know how long you can store this medicine before you need to throw it away.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
How Do I Choose A Probiotic Supplement
When choosing a probiotic supplement, its important to consider your health needs. Some probiotics are better for certain conditions than others. If youre looking for a general probiotic supplement, look for one that contains multiple strains of bacteria.
Choosing the right probiotic supplement depends on a persons health needs. Some probiotics are designed for specific conditions, such as IBS or Crohns disease. Others are general supplements that can be taken by anyone.
When choosing a probiotic supplement, it is important to read the label carefully. The label should list the types of bacteria or yeast in the product, as well as the number of live cultures. It is also important to make sure that the probiotic supplement does not contain any artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives.
The following are some of the best probiotic supplements on the market today:
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What Are Some Side Effects That I Need To Call My Doctor About Right Away
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash hives itching red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever wheezing tightness in the chest or throat trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking unusual hoarseness or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Change in how much urine is passed.
- Muscle pain.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
What Are The Risks Of Ingesting Probiotics
- Side effects. Probiotics seem to have few side effects. Some may cause intestinal gas and bloating. However, this is likely to get better over time. If your probiotics are causing these side effects, try decreasing the dose or using it every other day.
- Interactions. If you have any medical problems or take any medicines regularly, talk to your health care provider before you start using probiotics. They could interact with medicines such as antibiotics or immunosuppressive drugs.
- Risks. If you have intestinal disease or damage, HIV, cancer, a weakened immune system, or excessive bacteria in your intestines, don’t use probiotics without checking first with your health care provider.
Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria are two of the most common types of probiotics on the market.
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Our Ranking And Reviews Of The 10 Best Probiotics Supplements For 2022
Everyone knows the health benefits of probiotics these days.
The hard part is figuring out exactly which probiotic supplement will work best for you
With hundreds of different brands out there in dozens of different forms such as capsules, tablets, powders, liquids, gums, shells, beads, and lozenges, how can you possibly know which one is right for you?
If thats the issue youre facing, youre going to be glad you found this site! Our probiotics experts continually rank, review and test just about every popular probiotic supplement on the market today.
Well tell you which ones we like and which ones wed avoid. Well tell you whats in them, how they work, how much they cost and what theyre best used for. In a nutshell, well tell you everything you need to know to find the best probiotic supplements for your particular situation.
So if youre looking to get all the health benefits that these provide, the following list of the best probiotics should point you in the right direction!
What Are The Benefits Of Taking Probiotics
Probiotic supplements have been shown to benefit health in a number of ways.
However, some of the purported benefits of probiotics arent supported by research, so its important to always consult a healthcare professional before taking a probiotic supplement, especially if youre hoping to improve symptoms related to a health condition.
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Do Probiotics Have Any Side Effects
The short answer is yes and no.
I know, thats not very helpful.
But the fact of the matter is, different probiotics affect different people in different ways.
So as we discussed earlier, a particular brand may work great for me and give me no side effects. You may take that exact same supplement and get stomach pain and indigestion.
Once again, its really a matter of finding a particular brand that works well for your particular situation, body and needs.
In general, reported side effects with probiotic use are very low.
Some people get some gas and bloating when they start using probiotics. Luckily, this is usually temporary and goes away with time.
As always, its best to speak to your doctor before using probiotics just to go over these kinds of things. This applied doubly to children, the elderly or anyone who is very ill and/or has a compromised immune system.
The vast majority of people get no side effects from probiotics, but it never hurts to get a professionals opinion!
Which Probiotics Are Found In Yogurt And Supplements
A product of fermented milk, yogurt naturally contains probiotics from the species Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, according to the California Dairy Research Foundation. Additional live bacteria are commonly added to enhance yogurt’s probiotic content. These same species can be found in probiotic pills.
A December 2010 study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology studied human saliva and fecal samples after subjects consumed either yogurt or probiotic pills. The researchers determined that both options provided the body with comparable amounts of microorganisms. If, however, you are looking to supplement with a probiotic strain not found in yogurt, consider taking supplements or incorporating another food sources known to contain those probiotics.
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How Popular Are Probiotics
The 2012 National Health Interview Survey showed that about 4 million U.S. adults had used probiotics or prebiotics in the past 30 days. Among adults, probiotics or prebiotics were the third most commonly used dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals. The use of probiotics by adults quadrupled between 2007 and 2012. The 2012 NHIS also showed that 300,000 children age 4 to 17 had used probiotics or prebiotics in the 30 days before the survey.
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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.
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How Much Do The Best Probiotics Cost
Like virtually all supplements, pricing varies enormously from one brand to the next.
And also like most supplements, price isnt necessarily reflective of quality or effectiveness.
That said, were not usually huge fans of super-cheap probiotics.
They tend to be missing some of the things we like to see and arent always made of the best ingredients.
On the other hand, weve seen some very expensive probiotics that didnt work any better than their less expensive counterparts.
While we do go into this in our individual reviews of each product, we have noticed that many of the best probiotics fall within that $20-$30 range.
Thats definitely not cheap for a months supply, but its not exorbitant either.
There are some good products that go for less then this, and some that go for more. But in general, that price range seems to contain many of the better products weve tried.
How To Get More Probiotics
There are two ways to get more good bacteria into your gut: fermented foods and dietary supplements. Fermented foods are the most natural source. Probiotic supplements, which are typically sold over the counter, are reserved to treat specific ailments as suggested by your doctor, and not recommended for everyday use. Plus, supplements do not have the same FDA oversight as medications do.
So, a big question remains: How many probiotic foods do you need? That’s not easy to answer.
There is no recommended daily intake for probiotics, so there is no way to know exactly which fermented foods or what quantity is best. Therefore, the general guideline is to just add as many fermented foods to your daily diet as possible.
Why fermented foods? Fermenting is one of the oldest techniques for food preservation. Mankind has been fermenting foods and drinks like beer and wine for centuries. Foods that are fermented go through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food, creating lactic acid. This process creates an environment that preserves the food and promotes beneficial enzymes, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as various species of good bacteria.
Another way to look at fermentation is that it takes one type of food and transforms it into another kind. For instance, cabbage becomes sauerkraut, cucumbers become pickles, soybeans turn into miso, and milk can be made into yogurt, cheeses, and sour cream.
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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.