Gut health is critical! If you’re considering including probiotics in your daily diet, it only makes sense that you want to know what to expect from them! Not to mention how long it will be before you notice a difference. If you’ve never taken probiotics before or are unfamiliar with them, there’s no disputing that they can appear weird or off-putting.
But don’t worry! Probiotics are a lot more common than you think. They’re in everything from your yogurt to some types of cheese! Probiotics are found naturally in many foods and even in our bodies. So the question isn’t why I take probiotics, but how long do probiotics take to work? Keep on reading!
What Exactly Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “live microorganisms that, when consumed in appropriate proportions as part of food, confer a health benefit on the host.” This means that probiotics are living, helpful bacteria that you may consume and add to your gut.
Taking probiotics has numerous advantages. You should add them to your regimen to improve your digestive health. But you’re undoubtedly asking. How long will it take to work? We understand. When seeking a remedy for your digestive issues, you want something that works quickly. So let’s get started and help you know when you should notice significant differences in your gut health when you take probiotics.
How Do Probiotics Function?
To begin with, why do you want to add bacteria to your gut?
To function effectively, the human body requires beneficial microbes. Beneficial bacteria help the body digest food, absorb vitamins, control weight and inflammation, increase immunity, and more. Your body needs beneficial bacteria, but it does not require hazardous bacteria, which can overgrow in your stomach.
When harmful bacteria proliferate in the gut, you may have digestive issues such as gas, bloating, constipation, and more. Your gut microbiome is the collection of beneficial and harmful bacteria in your gut. It is critical to ensure that your microbiome contains far more healthy than harmful bacteria. This equilibrium is crucial to your gut health.
If your microbiome has become imbalanced, meaning there are more bad bacteria than healthy ones, you have “dysbiosis,” which is linked to various digestive and other health problems.
If you have gastrointestinal difficulties, adjusting your microbiota with probiotics may help to alleviate your symptoms.
Why Your Probiotic May Fail Or Take Longer To Work
Probiotics are not for everyone. Probiotics operate differently depending on your particular gene makeup, age, health, microorganisms in your body, and food.
Here are a few additional reasons why a probiotic could not be effective:
- The dosage is incorrect (too few CFU).
- You’re not getting it right (with food versus on an empty stomach). Read the label and follow the product guidelines for use.
- It’s the incorrect strain. Not all strains are effective for every condition. Based on research, find the best match.
- The merchandise is of terrible quality (live cultures). One of the most challenging aspects of probiotics is their fragility. To be effective in your intestines, they must survive the production, storage, and stomach acid processes.
- They were poorly stored. Probiotics can be harmed by humidity, heat, and light. Some may require refrigeration.
How to Select the Best Probiotic for You
The best probiotic to take depends on why you’re taking it. The strain and condition determine effectiveness. Probiotics can be found in foods like yogurt or as dietary supplements in various strains.
Although probiotic products make various claims, there is now credible, evidence-based support from trusted sources that some probiotics, such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium (bacteria), and Saccharomyces boulardii (yeast), are generally safe and helpful in specific circumstances.
Probiotics may be the most effective for these conditions:
- prevention and treatment of traveler’s diarrhea
- antibiotic-related diarrhea
- ulcerative colitis
A new review discovered that probiotics could assist healthy people in maintaining digestive, vaginal, and immunological health.
The three R’s are the most important things to remember for success:
Right condition. Because probiotics do not work for every sickness, it is critical to match the symptom to the strain.
Right microbe. The tension is essential. (For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus against Bifidobacterium longum) For the best outcomes, choose based on the evidence supporting the symptom. Before beginning any supplement, consult with your doctor.
Right dose (CFU). The amount is determined by the health problem or symptom being treated. A 5 billion CFUs or more significant dose for treating gastrointestinal issues was proven more beneficial than smaller levels. Dosages differ depending on the brand. Many brands contain multiple strains, so read the label carefully. Dosages range between children and adults.
How to Make Sure Your Probiotic Works
The most important strategy to ensure that the probiotic you choose works is to find a reputable brand and follow the label’s advice on how to take it. Depending on the product, each brand will contain different details.
Manufacturers are continually attempting to increase probiotic efficiency by employing various technologies such as microencapsulation to protect probiotics from the environment, boosting their chances of survival and potency.
A probiotic should be the following to be effective:
- Excellent quality (live cultures). Select one with a proven track record of success.
- Correctly saved. Read labels and store as directed (refrigeration, room temperature, etc.).
- Taken exactly as directed. Read the labels and follow the directions (before meals, at bedtime, etc.).
- Capable of surviving in the body. The probiotic must be able to colonize your gut after passing through stomach acid and bile.
- You are safe. Read the label and take note of any additional components. Keep an eye out for fillers and binders that may trigger problems.
A typical label will include the name of the probiotic (such as Lactobacillus acidophilus), the dose in CFU, an expiration date, and usage and storage directions. The expiration date is crucial because it should include the “use by date,” which indicates how long the product will be alive. Avoid products with an expiration date listed as “time of manufacturing.” The cultures may or may not be active when you purchase them.
Most people need to take probiotics for about two to three weeks before they notice any positive effects. That’s because it takes time for probiotics to boost the healthy bacteria in your gut, decrease the bad bacteria, and lower inflammation. Taking prebiotics alongside probiotics can help your body absorb the nutrients and get more benefit from the supplements. It’s best to talk with a doctor or dietician before taking probiotics. Consult a doctor before taking supplements or increasing your intake of probiotics to ensure your safety.