Top 3 Questions Searched About Probiotics

 In Digestive Health, Probiotics

If probiotics are new to you, then there is a chance that you may have tons of questions! Well turns out other people who take probiotics or want to take probiotics have questions, too, so we compiled the top 3 questions on probiotics from Google.

1. Why do probiotics make me gassy?

Why do probiotics make us gassy? Well there’s a simple answer to that! The probiotics are making some changes to your gut (for the better) and these changes result in the good bacteria that is colonizing to produce a bit more gas then they usually do. (1) But don’t fret, this is a good sign, this means that the probiotics are working! If you experience these side effects they should go away in about 2 weeks, if they don’t, speak to your doctor.

2. What do probiotics do?

Probiotics do a lot of things! But their main benefits are; Immunity, Allergies, maintain digestive disorders, and balance gut dysbiosis.  

Immunity Balancing: 70% of your immune system is located in your gut! (2) So this means you need to have an already ample amount of good bacteria in your gut to help prevent bad bacteria from interfering and affecting the immune system. (2)

Allergies: Probiotics that have a mixture of strains can help in producing more T cells in your body, these cells can help boost tolerance to symptoms that correlate with allergens. (3)

Allergies are caused by unknown identities in our bodies. When this happens our immune cells are the first to respond which translates to allegory symptoms. The cells associated with this relationship are T cells and more specifically a group of T cells known as TH2. (4)

Maintain Digestive Disorders: Probiotics can aid in the amount of protein your body absorbs and can help lower pH levels in your colon allowing for smoother bowel movements. (5)

 Probiotics are also known to help manage the symptoms of many digestive disorders such as: (5)

Balance Gut Dysbiosis: Dysbiosis is caused when the bacteria in your gut is unbalanced. (6) Taking a probiotic daily can help make sure the bacteria in your gut is maintained and is undisturbed by unbalanced levels of bacteria. 

3. Are probiotics for everyone?

Remember, probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are already living in your gut so, yes and no! Some probiotics are made specifically for certain conditions, but a generalized probiotic can be taken by anyone, but it is advised that you speak with your doctor before you start taking a probiotic. 

You should also make sure that the probiotic you are taking is safe! Unfortunately the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements and approve them but they can certify supplements as Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) this ensures that the ingredients are safe for ingestion. 

Want to be a probiotic pro? 

There are some tips and tricks to evaluating probiotics to make sure they are of good quality. 

  1. Refrigerated: If it’s not already refrigerated it’s not alive! Probiotics need to be stored cold in order to stay alive, if you buy a bottle that’s been sitting on the shelf of your local pharmacy, the likelihood that the bacteria inside is alive is very slim. If you’re purchasing spores those are shelf-stable until ingested.
  2. High CFU: Your body needs billions of Colony Forming Units (CFU) in a probiotic to make a difference and help establish a colony in your gut. Without an established colony, you won’t see many results. You should aim for a probiotic that has 30 billion CFU.
  3. Acid-resistant capsule: An acid-resistant capsule allows the probiotic to safely travel through the G.I tract without being dissolved until it lands in the gut where it will release its contents and start going to work 
  4. Pair it with a prebiotic: If you take just a probiotic that’s fine, but adding a prebiotic to the mix will help your probiotic! Prebiotics are fiber and fiber gives nutrients to the probiotic helping it flourish. 
  5. Take them consistently: Consistency is key with probiotics. If it says take daily, then take it daily. You need to build up the concentration of bacteria in your gut to see a difference from the probiotic and that could take anywhere from 8- 12 weeks. And once those 8 to 12 weeks take place don’t stop and dont stop once you start to receive benefits. Stopping when you are just starting to receive benefits will only decrease the colony size in your  gut over time and you’ll lose all the great benefits you were receiving from your probiotic. 

The Takeaway 

Hopefully, we answered all the questions you may have had on probiotics! If not take a look at our other blog posts, you’re sure to find some answers there. 

References: 

  1. Crichton-Stuart, C. (2018, November 27). Probiotics: Possible side effects and how to take them safely. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323821#:~:text=When first using probiotics, some,weeks of taking the probiotics.
  2. Bagnell, B. (2020, April 28). Balancing Immunity Through The Gut Microbiome – Kibow Flora™: High Potency Probiotic Immune Health Supplement. Retrieved from https://kibowflora.com/a-natural-way-to-balance-immunity/
  3. Whiteman, H. (2017, March 2). Probiotic could help alleviate hay fever symptoms. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316177#Combination-probiotic-might-boost-levels-of-regulatory-T-cells
  4. LeslieAug, M., NormileJun, D., WadmanJun, M., LanginJun, K., GibbonsJun, A., MervisJun, J., … HeidtMay, A. (2017, December 8). Got allergies? Scientists may have finally pinpointed the cells that trigger reactions. Retrieved from https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/08/got-allergies-scientists-may-have-finally-pinpointed-cells-trigger-reactions#:~:text=Allergies stem from mistaken identity,cells known as TH2 cells.
  5. Norris, T. (2018, September 29). Probiotics and Digestive Health: Benefits, Risks, and More. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/probiotics-and-digestive-health#digestive-health
  6. Jewell, T. (2019, February 1). What Causes Dysbiosis and How Is It Treated? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/dysbiosis#causes-and-risk-factors
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