Are you taking probiotics? Maybe you have been taking them consistently for a few days or longer and haven't noticed any improvement in your symptoms yet. Or perhaps you haven't started taking them but would like to. Either way, you may be wondering how long does it take for probiotics to work?
This article will explain what probiotics are, what type to look for, the best way to take them and how long it takes them to work.
What Exactly are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health but especially good for your digestive system. When we think of bacteria, we think about how they cause diseases and how harmful bacteria can be. But the bacteria found in probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are helpful to your body - most specifically, your gut.
Here is a list of the amazing things probiotics do for your body:
- protect us from pathogenic bacteria through physical and chemical inhibition
- help digest our food
- support good immune function
- make and extract vitamins from our foods
- support healthy bowel transit time
- offer us an additional way to detoxify ourselves.
All in all, they are a pretty fantastic contributor to good health and vitality.
Which Types of Probiotics are Best?
When looking for probiotic products, look for a supplement with the following features:
COUNT: Optimally, probiotics should contain anywhere from 5 to 10 billion colony-forming units (CFU).
STRAINS: Look for different strains. The bacteria in our gut are categorized into over 10,000 different strains that work together to provide optimal health. No one bacterial strain can do it all, so choose a supplement with some variety, and try to incorporate different probiotic foods into your diet.
SURVIVABILITY: Probiotic bacteria are alive, but they need to be protected, as they can be killed easily by exposure to light, heat, air, and the harsh conditions of your stomach. Regardless, a quality probiotic supplement will include information on survivability either on its label or website.
FREE OF ANIMAL PROTEINS, ALLERGENS AND FILLERS: Choose a probiotic free of dairy and other animal proteins, gluten, soy and yeast to ensure you are taking a clean product.
DELIVERY MECHANISM: When you ingest your probiotic, the probiotic travels through the stomach's harsh, very acidic environment before it reaches the small and large intestine.
Many capsules contain freeze-dried bacteria. If these bacteria contact stomach acid as the first liquid, they will soak up the stomach acid and die from the acidity. The most effective probiotic is formulated as a powder and activated with water before intake.
In addition, look for a probiotic that has a prebiotic fibre mixed in, as the prebiotics feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut, helping it grow and multiply.
With the above in mind, I recommend the USANA brand of probiotics.
It is sugar-free, gluten-free and dairy-free, and comes in a convenient stick pack.
Each stick pack contains a guaranteed level of two of the most well-studied probiotic strains Bifidobacterium BB-12 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG. These two strains survive transit through the harsh, acidic environment of the stomach to colonize the intestines.
The USANA probiotic employs an advanced delivery system that guarantees the product will remain shelf-stable for at least 18 months when stored at room temperature.
It also has the added benefit of the prebiotic fibre inulin, so you are getting a double bang for your probiotic buck.
It is easy to use; simply add one stick pack to filtered water first thing in the morning.
Click here to check out the USANA probiotic for yourself.
How to Take Probiotic supplements
It's best to take your probiotic supplements on an empty stomach when your stomach acid levels are naturally lower to optimize the effects of your probiotics.
Ensure you take your probiotics with filtered water; chlorine can kill the good bacteria in the supplement. Chlorine is in our water supply to specifically kill microorganisms, so using it to wash down your probiotics is not a good idea. By using reverse-osmosis filtered or spring water, you can get the maximum benefit from your probiotic supplements.
How Long Does it Take for Probiotics to Work?
It depends on the specific outcome you're hoping to achieve, the current condition of your gut and overall health, and the quality of the probiotic you are taking.
If you are taking a high-quality probiotic, you can expect to notice initial improvements and health benefits in your digestion as early as the first 1-2 weeks after starting your probiotic. However, it can sometimes take longer. Remember, everyone is different.
Depending on how sensitive you are, many people feel a difference after a few days. More fundamental effects of the probiotics, such as improvements to mood, weight loss or a reduction in inflammation of your gut barrier, might set in after 4-8 weeks.
Probiotics have been shown to be very beneficial to help keep your body as healthy as possible. With the right number of probiotics in your system, it makes it harder for any harmful bacteria to make their way into your body and make you sick.
You are in control over your digestive health, and it impacts every area of your life. Incorporating probiotics into your diet should be something to consider. Start making positive changes today. Why not start with my 5-Day Reset Challenge? You'll be amazed at the difference it makes!
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