If you’re new here, click here for part 1 and here for part 2. For the rest of you, welcome back. Today we answer some commonly asked questions on probiotics dosage, types of probiotics, side effects, and many more!
This is important information for anyone looking to take any sort of supplement. Most supplements are generally safe to consume. And are typically not monitored as strictly as medication. The only time that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would step in is if a supplement is marketed and then found to be unsafe.
Otherwise, it’s up to us to be diligent with what we put into our bodies. Which is why, I want to first address…
As long as you’re generally healthy, there’s not much to worry about when it comes to probiotics. Side effects tend to be mild and digestive-related if they do occur (which is very rare), . That means gas and bloating.
That said, there have been reports of more serious side effects. That’s why if you have a weakened immune system (such as chemotherapy patients), pregnant, or are under 12, it is best to consult your doctor.
To prevent any side effects, take the recommended dosage that’s on the label. Because can you take too many probiotics in one day? The answer is, of course, yes.
Which brings us to…
If you are wondering, “Should probiotics be taken daily?”
The answer really depends on what you are taking probiotics for.
Here’s some general guidelines how many billion probiotics per day you should take:
Daily Supplement: 5 to 15 billion colony-forming units (CFU)
Probiotics Dosage After Antibiotics/Antibiotic-Related Diarrhea: 10 to 20 billion CFU
Treatment for Specific Symptoms (like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, etc): Depends on what species and strain of probiotics. Your doctor will give clear advice on you how much to take depending on symptoms and medical history.
For Infants/Children: You should also consult a doctor to find out proper dosage for your infant and child.
And you may see probiotics on the market selling 50 or even 100 billion CFU. And if you’re thinking, “Is 50 billion probiotic too much?” The answer is yes and no.
Because while there would most likely be no side effect, having that many CFUs in a daily tablet does not make it more useful.
Well, it depends on your diet and convenience. Fermented food and drinks predigests the essential nutrients. So that it’s easier for your body to absorb.
They contain B vitamins, minerals and enzymes that your body needs. Tablets are usually isolated frozen bacteria and don’t pack enough variety of nutrients.
Fermented food and drinks contain a bigger variety of bacteria. Whereas tablets produced in the lab usually only contain a handpicked few strains.
Fermented food contain food for the bacteria (prebiotics). Which is useful to feed the existing bacteria in your gut. And tablets can only hold a tiny amount of prebiotics (if any at all).
Fermented food and drinks are resistant to stomach acid. But with our current technology, we now make tablets with an enteric coating or shield to help the bacteria survive stomach acid too.
At the end of the day, both are good sources of probiotics. I personally prefer to take tablets to give me the right strains and probiotics dosage for weight loss. Because only a handful of strains have been proven to help manage my belly fat.
Lastly, the golden question…
Probably. It depends on the current balance inside your gut. If you are healthy, then your body can adapt better.
But if your gut balance is severely out of whack, then it may take some time for your body to adjust. That means it’s detoxifying and remove waste.
Probiotics doesn’t speed up digestion. It makes digestion more efficient and allows your body to absorb more nutrients that it may not be getting before.
Then you can start right now in your very own kitchen. Make your own tasty fermented foods or drinks. Like kimchi or kefir milk.