Best Time To Take Probiotics + Guide on How To Use Them
Have you considered taking probiotics? You may have heard that these supplements can make your life easier by aiding digestion, bolstering your immune system, or helping you recover from existing conditions.
Research has found that probiotics are capable of doing some amazing things. Your doctor may prescribe them to you for a variety of conditions, but they’re also available over-the-counter for you to use at your own discretion.
This guide will introduce you to probiotics and the effect that they can have on your life. First, you’ll learn what probiotics are and how they work. Then, you’ll learn about the practices that can make probiotics more effective, such as when they should be taken. In the end, you’ll discover some of the probiotics that you can find for sale online and without a prescription.
What are Probiotics?Probiotics are the “good” bacteria or yeasts that your body uses to perform certain functions. For a bacteria to be considered a probiotic, it must meet some basic criteria.
- It must be isolated from the human (in other words, it must survive on its own without stealing resources that your body needs)
- It must be safe to ingest
- It must be able to survive being ingested
- It must play a beneficial role
You already have many probiotics in your body at birth, though their presence can be affected by your health and diet.
These probiotics survive in colonies throughout your body, sometimes fighting off other more dangerous bacteria. They may be found in all of the following areas: Intestinal tract
- Urinary tract
The combination of bacteria that exists in your body is collectively known as your microbiome. Everybody’s microbiome is different, with some parts inherited from the mother during prenatal development and others picked up later in life.
Some foods (such as yogurt and fermented foods like pickles and sauerkraut) are considered to be probiotic. These foods can bolster existing colonies in your body or add new ones that are more resilient than existing ones.
You will also often see probiotics concentrated into supplements that can be taken daily. Doctors may recommend these supplemental probiotics to help you overcome deficiencies.
How do probiotics work?
Probiotics have several specific functions that are necessary to keep your body in good health.
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First, they help your body digest food. Your stomach acids are not entirely responsible for breaking down the food you eat. You also rely on stomach bacterial colonies that further break down food so that your intestinal tract can absorb more nutrients.In addition to breaking down food into nutrients, probiotics are capable of creating vitamins. Some types of bacteria are capable of synthesizing vitamin K and some water-soluble B vitamins. It is also capable of generating folates, riboflavin, and thiamine.
They also provide a crucial line of defense against bad bacteria. Probiotics will fight for space that they have colonized, and this makes them allies to your immune system. They can attack bad bacteria and may also starve out the competition by consuming resources that dangerous bacteria need to thrive.
Do probiotics have any risk of side effects?Bacteria must be beneficial to the body to be considered probiotic, but that doesn’t mean that they will have positive effects in all circumstances. Supplementing large amounts of probiotics can change your body chemistry, which can be dangerous under certain circumstances.
For example, your doctor may recommend that you avoid probiotics if you have a compromised immune system or have recently recovered from a serious illness. If adding probiotics destabilizes your internal balance, you may also experience:
- Gas and bloating
- Redness and swelling
- Allergic reactions due to increased levels of histamines
Talk to your doctor to find out if it’s safe for you to take probiotics.
When is the Best Time to Take Probiotics?
The performance of probiotics can depend on the time of day when you choose to take them. They are widely considered to be most effective when they have been taken on an empty stomach. That means the safest time to take them is either early in the morning before you have eaten or at night after you have already digested your last meal for the day.
Why does this timing matter so much? It’s because of the threat that is represented by your natural stomach acids. Your stomach acid is powerful enough to kill many different kinds of bacteria, including the most healthy ones for you.
When probiotics are combined with food, they linger in the stomach until the food is crushed. This leads to long-term exposure to the acids. When the stomach is empty, supplements can move through the digestive system quickly. This means they only have limited exposure to acids.
The time of day isn’t the only timing that matters. The effectiveness of probiotics may depend on regular use. Several studies have found that symptoms probiotics were intended to treat only resolved after several days or weeks of use.
What are Probiotics Used to Treat?
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Probiotics are considered to be safe to take for general use as long as you don’t have pre-existing conditions. Your doctor may also prescribe them to respond to certain conditions. Doctors may recommend probiotics to treat some of the following issues:
- Acid reflux
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Lactose intolerance
- Urinary tract Infections
Probiotics are often recommended to treat diarrhea. Research has shown that probiotics have the potential to cut cases of infection diarrhea by several days when administered to children. It has been found to be particularly effective at treating diarrhea that is caused by the rotavirus.
Research has found that probiotics may help guard your body against other bacteria that can lead to diarrhea and inflammation.Diarrhea is a common symptom of powerful antibiotics. While these medicines are effective at clearing bad bacteria from your body, they are not precise enough to protect all of your internal colonies of healthy bacteria.
Your doctor may recommend that you recover from rounds of antibiotics by supplementing with probiotics for a period of time. This can allow your body to recover the healthy colonies of bacteria that were lost.
ConstipationConstipation is a common problem that is also closely related to the health of the bacteria in your body. Like diarrhea, it may result from taking antibiotics, though it can have many other causes.
A survey of more than a dozen probiotic trials suggested that taking probiotics increased the number of weekly bowel movements and helped to soften stools. These studies did not determine the probiotic that was most effective at treating constipation.
Acid refluxAcid reflux is a painful event that occurs when acid in the stomach rises into the esophagus. It can cause burning pain and make it difficult for you to breathe.
Most people will experience acid reflux infrequently throughout their lives. However, others may develop Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This chronic disorder makes acid reflux attacks frequent and may cause long-term damage to the lining of the esophagus.
Some early studies have shown that probiotics may play a role in controlling the symptoms of acid reflux. They may achieve this by reducing the production of inflammatory molecules.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition with many unpleasant symptoms. People who are diagnosed with IBS may experience recurring abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
This condition does not have a well-defined cause, but some research has supported the idea that probiotics can help. An analysis of 30 different probiotic studies suggested that probiotics could result in an overall improvement of symptoms.
Some probiotics, in particular, were identified as effective in controlling IBS symptoms, including Bifidobacterium Bifidum.
Lactose intolerance is a condition that causes people to be incapable of improperly digesting milk products. More than half of all people will lose the ability to digest milk properly by the time they reach adulthood. Probiotics may help with this issue.
Recent research has suggested probiotics can play a role in controlling lactose intolerance. Fifteen different trials were analyzed as part of the research, and the results suggested that the use of probiotics may prevent the symptoms of intolerance.
Probiotics from fermented milk products in particular were identified as playing a role in controlling the symptoms. These products include yogurts such as kefir and skyr, as well as cultured buttermilk and some cheese products.
Urinary tract Infections
Urinary tract infections (UTI) occur when harmful bacteria colonies form along the urinary tract. Women may be at higher risk for developing these types of infections. However, men are still considered to be at-risk.
Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat UTIs, but this can make future UTIs more likely because good bacteria along the urinary tract may be removed along with the bad bacteria. Sometimes, more difficult-to-treat bacteria may develop at a later time as a result of antibiotic treatment.
Some research has suggested that taking probiotics after UTI treatment may reduce the risk of later infections. Probiotics may play a role in:
- Not allowing harmful bacteria to bond to the cells in the urinary tract
- Generating more of the antibacterial byproduct hydrogen peroxide in urine
- Lowering the pH of urine, making it more acidic and less hospitable to other bacteria
While research has shown that probiotics may be effective at treating many conditions, probiotics should only be used to treat specific disorders with the supervision of your doctor. There are many different kinds of probiotics. Not all of them have been shown to be useful at treating specific conditions, and some may not be safe for the immunocompromised.
What Probiotics are Available Over-the-Counter?A variety of probiotics are available over-the-counter without a prescription. Below, you’ll learn about some of these probiotics and how they may help.
- Lactobacillus Acidophilus: This naturally occurring probiotic can be found in many fermented foods, including yogurt. It is widely available in supplement form. It settles in the intestines and is responsible for breaking lactose sugars (found in milk) into lactic acid. Studies have shown that it may be able to reduce diarrhea, lower cholesterol, and prevent some infections.
- Saccharomyces Boulardii: This probiotic is believed to be a strain of a similar bacteria known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae (also known as baker’s yeast or brewer’s yeast). It is available in supplement form. It may be effective at fighting off dangerous bacteria that form in the same areas of the digestive tract. It has been studied for its effect on reducing diarrhea, acne, and ulcers.
- Lactobacillus Rhamnosus: This probiotic is one of the most studied. It is also one of the easiest to find for sale over-the-counter. It settles in the intestines and may help to prevent antibiotic-related diarrhea. Studies have suggested that it may help relieve some of the symptoms of IBS.
Is it time to Consider Probiotics?Probiotics may have a positive effect on your health and may help you deal with some existing health problems. While you should always address all health issues with your doctor, you don’t need to wait for a prescription to take health supplements.
Remember that probiotics contain healthy bacteria that can support the functions of your digestive system. They work by fighting off less healthy bacteria and creating a more diverse biome within your gut.
Many health experts agree that the best time to take probiotics is on an empty stomach. This means you should probably take them early in the morning or late at night.