About 32% of individuals worldwide are actively consuming probiotics. The rising interest in probiotics may not be surprising due to the numerous health benefits of these live bacteria. If you are part of that 32% or planning to join the bandwagon, one question you may have asked is: How long does it take for a probiotic to work? Find out in this article as we’re about to delve into the details.
What are Probiotics?
Before we dive into answering that question, let’s first understand what probiotics are. Probiotics are live microorganisms, typically bacteria and yeast, that benefit your digestive system when consumed. They occur naturally in your body but can also be found in fermented foods and supplements.
Probiotics are often referred to as “good” bacteria because they help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. An imbalance of good and bad bacteria can lead to various health issues, such as digestive problems, weakened immune systems, and even mental health disorders.
How Long Does It Take For A Probiotic To Work?
Now that we know what probiotics are, let’s get straight to the main question. The answer to this question is not as straightforward as one might think. That’s because it depends on various factors such as:
- The type of probiotic
- The dosage and frequency of consumption
- Individual health and gut microbiome
- The specific health condition being targeted (IBS, Acute Diarrhoea, Food Intolerances, or others)
Based on these factors, the time it takes for a probiotic to work can vary from individual to individual.
But, according to a few research articles, it can take a few days to a few weeks, even months, for probiotics to start showing results:
BuzzRX says it takes between 1-2 weeks for gas and bloating to go away, whereas Heathpath says it may take up to 21 days before people’s bloating gets better. In contrast, an article written by Dr Micheal Ruscio states that probiotics may treat acute diarrhoea in 1-5 days and may improve food intolerances gradually between 6 months and 3 years.
However, it is essential to note that these timelines are not set in stone and can vary depending on the individual’s health and other factors mentioned above.
How To Choose The Right Probiotic For You
There are a few different ways in which you can consume probiotics, such as in the form of:
- supplements like Slender Wonder’s Probiotic Capsules
- fermented foods like yoghourt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi
- drinks like kombucha or kvass
When selecting a probiotic, it’s essential to consider the following factors:
Strain-specificity: Different strains of bacteria have different functions in the body. For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus (this is commonly found in yoghurt) helps with digestion, while Saccharomyces boulardii (a yeast strain) can help with diarrhoea.
Colony Forming Units (CFU): This refers to the number of live bacteria in a supplement or food product. A higher CFU count does not necessarily mean that the probiotic is more effective; it depends on the specific strain and the individual’s health needs.
Shelf-stability: Look for probiotics that have been tested for shelf stability, meaning they can survive in different environments and still be effective.
Other ingredients: Some probiotic supplements may contain additional ingredients like prebiotics or enzymes that can enhance their effectiveness.
Health condition: It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition or are on medication.
Patience Is Key!
How long does it take for a probiotic to work? The answer is it depends. Everyone’s digestive system and bacterial balance are unique, so the timeline for seeing results will vary from person to person.
It’s essential to remember that patience is key when starting a probiotic regimen. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for some people!
If you have any questions regarding probiotic use, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional.