How to Take Probiotics Supplements : A Guide
– When to take Probiotics?
– How long to take Probiotics for?
– Should you take Probiotics with Antibiotics?
– Can you take Probiotics when pregnant?
– Probiotic Side Effects
How to Take Probiotics
Doctors consider Probiotic supplements as safe for most people to take.
You should discuss probiotics with your doctor if you have immune system issues or digestive disorders like IBS, are pregnant or under 18.
If you want to give your child probiotics, chat to their doctor first.
Once you’ve chosen the Probiotic that suits your needs, read the instructions on the probiotics label carefully.
Advice varies between probiotics manufacturers on:-
– the best time to take probiotics,
– how to store probiotics correctly
– how long to take probiotics for.
Trusted & best probiotic brands will have tested their own products thoroughly.
So check the packaging for the best way to use their products, as how to take probiotic instructions vary from brand to brand.
When to Take Probiotics
There’s a huge range of advice on when is the best time to take probiotics.
Instructions on when to take probiotic pills, varies between different strains of probiotic bacteria and between different brands.
Some brands will tell you the best time of day to take probiotic pills, others will advise on which meal you should take probiotics with.
Some types of probiotic can be taken at any time, like saccharomyces boulardii.
Can I take probiotics with food? Perhaps not – some need to be taken on an empty stomach.
Hot drinks with probiotics can kill some of the bacteria, again, this depends on the strain & brand.
Taking probiotics at night is also recommended by some manufacturers.
So the best time to take a probiotic is the time shown on the packaging for the probiotic you have chosen.
Whilst this sounds obvious, when you start a new course of probiotics, it’s worth double checking what is the best time to take a probiotic with the manufacturer.
How Long to Take Probiotics For?
Recommendations from the ISAPP (International Scientific Association For Prebiotics & Probiotics) suggest you take your chosen probiotics for a month.
How long does it take for probiotics to start working?
A month should give you enough time to assess if the strain of probiotics will deliver the specific health benefits you’re looking for.
How much probiotics to take?
How many probiotic pills per day will be shown on the label.
Taking probiotics daily is recommended by most brands, but again, check the label of your probiotic supplement.
Some brands of probiotic need to be taken several times of day.
Follow the label instructions on how much probiotic to take.
Reputable probiotic brands test their products carefully to ensure the recommended dose of probiotics deliver the health benefits shown in research.
Do probiotics work?
It’s more a case of : do the probiotics I’ve chosen work for me?
We all have a unique blend of gut bacteria & diet, so we all respond differently to particular strains of probiotics.
If you’ve tried one type of probiotics for a month and don’t get the health benefits you are looking for, it might be worth trying a different strain of probiotics.
Should you take Probiotics with Antibiotics?
In the UK, the NHS advises that taking a high dose of some types of probiotics when taking antibiotics can help prevent diarrhea associated with using antibiotics. (Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Saccharomyces boulardii)
Should I take probiotics while taking antibiotics?
Antibiotics can disrupt the microbiome by killing off helpful gut bacteria as well as harmful gut bacteria, which can lead to diarrhea.
Taking probiotics with antibiotics : timings
Should you take probiotics after antibiotics? or can you take probiotics while taking antibiotics?
Advice varies on the best timings for taking probiotics with antibiotics.
Some manufacturers have specific strains of probiotics to use with antibiotics so you can take probiotics with antibiotics, at the same time. These particular probiotic strains don’t get wiped out by antibiotics.
For other probiotic strains, leaving a gap of several hours between taking your antibiotics and probiotics, is recommended by some manufacturers.
By not taking probiotics and antibiotics at the same time, the logic is that your antibiotics can pass through your system, without destroying the new beneficial bacteria that have just arrived with your probiotic supplement.
It’s best to check the label of your chosen probiotic carefully for the manufacturer’s specific advice & research on how to take probiotics with antibiotics, as specific advice varies between products.
You can also ask your doctor for their advice on which probiotics are suitable to take with the antibiotic they have prescribed for you.
Can you take Probiotics when Pregnant?
Taking a probiotic while pregnant and when breasfeeding has been researched and is generally considered to be safe.
You should check with your doctor if it is safe for you to take probiotics while pregnant. They may have specific health advice for you & your baby.
Probiotics side Effects
Research shows that in generally healthy individuals, there are few side effects of probiotic supplements.
Probiotic supplements side effects are generally limited to reports of a brief period of mild digestive symptoms like gas (flatulence) and bloating. This seems to be whilst your gut microbiome adapts to the new beneficial bacteria.
Probiotics have a good safety record, but you should discuss possible side effects of probiotics with your doctor.
The Science Bit
The information I share on this site distills the research I’ve read on the microbiome, prebiotics & probiotics.
You’ll find links to the relevant research studies on each page.
I’m not a scientist / dietician / nutritionist. I’m a food lover & home cook, putting microbiome research findings into action in my kitchen.
Find out more about the scientists leading research into the microbiome on the FAQs page
Keep Reading: Choose The Best Probiotic Supplement For You