Probiotics are dietary supplements that consist of the beneficial bacteria found in the intestinal tract. Probiotics are used to keep your gut healthy.
This includes performing functions such as reinforcing the gut barrier, maintaining the balance of bacteria after illnesses or the effect of medications like antibiotics.
These bacteria are beneficial as some microorganisms help reduce bad cholesterol, lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight.
Similar microorganisms are found in probiotics foods such as yoghurt, sauerkraut and kimchi, often fermented. However, using probiotics is easier and much more efficient in the long run.
HOW DO PROBIOTICS WORK?
Probiotics essentially do balance work. This means they regulate the levels of ‘good bacteria’, ensuring they are optimum to work effectively.
All this happens within the intestinal tract. This means the surrounding environment needs to have perfect conditions to thrive. This includes favourable stomach acidity settings.
This, therefore, brings up the issue of whether you can actually take probiotics on an empty stomach. Does taking probiotics on an empty stomach influence their effectiveness?
TAKING PROBIOTICS ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
The reason why this being on an empty stomach in the first place is because bacteria are delicate. As such, they have slim chances of surviving in the presence of stomach acid.
This is the premise upon which the debate regarding taking probiotics on an empty stomach is founded. This is considering there is higher production of stomach acid when one hasn’t eaten.
Stomach acid is produced to aid in digestion. This is because food stimulates the production of stomach acid. According to logic, this should neutralize the effects of the probiotic.
However, in the fasted state, there is a lower pH of stomach acid in the intestinal tract than after eating. The pH of stomach acid after eating is thus higher at around 4.
The lower the stomach acid’s pH, the more likely it is to kill off the bacterial strains contained within the probiotics.
Also, the food you consume acts as a buffer that provides a protective covering to enable probiotics to work. This ensures it has a safe passage to the digestive tract.
Therefore, it is highly recommended for you to take probiotics with food rather than taking probiotics on an empty stomach.
However, this isn’t the full scope of the case. Some circumstances can prompt consumption of probiotics regardless of whether on an empty stomach or not.
There are bacteria strains such as saccharomyces boulardii that can be taken whenever, after meals or before. It is therefore capable of being effective both before or after meals due to its robustness.
It is prudent also to consider other factors other than the best time to take probiotics. Yes, you want the strains to have the best possible chance of survival.
However, even more than that, there should be a wholesome approach to taking probiotics. Probiotics have varying characteristics.
This means the bacteria strains have varying health properties. As such, you should ensure that you take probiotic strains specifically tailored to your health needs.
However, you should probably note that one of the side effects of probiotics is bloating and gas. Therefore you should avoid taking probiotics before bed.
DO PROBIOTICS HELP IMMEDIATELY?
The effectiveness of a probiotic depends on several factors. Some of these factors include the type of probiotic strain, health condition, product quality and dose.
However, it all ultimately comes down to the severity of the condition being dealt with. For instance, someone with a mild case of diarrhoea should see symptoms clear up in a matter of days.
Their situation, however, isn’t quite as similar for more severe conditions—for instance, general immune health.
A condition such as this might mean you take probiotics daily for weeks before symptoms clear up. In fact, it is recommended to keep using probiotics for a short period after the symptoms clear up.
This is to give probiotics time to help restore the right balance of bacteria within the intestinal tract.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF A PROBIOTIC IS WORKING?
Taking probiotics for the first time can involve a lot of uncertainty. You’re probably wondering if you’ve chosen the right bacteria strain or if the amount of your dosage is right.
Taking into consideration, there are significant differences in our anatomies as humans; probiotics affect people differently.
However, the changes that are often viewed first by probiotic consumers are:
Bacteria play a pivotal role in how quickly and thoroughly your food is digested. If the bacteria balance is out of whack, it leads to digestive discomfort, i.e., stomach aches, especially after eating.
Taking high-quality probiotics should thus see to the reduction of such health complications.
Your gut plays a huge role in absorbing the nutrients that are obtained from the food you consume. Imbalance in the gut microbiome can thus lead to inflammation in your gut lining.
This complicates the process of nutrient absorption. As such, it leaves you lacking in key nutrients that give you energy.
Therefore, by having a gut microbe balance, you avoid inflammation and ensure that energy-providing nutrients are provided.
A healthy gut balance plays a huge role in healthy weight management. Probiotics also help rid the body of excess fat.
This is done through the biochemical modulation of fat metabolism. What this does is that it inhibits dietary fats.
This regulates appetite, which increases the amount of fat excreted, thus leading to weight loss.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN STARTING PROBIOTICS
Probiotics primarily are all about bacteria balance. Therefore, this could mean an increase in bacteria or reduction of bacteria. All which will affect the body
One of the most common effects is digestion discomfort. Probiotics induce bloating, flatulence and stomach discomfort during the first days.
However, the body adjusts pretty quickly, which then kickstarts the long-term benefits. People with chronic illnesses such as HIV can get dangerous infections on initial use.
As such, always consult with your doctor before you decide to take probiotics.
DO PROBIOTICS MAKE YOU POOP MORE?
Note that probiotics are not laxatives; they do not induce bowel movements. Instead, they regulate bowel movements by balancing out gut microbiome.
This can, in turn, lead to helpful bowel movements, especially if suffering from constipation or irritable bowel syndrome.
WHO SHOULD NOT TAKE PROBIOTICS?
The body naturally has a healthy amount of ‘good bacteria’. As such, introducing probiotics brings new dynamics into the fold.
Such changes are often difficult for people with underlying conditions.
For instance, people with underlying conditions such as an immunity system problem, people who’ve recently had surgery and people with HIV.
Probiotics can either induce dangerous infections or an allergic reaction to people with these underlying conditions.
Probiotics are very effective but delicate supplements. As such, using them should be with proper information and doctor’s go ahead.
It is therefore important to first consult on whether you should be taking probiotics. Then, ensure that you are taking a right probiotic strain and in the right dosages.
To ensure maximum effectiveness take the probiotics with meals although taking probiotics before bed is discouraged. This is, however, dependent on the probiotics strain taken.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]