**The dizzying array of nutritional supplements can be confusing for those looking to optimize health while avoiding any adverse effects.
** Some pills, when taken with others, can have adverse health effects— while other combinations are perfectly harmless. By understanding how probiotics and vitamins function, one can determine if the two should be consumed together.
Probiotics technically mean,“pro-life,” as they are living bacteria 1. The book, “Bacteria for Breakfast” further explains that the term “bacteria” has a negative connotation, but our bodies are naturally full of bacteria. Technically, our bodies cannot function without a healthful dose of it! Think of bacteria as little soldiers whose duties are to break apart food. Probiotics, then, are like backup infantry—they are extra soldiers who help already-existing bacteria in the body break apart food.
Probiotics live naturally in some foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha tea. Probiotics are also in pill form, too, and can be purchased in the vitamin section of specialty stores like Whole Foods.
- Probiotics technically mean,“pro-life,” as they are living bacteria 1.
- Probiotics, then, are like backup infantry—they are extra soldiers who help already-existing bacteria in the body break apart food.
Importance of Vitamins in Our Diet
Vitamins keep the body nourished and running smoothly. Different vitamins help different parts of the body.
Vitamin A, for example, improves eyesight and keeps nails and skin healthy.
Vitamin D keeps bones strong, and Vitamin C helps iron absorption. The book, “The Detox Strategy” defines how vitamins and minerals act as catalysts for all body reactions: While the body gets fuel from sugars in food, it can only utilize these sugars with the aid of vitamins. Vitamins, like probiotics, are found naturally in foods like fruits and vegetables, but can also be purchased at grocery and drug stores.
- Vitamins keep the body nourished and running smoothly.
- The book, “The Detox Strategy” defines how vitamins and minerals act as catalysts for all body reactions: While the body gets fuel from sugars in food, it can only utilize these sugars with the aid of vitamins.
Relation Between Probiotics and Vitamins
How vitamins and probiotics interact is best explained with a metaphor. Think of probiotics as an auto-parts worker: They take apart cars and separate the good working parts (vitamins and carbs) while sending the rest to be scrapped (like water and insoluble fiber, which are excreted).
Vitamins are helpful auto parts that get reused by the body. Once the vitamins are separated in the digestive process by probiotics, vitamins are put to work where they are needed: Vitamin D is for bone repair, while vitamin A works on eye and skin maintenance and so on.
From this analogy, vitamins and probiotics actually work well together; both accomplish important, but separate roles. They only meet during the digestive process. Vitamins do not impede the role of probiotics, just as probiotics do not hamper the potency of vitamins.
- How vitamins and probiotics interact is best explained with a metaphor.
- Once the vitamins are separated in the digestive process by probiotics, vitamins are put to work where they are needed: Vitamin D is for bone repair, while vitamin A works on eye and skin maintenance and so on.
Vitamins That Cause Diarrhea
To induce this beneficial interaction between vitamins and probiotics, it is not essential to purchase probiotics and vitamins. This reaction occurs naturally when you eat: When the food enters the intestines, the body immediately filters what it needs from the food and excretes the rest. Expensive pills do not create this process. However, if you do not have a healthful diet full of foods containing nutrients like fiber and healthful bacteria, your body may have a more difficult time with digestion. Similarly, if your body breaks apart food and finds few vitamins to ship to other areas of the body, your overall health will decline.
- To induce this beneficial interaction between vitamins and probiotics, it is not essential to purchase probiotics and vitamins.
- Similarly, if your body breaks apart food and finds few vitamins to ship to other areas of the body, your overall health will decline.
You cannot overdose on probiotics. In continuation with the auto-factory analogy, too many workers are redundant but not harmful.
Nonetheless, consuming too many probiotic-rich foods like cottage cheese might be harmful for other reasons, like high cholesterol or high fat and calorie intake. Therefore, eat these foods in moderation and do not overconsume them just because you feel as if your body “needs” probiotics.
It is possible to overdose on vitamins, though. **Such vitamins that the body can store for a long time (like vitamins A, D, and K) can cause adverse effects if too much is present.
While overdoses are rare, consuming more than one multivitamin a day can cause more harm than good. For information on the effects of vitamin overdose, see Resources below. **
- You cannot overdose on probiotics.
- Such vitamins that the body can store for a long time (like vitamins A, D, and K) can cause adverse effects if too much is present.
Importance of Vitamins in Our Diet
Vitamins That Cause Diarrhea
What Is Lactobacillus Bulgaricus?
How to Detox from an Overdose of Vitamin A
Can Probiotics Be Harmful to Cancer Patients?
How Do I Tell If Acidophilus Capsules Are Still Active?
How to Help Your Body Recover From Antibiotics
How Can Probiotics Lead to Weight Loss?
How to Treat Yeast Infections With Probiotics
Do Probiotics Help With Digestion, Gas & Bloating?
- Bacteria for Breakfast: Probiotics for Good Health; Kelly Dowhower Karpa: 2003
- The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps; Brenda Watson and Leonard Smith: 2009
- Liu L, Zhu G. Gut-Brain Axis and Mood Disorder. Front Psychiatry. 2018;9:223. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00223
- Markowiak P, Śliżewska K. Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Human Health. Nutrients. 2017;9(9):1021. doi:10.3390/nu9091021
- Mcfarland LV. Meta-analysis of probiotics for the prevention of antibiotic associated diarrhea and the treatment of Clostridium difficile disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006;101(4):812-22. doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2006.00465.x
- Oak SJ, Jha R. The effects of probiotics in lactose intolerance: A systematic review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(11):1675-1683. doi:10.1080/10408398.2018.1425977
- Upadrasta A, Madempudi RS. Probiotics and blood pressure: current insights. Integr Blood Press Control. 2016;9:33-42. doi:10.2147/IBPC.S73246
- Wang L, Guo MJ, Gao Q, et al. The effects of probiotics on total cholesterol: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018;97(5):e9679. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000009679
- Didari T, Mozaffari S, Nikfar S, Abdollahi M. Effectiveness of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome: Updated systematic review with meta-analysis. World J Gastroenterol. 2015;21(10):3072-84. doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i10.3072
- Kijmanawat A, Panburana P, Reutrakul S, Tangshewinsirikul C. Effects of probiotic supplements on insulin resistance in gestational diabetes mellitus: A double-blind randomized controlled trial. J Diabetes Investig. 2019;10(1):163-170. doi:10.1111/jdi.12863
- Hendler R, Zhang Y. Probiotics in the Treatment of Colorectal Cancer. Medicines (Basel). 2018;5(3):101. doi:10.3390/medicines5030101
- Su GL, Ko CW, Bercik P, Falck-Ytter Y, et al. AGA Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Role of Probiotics in the Management of Gastrointestinal Disorders. Gastroenterology. 2020 Aug;159(2):697-705. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2020.05.059.
- Govender M, Choonara YE, Kumar P, Du Toit LC, Van Vuuren S, Pillay V. A review of the advancements in probiotic delivery: Conventional vs. non-conventional formulations for intestinal flora supplementation. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2014;15(1):29-43. doi:10.1208/s12249-013-0027-1
- Stadlbauer V. Immunosuppression and probiotics: are they effective and safe? Benef Microbes. 2015;6(6):823-8. doi:10.3920/BM2015.0065
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Probiotics: In Depth.
- Iannitti T, Palmieri B. Therapeutical use of probiotic formulations in clinical practice. Clin Nutr. 2010 Jun 22. [Epub ahead of print]
Since 2008 Catherine Capozzi has been writing business, finance and economics-related articles from her home in the sunny state of Arizona. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in economics from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, which has given her a love of spreadsheets and corporate life.