Should I Take a Probiotic Every Day?
Although many different kinds of bacteria cause harmful infections, some forms of bacteria are important for your health. Probiotics, either in dietary sources or supplements, contain beneficial microorganisms that help enhance the growth of healthy bacteria in your body. Taking a probiotic every day or at all may not be necessary for you; talk to your doctor before taking this supplement.
Probiotic foods and supplements contain live microorganisms. According to the National Center of Complementary and Alternative medicine, probiotics provide health benefits if you take them in the appropriate dosage. Most probiotics contain bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains. Some foods, such as yogurt made with active cultures and tempeh, naturally contain probiotics, but these organisms can also be added to other types foods.
- Probiotic foods and supplements contain live microorganisms.
- Some foods, such as yogurt made with active cultures and tempeh, naturally contain probiotics, but these organisms can also be added to other types foods.
Bacteria and Health
The Toxicity of Plug-In Air Fresheners
The bacteria in probiotics are similar to the bacteria that naturally exist in different parts of the human body, including the digestive tract and vagina. The bacteria in your digestive tract help break down food particles, stimulate your immune system and crowd out potentially infectious bacteria. Vaginal bacteria helps prevent yeast infections by making the vagina more acidic, which makes it harder for Candida yeast to grow.
More research still needs to be done, but some probiotic supplements have many benefits. They prevent diarrhea, particularly if you have recently taken a course of antibiotics, which kills both harmful and beneficial bacteria. Other benefits reaped from daily probiotic usage include relief for the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, the prevention and treatment of eczema and reduced severity of viral infections.
Is It Safe to Take Probiotics Every Day?
The amount of bacteria in probiotic supplements varies, so follow the directions on the packaging when using these products. A typical dose of probiotics involves consuming a few billion live organisms each day. Probiotic bacteria don't typically cause infections and are safe for most people to use. However, you might need to avoid probiotics if you have a weakened immune system or serious intestinal problems; talk to your doctor before using these supplements.
- The amount of bacteria in probiotic supplements varies, so follow the directions on the packaging when using these products.
- A typical dose of probiotics involves consuming a few billion live organisms each day.
The Toxicity of Plug-In Air Fresheners
Is It Safe to Take Probiotics Every Day?
What Is the Daily Dose of Acidophilus?
Acidophilus for Gas & Bloating
Do You Have to Take Probiotics on an Empty Stomach?
Can Probiotics Be Harmful to Cancer Patients?
How to Treat Yeast Infections With Probiotics
Probiotic Dosage After Antibiotics
Probiotics for Pancreatitis
How to Treat a Bladder Infection With Probiotics
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Probiotics; 2008
- Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide; Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics; 2005
- MayoClinic.com; Probiotics---Important for a Healthy Diet?; Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.; April 2010
- Dale HF, Rasmussen SH, Asiller ÖÖ, Lied GA. Probiotics in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: An Up-to-Date Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):2048. Published 2019 Sep 2. doi:10.3390/nu11092048
- Hills RD Jr, Pontefract BA, Mishcon HR, Black CA, Sutton SC, Theberge CR. Gut Microbiome: Profound Implications for Diet and Disease. Nutrients. 2019;11(7):1613. Published 2019 Jul 16. doi:10.3390/nu11071613
- Quigley MD EM. Gut Bacteria and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. 2007. iffgd.org
- In: McDonald JWD, Kahrilas PJ, Jalan R, Feagan BG, eds. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Evidence-Based Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 4th edition. United Kingdom: Wiley; 2019.
- Principi N, Cozzali R, Farinelli E, Brusaferro A, Esposito S. Gut dysbiosis and irritable bowel syndrome: The potential role of probiotics. Journal Infect. 2018;76(2):111-120. doi:10.1016/j.jinf.2017.12.013
- Almeida A, Mitchell AL, Boland M, et al. A new genomic blueprint of the human gut microbiota. Nature. 2019;568(7753):499-504. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-0965-1
- David S, Khandhar PB. Double-blind study. StatPearls. Updated August 25, 2019.
- Ganguli SC. Canadian Society of Intestinal Research (GI Society). Probiotics for irritable bowel syndrome. Inside Tract® newsletter. 2010.
- Barbara G, Cremon C, Azpiroz F. Probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome: Where are we? Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2018;30(12):e13513. doi:10.1111/nmo.13513
- Su GL, Ko CW, Bercik P, et al. AGA Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Role of Probiotics in the Management of Gastrointestinal Disorders. Gastroenterology. 2020;159(2):697-705. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2020.05.059
- Dai C, Zheng CQ, Jiang M, Ma XY, Jiang LJ. Probiotics and irritable bowel syndrome. World J Gastroenterol. 2013;19(36):5973-80. doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i36.5973
- Sorathia SJ, Rivas JM. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. [Updated 2019 Aug 23]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546634/
- Martín-Muñoz MF, Fortuni M, Caminoa M, Belver T, Quirce S, Caballero T. Anaphylactic reaction to probiotics. Cow’s milk and hen’s egg allergens in probiotic compounds. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2012;23(8):778-784. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3038.2012.01338.x
- Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Dietary Fiber. In: Buchman A. Clinical Nutrition in Gastrointestinal Disease. Thorofare, NJ: SLACK Incorporated; 2006.
- Floch MH. Netter’s Gastroenterology E-Book. 3rd edition. Philadelphia: Elsevier Health Sciences; 2019.
- Connell M, Shin A, James-Stevenson T, Xu H, Imperiale TF, Herron J. Systematic review and meta-analysis: Efficacy of patented probiotic, VSL#3, in irritable bowel syndrome. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2018;30(12):e13427. doi:10.1111/nmo.13427
- Heizer WD, Southern S, McGovern S. The role of diet in symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in adults: a narrative review. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(7):1204-1214. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2009.04.012
- Mitchell H, Porter J, Gibson PR, Barrett J, Garg M. Review article: implementation of a diet low in FODMAPs for patients with irritable bowel syndrome-directions for future research. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2019;49(2):124–139. doi:10.1111/apt.15079
- Monash University. FODMAPs and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 2019. monashfodmap.com
- Dai, C., et. al. Probiotics and irritable bowel syndrome. World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Sep 28; 19(36): 5973–5980. doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i36.5973
- Degnan FH. The US Food and Drug Administration and Probiotics: Regulatory Categorization. CLIN INFECT DIS. 2008;46(s2):S133-S136. doi:10.1086/523324
- Didari T, Mozaffari S, Nikfar S, Abdollahi M. Effectiveness of probiotics in irritable bowel syndrome: Updated systematic review with meta-analysis. World J Gastroenterol. Mar 14, 2015; 21(10): 3072-3084. doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i10.3072
- Gallo A, Passaro G, Gasbarrini A, Landolfi R, Montalto M. Modulation of microbiota as treatment for intestinal inflammatory disorders: An update. World J Gastroenterol. 2016 Aug 28; 22(32): 7186–7202. doi:10.3748/wjg.v22.i32.7186
- Hempel S, Newberry S, Ruelaz A, et al. Safety of probiotics to reduce risk and prevent or treat disease. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment no. 200. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2011. AHRQ publication no. 11-E007.
- Patel S. M., Stason W. B., Legedza A., et al. The placebo effect in irritable bowel syndrome trials: a meta-analysis1. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2005;17(3):332-340. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2982.2005.00650.x
- Thursby E, Juge N. Introduction to the human gut microbiota. 2017;474(11):1823-1836. doi:10.1042/BCJ20160510
- Tuddenham S, Sears CL. The intestinal microbiome and health. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases. 2015;28(5):464-470. doi:10.1097/QCO.0000000000000196
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.