Research is still emerging about the gut microbiome, but it is safe to consume sources of probiotics each day. Taking most probiotics once per day can offer many different health benefits, while some probiotic strains have specific dose recommendations.
Probiotics are good bacteria that, when taken in adequate amounts, help balance your digestive system, which is home to hundreds of thousands of bacteria already. Some of those pre-existing bacteria are beneficial, while others can be harmful and may make you sick.
There are several bacterial strains commonly found in the human gut, yet each person’s gut flora is unique, made up of different strains and amounts of bacteria. The bacteria in your intestines have different roles, such as producing fatty acids or defending against pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Each probiotic strain also has different effects on the body. Because of this, there isn’t a standard recommendation for how much and how often to take probiotic supplements, but evidence shows that use of probiotics can provide numerous health benefits.
Is it Safe to Take Probiotics Every Day?
Probiotics have repeatedly been shown to be safe for healthy adults and can be taken daily. However, some people should avoid taking probiotics, including those with a severely weakened immune system due to an illness. You can talk to your doctor before starting a probiotic supplement.
Scientific research has looked at the daily use of probiotics, and many studies show that taking probiotics every day can help with a variety of health concerns.
The Health Benefits of Daily Probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial microbes that help with digestion, keep your gut microbiota balanced, and can help fight off harmful bacteria. These bacteria can be found in some foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and yogurt, and can also be obtained through supplements.
Choosing your probiotic is important because the quality differs and there are many strains of probiotics that provide different effects within your gut. Certain probiotic strains also work in teams. The quality of the probiotic also matters. That’s why it’s best to find a probiotic that has been studied for the specific health benefit you are looking for, is rooted in extensive research and testing, and made up of clean ingredients
The three most studied probiotic strains are the bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and a yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii.
Scientific evidence suggests that probiotics have many benefits and may help with:
- Antibiotic-associated diarrhea
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis
- Nutrient absorption, including some vitamins and minerals
- Support for your immune system
Can You Take Probiotics More than Once a Day?
Research is still emerging on the optimal dosage for probiotics, and the dose also depends on the specific product.
For example, products with a very high CFU count may best be taken once daily, whereas other probiotic supplements can be taken twice daily. It is best to follow the intake instructions for the specific probiotics you’re taking to achieve the desired health benefits.
For most probiotic supplements, taking them once a day is likely all that is needed to help support your gut microbiome and digestion. In addition, even though taking too many probiotics in one day doesn’t pose an extreme risk like overdose, it can cause digestive discomfort and side effects such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas.
Probiotic strains provide different health benefits and have varying recommendations for how often to take them. For some conditions, like diarrhea or IBS, taking a dose twice a day may be recommended, but it is dependent on the specific probiotic supplement. You may want to talk to your healthcare professional before starting a probiotic supplement to discuss how often you should take it. Otherwise, it should be safe to follow the instructions on the product packaging.
How Much Should You Take Daily?
The gut microbiome is unique to every person, so the amount of probiotics needed daily likely varies widely between individuals. Many factors influence the environment of your gut, such as your genes, health conditions, medications, including antibiotics, stress and diet. In addition, many different strains of probiotics are linked to different health benefits, and the amount of probiotics necessary to achieve a health benefit varies.
The dosage of probiotic supplements is listed in colony-forming units (CFUs). We’re still learning about the optimal amount of CFUs needed, but research shows that probiotics with between 1 million and 1 billion CFUs are adequate to produce health benefits. However, some probiotics have been shown to provide benefits at much lower amounts, and others need much higher doses.
The delivery mechanism is also important as it can offer probiotics protection against deterioration during manufacturing, storage and digestion. Techniques like freeze drying the good bacteria and rehydrating them in water prior to intake are used to help CFUs arrive as viable, live cultures to your large intestine, where they will be most impactful.
What’s most important is not to find the probiotic with the most CFUs or take as many probiotics as possible. Taken separately, some probiotic strains can inhibit each other from providing benefits, while others may work synergistically, amplifying the desired outcome. Instead, research different probiotic products to find which one has been shown to help with the symptoms you are looking to address and follow the recommended dosage listed on the label.
When’s the Best Time of Day to Take Probiotics?
Certain probiotics have specific recommendations for when they should be taken. Be sure to read the instructions before taking a new supplement. Because of the varying types of probiotic strains that have different effects, and the best time of day to take probiotics depends on the strain and formulation.
Some probiotics outline that they should be taken on an empty stomach, whereas others should be taken with a meal.
Some medications may adversely interact with probiotics, so you may need to take medicine and probiotic supplements separately. Since daily use of probiotics has been shown to be safe and effective for many health benefits, choosing a time of day when you will remember to take your probiotic supplement is the best way to ensure consistency.
How Long Should You Take Probiotics?
Probiotics have been shown to be safe to use long-term. One study found that long-term use of probiotics led to beneficial changes in the gut microbiome.
Like dosage, the duration for taking probiotics varies depending on the bacterial strains and specific product. Some conditions, like acute diarrhea, may not require long-term use of probiotics to see positive effects.
Modern lifestyle exposes the gut microbiome to many factors that can negatively impact your gut flora. Stress, a diet full of sugar and processed foods, alcohol, and certain medications all negatively impact the gut microbiome. Incorporating a high-quality probiotic supplement into your daily wellness routine can help maintain a healthy gut microbiome and promote overall health.
When looking for a probiotic to incorporate into your daily routine, look for a probiotic supplement with multiple probiotic strains and species that is supported by science and clinical studies.
If you experience ongoing side effects from probiotics such as bloating and gas, it may be a good idea to take a break from probiotics and ensure you are taking the correct strain and dose.
It is a good idea to talk to your healthcare practitioner before starting a probiotic supplement to understand the best strain, dose, and duration for your health needs and goals
Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when taken in adequate quantities, help keep your gut microbiome healthy. They have been shown to be safe to take daily. There are many different strains of probiotics with different effects, so finding a probiotic for the health benefits you’re looking for is essential. Take this quiz to find the best probiotic to fit your health goals and learn more about Omni-Biotic’s range of targeted probiotics with clinically tested health benefits.