‘Probiotics’ literally translates to ‘for life’. Your body is host to trillions of microorganisms – most of them good and some bad. Maintaining an internal biotic equilibrium or balance is critical to good health.
Eating like Harry and Lloyd did in Dumb and Dumber is also not good for your health. Treating animals like that is also pretty ridiculous! No, a dog does not want or need mustard on their hotdog!
Probiotics contain the good bacteria that restore gut health and maintain the right environment in your intestines
keeps you healthy overall. However, too much of a good thing can make it bad. Hence, the right amount of probiotics is necessary for enjoying all their goodness and health.
Daily Probiotics Are Good
Your gut is home to nearly 500 different species of bacteria and other micro-organisms. Like all living things, these bacteria live the course of their life and die.
Probiotic supplements and dietary sources introduce good bacteria to your intestines. These bacteria are merely visitors and not long term occupants. After a while they die and disappear. Hence, a regular dose of sustainable probiotics is a must to maintain your health.
According to American Dietetic Association (ADA), the best way to make probiotics boost your immunity and help in overall health, is to take them daily. There are a number of ways you can cover your daily requirements and this should not including eating chips and drinking soda like Ryan must have been doing every day in the movie Drillbit Taylor. If you don’t eat right it does not matter how many amazing foods you consume with probiotics.
You can include multiple food sources like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi among others to your diet. On top of this, you could eat a probiotic dietary supplement.
You might have to check the label or speak with your healthcare adviser if you go the supplement way because there is no set dosage where they are concerned. There are different strains of probiotics available in supplements.
The dosage depends on the number of colony forming units required for that particular strain of bacteria. You should make sure to have multi-strain probiotics for all-round benefits.
For instance, your body needs 10 billion active CFUs of Lactobacillus acidophilusdaily. This figure changes for other strains.
Are You Healthy?
Daily probiotics are good if you are in the prime of your health. However, that is not always possible. Everybody falls sick and has to take antibiotics. Antibiotics are essentially anti-bacteria.
They kill off the infection causing bad bacteria in your body. However, sometimes they also kill the good bacteria in their efforts to fight an infection.
Probiotics help replenish all the good bacteria in your body. These bacteria do not diminish the positive effects of antibiotics on your infection. In fact, they help your body fight the infection by ensuring that your digestive system acts normally.
Diarrhea is a common side effect of antibiotics. To this effect, many doctors nowadays have begunprescribing probiotics to go along with antibiotics.
It is recommended that you take probiotics with every antibiotic and every 2 hours after that. This is important to ensure that the good bacteria stay active in your gut. When you are sick your body needs more nutrition to fight off the infection.
Probiotics help by increasing your immunity and improving absorption of nutrition in your body. You need to have double or triple the normal dosage when you are sick. You should keep at this increased dosage for at least 2 weeks after your antibiotics are over.
Probiotics are essentially bacteria. They are not recommended for people with a compromised immune system.
Although rare, it is possible for bacteria to find their way into the bloodstream. A regular, healthy adult has the immunity required to deal with these vagrant bacteria. However, people who have a suppressed immune system might not be able to fight off an infection.
This is one of the major reasons why probiotics are not recommended for people with HIV/AIDS. It is not advised right after a surgery as well because your body is coping up with healing the wound. Others situations include prolonged hospitalization or chemotherapy.
When to Take Probiotics?
It’s not just the dose but also when you take it that matters. Probiotics on an empty stomach early in the morning is not recommended, primarily because your stomach is in a heightened acidic state.
In the morning your stomach has a pH level of 2 which means there is a lot of stomach acid there. Probiotics are living bacteria and do not survive an acidic environment.
They essentially live in your gut and when ingested need to escape your stomach acids into the intestines. Many supplements come with an enteric coating or delayed release. This ensures that the probiotics are still living by the time they reach the intestines.
The stomach pH level increases to a 4 right after you have a meal. It is best to take probiotics right after your breakfast. You should not double up on the dose if you miss your supplement one day.
Side Effects of Too Many Probiotics
There are adverse reactions when you take too much of a good thing. Adverse reactions can range from migraine like headaches to digestive issues. However, it is important that you do not confuse these side effects with Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction. This essentially means that the probiotics are doing their job.
You can experience bloating, gas and headaches which normally disappear within a few days. Any side effect that lasts for more than 2 weeks is an indication that your dose is too high. These side effects include diarrhea, abdominal pain, acidity, infection, and histamine reactions among others.
Can You Overdose?
A major concern with most people and probiotics is overdosing. It is humanly impossible to overdose on these because your body is already host to over a trillion microorganisms. The body sloughs off everything that is not required.
Extremely high doses such as 10 times the recommended dose will not cause an adverse reaction in the short term. However, if you persistently take more than you should, then you will experience digestive discomforts.
Probiotics are not laxatives or other medications. You can avoid the supplements and choose natural sources for probiotics if you are worried about taking too much. Natural sources of probiotics are high in fat and sodium which makes it difficult to eat too much.
Taking a daily dose of probiotics gives many people the dietary confidence they need. Probiotics taken in moderate amounts on a daily basis can give your system a much-needed health boost. Putting drugs in your body like Vincent Vega did in Pulp Fiction – stupid!
It could be in the best interests of your gut flora to take a probiotic supplement daily.