When it comes to taking probiotics, there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Whether it’s providing immune support or improving your digestive tract, we asked our resident medical advisor, Dr. Tiffany Lester, to shed some light on what they do, how they work, and what you can expect during the first week + month, and after three months of taking our PREBIOTIC + PROBIOTIC. Here’s what she had to say:
Fair warning! This week is usually the hardest depending on the state of your digestion. When you add in billions of healthy bacteria to your existing gut flora, it can be an intense experiment. Basically: it’s like your microbiome has been starving and is finally getting fed the nutrients it needs to function properly. So it throws a party to celebrate. We may experience this as increased levels of gas, bloating, abdominal pain and even some loose stool. It does take about a week for these symptoms to calm down. If they become unbearable, I may recommend taking every other day for a week then increase to daily. You can also try to take the probiotic at night to decrease excess flatulence during the day.
This is typically the time period when people start to see benefits. During your first month, digestion becomes smoother with normal daily bowel movements. You should no longer be having abdominal pain or excess gas. If this is the case, please speak with your doctor for further investigation. Probiotics also support your immune system. Since it takes about 21 days for antibodies to clear from our system and reset, individuals with chronic autoimmune conditions or who catch colds frequently will likely see this improve during the first month.
This is often when you start to see the long-term benefits of a healthy microbiome! Clear skin, improved energy, resolution of minor aches/pains, and even enhanced cognition. At this point you can trial going off for a week and monitor how you feel. If you feel worse, then your body needs to stay on a little longer. Probiotics do not colonize our microbiome - meaning they don’t stick. This is done through a plant-based, whole foods diet. If you feel well after stopping, then I typically recommend taking a few times a week. Our microbiome is very sensitive so it is easily damaged from environmental factors, medications, and internal stressors. Just like you would take a multivitamin to fill any nutritional gaps in your diet, taking a probiotic can help prevent long term negative effects to your digestive health.