Is it possible to overdo probiotics?
You’ve likely seen TV or internet ads promoting probiotics as a scientific way to improve gut health. And at Novis Health Salt Lake, we agree. Probiotics are part of any gut health rejuvenation treatment, and we recommend taking them in most cases.
But is it possible to overdo probiotics? Are they like most nutritional supplements where any extra vitamins get flushed out of the body?
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are microorganisms that support gut health. They’re sometimes called “live bacteria, ” extremely similar to the bacteria already in your body. Due to several factors, people may not have a flourishing gut microbiome and must take probiotic supplements. Poor diet, chronic illness, and antibiotics are a few factors that influence gut health.
However, we often refer to probiotics as the vehicle that delivers these bacteria. While you can take capsules containing probiotics, you might also add more yogurt or kombucha to your diet. Both foods include a large concentration of probiotics.
What are the Different Types of Probiotics?
Not all probiotics are created equal. There are two main categories of probiotics: Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. Bifidobacteria are commonly found in supplements. The health benefits include an improved immune system, a balanced gut microbiome, and easier digestion of lactose. Lactobacillus provides similar benefits while also helping with energy and muscle function.
Each category of probiotics is made up of smaller subcategories. Reach out to the Novis Health Salt Lake team to learn which probiotics are best for your unique health situation.
Where Can I Buy Probiotics?
Probiotics can be found in many forms, most of which can be easily found at your local grocery store. Remember, “probiotics” is a broad term that some people use beyond its technical definition to refer to certain foods that contain probiotics.
You can find probiotics in:
- Some cheese
Probiotics can be purchased through:
- Brick-and-mortar grocery stores
- Online retailers
- Subscription services
- Health clinics
As a Novis Health Salt Lake member, you can speak to your health coach for recommendations on which brand and type of probiotic to buy.
Is it Possible to Overdo Probiotics?
The short answer is yes; you can overdo probiotics. When we talk about gut health, we often use the word balanced. Probiotics are meant to add bacteria to a gut that lacks a flourishing bacterial ecosystem. Therefore, adding too many probiotics will tip the scale in the other direction.
Too many gut bacteria due to overdoing probiotics may create symptoms similar to not having enough bacteria: bloating, digestion issues, pain, and more.
If you take too many probiotics, then you might experience the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
But is there a way to measure recommended daily probiotic doses? Health experts give general guidelines, but ideally, you will discuss your probiotic needs with a nutritionist or functional medicine specialist to maximize the probiotic benefits. That way, you’re not overdoing probiotics.
In general, adults should take 10-20 billion colony-forming units (the standard measurement for probiotics). If you take fewer colony-forming units, your stomach acid may destroy the bacteria before reaching the gut. In most cases, over 100 billion colony-forming units are considered overdoing probiotics.
However, if you start to feel digestive problems after taking probiotics, you may be overdoing it. Consider lowering your dosage and speaking with a gut specialist.
What Else Can I Do to Help the Gut?
The gut is a fascinating system of the body often called the “second brain.” This is because the gut affects so much more than just digestion. It plays a role in regulating hormones, emotions, immune function, and much more.
In fact, many people don’t realize that their long-term, chronic symptoms are related to gut issues!
Novis Health Salt Lake is here to support your gut health. We provide holistic solutions to gut imbalances through healthy meal plans, exercise, and mental support. We know that restoring the gut microbiome can be a long journey, but that’s why we emphasize coaching and personalized treatment plans. We will be with you every step of the way by testing, treating, and adjusting.
Let’s discuss how probiotics can help you achieve your health goals. Sign up for a complimentary consultation with our health team. We will sit down with you and discuss where you are with your health. If working together seems like a good fit, we will write up a personalized treatment plan that outlines clear, practical steps toward health.
We look forward to meeting all our new clients.