What Are Probiotics?

What Are Probiotics?

There are plenty of reasons why introducing probiotics into your daily routine is a beneficial step in the right direction. But with so much information surrounding the dos and don’ts of taking probiotics, let alone understanding what exactly probiotics do, it can all become rather confusing. So, with this in mind, let’s investigate together, what are probiotics and what are the benefits you can expect to see when introducing them into your everyday routine.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are a collection of live cultures and good bacteria that are vital for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. Our bodies in general are full of various types of bacteria and it is generally considered that our guts are our second brain. Believe it or not, our gut health has a huge impact on the rest of our wellbeing. As important as the gut is for your overall health, it does encounter a lot of outside factors that can disrupt the balance of bacteria in it. This is when probiotics step it to save the day by ensuring there is the correct levels of good bacteria amongst the microbiome.

How should probiotics be taken?

Probiotics can be taken in various ways, some find that having food enriched in beneficial strains of probiotics, such as kefir and sauerkraut, are enough to keep their gut balanced and healthy. However, a majority find that using supplements are the optimal way of gaining the most out effective results. This is generally a simple task, but it does require a little time and consideration in introducing them into your routine.

For example,

  • Always check with a doctor before taking probiotic supplements to ensure you have chosen the correct strain for your condition.
  • Probiotics come in different strains with various amounts of live cultures. Always read the labels of the packet to get a better understanding of how the potency of your product.
  • Probiotics can in fact expire, so ensure you always check they are still in date when taking them.
  • Ensure you store probiotics in the correct way, as directed by the instructions of the packet, either in the fridge or on the shelf.
  • Don’t rush the process and allow your probiotics the right amount of time to start having a positive impact on the gut and your general health and wellbeing.

There you have a little more detail of how to take probiotics, including some helpful tips and tricks on the best way of introducing supplements into your everyday lifestyle routine.

Is it OK to take probiotics every day?

While there may be some exceptions to this real, in general yes, it is OK to take probiotics every day. The microbiome of the gut is so sensitive that any exposure to environmental factors, such as stress, processed food and illness can easily disrupt the balance of the “good” bacteria and live cultures. By taking the right probiotic supplement on a daily basis, you are able to maintain the best level of bacteria needed for the gut to function correctly. Probiotics are a natural product and not a medicine so using them in your daily routine is an easy step to make, however, if taking supplements is something new to you, or perhaps you have recently changed strengths, I would advise consulting with a doctor for the peace of mind you are using the correct product for you. 

How long do you need to take probiotics?

When taking probiotics, it is generally considered that you won’t see the results until you have taken them for at least 4 weeks. This allows enough time for the probiotics to work effectively with your gut’s microbiome and deliver the results you wanted.

If you have only recently started using probiotic supplements, you may have found there have been a few side effects, such as upset stomach and frequent bowl movements, these are all perfectly normal and should subside after a few days. If, however, you are wanting to prevent them from worsen, here are a few helpful tips on combating them.

  • Continue taking them, by pushing through you’ll find it gets a little worse before it’s better, stick at it and you’ll see a significant difference.
  • Reduce how many or how often you take probiotics.
  • Take a short break, it could be a case of you having an intolerance to probiotics, which is surprisingly more common than many believe.
  • Change the time you take the probiotics as this may be the answer to finding the best routine for you.

I hope that those tips and tricks help clear some confusions around how long you need to take probiotics. If you are wondering how and if probiotics work, you can check out our dedicated blog post over on The Health Insiders.

What are the signs you need probiotics?

There are a few signs that show you are in need of introducing probiotics.

  1. You have taken antibiotics, even if it was a considerable amount of time ago, it would have still had a long-term impact on the health of your gut. As amazing as antibiotics are for killing off harmful bacteria, they can get carried away and destroy all bacteria in the gut. Luckily, this is when probiotics step in and regulate the bacteria and maintain balance.
  2. You have skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Both conditions are highly impacted by your gut health and digestive system imbalance. With the microbes functioning correctly in the gut you’ll find that skin clarity and all-over healthy glow is something that comes from taking probiotics.
  3. You are suffering from signs of irregular digestion. Around 80%-90% of the bacteria naturally occurring in the body is found in the gut and colon. Therefore, if there is an irregularity there, you’ll no doubt suffer from digestive problems.
  4. You are having extreme sugar cravings. Depending on which bacteria you are hosting is strongly linked to the type of food you’re craving. Often with the lack or imbalance, your taste buds are tricked into thinking you want something with high levels of sugar. 

Those are just some examples of the common signs you need probiotics, however if there are any concerns, as always, I recommend you seek the help from your doctor. If you have any other questions, don’t forget you can follow us on Instagram for more, we look forward to seeing you there.