Are you considering taking a probiotic, but just not sure where to start? Or, do you just want to get a better understanding of probiotics before you commit to purchasing one? If so, this probiotics FAQ is for you! We have answered the most frequently asked questions about probiotics to bring you the ultimate probiotic guide.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics , also known as ‘good’ bacteria, are microorganisms that we need to maintain the delicate balance of bacteria in our guts. These tiny but mighty bacteria can help support digestion by aiding the breakdown of food and enhancing nutrient absorption. They also compete with the harmful, or ‘bad’ bacteria in our guts to help maintain the perfect balance (1).
What does CFU (Colony Forming Unit) Count? Why is it important?
CFU, or Colony Forming Unit, is a critical measure in the world of probiotics, representing the number of living microorganisms in each dose. Think of it as a gauge of the product’s potency and effectiveness. The CFU count ensures that you’re selecting a product with active, viable organisms capable of providing the desired health benefits, making it a key factor to consider when evaluating probiotic supplements.
Do Probiotics Cause any side effects?
When you first start taking probiotics, there is a chance that you will feel some mild digestive discomfort, like bloating and gas (2). Don’t be discouraged! This is a sign that your probiotics are getting to work. As the probiotics begin to settle into your gut, they may temporarily disrupt the existing balance, leading to these mild discomforts. Think of it as a short adjustment phase while your digestive system gets acquainted with its new inhabitants. For most people, these symptoms subside as the body adapts. If you find these side effects to be long-lasting, or you experience other uncomfortable side effects, make sure to speak to your doctor.
How should probiotic supplements be stored?
Storing probiotic supplements isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Generally, you’ll want to keep them away from direct sunlight and keep them in a cool, dry place. But some probiotics might need a spot in the fridge to stay effective. You will be able to find the storage instructions for your probiotic supplement on the label.
Should I change my diet while taking probiotics?
Probiotics love fiber, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Adding these foods into your daily diet can create a nourishing environment for the probiotics to thrive (3). You may also want to try and limit your consumption of alcohol and highly processed foods as these may hinder the probiotic’s effectiveness (4).
How long does it take to see the benefits of taking a probiotic?
The time it takes to start seeing the benefits will depend on many factors, from the strain of probiotics to the severity of the issue you are trying to address. It’s also important to keep in mind that each person is unique. For some, results may be noticed in a few days, while for others, it may take a few weeks. If you remain consistent and patient with your supplement routine, you should begin to feel the benefits.
How do I know I am choosing a high-quality probiotic?
There are certain things you want to look out for when choosing the right probiotic. If you find a supplement that follows this criteria, you can feel confident that you have chosen a high-quality probiotic:
- At least 10 strains of live bacteria.
- Provides 25 Billion CFU (Colony Forming Units).
- Contains a prebiotic to feed the probiotics and help them grow.
- The company uses third-party testing to ensure the purity of ingredients.
- The company offers a money-back guarantee, which shows that they back their own product as being effective.
Research Verified® Probiotic With Prebiotic checks all of these boxes!
The Bottom Line: Probiotics FAQ
Probiotics are more than just a health trend; they’re an essential part of our digestive well-being and can be powerful allies in our daily health routine. Whether you’re a seasoned probiotic user or just starting to explore what these microorganisms can do for you, we hope this blog has shed light on the questions you might have had. Remember, the world of probiotics is as diverse and individual as you are. Happy gut-healing!