7 Things You Need To Know Before Taking Probiotics
If you frequent most medical publications then you’ve probably already heard about all the probiotics benefits that are out there. That being said, there could be some probiotics side effects that you should look out for and thus this guide can help you avoid such issues.
If you’re going “what are probiotics” then I’ll try to summarize it for you.
They’re basically good bacteria that will boost your digestion and overall improve the microbiome in your gut. You can get probiotics through supplements and even food items such as yogurt.
Studies show that there are countless advantages to getting enough probiotics but before you hop right in, take a look at seven things first to ensure that they’re right for you.
1. Are they fine for you?
The first thing you should know is whether or not it’s safe for you to take probiotics. Most people can take probiotic supplements and foods with tonnes of probiotics without running into any issues but everybody is different so it would be wise for you to talk to a doctor beforehand and see if any preexisting condition that you might have could complicate the process of reaping the benefits of probiotics.
2. They aren’t regulated as well as drugs
Yes, it’s a sad truth but probiotic supplements aren’t held at the same standards by the FDA as drugs are. This means that there is a greater potential that a probiotic supplement with harmful side effects may slip under the radar of the government. As such, you should stick to reputable suppliers when trying to reap the benefits that probiotics have to offer otherwise you could encounter more harm than good. If you stick to brand names though then you should be safe.
3. Not all probiotic foods are equal
Just because you hear that a specific food has probiotics, that doesn’t mean that it’s the best choice for you. For instance, sauerkraut has been known to have probiotics but that doesn’t make it the best way to get it. The overall most efficient way to get probiotics is by eating various dairy products. Dairy products tend to have the highest concentration of probiotics in comparison to other foods.
It’s worth noting that you should be careful as you may be slightly lactose intolerant and thus suffer from diarrhea if you eat too much dairy in a single serving.
4. Can your immune system take it
Another thing that you should know before you take probiotic supplements or eat foods that contain a high amount of probiotics is whether or not your immune system is in a condition where it can handle it. For instance, if you’re undergoing chemotherapy then you might have a weakened immune system that is far too handicapped to deal with even the good bacteria that foods with probiotics bring.
As such, you should always get your immune system checked every six months to spot any issues earlier on.
5. Take a look at the expiration date
This is a general rule of thumb before consuming anything. That being said, it’s even more important if you’re eating foods that contain probiotics as, while they’re good bacteria, their shelf life is still limited by the fact that they’re living organisms.
As such, they have a tendency to go bad faster than other products and thus the expiry date is more crucial. Eating expired foods with probiotics can make you sick especially if your immune system is already compromised by something like a fever.
6. Whether or not you can afford them
Just like any other supplement, you’ll only get benefits from using them if you take them on a regular basis. As such, you should consider the financial impact of taking daily probiotic supplements before you commit to it. You might think that the cost is cheap but the price does add up over time.
For instance, probiotic supplements generally cost $1 per piece. That’s $30 a month and over $300 in a year. Can you really fit that into your budget? If not, wait until your finances can accommodate such an endeavor.
7. Stick to your treatment
Just because you’re taking probiotics on a daily basis that doesn’t give you an excuse to skip out on your insulin schedule or stop taking antibiotics that your doctor prescribed. Probiotics can do a lot for your health such as aiding in digestion but it isn’t a substitute for actual medicine.
That being said, you can actually take probiotics in conjunction with antibiotics so that your microbiome doesn’t suffer too much from the latter. Just don’t start subbing out your medications for probiotic supplements as this will have dire consequences.
If you want to reap the benefits of probiotics then there’s nothing wrong with that but you should always ensure that you do your due diligence before trying anything new. The same rule applies to probiotics. If you keep a lookout for some of the things that we mentioned in this article such as compromised immune systems or unreputable manufacturers then you should be fine.
Just use some common sense, read the expiry date, and talk to your doctor beforehand to ensure that you don’t run into problems as a result of taking probiotics. We hope you learned something today but that’s all for now and happy ventures!