Whether you’re thinking about taking probiotics or you just started taking probiotics recently, you may be wondering what to expect.
Everyone’s body is different, so we can’t know exactly what your specific experience will be. However, we can make some educated guesses as to what happens when you start taking probiotics.
In the very beginning after you start taking probiotics, you may not notice any difference, but you can rest assured knowing that they’re doing their job behind the scenes.
Some people notice the benefits of taking probiotics almost immediately while it may take a month or more for others. So it’s important to keep in mind if you don’t notice instant results that they will come if you stick with it and take your probiotic consistently. It’s also important to have realistic expectations of what probiotics can do for you.
There are multiple benefits you can gain from taking probiotics. Some are more obvious and some are more subtle.
Here are some of the health benefits you can expect:
You Get Sick Less Often
When you take probiotics, there’s a good chance you’ll get sick less often and your symptoms won’t be as bad when you do get sick. That’s because probiotics boost the immune system by regulating the host immune response. (1)
Probiotics Crowd Out Bad Bacteria
When you take probiotics, you crowd out the bad bacteria in your gut with good probiotic microorganisms. This has all sorts of health benefits, both from the probiotics themselves and from keeping pathogens from harming you.
A Stronger Gut Wall
Probiotics take fiber and turn it into short-chain fatty acids, which strengthens your gut wall. This, in turn, strengthens your immune system. (2) (3) (4)
A stronger gut wall encourages a strong immune response when pathogenic bacteria and viruses try to enter the body. (5)
Better Nutrient Absorption
Everyone should aim to eat a nutritious diet and taking vitamins may be beneficial for some. However, it can be a problem if your body isn’t absorbing enough nutrients. There’s a lot to be learned about probiotics and nutrient absorption, but studies suggest that probiotics play an important role in nutrient absorption through energy extraction and regulation. (6)
Studies have shown that obese people have different microbiome compositions than people in a normal weight range. (7) (8)
Probiotic microorganisms have metabolic functions in the body. (9)
An improved metabolism could explain why in some studies people lost weight after taking probiotics. (10)
Some people experience uncomfortable side effects after starting to take probiotics. You may think they’re not working or experience side effects like gas and bloating. However, this is normal for many people and is just your body adjusting to the new probiotic microorganisms in your digestive system.
Once your body adjusts to taking probiotics on a regular basis, these side effects usually go away pretty quickly. So for the first couple of weeks, you may experience these minor side effects but they don’t last long and soon after you can feel the positive effects of probiotics.
If you experience particularly uncomfortable side effects when you first start taking probiotics, it’s OK to take a smaller dose for a while until you work your way up to a standard dose.
In order to get the health benefits of probiotics, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
The first is in your product selection and making sure you choose a high-quality probiotic supplement from a reputable brand. Look for a product that has a potent enough CFU count, a variety of probiotic strains, and a product that is freeze-dried and is delivered via enteric-coated capsules.
It’s also a good idea to take your probiotics with a meal or within 30 minutes of one, as the studies on the topic suggest that’s the best time to take probiotics.
You should also pair your probiotics with a healthy, high-fiber diet, that contains plenty of prebiotics. Alternatively, you can take your probiotic with a prebiotic supplement such as BlueBiology Prebiotic.
Lastly, in order to get the health benefits of probiotics, you should be taking it consistently.
What happens when you start taking probiotics largely depends on your specific situation. You have to take into consideration things like your gut health before taking probiotics, the probiotic product you take, whether you take it consistently or not, and various other factors.
If you started taking probiotics and you haven’t noticed any specific changes yet, just keep in mind that as long as you continue taking them consistently you should see results and your overall well-being should improve.