How long does it take for probiotics to work?
This is easily one of the most frequently asked question on our probiotics for men page.
For many people, probiotics seem like a waste of money. They never really ‘feel’ the beenfits of probiotic supplements, probiotic drinks, or fermented foods. After 3 weeks of daily use, they’re left wondering why they spent $50 on something that doesn’t work.
While there are certainly some bogus probiotic supplements out there, this specific problem is usually down to a lack of understanding of how long probiotics take to work; more specifically, it’s an indication that people do not know how probiotics work at all.
How quickly do probiotics work?
How long does it take for your average probiotic supplement to work?
Should you be using probiotics at all?
Let’s take a closer look at what probiotics are and how they work. Then we’ll discuss how fast proibiotics work, and whether or not you should be using them at all.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are specific strains of bacteria known to be beneficial to digestion and overall gut health.
An example of a commonly used probiotic is Bifidobacterium bifidum. This bacteria can be found in the body of all mammals, residing primarily in the gut. Bifidobacterium strains of bacteria typically dominate a healthy human gut, where they carry out a range of important functions.
Studies have shown that guts with plentiful bifidobacterium cultures suffer less with acute diarrhea, have lower rates of E. Coli infections, and enjoy generally better digestive health. Administration of bifidobacterium species has been shown to improve multiple different aspects of health and performance, including things like cognitive function and immune system efficiency.
Probiotics is just another name we give to bacteria like Bifidobacterium; bacteria that help the gut function better and which bring about various health benefits associated with a healthy microbiome.
The logic is that digestive issues often arise when the gut microbiome is somehow out of balance; perhaps there is an overabundance of unhelpful, unhealthy bacteria. Or maybe there just isn’t enough bacteria at all!
So introducing foreign bacteria species can help set the balance right, fostering ahealthy gut microbiome full of healthy flora.
Benefits of probiotics
Probiotics have now been studied in so many clinical trials it is difficult to argue with the idea that they are effective nutritional supplements.
As the gut microbiome interacts with pretty much every aspect of health and performance, the benefits associated with probiotic use are also varied.
The benefits associated with probiotic supplements include, but are not limited to:
- Reduced bloating and gas
- Better appetite control and less food cravings
- More regular bowel movements
- Increased testosterone
- Improved sleep quality
- Enhanced cognitive function
- Increased energy levels
- Increased stamina and recovery
- Enhanced immune function
These are the benefits advertised by most probiotic supplements, with the testosterone benefit being pushed hard by manufacturers of probiotics for men.
But many people never see these benefits materialize; they stop using probiotics long before they seem to start working.
So how long do probiotics take to start working?
How long do probiotics take to start working?
How long it takes for a probiotic to start working depends on several different factors: the current state of your gut microbiome, your age, weight, diet, and your overall lifestyle.
Basically, a probiotic is never really going to ‘work’ for you if you continue doing all of the things that are causing your digestive issues in the first place.
Drinking lots of alcohol, consuming lots of red meat, and not eating any prebiotic fiber will ruin a gut microbiome regardless of how many probiotic bacteria strains you consume each day.
On the other hand, if you eat plenty of prebiotic fiber (the most important piece of the puzzle), drinking plenty of water, and lmiting alcohol intake, you will start to see benefits much sooner.
While the exact amount of time it takes for probiotics to work varies person to person, I can give you a general rule of thumb for judging whether or not probiotics are working for you at all. To do this, we need to turn to the available clinical trials.
In one study, it took 21 days before people’s bloating got considerably better. In another, it took eight weeks for probiotics to start working. In most cases, probiotics will take at least 3 weeks to really start working.
If your goal is optimizing gut health over the long term, then a prebiotic supplement might be a better option. The best prebiotics support the growth of your own healthy gut bacteria without introducing foreign bacteria to the body.
In summary: How fast do probiotics work?
Not very; most people need to take probiotics for at least 3 weeks before they start seeing significant improvements in digestion. Some clinical trials took 8 weeks to produce observable benefits.
How long does it take for probiotics to work for constpitation?
How long before probiotics work for constipation depends on the exact cause of your constipation. Researchers in one study gave 70 people with constipation a probiotic-enriched drink containing the bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium animalis lactis, Bifidobacterium longum and Bifidobacterium bifidum for four weeks, and most of them reported less constipation by the start of the second week.
How long does it take for probiotics to work for diarrhea?
Clinical trials have found that probiotics might cut bouts of infectious diarrhea by half a day to about 2 days. Research suggests that the bacteria strains most likely to help are Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii. However, any good probiotic supplement should help with ending bouts of diarrhea.