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Can You Take Too Many Probiotics?

Many people include probiotics in their day-to-day vitamin regimen, but can you take too many probiotics? There are already trillions of bacteria living in your gut that are linked to both good and bad health so what could ingesting a few of the good ones possibly do?

The assumption surrounding probiotics is that they can encourage the formation of beneficial bacteria in the gut and improve overall health. Here's everything you need to understand about probiotic dosage and what can happen if you take more than the recommended amount.

Is It Possible To Take Too Many Probiotics? 

If you’re taking probiotics every day, you’ve probably wondered if it’s possible to overdose on them. Well, the good news is that there’s no evidence that taking too many probiotics will cause significant harm. However, you may experience some mild side effects.

too many probiotics

There is no long-term danger in healthy individuals related to taking probiotics supplements, including probiotic capsules. There is generally no harm in raising your intake of probiotics when recommended by a qualified healthcare provider. 

However, the directed use of the product should be taken into account and it’s important to note that taking particularly large doses of probiotics can result in temporary side effects in some circumstances. Side effects are typically lessened when decreasing the amount of probiotics consumed. 

Signs You Are Taking Too Many Probiotics

Many use probiotic supplements for added health benefits since you can consume more beneficial bacteria through probiotic supplements than in a probiotic-rich diet. Probiotics are typically safe, but there is such a thing as too much probiotics. Below we will look at the most common indicators that you're taking too many probiotics.

Bloating

Bloating is the most common side effect associated with many different types of digestive problems. 

Your stomach may appear enlarged or swollen, and it may feel tight to the touch. While bloating is rarely fatal, it can cause pain and discomfort.

If you’re feeling abnormally bloated, you may want to lower your daily probiotic intake.

Infection

There is an increased risk of adverse effects when you have a weakened immune system or have a serious illness. Although this isn't a typical indicator of supplement overload, it can have serious repercussions if you have a condition that affects your immune system, recently had surgery, or been in the hospital for an extended period of time. 

Since your immune system is directly linked to the health of your gut, tampering with your microbiome may have an impact on its function. 

If this describes you, you should talk to a doctor about probiotics before attempting them on your own. Some strains are better than others depending on your health, so consult with your healthcare provider to determine which sort of probiotic is suitable for you.

Gas

Taking too many probiotics can intensify some of the issues you wanted to resolve, such as gas. When you first start taking probiotics, you may experience gas as your body adapts to the new bacteria. 

If that's the reason for your excessive flatulence, it should go away after a few weeks as your body adapts to the probiotics. If the gas continues, followed by abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea, it may be a sign of small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). 

According to studies, ingestion of probiotics means that more bacteria need to be fed in the gut. This can lead to more waste products, in this case, gas.

Stomach Cramps

Probiotic stomach aches may accompany symptoms such as gas and bloating. It should subside in a few weeks if your body is simply adjusting to the new probiotics. 

However, if bloating persists, it can cause additional symptoms. This would include nausea and stomach cramps. It could be a sign that the probiotics you are taking are not suitable for you. 

Diarrhea

what happens if you take too many probiotics

Diarrhea is characterized by recurrent, loose, watery stool. It’s sometimes followed by stomach pain, bloating, and nausea. 

Acute diarrhea usually lasts only a day or two and resolves on its own. It’s generally caused by contaminated food and water with harmful bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Diarrhea that lasts for an extended period may indicate a more serious underlying condition.

Can probiotics cause diarrhea? Probiotics that contain Lactobacillus acidophilus and Saccharomyces boulardii have been shown to shorten bouts of diarrhea. 

On the other hand, increasing probiotic intake might irritate your gut and cause loose stools.

What Is The Right Amount?

Probiotic dosage is measured in colony-forming units (CFUs), which are the amount of bacteria or fungal cells in a sample that can form their own colony. 

A typical probiotic supplement will include anywhere from 1 to 10 billion CFUs. However, the optimal probiotic dosage varies from person to person and is determined by diet, age, weight, and the body's tolerance for probiotics.

How many probiotics should you take a day

A healthy adult would typically consume roughly 20 billion CFUs per day through food and supplements, thus taking probiotics with food daily is unlikely to overdo it. 

Nevertheless, it’s important to consult a doctor to understand what dosage is suitable for your individual needs. They can assess your current diet and medical needs and provide tailored dosage and strain suggestions to avoid bloating and other discomforts.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to probiotics, sometimes less is more. The idea is to keep a balanced microbiome in the gut. Overdoing it with good bacteria isn't necessarily a good thing, and can have a number of negative side effects to it. 

Probiotic supplements are backed by research that suggests that they are generally safe to consume for healthy individuals, and it is unlikely that you can overdose on probiotic supplements. It's critical to pick a probiotic that has been researched for the benefits you seek.

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    **This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs. 

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