Can You Take Too Many Probiotic Supplements?
- High probiotic dosages have been linked to worsening irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms (1).
- Taking too many probiotic supplements can impair the immune system and raise the risk of infections (2).
- Digestion problems like bloating and diarrhea may result from taking probiotic supplements in excess (3).
When it comes to probiotics, more is not necessarily better. Taking too many probiotic supplements at once or for a long period of time can cause unpleasant side effects. Probiotics are bacteria that help support your digestive system, improve your immune system, and maintain the balance of beneficial microorganisms in your body. As with anything else, overconsumption can have negative consequences on your health. Prolonged usage of certain probiotics in high doses could result in side effects such as gas, bloating, cramping and diarrhea if you don’t know how many probiotic supplements you should take or if you’ve taken too much. Keep reading to find out the answer to the question, "can you take too many probiotic supplements?".
Can you take too many probiotics?
Others don't consume enough probiotics to benefit their health, while some people are intolerant to particular probiotic strains. Constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and cramping could be side effects of taking too many probiotics. You might also run the risk of consuming an excessive amount of "pathogenic" bacteria, which can infect you, if you take too many probiotics.
Keeping track of your probiotic intake is essential to prevent overdose. On the label of some probiotic supplements, the suggested daily intake is listed. If the probiotic supplement you're taking doesn't have a dosage chart, you'll need to keep track of how much you're taking. So, can you have too much probiotics? You can, indeed.
The recommended daily dose of probiotics
The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests taking one billion bacteria worth of probiotics daily as the bare minimum. So, probiotics don't have to be taken in large amounts. Your health could be negatively affected if you take more probiotics than the minimum advised dosage. Avoid taking more bacteria than the recommended one billion per day.
Side effects of taking too many probiotics
What happens if you take too many probiotics? Some probiotic supplements contain “pathogenic” (unfriendly) bacteria such as salmonella, shigella, and E.coli. Consuming large amounts of certain probiotics like these could result in side effects such as gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea or constipation. Pathogenic bacteria are particularly dangerous to people with a compromised immune system or a compromised digestive system. People with HIV/AIDS, cancer patients, and those who take drugs that weaken the immune system are at an increased risk of pathogenic bacteria causing an infection.
Can too much probiotics cause diarrhea?
Can taking too many probiotics lead to diarrhea? Yes, lactic acid and other byproducts are produced during the fermentation process used to make yoghurt, kefir, and other fermented foods like sauerkraut. These generate "friendly" bacteria that support digestion and inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Prebiotics are the name given to these probiotics. If you don't know how much probiotic supplement you should take or if you take more than your body can handle, you may experience diarrhea.
How to prevent taking too many probiotic supplements:
- Be careful when purchasing probiotic supplements. Look for the recommended daily dosage on the bottle or box.
- Store probiotics in a cool, dark place away from moisture and heat.
- Don’t take probiotics with food or beverages containing or containing strands of glue.
- Take probiotics on an empty stomach at least one hour before or two hours after meals.
- Follow the directions carefully and don’t exceed the recommended daily dosage. If you notice any side effects such as gas, bloating, cramping or diarrhea, stop taking probiotic supplements immediately.
- Don’t take probiotics if you have an intolerance to them or if you’re under the age of 18.
Can you ever take too many probiotics, then? The benefits of taking probiotic supplements are numerous, as you can see. It is possible to experience side effects like gas, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea if you take too many probiotic supplements at once or for too long. By monitoring your probiotic supplement consumption, taking the proper probiotics for your needs, and adhering to the suggested daily dosage, you can avoid these side effects. "Can you take too many probiotic supplements?" is a question that we hope we have answered for you.
Enjoy reading? Check out this related article: When To Take Probiotics and Antibiotics: Unravelling The Truth
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- Mullaney JA, Kelly CP. Probiotics: Are They Effective Therapies for Gut Dysbiosis? In: Practical Gastroenterology. Slack Incorporated; 2017:24-32. https://journals.lww.com/clinicalendocrinology/Fulltext/2017/05001/Probiotics__Are_They_Effective_Therapies_for_Gut.6.aspx
- Langdon A, Crook N, Dantas G. The effects of antibiotics on the microbiome throughout development and alternative approaches for therapeutic modulation. Genome Med. 2016;8(1):1-16. https://genomemedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13073-016-0294-z
- Sanders ME, Guarner F, Guerrant R, et al. An Update on the Use and Investigation of Probiotics in Health and Disease. Gut. 2013;62(5):787-796. https://gut.bmj.com/content/62/5/787.short