Health and Beauty

How long does it take effect?

With the promise of supporting digestion, mood, and immune function, probiotics have become a must-have nutritional supplement. But how long should you take it before its benefits become noticeable? Let's see all this in detail.

How long do probiotics take to work?

The short answer is to stop. Several factors come into play, such as why you are taking these probiotics, your health condition, and the strains you are taking, to name a few. However, scientists have looked at how long it takes probiotics to work on several common disorders and have found similarities (and differences, too).

Diarrhea

Researchers who reviewed 63 studies(1) Regarding how quickly probiotics helped treat acute diarrhea, it was found that some participants felt relief from the second day of treatment with probiotics. Another study(2) 60 participants with Helicobacter pylori infection showed that antibiotic-associated symptoms of diarrhea and nausea improved within 14 days.

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in a study(3) Regarding functional constipation, researchers gave 70 participants a probiotic-enriched drink for four weeks, and found an improvement in constipation severity and stool consistency by the beginning of the second week. Researchers in another study(4) He gave 47 participants a similar probiotic-rich drink, and found that although minor improvements were seen early on, the most significant improvements did not occur until the fourth week.

Bloating

Studies show that probiotics can help relieve bloating, gas, and associated pain.

In one study, participants saw a significant improvement in their bloating(5) In just 21 days. And in another study(6)The researchers gave the probiotic (a strain of bifidobacteria) to 60 participants for eight weeks. While participants showed improvement by week four, symptoms continued to improve until week eight.

Another study(7) He noted that treatment with probiotics was able to improve abdominal bloating within four weeks, but a six-month maintenance program was necessary to reduce symptoms.

Weight management

When it comes to issues outside the digestive system, the effects may take longer. A study of 90 overweight and obese adults showed that taking probiotic supplements for 12 weeks(8) It had an effect on the participants' visceral fat. Study for 24 weeks(9) A combination of probiotics and a low-calorie diet found similar benefits on weight loss and maintenance.

Leather quality

In studies that examined effects on skin health, results depended on the disease. Scientists have reviewed many studies(10) on various skin problems and concluded that while treatment with probiotics can help clear up dermatitis or eczema in four weeks, it can take up to three months. study(11) Looking at how a probiotic-rich drink affected acne in 18 adults showed that improvements in skin inflammation and visible acne became evident after 12 weeks.

General chronology

If you put all the information together, the general consensus is that it takes anywhere from a few days to several weeks for probiotics to start working.

Of course, this list doesn't cover all the conditions that probiotics can treat, but it can give you an idea of ​​what you can expect in terms of time frame:

  • Intermittent diarrhea: 2 to 14 days
  • Occasional constipation: 7 days to 4 weeks
  • Swelling: 3 to 4 weeks (with a 6-month maintenance period)
  • Weight management: 8 to 12 weeks
  • Skin problems: from 4 weeks to 3 months

Although different factors can affect the effectiveness of probiotics, positive effects should be evident within two weeks, with greater benefits after six weeks and regular use. To prevent a DysbacteriosisYou can also eat fermented foods regularly: kefir, yogurt, kimchi, pickles, apple cider vinegar, cheese, kombucha, etc.

Results vary from person to person

Although researchers have studied different health conditions, the results ultimately depend on your personal situation. Even if you don't notice immediate changes in your symptoms, probiotics can be working behind the scenes, so don't stop them too quickly. In particular, probiotics may take longer to work in certain conditions:

  • Very fragile digestive system;
  • chronic anxiety;
  • poor diet;
  • Frequent use of antibiotics.
  • Choosing the wrong probiotic strain;
  • Incorrect dose
  • Insufficient storage;
  • Take expired probiotics.

Tips to make probiotics work better

It's possible to make your probiotics work better and more effectively with these common-sense tips:

Find the strain specific to your symptom or health problem

Although there is a lot of scientific research on the effectiveness of probiotics, you need to make sure you are choosing the right strain for your specific disease or symptom. In fact, there are hundreds of formulas containing different strains of probiotics.

Make sure you take the correct dose

Many over-the-counter products contain between 1 and 100 billion CFU/dose, and while some strains are effective at low doses, others require higher doses. Do not hesitate to seek advice from a health professional to supplement yourself in the appropriate dosage.

Follow proper storage instructions

Because probiotics are living organisms, they will likely die when exposed to light, heat, or stored for a long time. If not stored properly (some require refrigeration), their shelf life and effectiveness may be reduced. Make sure to keep it cold and always check the expiry date.

Eat healthy food

Prebiotic foods, such as garlic, onions, and artichokes, help feed probiotics, allowing them to grow and thrive. On the other hand, sugars and processed foods feed yeast, which can displace good bacteria and cause infections. Of course, make sure your diet includes plenty of high-fiber vegetables and fermented foods, which are naturally rich in probiotics.

Manage your stress level

Stress damages the intestines(12) By destroying good bacteria and contributing to bacterial imbalance (intestinal dysbiosis). If you suffer from chronic stress, find ways to manage that stress and restore a state of calm. Yoga, meditation, journaling, and vacations are good places to start.

Take it at the right time

Probiotics are sensitive to extreme conditions, and stomach acid can kill them before they reach the small intestine. Therefore, it is best to take probiotics on an empty stomach, when stomach acidity is at its lowest.

What to remember

There is no definitive answer to the question of how long probiotics take to work, but in most cases you can expect to see effects within two weeks, with greater benefits at the end of six weeks. If you've been taking your probiotics for a while and don't see any change, make sure you've chosen the right strains for your problem, that they haven't expired, and that you've stored them according to the manufacturer's instructions. directions.

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