Have you been taking probiotic supplements for a while and wondering if it’s working? If you have been thinking this way, don’t worry you are not alone. Almost everyone that takes a probiotic supplement to improve gut health has this question in their head.
It’s a valid question that receives uncertain answers. The plain answer is that there are no tests that can tell if probiotic supplements are ‘working’ for you. Instead, observe the changes you are experiencing since starting your probiotic. Listening to your body can give you a broader picture of what your probiotic supplement is doing.
Five signs that show your probiotic is working
1. Regularity: You will have regular bowel movements. If your probiotic supplement contains Bifidobacterium, it is found to be beneficial in preventing constipation and improving regularity1. Researchers scoured through several medical pieces of literature and found that probiotics increased the number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3 in otherwise constipated individuals. Plus, they also acted like stool softeners which enabled the patients to pass without straining.
2. Increased Energy: If you find yourself not easily tired by the end of the day, it is an indication that your probiotics are at work. Studies show that an imbalance in your gut bacteria can impact your energy levels too! Research shows that chronic fatigue syndrome primarily occurs because your immune cells are always fighting off the toxins given off by the bad bacteria2. An imbalance in the gut results in more harmful bacteria and less of the beneficial ones – also a sign of leaky gut and inflammation. In most cases restoring the gut bacterial balance helps to recover from fatigue and get back your energy levels.
3. Better Mood: Turns out if your gut is happy you’ll be happy too! Probiotics help increase the secretion of the brain chemical serotonin, which takes care of feelings of happiness. Studies show that specific probiotic strains like Bifidobacterium Longum reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with clinical depression3,4.
4. Improved Digestion: If you are free of bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, gas and reflux it is a sign that your gut is in great shape. It also indicates that your probiotic is doing what it is supposed to do. Imbalances in the gut bacteria can lead to the above mentioned digestive issues leading to irritation and discomfort. It is also a sign that you may suffer from a leaky gut5.
5. Stronger Immunity: If you notice that you don’t come down with an infection or illness frequently, thank your probiotics. Studies show that probiotic strains may bolster immune function and thereby help reduce the frequency of infections, including the common cold6,7.
How to choose your probiotic supplement?
Before you purchase your supplement, read the label thoroughly and look for the following:
- If it has an expiration date
- If it supplies a wide range of bacterial strains
- If it has active cultures
- If it has these three strains – acidophilus, longum, and bifidum.
Keep in mind that not all probiotics are created equal. It is crucial that your probiotic supplements meet the criteria mentioned above. NATURELO’s Probiotic supplement offers 11 probiotic strains with 50 billion active cultures. It includes the three important strains: acidophilus, bifidum and longum.
1. The effect of probiotics on functional constipation in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, 06 August 2014
2. Increased serum IgA and IgM against LPS of enterobacteria in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS): indication for the involvement of gram-negative enterobacteria in the etiology of CFS and for the presence of an increased gut-intestinal permeability, 2007 Apr;99(1-3):237-40. Epub 2006 Sep 27
3. Beneficial psychological effects of a probiotic formulation (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in healthy human volunteers
4. Gut brain axis: diet microbiota interactions and implications for modulation of anxiety and depression, April 2015
5. Gut inflammation in chronic fatigue syndrome, 2010 Oct 12;7:79. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-7-79
6. Effectiveness of probiotics on the duration of illness in healthy children and adults who develop common acute respiratory infectious conditions: a systematic review and meta-analysis, 2014 Jul 14;112(1):41-54. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514000075. Epub 2014 Apr 29
7. Probiotics for the prevention of pediatric upper respiratory tract infections: a systematic review, 28 Nov 2014