9 Mistakes To Avoid When Using Probiotics Supplements
Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when taken. They restore and maintain gut health by changing the population of good gut bacteria while increasing their metabolic activity. Probiotics help with food digestion, breaking down and absorption of nutrients, containment and subduing harmful bacteria, and preventing disease-causing bacteria from entering the blood. On the other hand, probiotic supplements are meant to boost or make up for the shortfall of probiotics in your body.
Your gut health doesn’t only affect your stomach but also your overall health, both physically and mentally. Probiotics help with a myriad of problems such as digestive issues and a weak immune system. Some help with mood enhancement like probiotics for anxiety.
When you take your probiotic supplements religiously, you expect to see results within a reasonable time. But when you don’t, you’ll most likely blame the probiotic. But has it crossed your mind that the problem could be with how you use the supplement?
Below are the mistakes to avoid to ensure you get maximum benefits from the probiotics:
1. Going For The Cheapest Probiotic Supplements
Choosing probiotic supplements based solely on their price won’t guarantee you’re getting a good deal. Some cheaper brands cut manufacturing costs by adding not-so-healthy ingredients to their supplements like lecithin, cornstarch, and gluten. These filler ingredients can cause allergic reactions, especially if you have certain food intolerances. Moreover, the cheaper probiotic supplements may not contain enough live culture beneficial to your gut. It’s, therefore, better to strike a balance between quality and price.
Cheap doesn’t always mean bad, but it’s worth noting that the costlier probiotic supplements are produced under top-of-the-line processes and have higher efficacy. They also undergo thorough certification processes and extensive testing and research.
2. Quick Results
Most people expect to feel a change immediately after they start using probiotic supplements. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re looking for a quick fix, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. This is because the supplements need time to multiply and colonize the gut to be effective. It’s recommended that you take probiotic supplements for at least a month to decide whether you still want to continue or not.
3. Improperly Storing The Probiotic Supplements
Probiotic supplements come in different forms. Some are temperature sensitive and need to be refrigerated to keep the bacteria alive while others are dry formulas that can be stored on shelves under room temperatures. The dry formulas usually need to be stored in dry, dark places away from the light. How and where you keep your supplements will determine how long they retain their potency.
While organizing your probiotic supplements in a personalized pill box will help you remember to take them, it’ll also expose them to moisture, temperature changes, and light, which may quicken their expiration date. Storing them in your medicine cabinet can also compromise their effectiveness.
To keep your probiotic supplements usable for longer, follow the storage instructions provided by the manufacturer.
4. Not Taking the Probiotic Supplements At The Correct Time
Some probiotic supplement strains must be taken at certain times to work as they should. For instance, some are best taken 30 minutes before a meal, some are to be taken with meals, while others can be taken at any time. It’s therefore prudent to pay attention to when they should be taken. You can only reap maximum benefits from the probiotic supplements when you take them at the required time as directed by the manufacturer.
5. Not Picking The Right Probiotic Supplements
Some people have the misconception that all probiotic supplements have the same benefits. The truth is that probiotic supplements come in many varieties and contain different strains of bacteria, each meant to deal with specific problems. If you take the wrong supplement, you’ll not get the desired results. That’s why you should consult a certified health practitioner who’ll guide you on the right supplement.
Some supplements impact the urinary tract, some boost your immune system, and some confront digestive issues. For instance, if you want to improve your general health, you should take a supplement with strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These strains of bacteria are responsible for breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, and fighting off disease-causing bacteria in your small intestines and colon.
6. Not Being Consistent
Unfortunately, bad bacteria in the gut have longer life spans than the good ones. While probiotic supplements aren’t meant to be taken forever, they should be taken until your condition improves and your body can naturally maintain a good balance of the beneficial bacteria. So, to keep your gut healthy, you’ll want to take your probiotic supplements consistently. Otherwise, if you aren’t consistent, your gut will likely return to its pre-supplementation condition within a few weeks.
7. Not Taking The Right Dose
Probiotics are usually measured in colony-forming units (CFU). These indicate the number of live microbes in the probiotic product. The gut contains a vast number of bacteria running in trillions. For a probiotic supplement to be considered adequate, it must have strains of one to ten billion CFU per serving. However, products with multiple strains contain 20 billion CFU or more. If you take anything below the recommended dose, your gut won’t benefit. On the other hand, taking more than the required dose may affect your stomach.
8. Taking Probiotics Without Prebiotics
Prebiotics are foods that have large quantities of fiber. Fiber provides a conducive environment for bacteria to grow and thrive. Probiotics combined with prebiotics maintain and build a healthy colony of bacteria and other microorganisms in the gut. So, when you take probiotics without prebiotics, the good bacteria may not last long in your gut because they have nowhere to inhabit and hold on to.
To make your supplements more effective, consider incorporating a fiber-rich diet such as vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, and legumes.
9. Taking More Than One Type Of Supplement
Probiotics are taken to fight off other bacteria. Introducing a multi-strain in your body may cause undue competition of the bacteria. Therefore, you should ensure that the different types of probiotic supplements you are taking interact. Otherwise, you can be sure that some strains will be subdued.
Probiotics contribute significantly to gut health. Supplementing the probiotics will ensure you achieve and maintain a healthy digestive system. However, you should note that probiotic supplements should be supported by positive changes in your diet and general lifestyle if you want maximum gain.