8 signs your probiotics are working

There’s a reason the sayings “one gut” and “trust your gut” ring true. While your gut literally can’t speak, those gut feelings or instincts you sense when you’re nervous, hungry, or uncomfortable speak for themselves. The gut (AKA the body’s “second brain”) refers to your gastrointestinal (GI) system, the health of which is generally determined by the levels and types of bacteria in your digestive and intestinal tracts, collectively known as your gut microbiome.

Consuming probiotics, or living microorganisms that promote gut health, both in supplement form and from dietary sources, can help maintain a healthy gut microbiome, thereby improving digestion and bowel function. In addition to keeping your digestive system in check, probiotics can provide a number of other health benefits: “Our gut microbiome is the center of many things, and maintaining healthy digestion is just one of them,” explained Caroline Margolis , a registered dietitian for Foods for Life. “A healthy gut can maintain a healthy immune system to keep inflammation at bay which can help reduce the risk of chronic disease, as well as maintain cardiovascular health. Research is showing that probiotics can modulate the gut-brain axis to help reduce the risk of anxiety, depression and neurological disease, as well as positively impacting our sleep cycle.

So how exactly do probiotics work in the body? The main job of probiotics is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. When bad bacteria enter your body and increase in number (read: when you’re sick, stressed, or have a certain illness), probiotics can step in to fight off the bad bacteria and return your body to a neutral state. But how do you really know if your probiotics are working? Well, there are telltale signs your probiotics are working. Read on for eight positive changes in your body that show whether or not your probiotics are working, according to experts.

8 signs your probiotics are working

1. You experience less gas and bloating

PSA: An imbalanced gut microbiome is public enemy number one when it comes to bloating. The good news is that taking a probiotic can tip the scales in favor of less gaseous bacterial strains, resulting in less gas and bloating. According to a 2017 study, probiotics can reduce intestinal transit time, or the time it takes for ingested food to be excreted, which can also ease bloating. Additionally, a 2018 review confirmed that specific probiotics may help reduce bloating and improve bowel movement frequency/consistency (more on that) in some patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). As for which probiotic strains are best for fighting bloating? Research shows Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.

2. You have regular bowel movements

Real talk: The appearance and frequency of your bowel movements are a window into your overall health—namely, your gut health. A 2020 study showed that consuming probiotics, especially multispecies probiotics, can substantially reduce intestinal transit time, increase stool frequency, and improve stool consistency in adults with functional constipation. Translation: Probiotic supplements that contain many active strains can help your digestive tract break down food faster, and better digestion means you’ll pass stools easily without pain or chronic constipation. Bowel movements so long and irregular!

3. Your skin is clearer

We’ve all heard of the gut-brain axis, now more and more studies are showing that there is a gut-skin connection as well. The relationship between the gut microbiome and skin health is regulated through several mechanisms such as inflammatory mediators and the immune system. When this system is compromised, dysregulation of bacteria in the gut can result in inflammatory skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, rosacea and acne. The silver lining? Some probiotics have been shown to increase the skin’s production of ceramides, or lipids (fats) that trap moisture in the skin and keep levels of acne-causing bacteria in check. By inducing the production of healthy ceramides, probiotics help restore healthy fats, which can directly benefit acne. Also, tHere’s a growing body of evidence suggesting that using probiotics in both pill and topical forms can help prevent and treat skin conditions including eczema, acne, dry skin, and UV-induced skin damage, he reported. healthline.

4. You are usually in a good mood

Simply put: happy tummy, happy life. “A healthy gut has been linked to fewer feelings of irritability and anxiety,” said Brigitte Zeitlin, registered dietitian and founder of BZ Nutrition. “It also improves our response to stressful situations (better stress resilience). On the other hand, an upset gut has been linked to increased levels of depression and anxiety. Why do you ask? To reiterate, the gut has been referred to as the body’s “second brain,” and for good reason. It produces many of the same neurotransmitters as the brain (think: serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid, all of which play key roles in regulating mood). In fact, it is estimated that 90% of the four “happiness” hormones serotonin that control bodily functions such as mood, sleep and digestion are produced in the digestive tract.

Some research has found that probiotics can help improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. For example, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, a significant improvement in mood was observed in the experimental group (which was given a daily dose of probiotics), with a reduction in depression, anger and ‘fatigue and an improvement in the quality of sleep.

5. You are sleeping through the night

A good night’s sleep starts in the gut. After all, the gut microbiota is capable of producing or releasing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which affects sleep quality, and melatonin, which helps regulate circadian rhythms and synchronize the sleep-wake cycle. One way to raise serotonin levels? You guessed it: take a probiotic, which can help stimulate the production and release of serotonin. A 2022 review found that sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep), sleep duration, and cortisol levels improved after pro-, pre-, or postbiotic treatment, and that probiotics, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, improve sleep sleep quality and stress. Erika Collette, a registered dietitian at ThisIsWhyImFit.com, echoed these findings by citing that when it’s easier to fall asleep and stay asleep, and you feel less tired upon waking, your probiotics are doing their job.

6. You don’t get sick that often

“70 percent of the immune system is located within the gut,” said Jennifer McManus, RD, LDN, CDCES at Pendulum Therapeutics. “When you have a healthy gut, you’ll have a healthy immune system that can help protect you from disease.” According to Harvard Health Publishing, probiotics have been shown to secrete protective substances, which can activate the immune system and prevent pathogens from gaining a foothold and creating serious disease. Once administered, oral probiotic bacteria interact with immune cells and induce the production of several cytokines (signaling proteins that help control inflammation in the body). And reducing chronic inflammation is key to good immune health and defenses against viruses, as well as disease prevention.

7. You have a lot of energy during the day

Have you ever noticed that when you experience digestive drama (looking at you, stomach pain, bloating and constipation), you are more fatigued? It’s no coincidence. “When we’re able to digest and absorb food better, in our healthy gut, our energy levels go up because we’re able to use the absorbed nutrients,” said Zeitlin. “Without a healthy gut to properly absorb nutrition, we can feel sluggish and tired.” Probiotics can improve the absorption of micronutrients, such as calcium and iron, from ingested foods. And a healthy gut flora produces hundreds of bioactive compounds, including B vitamins, which are essential for your body and brain to use for energy.

8. You feel full for 3-4 hours after a meal

“When consumed, probiotics can help break down and absorb nutrients from food,” McManus reiterated. “This process produces compounds such as short-chain fatty acids that are beneficial to gut health; one short-chain fatty acid in particular, butyrate, is essential for optimal blood sugar control.” According to the researchers, people who showed large drops in blood sugar experienced a 9% increase in appetite, plus they ate their next meals about half an hour earlier, and they ate over 300 more calories during the day than the people. participants who experienced only mild drops in glucose. levels. Bonus points: Zeitlin attested that because you’re digesting your food more efficiently and feel full and satisfied when your probiotics are working, you’ll have fewer food and sugar cravings.

How to take probiotics correctly

1. Choose high quality probiotics

News flash: Not all probiotics are created equal, and how each individual will respond to them will vary. In other words, take the right kind of probiotics for You it can do wonders for healing your gut or keeping it happy. When researching the best probiotics for you, consider the types of bacterial strains used, which strains and/or brand names have been researched for their effectiveness, and how probiotics should be stored. Consult the US Probiotic Guide to steer you in the right direction for the best probiotics for your needs, and be sure to choose a product that is free from additives.

2. Take them as directed

To take full advantage of the effectiveness of probiotics, follow the dosage recommendations on the label, note the optimal time of taking probiotics (for example, probiotics with Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria strains are best taken 30 minutes or just before a meal ) and consume them for a full month before deciding whether to continue the regimen. As time it takes probiotics work? It depends on factors such as your health condition, the type of bacterial strain you are taking, and the quality of the product. The general consensus? It can take anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks for your probiotics to start working.

3. Store them properly

Store your probiotics as directed on the label, whether it’s refrigeration, room temperature, etc. on the bottle or on the package. Another good rule of thumb for storing your probiotics properly is to mimic how the bottle was stored when you bought it. If in doubt, store them in a cool, dry place. And if you’re wondering if refrigerated probiotics are any more effective than their stable (freeze-dried) counterparts, the short answer is no, you’ll reap the benefits of both.

Please consult a doctor or other healthcare professional before starting any treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. Never ignore professional medical advice or delay your research because of something you’ve read in this article.

6 Green Flags Your body is on its way to optimal health

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