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We know what you’re thinking – probiotics is so good for our gut health, surely there’s no such question such as ‘can you take too many probiotics’ right? Wrong! Probiotics, though it is fantastic for our gut, can cause a negative impact to our body when taking too much.
Probiotics can be consumed through supplements or foods such as kombucha or yogurt. You can experience an imbalance of microbiome when you have too much good bacteria in your gut. Several side effects occur such as stomach pain or mood changes.
Now, we aren’t saying probiotics are not good for you, but rather should be taken in a moderate amount based on the recommended dosage. You may seek a professional to get the right medical advice on how much good bacteria your body needs.
That being said, you should also get to know what happens when you take too many probiotics and understand the common signs.
Can you take too many probiotics?
Yes, you can. Probiotics are suppose to help maintain a balance of good and bad bacteria in your stomach or gut. But if you take too much probiotics, you will experience an imbalance instead and cause various side effects.
When you have too much probiotics, your gut will have an overwhelming amount of good bacteria. So, it’s not ‘the more good bacteria you have, the better’, but rather there should be just the right amount to not throw your gut off track.
Signs of too much probiotics
There are plenty of signs when it comes to taking too many probiotics, but we narrowed down the common and major ones that usually occur:
1. Excessive bloating, nauseous, gas or diarrhea
Whenever you eat food, the microorganisms will rush to make sure it gets digested, hence making you feel bloated and nauseous. The main reason why you experience bloating is due to the excessive gas in your abdomen. Gas also occurs during the breakdown of undigested food by bacteria found in your large intestine (colon).
Consuming probiotics are supposed to supply good bacteria in your gut, and if you take too much of it, then it would lead to excess gas.
Diarrhea also can occur when you take too much probiotics because it happens when the food or drink that you consume are contaminated by bad bacteria. Though certain probiotics such as Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus acidophilus tend to prevent diarrhea, taking too much of it can lead to loosening your stools and cause irritation.
2. Abdominal pain
If you experience on-going stomach aches or cramps, it’s actually one of the signs of too much probiotics. Usually, when you’re just starting to take probiotics, you will experience some sort of discomfort because your body is still adjusting. But if you’ve been having abdominal pains for more than 2 weeks, you might be consuming a little too much probiotics.
3. Infections occur
Do you happen to have a low immune system? Well, generally, those who have a certain health condition or disease tend to have low immune systems (such as post-surgery, etc). Hence, taking probiotics can impact the overall functions due to the fact that our gut is related to our immune system.
Although infections aren’t the common signs of too much probiotics, it is something to consider too because infections can happen.
Certain probiotics foods has substances (amines) that causes a headache. However, it does not happen to everyone, but then again, if you take too much probiotics, then it is a clear sign you need to reduce the amount since headaches aren’t suppose to occur.
For instance, yogurt tend to have high probiotics which can cause headaches when taken too much. When you have the tendency to get triggered by amines, it’s best to stay away from probiotics as a whole.
Can you overdose on probiotics?
We’d like to first start off with the fact that you can definitely take probiotics on a long-term basis. But can you take too many probiotics? Yes, but depending on the situation of course. Besides that, nothing too extreme or life-threatening would occur if you decide to take it up a notch and increase your dosage. However, taking too much probiotics can cause various side effects.
Can too much probiotic cause diarrhea?
Yes, one of the major signs of too much probiotics is when you suddenly get diarrhea continuously. This happens due to the fact that an overdose of good bacteria will loosen the stools in your colon, which makes it watery and cause diarrhea.
Although diarrhea is common when you first start taking probiotics because your body is still adjusting, but if you’ve been having diarrhea for several weeks continuously, you may be taking too much probiotics.
What can you do if you have taken too much probiotics?
Don’t sweat it – thankfully, you are able to recover if you so happen to take too many probiotics. Simply lover the amount of probiotic dosage or consider trying out different bacteria strains to see which one works the best for your body.
Remember to always drink alot of water to make sure that you don’t get dehydrated while experience some of the symptoms such as diarrhea. It can help speed up the process too. Otherwise, simply just be patient and wait until your body goes back to normal after reducing the amount of probiotics you’re consuming.
What is the right amount of probiotics to take on a daily basis?
There is no one size fits it all solution when it comes to the right amount of probiotics to take as it depends on every individual’s gut microbiome. Everyone has a different amount and ideally, you should take medical advice as to how much of probiotics you’ll need.
Of course, there is a standard recommended dosage which is about 106 to 109 CFUs (colony forming units). This will be written down on your probiotic supplement as different probiotic supplements have different amount of CFUs.
However, the CFUs found in probiotics have a certain expiration date as not all of them tend to live forever. Hence, even if the amount of CFUs are written on the label, it may not be accurate because on a general note, half of the CFUs will be alive while the other half would be dead just before the written expiry date.
Therefore, it is best to consume the probiotics with the right bacteria strain catered to your needs and requirements. This is because the right amount of CFUs in each probiotic supplements are hard to estimate so you will never get an accurate number.
You should consider how effective the probiotics are and whether it is working for you or not, rather than putting importance on the right amount of probiotics to take.
So, can you take too many probiotics? Overall, taking too many probiotics may not be that life-threatening, but it is nevertheless an unpleasant experience. We’re sure you wouldn’t want to go through the side effects simply because you’ve taken too much probiotics. Besides, it goes agasint the main reason as to why we take probiotics in the first place, which is to balance the good and bad bacteria in our gut.
Just be sure to look out for the best probiotics for women or men that works for you. Go through several trial and error so that you are able to prevent yourself from getting any side effects.