How long do probiotics last in your system?
You should keep taking probiotic supplements for the effects to last in your system. If you stop taking probiotics, your gut bacteria will likely return to their pre-supplementation condition within one to three weeks.
In this article, we’ll look at how long probiotics may last in your system after you have supplemented them, along with other questions such as how long they take to work and how long you should take them for.
We also check in on whether or not you should take a break from probiotics if you are undergoing long term use.
How long do probiotics last in the gut?
Not long. This is why regular supplementation of probiotics is essential. Your immune system has a range of bacteria that it allows to exist in your gut. Depending on the probiotic you take will determine how long it will last and work in your system after one serving.
Ideally, if you want serious results you should be looking into prebiotics instead of probiotics. Probiotics are foreign bacteria that you are introducing into your gut, this puts them at risk of dying on entry, or being destroyed by your immune system.
However, with prebiotics you’re not ingesting any new bacteria. Instead you’re taking in a fibrous complex that can survive your digestive system and make it to your gut. After it reaches your gut, it feeds the healthy bacteria that already exist in your gut and strengthens them to make it more effective for promoting your overall gut health.
How long does it take for probiotics to work?
Probiotics can take as long as they need to for giving you the results you’re looking for. It all depends on your symptoms.
For example, some studies show that those who are suffering from IBS-related symptoms can take up to 4 weeks to see improvements from using probiotics.
Then again, those who are taking probiotics to boost their immune system only start to see a rise in antibodies in their gut after 12 weeks.
12 weeks is also the case for those who are prone to getting upper respiratory infections like the flu who are taking probiotics (according to studies).
However, it’s faster for some other issues. If you are suffering from diarrhea, some research shows it can take as little as 2 days for probiotics to help rectify the issues in your gut.
How long should you take probiotics for?
Depending on the reasons you may want to take probiotics (for example, diarrhea, IBS, antibodies) you may only need to take them for a short while.
However if you are taking them for general health, and don’t get any probiotic foods in your diet such as yogurt or kimchi – it makes sense that you take it as long as you need it if you are feeling good results from the effects.
The effects of probiotics should last for a few more weeks after you stop taking them. If you have been prescribed probiotics as part of a plan from your doctor, you should follow their instructions and stop when told to.
Should you take a break from probiotics?
It is safe to take a small break from probiotics here and there. You should check in with your body. Consider how you’re feeling. If you still feel like you have stomach problems and probiotics are helping, continue to take them.
If you are no longer getting results or your problem has been resolved (for example diarrhea) you have no other need to take them.
Probiotics have their uses, and may take a different amount of time to work depending on what you’re using them for. However if you’re looking for more reliable results we suggest you look into prebiotics.