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Home arrow Health arrow Gut Health arrow How Much Probiotics per Day? Dosage and Strain Recommendations

How Much Probiotics per Day? Dosage and Strain Recommendations

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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
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Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: July 25, 2023
3 min read 1351 Views 0 Comments
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When taking probiotic supplements, you don’t want to underdo or overdo them. How can you ensure that you have the correct dose to receive the positive effects of these living microorganisms?

how much probiotics per day

Probiotic bacteria are great for your gut health. They nourish the digestive system, aiding digestion, promoting regularity, and keeping pathogenic bacteria at bay. That’s why most people take probiotics to improve their digestive health, which makes them feel better overall.

When you start consuming probiotics, a number of questions can arise. Is a low dose ineffective? Can you take too many probiotics? Is there a specific probiotic you should take? The list goes on.

If you want to know the ideal number of probiotics to take daily, just keep on reading. Here, we discuss dosage to ensure you get the benefits.

How Many Probiotics to Take for Maximum Benefits?

There is no precise regulation for taking probiotics, but the general recommendation is 1–10 billion colony-forming units (CFU) for most healthy adults. Still, this might not be an optimal dose. The product, the particular strain it contains, and the symptoms you hope to alleviate can influence how many probiotics you need.

For example, you might want to try probiotics to stop abdominal pain, severe constipation, and diarrhea.

Based on current scientific evidence, clinicians can advise patients on the best possible dose and duration for specific strains. So, if you have chosen a particular probiotic supplement, you can ask your healthcare provider to advise you on the proper dosage.

Moreover, you should check the label directions on your chosen product. All brands should provide specific instructions based on the unique product.

Recommended probiotic dose for adults

The exact dosing is complex. We all have unique gut microbiota; therefore, probiotics do not always have the same effects on everybody. What works for one person might have little or no impact on another. It’s about finding the right probiotic product that works for you.

Typically, 1–10 billion CFUs is the average recommendation for daily consumption in healthy people. Many people like to take 10–20 billion CFUs to enhance results. Without enough CFUs, you might not get the health benefits you expect.

Again, the benefits of a particular probiotic serving depend on your health goals. For example, studies show that a dose of 5 billion CFUs or more is significantly more effective than lower doses for people with gastrointestinal conditions.

Recommended probiotic dose for kids

Like adults, the recommended dosage of probiotics for kids varies depending on factors such as age and health. Doses between 10 million and 10 billion CFUs might be effective, but you should always discuss the best dosage for your child with your doctor.

Which Probiotic Strain Do I Need?

Identifying the best strain for your needs gets tricky. It’s best to go with the most well-studied probiotic strains that are clinically proven to work effectively. The genus Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardii are among the most popular.

The above species are known to play a role in the digestive and immune systems.

You can also get probiotics from certain foods to support your digestive health. Many fermented foods naturally contain Lactobacillus acidophilus, such as miso, sauerkraut, and tempeh. This probiotic strain is particularly good for managing gastrointestinal disorders.

Remember, many probiotic supplements contain multiple strains that may generate different results. For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus and other Lactobacillus are usually used for acid reflux and heartburn symptoms.

How Many Billions of Probiotics Should I Take?

Taking 10–20 billion CFUs daily is generally sufficient for keeping a healthy digestive system and strong immune health. You can take more or less, but the trick is to find a dose that works for you and remain consistent. Probiotics take time to do their job and accomplish success.

Probiotics are measured in colony-forming units (CFUs), indicating the number of live microbes. Most probiotic supplements contain 1–10 billion CFUs in a single dose. You can find some containing up to 50 billion CFUs, and there are even supplements with higher counts. However, it is best to take up to 10 billion CFUs per dose.

Some probiotic supplements have more healthy bacteria, but that doesn’t necessarily enhance their benefits.

Pay close attention to the packaging when selecting a probiotic supplement. Probiotics are live microorganisms, and checking the number of colony-forming units on the label tells you how many of these live cultures the product contains in each dose.

A Word From a Nutritionist

People take probiotics for a variety of reasons. Primarily, these healthy bacteria boost your immune function and give your gastrointestinal tract a kick by restoring balance to the gut flora. The influx of good bacteria creates a protective barrier against unfriendly bacteria.

Adding probiotics to your routine is one of the best gut health hacks. You can purchase them in the form of dietary supplements or food products. Supplements come as capsules, powders, and beverages, like kefir and kombucha, which contain the added healthy bacteria.

Finding the right probiotic to address your concern is crucial, be it excess gas and bloating, mood disturbances, or recovery from illness. After identifying the appropriate strain, you can then determine the proper serving of live bacteria you need to get to work in your body.

Your chosen probiotics may be ineffective if they contain too few CFUs, making dosage a critical factor. Other reasons your probiotics might not work are because the product is poor quality, includes the wrong strains, or you are not following the brand’s directions correctly.

A healthcare professional is the best person to advise on the number of probiotics you should take each day.

Conclusion

Probiotics with 10–20 billion colony-forming units are adequate for most healthy people. Taking your probiotics daily will ensure you get enough of that good bacteria in your system for a healthy gut microbiome and better overall health.

Take your probiotics for at least 3–4 weeks to notice the benefit. If your probiotics are not working, your dose might be too low, and you may need to increase your intake.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
HR_author_photo_Rosmy
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: July 25, 2023
3 min read 1351 Views 0 Comments
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