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Home arrow Health arrow Gut Health arrow Signs Probiotics Are Working: The Top 10 Indicators

Signs Probiotics Are Working: The Top 10 Indicators

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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
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Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: September 21, 2023
8 min read 1131 Views 0 Comments
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Consuming probiotics has been known to provide health benefits. They fuel your body with good bacteria, but how do you know they’re working? We detail 10 signs probiotic supplements are working and how long it might take for them to show positive results.

signs probiotics are working

People who take probiotic supplements might be eager to gain health benefits.

There’s nothing wrong with being excited, but it takes time for probiotics to work. Certain formulas might find it challenging to adjust to your gut bacteria and digestive system. 

Don’t worry, because there are possible signs to look out for. You don’t have to spend each day concerned about whether the probiotic supplements are actually worth the money. 

In this article, we provide the top 10 signs probiotic supplements are working.

10 Signs Probiotics Are Working

  1. More frequent bowel movements
  2. Reduced bloating
  3. Better sleep quality
  4. Stronger immune health
  5. Improved skin health
  6. Better mood
  7. Improved memory and focus
  8. Reduced yeast infections
  9. More energy
  10. Weight loss

10 Signs Probiotics Are Working: How to Tell if They’re Improving Your Gut Health

Consuming a probiotic supplement will have plenty of benefits. The beneficial bacteria improve your gut, heart, joint, and reproductive health. Of course, everyone has a unique body when it comes to absorbing nutrients, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work for your personal health. 

Here are common signs of effective probiotics: 

#1 More frequent bowel movements

Probiotic bacteria can help you pass stool without any problems. A study found that these supplements prevent constipation by stimulating your bowels more often. The bacteria restore your gut flora and remove the harmful waste that could lead to diarrhea or bowel irregularity. 

Some people might experience constipation when taking probiotics. This can be a normal side effect that goes away within a few days. Your body needs to adjust to the sudden input of healthy bacteria, which may slow down bowel movements until the gut is balanced again. 

#2 Reduced bloating

Certain probiotics promote a healthy gut by reducing inflammation and gas production. This stops you from feeling bloated throughout the day. Probiotic supplements are also designed to boost digestion and limit excess intestinal gas that builds up after eating nutrient-dense meals. 

Some common symptoms of bloating include stomach cramps, discomfort, and gas. You should experience these less often while taking the right probiotics. Lactobacillus acidophilus is a well-researched strain that significantly improves uncomfortable bloating and gut pain. 

#3 Better sleep quality

Not many people know that a healthy gut leads to better sleep over time. Gut bacteria produce melatonin – a hormone that regulates circadian rhythms. Your personal circadian rhythm represents physical, mental, and behavioral changes that occur during a 24-hour cycle. 

Research suggests that microorganisms play a role in neural development. This bacteria helps regulate serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine, which are chemicals that control how long you sleep. Your brain needs a good balance of these hormones to ensure strong memory function.

The gut-brain axis is also a connection between your gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. Feeling tired could slow down digestion and vice versa. Cells in your intestinal tract are responsible for sleeping patterns and controlling hormonal neurotransmitters. 

Getting high-quality sleep can reduce your stress, improve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, enhance brain performance, promote weight loss, and encourage a fast metabolism. Just remember that probiotic supplements are more effective when you build healthy habits too. 

#4 Stronger immune health

People with a weakened immune system can take probiotics. This is because active strains replenish helpful bacteria that fight infections. You need a balanced gut microbiome in order to prevent serious sickness symptoms and other viruses that specifically target your stomach. 

A study found that probiotics could prevent COVID-19 when used alongside other medications. You’re constantly feeding the active gut bacteria to support immune cells. It’s true that immune cells interact with the intestinal tract, meaning what you consume is important.

You won’t be able to tell whether your immune system is strong until you encounter sickness or infection. Fast immune responses can fight off infections quickly without producing too many symptoms. Plus, those who take probiotic supplements may not get sick very often at all. 

#5 Improved skin health

Probiotics can actually replenish immune triggers in your skin. This stops skin cells from becoming inflamed or weak over time due to harsh soaps. The bacterial ecosystem in your body also prevents toxins from entering through the skin, which reduces the amount of cystic acne. 

Some people use probiotic serums or face washes to improve skin health. Bacteria in these products could give you a healthier appearance by eliminating dullness and fine lines. However, taking supplements can do exactly the same thing by boosting your gut microbiome. 

Research has shown that lactobacillus plantarum is best for skin cells. It has anti-inflammatory properties that enhance the antimicrobial functions of your body. You can find probiotics containing this active strain to stop common problems like acne and dryness. 

#6 Better mood

Studies demonstrate that probiotics have positive effects on your mental state. The gut-brain connection is a strong example of how poor gut health challenges someone’s mood. Those with gastrointestinal disorders may have depression and anxiety due to uncomfortable symptoms.

Probiotics also help you sleep throughout the night. Better sleep leads to uplifting mood changes that reduce signs of chronic stress. Remember that stress may cause constipation, so it’s important to take care of both your gut and mental health when using bacteria strains. 

#7 Improved memory and focus

There have been many claims that probiotics boost memory and focus. A study found that these supplements can stimulate your nervous system through the gut. Your unique microbiome can actually produce 95% of the body’s total serotonin just to prevent emotional distress.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in satisfaction, happiness, and optimism. You can take probiotics to improve serotonin production. Gaining more of this chemical messenger could help you focus and recount memories, especially if you’re studying important topics. 

#8 Reduced yeast infections

Probiotics can improve the symptoms of yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. Your gut and vaginal functions are connected, meaning bad gut flora could disrupt a natural pH balance. This is why you should maintain a healthy gut microbiome to prevent infections like BV and thrush. 

Research found that stress may cause yeast infections. Consuming probiotics will naturally improve your mood, meaning there’s no room for a disrupted pH. Lactobacillus acidophilus is the best strain you can take to improve vaginal health and keep unhealthy bacteria at bay. 

#9 More energy

Certain probiotics are great for people who suffer from fatigue. They fight off bad bacteria that slow down digestion, ruin your sleep, and drain the body’s energy. A healthy gut flora could refuel your energy levels throughout the day and improve chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms. 

Some dietary supplements can also boost nutrient absorption. This is a process that happens when your gut takes essential nutrients from foods you’ve eaten. Your body can easily use minerals like magnesium, carbohydrates, and fat to fuel hard-working organs and muscles. 

#10 Weight loss

A research study discovered that probiotics might support weight loss. There are active strains that boost your metabolic rate and encourage the body to burn more calories. Of course, the more calories you burn throughout the day, the more fat you will lose in stubborn areas. 

Just remember that these supplements won’t directly burn fat. You need to follow a healthy diet and exercise routine in order to reach your weight goals. Probiotics strengthen your digestive system to properly break down foods without adding to fat cell production. 

How Long Does It Take for Probiotics to Work?

People may see noticeable results in 1–3 weeks. This depends on their gut microbiome and resistance to certain strains. Remember that supplements won’t change your symptoms overnight or cause any dramatic effects in less than 24 hours of consumption. 

Supplements have three goals when it comes to improving gut health. These comprise increasing good gut bacteria, reducing harmful bacteria, and preventing inflammation. Since probiotic strains have to withstand stomach acid, their effectiveness may take a while. 

Getting rid of bad bacteria in your gut microbiome is a process. The probiotics have to overpower pathogens and stop them from growing stronger with time. Plus, supplements need to be taken consistently every day if you wish to gain a healthy gut and immune system. 

One dose of probiotics won’t fix your stomach problems quickly. Many people underestimate how powerful bad bacteria can be in the gut microbiome. In order to notice results in under 3 weeks, you have to consume active strains and probiotic-rich foods that support gut health.

Here are some reasons why your probiotics may not work effectively: 

  • They contain the wrong probiotic strain 
  • You aren’t following the correct dosages
  • Few colony-forming units 
  • Poor ingredients and capsule quality 
  • They haven’t been stored correctly 
  • Some may need refrigeration 

FAQs

Can probiotics cause bloating?

Yes, some people may experience bloating when taking probiotics. This is a common symptom that occurs due to gut bacteria fluctuations. There are certain supplements that may relieve bloating, but there’s nothing to be worried about if you get more excess gas and cramps.

How long does it take for probiotics to work for pH balance?

People usually notice significant benefits after 2–3 weeks of taking probiotics. The bacteria need time to settle in your gut and decrease pathogens. Signs of a healthy pH balance include better digestion, reduced stomach cramps, fewer yeast infections, and no serious constipation.

How long does acidophilus take to work?

You might see noticeable differences in 1–2 weeks of taking acidophilus supplements. This allows your digestive tract to absorb the important bacteria properly. Of course, everyone has a unique gut when it comes to taking probiotics, so you might feel changes in just a few days.

A Word From a Nutritionist

People who take a probiotic supplement won’t notice the effects right away. This is because the bacteria need to rebalance your gut microbiome by eliminating pathogens. Once this balance is restored again, you could experience better digestion and frequent bowel movements.

Doctors recommend people take probiotics containing at least 1 billion colony-forming units. This ensures you’re getting the best bacteria that boost your immune system. It’s also important to choose strains like lactobacillus, bifidobacterium, saccharomyces, or bacillus.

There are certain gut health hacks to follow while using probiotics. You can eat more fiber-rich foods, drink water regularly, practice slow eating, avoid too much sugar, and get enough sleep. Building these habits in your daily routine could make the probiotics even more effective.

Just remember to choose reputable supplements that contain high-quality strains. Probiotics are better when regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Of course, they don’t need approval before marketing products, but it’s essential to buy probiotics from a trusted brand.

Conclusion

There are many signs that show your probiotics are working. You might not notice them straight away, but remember, it takes time for supplements to balance gut bacteria. Some people gain health benefits after 1–2 weeks, depending on their digestive system and type of probiotic.

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: September 21, 2023
8 min read 1131 Views 0 Comments
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