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Should Probiotics Be Taken With Food?

Question:
Is it best to take probiotic supplements with or without food? It seems like everyone has a different recommendation.

Answer:
Some evidence suggests that when you are using a non-enterically coated probiotic, it may be best to take it shortly before or during a meal. For more details, as well as information about using enterically-coated versus non-enterically coated probiotics, see the Probiotic Supplements Review >>

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COMMENTS

teddy bonchel215   October 9, 2014
Frank, Please check the Probiotic named Florassist by Life Extension Foundation http://www.lef.org/vitamins-supplements/item01825/florassist
they are explaining in details about their "dual encapsulation" technology to combat the shortcomings of many commercial probiotics, delivering unprecedented amounts of live bacterial colonies to where your body needs them. and what it means to the effectivenes of the product.

Nancy202   October 6, 2014
Probiotics "in a bottle" are bacteria that can grow well enough that they can be processed and mass marketed. OK if it is the good old food bacteria that ferment kefir and yogurts and cabbage, that have been around thousands of years. If the claim to be one of the new ones found to be protective, I would be cautious. The healthiest of our normal gut bacteria are almost impossible to grow in culture, much less be able to market on a mass level. Maybe better to eat dirt.
Pre-biotics, or the food that nurtures the good bacteria, that's the way to go. Um, less sugar, more vegies and berries, real grapes, dark chocolate that I can taste, olives and olive oil.........

Raymond11310   September 28, 2016
Actually, the Probiotic my wife takes used to list "dirt" as an ingredient, but it now says Silica.

Kev118   August 27, 2014
I get my probiotics from Custom Probiotics (online) - best I've ever used. I use the bulk form, which I take first thing on waking, along with 2 to 3 quick cups of warmed green tea-- to swish it through. I wait 30 - 40 minutes before having anything else. I know this has been successful; the results have been truly remarkable.

Then, ....I take all my antimicrobials (like A.D.P., a non-burping oregano) and garlic, etc., with my evening meal, so that they won't "attack" the probiotics. I don't know whether they do, or not, but believe this cautious approach enhances and balances both gastro-support needs.

;LAWRENCE115   August 25, 2014
Probiotics are bacteria that don't survive in a strong acid environment. In the fasting state, there is not much gastric acid. When we eat, the food/drink can stimulate the stomach to make acid. The consumed food/drink can buffer the acid that is produced. At two hours after a meal the acid level is at its peak.

Some probiotics have a capsule that is acid resistant that helps to prevent the acid from getting to the bacteria while the probiotic is in the stomach. This theoretically means it is ok to take the probiotic anytime of the day.

Bottom line: It is best to take a probiotic before breakfast or with the meal.

I am Dr. Hoberman. I am a gastroenterologist and developed a probiotic called EndoMune in 2007.

Frank113   August 25, 2014
The question of whether to take supplements (vitamins) with or without food remains. I am not sure the probiotics explanation answers this question. How in the world would one know if their vitamins were coated with some kind of protection from stomach acid. Can anyone answer this?

Kev128   August 31, 2014
Frank, Sorry no one has responded to your question about enteric coatings. This would very likely be stated on any label, since it can be marketed as a cost worthy "selling" point-- indicating a unique manufacturing process, which is then calculated into the price we pay for the item. Here's a link to an article on this website, which thoroughly discusses different aspects of enteric coatings.

https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/Are+enterically+coated+supplements+better+than+non%2Denterically+coated+ones%3F/enteric%5Fcoated%5Fsupplments/

Randolph112   August 25, 2014
I as well as a legion of people believe the probiotic in KEFIR is the most complete way to reforest your gut. Not only does it have the fullest range of probiotics but beneficial yeasts as well.

Noaa121   August 28, 2014
Question - lets say you take probiotics for 1-2 months can you stop taking it after that? Meaning, you increased your positive bacteria in the stomach enough to allow you to stop taking the supplement or will they disappear 1-2 days after you stop taking it?

ConsumerLab.com   August 31, 2014
Interesting question! We've now addressed this in a new CL Answer, which can be found here: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/_/how_long_to_take/

Ruth126   August 31, 2014
I drink water kefir every day. Can you drink to much of it? I always wondered about that.
Thanks

Andrew157   September 14, 2014
Kefir is a very healthy product - lots of beneficial bacteria plus protein, calcium and other nutrients and generally low fat. It has been consumed for hundreds of years with no reported adverse effects no matter how much is consumed. This makes sense because there are no ingredients in kefir or yogurt for that matter that has, for any practical purposes, a toxic dose level unless you are allergic to something in kefir.


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This CL Answer initially posted on 8/23/2014. Last updated 8/8/2017.
ConsumerLab.com members may submit questions to CLAnswers@ConsumerLab.com. We read all questions and try to answer those of popular interest.

 
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