Probiotics are all the rage in the health world nowadays. With all the hype around probiotics, the questions that remain to be solved include, how long do probiotics stick around in the system? Do they permanently change the gut microbiome? And, most importantly, how do you ensure the microbiome’s longevity?
How long do probiotics dwell in your gut?
Probiotics will not hang around in your system forever. These good bugs will settle and do housekeeping in your gut only for 1-3 weeks.
However, some might stay slightly longer depending on several factors.
Factors influencing the length of time probiotics stay in your system
- The type of probiotic supplement you have taken
Most probiotic strains will have left your system within three weeks of discontinuation. However, some probiotics remain in your gut longer. For instance, bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium tend to stay in your digestive tract longer than others.
As the viability of your probiotic bacteria decreases over time, you have to provide a consistent supply of probiotics in an adequate dose.
- How often is taken
For most probiotic supplements, a daily dose is sufficient to aid in the maintenance of a healthy gut microbiome. However, the frequency of intake will vary depending on the specific supplement, its strength, and the gut microbiome of each individual.
- Other medications you have been taking
Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria but they can’t distinguish between good and bad ones. They can wreak havoc on your friendly gut bacteria. It is why you require probiotics to replenish your gut flora after a round of antibiotics.
“To put it simply, probiotics would only be in your gut for as long as you keep taking them. Hence, it is imperative to take them daily until you achieve the desired health benefits. And it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider before quelling them.”
Can probiotics leave permanent changes in the gut microbiome?
The gut microbiome is a dynamic and complex system influenced by various factors such as diet, lifestyle, and medications.
Although probiotics can restore the balance in the gut microbiome by increasing the abundance of beneficial bacteria, these changes are not permanent and unlikely to persist after discontinuing probiotic supplementation.
So, will I always have to take probiotics?
You do not necessarily need to take probiotics for the long term. It depends on the reason why you started taking them.
In some cases, probiotics may be recommended for a short-term period, such as after a course of antibiotics or during an episode of gastrointestinal illness. However, if you experience ongoing digestive issues or have been diagnosed with a specific condition that can benefit from probiotics, you may need to take them longer.
How do you keep your microbiome flourishing?
Achieving optimal gut health can be quite a puzzle to solve. While probiotics might seem like a magical solution, they are just one piece of the puzzle in maintaining a well-balanced gut.
Nourishing your body with an array of colorful plant-based foods, indulging in fermented treats, hydrating with plenty of water, catching some quality sleep, staying active, and managing stress are all excellent ways to bolster your gut health.
Therefore, assist your good buddies(probiotics) by making lifestyle choices that support gut health. This way, you will not only experience relief from current symptoms but also be less likely to experience a relapse once you have finished your probiotic treatment.