5 Reasons Why Your Probiotic Didn’t Work For You
Probiotic supplements can transform your health. However, not all probiotics are alike. If you’ve ever tried probiotics and didn’t get the results you were hoping for, there are several likely reasons why you were disappointed.
1. The probiotic formula wasn’t the right match for your health goals.
Different strains of bacteria have different effects. If you were hoping for a mood lift, but took a formula that is known more for supporting the immune system, you may be disappointed in the results.
2. Your probiotic didn’t contain enough live cultures.
While the bacteria used in probiotic formulas start out alive, processing sometimes destroys a large percentage of them. The bacteria that are left alive aren’t great enough in number to make a difference. Some probiotics require refrigeration, and exposure to warmer temperatures can kill the live cultures.
3. The formula contains live cultures, but they don’t survive the high-acid environment of the stomach.
Most probiotics do their work in the small or large intestine. They need to pass through the stomach to reach their destination. Some encapsulation techniques don’t protect them well enough and they are destroyed by stomach acid. Look for probiotics that are formulated to withstand digestion and make it intact to the intestines.
4. The formula is not research-based.
To get the same results as clinical studies, a probiotic formula should match the study in the strains included, the strength (measured in colony forming units, or CFUs), and dosage. More CFUs of the wrong strains won’t give you the results you’re hoping for, nor will lower strengths of the right strains.
5. You didn’t take the probiotic consistently.
It takes at least ten days and up to two or more weeks for a probiotic culture to become established in your gut. Even then, unless you are hitting all the right marks in your lifestyle, the good bacteria population will need to be sustained by regular or daily use of probiotics.
The probiotic revolution has just begun, and researchers and consumers still have much to learn. As a consumer, know what your health goal is. Look for probiotic formulas that have shown positive outcomes in research studies. And then, for best results, use the probiotics according to label instructions.