Probiotics: how long after taking lactic ferments do they take effect?

Probiotics work differently depending on various factors, the most important of which is to take the right strain in the correct doses

Probiotics work differently depending on various factors, the most important of which is to take the right strain in the correct doses

When, to support our intestinal bacterial flora, we decide to take probiotics perhaps because we have some ailment to treat, we hope they will take effect as soon as possible. But how long does it really take for lactic ferments to start working?

Those who want to relieve intestinal bloating, promote healthy digestion, or overcome other types of gastro-intestinal problems are often advised to take a probiotic supplement. But when this remedy actually works depends on several factors.

First of all you need to choose the most suitable type of probiotic, there are really many different ones on the market (a doctor or a pharmacist can advise you best). So much also depends on the reaction of each individual person and on the type of problem to be solved, more or less serious and more or less rooted in time.

Finally, it is also important to evaluate the right dose of supplement to take (always consulting a doctor). In fact, probiotics are live microbes (yeasts or bacteria) that provide health benefits when taken in the right quantities.

Le doses of probiotics are listed as colony forming units (CFUs), which indicates the number of live strains in each dose. Different brands will have different doses and suggested uses, so it's important to have all the information and know how to evaluate it to choose the best product for your needs.

Research from a year ago found that the type of microbial strain, health condition, product formulation, dose and quality are all important factors in the effectiveness of probiotics.

As we've already mentioned, the condition or symptom you want to treat can affect how the probiotic works and when you will see results. Anyone taking a probiotic to improve general bowel function or immune health will have to wait some time to see results. Conversely, those who take a probiotic to relieve diarrhea often get quick results.

In general, however, probiotics do have some impact within two weeks of taking it with maximum benefits after about a month.  

If probiotics don't work

If you do not get the desired results with the probiotics you are taking, you need to consider the following possibilities:

  • The dose is incorrect (too few credits)
  • They are not assuming correctly: read the label and follow the product directions on how to take it
  • It's the wrong strainnot all of them work for every symptom
  • The quality of the product is poor: One of the biggest challenges with probiotics is their fragile nature, they have to survive the production, storage and stomach acid process to be effective in the gut
  • They have been stored improperly: humidity, heat and light can negatively affect probiotics. Some may need to be refrigerated. 

Are probiotics and lactic ferments the same thing?

Although they are generally used as synonyms, in reality probiotics and lactic ferments are not exactly the same thing. In fact, probiotics are a specific category of lactic ferments that have a series of beneficial effects on the human body.

Generally speaking of lactic ferments we refer to lactic bacteria of various kinds, or microorganisms that are able to metabolize lactose (these are found for example in yogurt and fermented milk).

However, there are non-probiotic lactic ferments that have no beneficial effect on the intestinal microbiome since they do not survive the passage in the stomach and consequently cannot have the same action as probiotics that instead arrive in the intestine intact and alive (and in a certain number well accurate).

Therefore lactic ferments and probiotics can be considered synonyms only if we refer to "probiotic lactic ferments".

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  • Probiotics and 'lactic ferments': are they really useful? What about antibiotics?
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