This Is How Often You Should Be Taking A Probiotic

Probiotics are an essential part of the gut health industry. Touting benefits such as improved digestion, mood and skin health, probiotics have quickly become a mainstay in medicine cabinets across the country. But, since research on these supplements is still relatively new, it's unclear how often you should ingest these microscopic bacteria. According to Insider, the frequency at which you should take your probiotics is relative to your body. 

For instance, if you're eating a healthy, diverse diet high in nutrients and minerals, you likely don't need to take your supplement every day. However, when you've been eating out a lot or lacking high-fiber foods, you may need to up your intake for the time being. Indeed, at the moment, there isn't an official dosage recommendation because "not all probiotics are the same and there isn't yet consensus on how much or how often probiotics should be consumed from diet or supplements," Ashley Gilmore, MD, a gastroenterologist explains to the outlet.

"The dose needed for probiotics varies greatly depending on the strain and product," the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) explains in its guidelines on probiotics and prebiotics. "Although many over-the-counter products deliver in the range of 1-10 billion CFU/dose, some products have been shown to be efficacious at lower levels, while some require substantially more."

Probiotics may take time to work

Since probiotics are relatively new to the market, dosages and other factors are still yet to be determined. Healthline explains that the dosage, type of probiotic and the strain can all impact the effectiveness of your supplement; each of these can impact how frequently you should be taking them as well. Various strains work for different symptoms — it's important to make sure you've found the right one before experimenting with ingesting them every day.

At the moment, some researchers believe that people respond differently to probiotics, making it difficult to pinpoint the amount you should take. However, it's best to discuss your plan of action with your doctor "if you are considering starting a probiotic to treat a specific illness, have a chronic disease or if you are immunosuppressed," Dr. Gilmore tells Insider.

Once you find a high-quality probiotic that's made for your symptoms, check the label on your bottle to see what dosage it suggests. From here, take note of how your stomach has been feeling and note if it could use some support. Play around with taking your supplement a few times a week, then try every other day if you've been responding well. Remember, it's relative to you and your unique anatomy.