Adding a probiotic to your morning or nightly routine, whether with a delicious cup of yogurt, an easy-to-swallow probiotic capsule, may help to reinforce your gut health and aid digestion. And a well-balanced gut of good bacteria is the foundation of full-body wellbeing. Knowing what are probiotic foods will give you plenty of choices to incorporate into your daily routine.
To that end, we’ve crafted a guide to help you stay in tune with your body and keep your gut happy and healthy.
What Do Probiotics Do For Your Body?
Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts cofer a health benefit on the host. Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.8 Probiotics are believed to play an important role in:
- Digesting your food (help your body use vitamins)
- Fighting infection
- Produce compounds that reduce inflammation
All of these factors work together to help your digestive system hum along efficiently. Probiotics can also help to maintain a balance of good-for-you live bacteria within your body. And, as you know, when your gut is balanced, the rest of your body feels better, too.
This is why many people add a probiotic supplement, such as Bio-K+® Probiotics to their healthy lifestyle. A regular probiotic regimen can help diversify and support the maintenance of your gut microbiota. Plus, knowing the best time to take probiotics 9 will help you see the benefits faster.
Here are six signs probiotics are working.
#1 You Can Concentrate Better
Did you know that your brain and gut are connected? When your gut is in balance, your brain functions may be better. A study in the Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences found that rats provided with probiotic supplements demonstrated improvement in:1
- Cognitive function
- Increased relaxation
- Nutrient absorption
The rats that were given probiotics were better able to use the nutrients from their food, leading to better cognitive functioning. While the impact on humans is still being studied, the findings for rats are hopeful.
#2 You’re Experiencing an Elevated Mood
Have you ever felt like your body was just off? Maybe your stomach hurt or you were having trouble resting comfortably. If you have, then you know it can be tough to maintain a sunny outlook when you’re feeling poorly.
Gut microbiota imbalance may also contribute to poor mental health.2 Luckily, a probiotic may help. Some probiotics help balance your gut microbiota, leading to better use of specific vitamins, including K and B-12.3
These two vitamins have a proven impact on your mood, and low levels can be linked to depression and a poor outlook on life. This is often because low levels of key vitamins and minerals are markers of a poor diet. As such, ensuring your diet has plenty of vitamins and minerals and fortifying it with a probiotic may lead to powerful mood enhancement.
#3 You Feel Calmer and Less Anxious
If you’ve ever been overcome by stress or been dragged down by feelings of nervousness, you’re not alone. As mentioned, your gut and brain are interconnected. As such, your gut balance health may affect your mental health.
While research is ongoing, some studies indicate that:4
- Improved gut microbiota balance can be linked to fewer feelings of anxiety
- Probiotics might contribute to an elevated mood, warding off depression
#4 Your Digestive System Is Working More Efficiently
One of the clearest indications that probiotics are working is improved digestive function. If you’ve been taking your probiotic supplements regularly, you might find that you have:5
- Regular bowel movement – The introduction of specific probiotics into your routine might help regulate your bowel movement. Some probiotics might help with relieving constipation. Another area in which probiotics may help ease antibiotic-related diarrhea.
- Less gas and bloating – Painful bloating and unrelenting gas are two of the more uncomfortable symptoms related to an unbalanced gut. Some probiotics may ease some of the discomforts by helping to get your body back in balance.
- Smoother digestion – A balanced gut microbiota can digest food more efficiently and effectively. This ensures less discomfort and better delivery of nutrients to where they’re needed in your body.
Those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome might also find relief when they incorporate studied probiotics and make healthy lifestyle choices.
#5 You’re Body Is Staying Healthy
Probiotics may also play a critical role in fighting off bad bacteria and other unwanted invaders.6 Taking probiotic supplements and eating probiotic-rich foods might modulate immune fuctions better to keep you safe and healthy.
Probiotics may also decrease your susceptibility to infections and modulate immune system if you do get sick.
#6 You’re Sleeping Better
Good sleep—it could indicate that your probiotics are working properly and it’s a top marker of good overall health and wellness.7 Poor sleep is linked to:
- Increased risk of chronic diseases
- More infections
- Poor concentration
- Lower energy levels
- Increased risk of depression and other mental health issues
In contrast, when your body gets enough rest, it’s better able to fight off infections, your mood is improved, and you can concentrate on the tasks you need to accomplish. Your body functions, like digestion, also start working well to help your body intake the nutrients it needs.109
How Long Does it Take Probiotics to Work?
The first step to knowing how to tell if probiotics are working is to be patient. You have to give them enough time to take effect. However, the exact length of time it may take to feel the effect of a probiotic supplement varies depending on several factors, including:8
- The type of probiotic you use
- The dosage you take
- What do you use it for
All of those factors contribute to a wait time of anywhere between a few days to 12 weeks before you see results.
How Can You Tell If Your Probiotic Isn’t Working?
If you don’t feel like your probiotics are having the desired effect, the first thing to consider is if you’ve given them enough time to take effect. If you’ve been using probiotics for the recommended length of time for your condition, there might be other problems with the product, such as:
- You’re using the wrong probiotic strain for your situation
- The product isn’t high-quality
- Your probiotics weren’t stored in the right conditions
- You aren’t taking the correct dose
Any of these factors can lessen the effectiveness of your probiotic product.
Signs You Should See Your Healthcare Professional
Sometimes we confuse more benign symptoms with those that might be more serious. If you’ve been taking probiotics for the recommended length of time and are still suffering from the following, you should visit your medical professional:
- Lasting stomach pain and discomfort – Many people take probiotics to balance their gut health and find relief from stomach discomfort. However, persistent pain, gas, bloating, and indigestion can be symptoms of a more serious illness.
- Infections that don’t go away – If you’ve been constantly under the weather and can’t seem to shake your feelings of fatigue or other symptoms, your body may be trying to tell you that something is wrong.
- Unexplained weight loss – Weight loss without changes to your diet or activity level might be a sign that something is off with your health. Unexpected weight loss can also indicate another lurking problem that should be checked out by a Physcian.
- Continuous poor sleep – Extended periods of poor sleep can wreak havoc on your overall health and wellness. If you’re having trouble settling in every night and nothing you’ve tried seems to work, you may want to consult your physician. They can help you get your sleep back on track.
- Persistent feelings of stress and anxiety – Chronic anxiety and stress can lead to high blood pressure, coronary problems, poor sleep, and more. Many people need assistance to help control stress and anxiety to get their health and wellness on track.
Balance Your Gut with Bio-K+®
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help keep your digestive system healthy and balanced. When your digestive system isn’t functioning optimally, it can throw off the rest of your body’s systems.
Luckily, a probiotic a day could help to improve your overall wellbeing, which can be seen through improved concentration, moods, stress responses, and digestion.
Are you ready to make friends with these little probiotic bacteria? If so, begin your friendship with Bio-K+®. Our premium probiotic products are designed to promote digestive and immune health.
- Hadizadeh, M., Hamidi, G. A., & Salami, M. (2019, May). Probiotic supplementation improves the cognitive function and the anxiety-like behaviors in the stressed rats. Iranian journal of basic medical sciences. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6556499/
- The brain-gut connection. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2022, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-brain-gut-connection
- Mörkl, S., Butler, M. I., Holl, A., Cryan, J. F., & Dinan, T. G. (2020, June 5). Probiotics and the microbiota-gut-brain axis: Focus on psychiatry - current nutrition reports. SpringerLink. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13668-020-00313-5
- Butler, M. I. (n.d.). The gut microbiome and mental health: What should we tell our patients? Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31530002/
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Probiotics: What you need to know. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics-what-you-need-to-know
- WS;, R. M. G. G. (n.d.). Gut microbiota, metabolites and host immunity. Nature reviews. Immunology. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27231050/
- Sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation - Better Health Channel. (n.d.). Retrieved March 29, 2022, from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/sleep-deprivation
- Sniffen, J. C., McFarland, L. V., Evans, C. T., & Goldstein, E. J. C. (2018, December 26). Choosing an appropriate probiotic product for your patient: An evidence-based practical guide. PloS one. Retrieved March 30, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6306248/
- Hill et al. 2014. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic. Nature reviews gastroenterology and hepatology. 11, pages506–514
- Vernia F, Di Ruscio M, Ciccone A, et al. Sleep disorders related to nutrition and digestive diseases: a neglected clinical condition. Int J Med Sci. 2021;18(3):593-603. Published 2021 Jan 1. https://doi:10.7150/ijms.45512