Taking probiotics to support good gut health continues to be popular—and for good reason! Helping your gut (digestive tract) stay happy and healthy can in turn support your overall vitality and well-being. Your gut is so full of nerve endings that it’s sometimes called your “second brain.” It’s also believed that 70% of the body’s immune response is in the gut. So, how can you find the best probiotics for gut health and when should you take them? Here’s the inside story!
What is a Probiotic?
A probiotic is a specific kind of good bacteria consumed to support digestive health. You can get added or natural probiotics in cultured foods such as yogurt, kombucha, or kimchi. However, food probiotics usually don’t provide specific amounts of microorganisms for specific health benefits. For a more reliable and regular source of good bacteria, you can turn to a probiotic supplement.
Why Take a Probiotic Supplement?
Your overall health is powerfully linked to the activity of beneficial microorganisms that live in your digestive tract or gut. The trillions of bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms in the gut and throughout the body make up our “microbiome.” The health and balance of our microbiome is integral to our overall health. A reliable probiotic supplement can provide studied microflora (beneficial bacteria) to help balance this active inner community.
Some probiotic supplements seem to follow the adage of “more is more.” If you read labels, watch for products that include billions upon billions of probiotic CFUs (colony forming units) and a laundry list of strains. The truth is, more is not necessarily better when it comes to probiotics! You want the right strain or strains delivered in amounts that are known to actually work. Check labels to see if the strains are numbered, too, as this indicates matched identity and excellent quality.
So, what are probiotics good for exactly? Many probiotic supplements are formulated to support digestive and gastrointestinal (GI) health.* Some probiotics have other science-backed benefits such as vaginal and urinary tract health, healthy weight management, and immune support.* If you’re curious which probiotic to take for the benefits you want, check with your healthcare professional about the best probiotic for you.
What is the Best Time to Take Probiotics?
Say you’ve picked the perfect high-quality probiotic supplement from a brand you trust. Now what? When should you take it, and what can you expect to feel?
There are several factors to consider if you’re wondering when to take probiotics. There is not one specific time of day that’s considered best. Rather, if you have decided to invest in your microbiome with probiotic power, consistency is key .
Should I Take a Probiotic on an Empty Stomach?
Probiotics can be taken with or without a meal. This can make them super-easy to add to your day–take them whenever works best for you! For more details about the specific product, be sure to check the “Suggested Use” on the label. New Chapter® probiotic supplements are formulated to be taken any time of day, even on an empty stomach.
Should You Take a Probiotic Every Day?
The key to having probiotics do the job you want them to do is to take them consistently. Plan to take your probiotic supplement every day, and also try to take it at approximately the same time each day. Choose the time that works best for your routine, and then try to really stick to it. This can allow the probiotic flora to work together with your personal population of microorganisms and make a difference over time.
How Long Do Probiotics Take to Work?
Every person is different, and every microbiome is unique. This means the time it takes to notice a benefit from probiotics replenishing the gut and microbiome will vary from person to person. Keep in mind that the microbiome is influenced by many factors besides your probiotic supplement. These factors can include what you’re eating, medications you take, and even stress. It takes time to make changes in the gut microbiome, and this is exactly the reason that consistency is so important.
Can You Take Probiotics with Other Supplements?
Probiotics can be a nice addition to your well-rounded supplement regimen. For example, you can choose to take a multivitamin for foundational health, fish oil for heart benefits, plant calcium for bone strength, and add probiotics to nourish your digestive tract. In fact, balancing digestive health enhances your ability to absorb nutrients in general. If you have questions about building the personal supplement regimen that is just right for you, ask your healthcare professional for help.
How to Find the Right Probiotic for You
Having a healthy, happy gut can feel great—and New Chapter has excellent-quality probiotic options for you to choose from! To give your gut well-rounded support, ALL of our probiotics are formulated with prebiotics. What’s the deal with prebiotics vs probiotics? While probiotics are the microorganisms that help replenish your microbiome, prebiotics are like added fuel that help your good gut flora to survive and prosper. We believe prebiotic nourishment is an essential part of a successful probiotic regimen. It’s all part of wellness, well done!