How Long Does It Take for Probiotics to Work?

Probiotics have become a familiar term that we have heard of at least once. Maybe we have come across the name in some articles or seen it on the packaging of yogurt. But still, we do not know enough about it, why it is important, and how beneficial it can be for our health. So, let’s just start from the very beginning, what are probiotics? 

Probiotics are living microorganisms that improve numerous health conditions and provide several health benefits if consumed properly. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that can be taken as supplements and are even present in some foods that you probably eat often, such as kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and tempeh. 

Now that you are scared when you read ‘bacteria,’ let me inform you that our bodies are filled with harmless bacteria. Most of the bacteria which live in the gut area help our bodies to function properly. They are called good bacteria. You can even find best vegan probiotics supplements that are completely free from animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products.

So, probiotics are good bacteria that improve our whole immune system by improving the digestion and treating various health conditions. They also keep all the bad bacteria at bay so that your body can fight many diseases and get all the essential nutrients from whatever you eat. So, let’s now talk about how long it takes for probiotics to work. 

Tips for an Effective Probiotic Trial 

how do you know if probiotics are working

The probiotics industry is gradually becoming huge because people have started noticing the improvement of their well-being after taking probiotics. That’s why health-enthusiasts do not just consume probiotics; they are now very common amongst people across ages. 

When you are planning to begin a probiotic course, you will certainly be very eager to notice the benefits. But here is a thing, every individual’s body is different and works differently. So, your body can take a lot more time to show visible results than any other person. Some people notice a difference within some days, and, on the other hand, it can take even up to a month for others. So, you can expect a good result within 1-4 weeks. However, two exceptions do not follow the guidelines. They are –

1. Probiotics Treats Diarrhea

Studies show that probiotics treat acute Diarrhea within 1-3 days. Probiotics work on the intestinal tract, and therefore, your gut functions improve. 

Diarrhea happens when your intestine is overwhelmed by harmful bacteria or some viruses. Probiotics restore the good bacteria in your gut to fight off diarrhea. So, people experience fast results of probiotics when they face traveller’s diarrhea. 

Our gut has a community of microorganisms. They are called microbiota or gut flora. Gut flora is majorly filled with harmless bacteria. The large intestine or colon contains most of these good bacteria. Gut flora acts like an organ that performs essential metabolic activities. That’s why probiotics are very much helpful in resolving issues like diarrhoea, as they are a good source of beneficial bacteria. 

Diarrhea happens when your intestine is overwhelmed by harmful bacteria or some viruses. Probiotics restore the good bacteria in your gut to fight off diarrhoea. Try having it with a banana (Learn how banana is vegan with us) with which you will also be able to boost your immune system.

2. Dietary Triggers

If you are taking probiotics, you can be assured that it will help you identify the foods that trigger many symptoms in your body to remove them from your diet easily. If you are noticing some reactions in your body and wondering what is triggering those uncanny allergies, you should consider checking whatever you include in your diet. According to all the research done until now, it is proved that probiotic supplementation supports this process. 

As it is not an overnight process, it needs time to work. You may have to go through several trials to be assured. So, expect the result after a long-term course. Recognizing food items that do not suit you is very important because some foods can contribute to developing allergic reactions, even if they work well for others without causing any harm.

So, completely avoiding those foods is one thing you need to be very concerned about, and probiotics help you recognize those food items. Also, there is a possibility that you select the wrong version of the right food that may cause allergy. Like when you try fetching oyster mushroom, you need to identify right oyster mushrooms for better results.

How Does Probiotics Work?

How does Probiotic work in vegans

The probiotics’ action is not similar to most of the drugs that are meant to address the problems directly. The actual job of probiotics is maintaining a good balance in the body. This balance is linked with most of the functions of your body. If there seems to be an imbalance, that decreases your health condition, and you become sick. 

Probiotics decrease the number of pathogenic microorganisms in your body. When bad bacteria invade and flourish in your body, the number of bad bacteria surpasses the number of good bacteria in your body, and you fall sick. So, the balance gets disrupted. Now, good bacteria restore the bodily balance by destroying the bad bacteria. 

All the bacteria living mainly in your body’s intestinal tract become balanced because of the good bacteria. In this way, the inflammation calms, and the whole immune system gets restored and gets back to its proper balance.

This balance is responsible for your digestive health, energy level, strength, hormonal balance, cognition, skin, and hair even. That’s why probiotics take 1-4 weeks to start working. For better skin and hair, you must try out having vegan collagen supplements to give your body required proteins to have great skin and hair.

Why Probiotics Might Work Rapidly?

There is no definite time to answer the question, how long does it take for probiotics to start working. This is because probiotics work differently for every individual. But there lie some interesting reasons that enhance probiotics’ rapid work so this way, you can see the changes in your body quickly. These reasons are –

1. Efficient Absorption of Probiotics

One of the major reasons why probiotics might work rapidly is the efficient absorption of the good bacteria. If you are consuming a high-quality probiotic supplement, it will contain billions of good bacteria. Needless to say, that the number of bacteria in a good quality probiotic supplement will be higher than any average ones. So, this high amount of bacteria makes the supplement a great Colony Forming Unit (CFU), and it will also have a great format. 

This format allows bacteria to work in your stomach efficiently regardless of the acidic atmosphere of it. The supplement will have effective pharmacokinetics, which will ensure that the bacteria go and target the point where the actual problem is. This way, the gastrointestinal colonization takes place. This is how your body absorbs the probiotics very well; the problem goes away quickly.

2. Antioxidant Effect

The antioxidant effect also majorly contributes to the working of probiotics. All the levels are interconnected. Probiotics make the antioxidant response in your body easy and fast. Antioxidants make the free radicals go in a neutral position in your body. These free radicals are responsible for welcoming any sickness because they enhance cell damage. 

As the antioxidants destroy the power of free radicals, they get protection, and illness does not get quick access to your body. So, the antioxidant response caused by probiotics acts against the oxidative stress formed by free radicals. This is how cell repairing happens, and your body starts to feel better. You can also include capers in your diet for having additional antioxidant effect on your body. You can understand the taste of capers and in what all ways you can add it to your diet with us.

3. Immune Modulation & Inflammation Suppression

If your gut is introduced to billions of good bacteria, the positive effect of these bacteria stimulates your immune system’s improvement. And this will happen fast. Probiotics enhance the natural homeostatic immune defenses, which improves the overall function of your gut. This immune defense eradicates the harmful allergic diseases by calming inflammation and removing the infections. 

Our bodies are packed with immune cells. 70% of these cells live in our gut. Probiotics provide us many health benefits through various action mechanisms. These mechanisms also include the refinement of the immune response in our gut, which is linked with lymphoid tissue – as discussed by the NCBI

The probiotic supplementation decreases the concentration of the inflammatory cytokines. This shows an immediate effect on neurotransmitter production. That’s why, after ingestion, immediately, a person would clearly feel the effect of the supplementation. 

4. Quickly Alters PNS & CNS Activation

Our brain is very much connected to our gut. So, any changes in the gut immediately draw an effect in our brain. So, when we take probiotics, the good bacteria get into our gut. Therefore, it changes the microbiota of gut flora.

This change further modifies the activity of our central and peripheral nervous systems. The Enteric Nervous System (ENS) gets into an interaction with the good bacteria in our gut, and this whole process chiefly administrates whatever function our gastrointestinal tract performs. 

Also, autoimmune diseases of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and central nervous system (CNS) are highly connected with microbiota. So, having good bacteria in your gut will quickly alter the activation of PNS and CNS. 

5. Placebo Effect

The placebo effect is nothing less than truth. It is scientifically proven that whenever you are going through a course of supplementation if you believe that it will work, it works actually. 

The same thing happens with Probiotic Supplementation. You are very eager to see the results. And you are putting your total faith on the supplement and trusting that it will work in your body. Eventually, you will start to notice positive changes. 

Because of this placebo effect, many people consciously witness the results in much less time than the people who do not believe in it. The thoughts our minds produce is much more powerful than you think. And only that explains the placebo effect, which causes the beneficial effects of probiotics much faster for some people. 

Why Probiotics Might be Working Slow

how long does it take for probiotics to start working

The working of probiotics depends on the status of the microbiota. If your body is going through severe ailments, it will take longer for probiotics to work like dysbiosis. And since every individual’s body acts differently, you cannot expect beneficial probiotics results in a similar time frame like another person. However, besides this, some factors can be used as the reasons why Probiotics might be working slow for you. These are talked about below. 

1. Low-Quality Probiotics

Every supplement has a low-quality version of it like you get for BCAA supplement. You must look for a better-quality product for your vegan diet. You can check these best vegan BCAA supplements for getting qualitative results. These low-quality probiotics are widely available in the market; actually, they dominate the market. These are ineffective and are also linked to causing many side effects. 

If you are taking the regular proper dosage of a probiotic supplement for a month and not able to see any result, it is certainly due to the low quality of the supplement. A low-quality probiotic supplement doesn’t have a great number of good bacteria, so it cannot perform well in your body. 

Also, suppose you notice side effects like headache, excessive bloating, anxiety, or diarrhoea, which only occur when you are consuming that supplement and go away when you don’t. In that case, it is surely the fault of the low-quality probiotic. Before buying a probiotic supplement, you should check if the supplement has gone through Clinical Testing, the product’s CFU count has Additives, GMOs and Fillers, Refrigeration and the Expiration Date, and Multiple Strains. 

2. Substance Use

Most of the over-the-counter antibiotics can do great harm to the good bacteria in your gut, so your microbiota loses the proper balance. That’s why probiotics can take much longer to work on your body. 

Substance abuse is also greatly related to the functioning of your gut flora. It alters the microbiome in a significant way. If any person has an addiction to a substance, for example, cocaine, it causes serious damage to the microbiome. In this situation, no matter how good your probiotic supplement is, it is going to take a long period with proper dosage to bring back the right balance in your gut. Some studies show that a good probiotic supplement can help to get rid of addictions too. 

3. Probiotic Onset of Action (Other Variables)

Other factors could draw a great impact on the action of probiotics. These other variables can be environmental factors, health issues, genetics, and much more. 

Environmental Factors – Environmental factors can make the action of probiotics slower than usual. Like, if you are exposed to higher levels of pollution, it may cause free radicals to enter your body faster and in great numbers. So, the probiotic supplement might work slower for you. 

Body Fat or Genetics – Genetics can make the supplement work slower. And you cannot do anything about it.  Also, excessive body fat hinders the supplement action. So, you need to keep in mind your body acts differently than others. 

Health Issues – If you have certain medical issues that are serious, it could impact on the probiotic onset action. Because, in some medical conditions, bringing back the right balance in the gut area is a time-consuming task. 

4. Diet and Exercise

Diet and exercise are necessary for everyone out there. Your diet is responsible for the nutrients your body should get. And exercise is essential to stay fit, for strength and muscle growth. 

If you are following a proper diet and an exercise routine, Probiotics will work efficiently on you, and you will see great results in some days. If your diet is full of processed foods, junks, and antibiotics, it will draw a negative impact on your body and harm the functioning of the probiotic supplement. 

Exercise has a good beneficial impression on your gut. So, you need to go through a proper diet and exercise to increase the effect of Probiotic Supplementation (Source). 

How to Know if a Probiotic Works for You

The probiotic supplement works fine with many medical issues. But ‘how fast do Probiotics work’ doesn’t have a concrete answer. It can vary depending on various reasons. But, to confirm the action, there are two things you should keep in mind. They are –

1. Select a High-Quality Probiotic Supplement

Many of the probiotic supplements available in the market are not effective. These ineffective supplements would not work well no matter how much you wait and how proper your diet and exercise routine are. There remain two major causes behind the ineffectiveness of probiotic supplements are – 

  • Having dangerous organisms which can potentially cause harm and can be the cause of side effects. 
  • Not doing what the label is claiming. 

Some research shows different aspects of Probiotics. Such as, 

This study was done on 26 commercial Probiotic Supplements, and it revealed that not a single one supported its label claims fully. Also, many contained harmful microorganisms too. (Source)

Another study proved that 43% of probiotics which were accessed didn’t have even half the amount of good bacteria as the label promised.

2. Get It Right in One Go

Most people buy a probiotic supplement out of excitement without proper guidance about how long probiotics should be taken, and which strains of probiotics are actually needed for them. 

Because of this lack of knowledge, people keep continuing and discontinuing Probiotic Supplement and keep on trying various brands whichever they find to be good. 

But, not taking a high-quality probiotic supplement with proper dosage and expecting great results, these two things go in opposite directions. It might be a total waste of money, time, and energy. So, invest much-needed time researching high-quality Probiotic Supplement and getting the right guidance before buying anything. 

What to Do if Probiotics Aren’t Working

how long does it take for probiotics to work for diarrhea

There will be definite signs if Probiotics are working. If you are taking a high-quality probiotic for 3-4 weeks and still do not see any changes, you need not go for another supplement. 

Some people can have a great imbalance in their bodies, which demands more than Probiotics as a treatment. Some types of herbs for antibacterial treatment or antibiotics might work in these situations. 

So, if your body has this type of imbalance going on, Probiotics might not fully treat it, but you can be assured that they have at least laid a vital foundation, which is essential for the recovery because many studies show that antibacterial treatment has become much more effective by probiotics. So, you can always start using a high-quality probiotic supplement without much hesitation and go for further treatment if it is needed. 

How long does it take for probiotics to work for diarrhoea? – Probiotics take 1-3 days to work on diarrhoea. 

How long should you take probiotics? – Probiotics should be taken as often as your doctor has told you to or the product’s guidelines.

Conclusion

Probiotics can be a life-saver, so consider including them in your everyday routine. You can also include foods in your diet which are rich in Probiotics. But you need to always keep in mind that buying a good quality probiotic supplement is the most important step. Check the label thoroughly and look at the instructions, ingredients, use of additives or fillers, and expiration date. Invest much time researching the ingredients or consult with your doctor before starting to take them.

Tully Zander

My life literally revolves around optimum health and sustainable living by being a devotional vegan. My mission is to create a community of like minded vegans to go forth in creating a better and brighter world for humans, animals and the planet. Just like Gandhi once said: “The greatness of a nation and it’s moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Gandhi

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