Wondering if you can you take multiple probiotics? Here are the details on whether or not you can mix probiotics.
I recently surveyed my readers, asking everyone their biggest questions about probiotics. What you all most wanted to know: Can you take multiple probiotics at once? So here I am, to address your curiosity!
How do you choose a good probiotic?
There’s a lot to consider when choosing an over-the-counter (OTC) probiotic. Here, we’re going to chat about some of the most confusing—but ultimately, the most helpful—details about probiotics.
Ready? Take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee if you’d like, and read on. I’m going to make this as easy to understand as I can.
When shopping for probiotics, you’re likely to read a lot of package labels. You might see a lot of small print on the back of the package.
This is a good thing, as a probiotic supplement listing the genus, species, and strain of the probiotics contained within a probiotic supplement is one of the clear signs you’re looking at a reputable product. As a healthcare professional, I talk about this a lot.
The genus, species, and strain are simply the ways that probiotics are identified.
Why you’d want to take multiple probiotics
When you hear about probiotics and their potential health benefits, you likely hear about many marvelous things.
These might include digestive health benefits, immune system health benefits—and even vaginal health benefits from particular strains of bacteria. It’s even possible to get stress, mood, and men’s health benefits from probiotics and prebiotics.
And of course, some dietary supplements contain multiple strains of probiotics. But what if you want those everyday probiotic benefits as well as other probiotic perks for stress, mood, and more? That’s what I’m addressing here today.
Can you take multiple probiotics?
The short answer to this question: Yes, you can!
Are you relieved? I touched base with Wendy Dahl, PhD, associate professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Florida (my alma mater!).
“For many intended health benefits, probiotics are strain specific,” she says. “For instance, not all probiotics work for a specific outcome. So more than one probiotic may be needed to achieve more than one health benefits.”
Feeling overwhelmed with all the beneficial bacteria choices out there? You’re not alone.
When it comes to selecting the best probiotics for digestive health, immune health, and more, there are oodles and oodles of choices out there that can help human health.
Which probiotics are best?
One important concept I want to nail home is that when it comes to probiotics (and nutrition, in general!), there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all supplement.
This is the reason why so many different options exist. Just as you are unique, so are your probiotic needs!
Here are a few probiotics products that offer specific benefits from different strains of probiotics:
Best for Overall Health: Fortify Daily Probiotic 30 Billion
This contains 11 probiotic strains, as well as prebiotics, all clinically studied to help promote digestive balance and a healthy immune response—and to help prevent occasional gas, bloating, and constipation.
In a study in Arquivos de Gastroenterologia, a small group of constipated women found that consuming the probiotic daily helped relieve symptoms.
In another small study, Bifidobacterium lactis/bifidum Bb-02 were found to benefit digestive health. In the research in Clinical Infectious Diseases, consuming this probiotic was found to help boost both the size and diversity of protective bacteria found in stool.
Bifidobacterium lactis HN01 is yet another beneficial probiotic strain found in the supplement. It helps promote regularity, overall digestive function, and immune health.
As well, research in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology looked at daily supplementation with Bifidobacterium lactis HN019.
They found that this helped shorten whole gut transit time, which the amount of time it takes for food to travel through your digestive system, as well as frequency of gastrointestinal symptoms.
That’s pretty awesome news!
Best for gut health: Now Probiotic-10 50 Billion Veg Capsules
Let’s talk about probiotics for gut health! NOW Probiotic-10 50 Billion Veg Capsules specifically benefit intestinal flora. The probiotic contains 10 probiotic strains that specifically benefit gastrointestinal health and that naturally colonize the GI tract.
These probiotics specifically help with digestion, maintaining the integrity of the intestinal lining, and support gut motility.
Best for taking with antibiotics: Jarrow Saccharomyces Boulardii Plus MOS
Probiotics offer many benefits! Eating foods like certain yogurts and unpasteurized sauerkraut can help your digestive health.
For instance, if you’re currently taking antibiotics, you can take a probiotic called Saccharomyces Boulardii. I recommend Jarrow’s Saccharomyces Boulardii Plus MOS.
You can take the probiotic at a different time of day that you take your antibiotics to help reduce the risk of side effects such as diarrhea.
Best for IBS: Visbiome
This is a probiotic that’s a medical food. It can help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, hepatic encephalopathy, and pouchitis.
Daily dosing depends on the specific condition you’re treating—two to four capsules per day are recommended for people with IBS, for instance.
Visbiome is stored in refrigeration, and so when you purchase it from Amazon, it is shipped in a cooler.
How to double up on probiotics
You might be wondering if you need to make a probiotics schedule for different probiotics that you’re taking. But don’t worry! You don’t need to make your life super complicated.
“No precautions are necessary when taking different probiotics,” explains Dahl. Phew!
You can take probiotics at any time of day, with or without food.
I tell my patients, however, that it’s best to add probiotics to the same occasion every day so that taking them becomes a habit. So for instance, take them when you wake up—or with breakfast or dinner.
And if you’re a fan of fermented foods that are natural sources of probiotics—such as kefir and certain yogurts—you can absolutely eat these at the same time as you swallow your probiotics!
- The National Institutes of Health
- Wendy Dahl, PhD, associate professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Florida
- A study in Arquivos de Gastroenterologia
- Research in Clinical Infectious Diseases
- Research in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroent
This blog post was updated in July 2022. It was originally part of a sponsorship with Fortify™ Probiotics.
I’d love to hear from you! Do you take multiple types of probiotics? What types of probiotics do you take?
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