What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are microorganisms that improve the health of the receiver when ingested. A Noble Laureate, Elle Metchnikoff first introduced the idea of probiotics. He suggested that people of Bulgaria had longer life expectancies because of their habit of drinking yogurt? which consisted of health-improving microbes.
Although these days there are plenty of foods advertised as enhancers of gut health such as kimchi, yogurt, etc, more and more companies are now selling probiotic supplements. The market for probiotics is quite large. In 2020, the probiotic market was $60+ billion growing from just $40 billion in 2016.
Many retail sellers claim that probiotic supplements can: improve gastrointestinal function, enhance immune function, improve constipation, and/or cure/stop the common cold. However, the Federal Trade Commission thinks these claims can be deceptive. Why? The reason is, at present, there is a lack of significant data to prove the idea that these supplements treat medical conditions effectively.
Nonetheless, probiotics are usually known as safe, and people’s beliefs suggest that they can offer benefits? at least to some extent. If you are using probiotics to help control a medical condition for example; allergies, acne, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diarrhea, IBD, or IBS, you might be wondering how long it might take for the probiotics to work or show a noticeable result. In this article, we’ll try to cover the answer in detail
Do Probiotics Work?
Do probiotics do any harm or is it worth the try? The one-word answer is, Yes.
Recently we searched about probiotics in the scientific literature  and discovered 313 high-quality clinical studies (random controlled trials) which involved about 50.000 individuals where scientists had tested the health benefits of ingesting probiotics or similar supplements. The analysis suggests that taking probiotics may help prevent bronchitis, diarrhea, and eczema. They can also lessen the risk of heart disease and reduce elements in the blood that cause inflammation.
Microbes do not work like usual drugs that target the symptoms directly.
Instead, they work by balancing the gut flora and lessening the bulk of pathogenic microorganisms. When you have a balance of bacteria in your intestinal tract your immune system becomes healthy and inflammation gets reduced. The more your gut bacteria become balanced the more your health improves. As a result your entire health (mood, energy, hormonal balance, cognition) also improves.
This procedure explains why probiotics can take time to work. It also shows why probiotics have plenty of health benefits and just some side effects. There are various studies confirming the benefits of these microbes for many medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease, IBS, colitis, mood, sleep, thyroid health, gut infection, and more.
How long do probiotics take to work?
The quick answer would be: It depends. There are some factors involved such as why you want to take the probiotic, your health condition, and the amount you are taking. However, there is research to gauge the timeline probiotics take to treat some health conditions.
One review  shows that researchers looked at 63 studies about how quickly probiotics can help patients suffering from acute diarrhea and they discovered that some patients get healed as fast as 2 days into probiotic medication. Another study  consisting of 60 patients with an infection of H. pylori discovered that the signs of antibiotic-related nausea and diarrhea showed significant improvement in just 14 days.
In one research about functional constipation , researchers provided 70 patients with a beverage with a high probiotic content for 4 weeks and found improvements in stool consistency and constipation severity by the beginning of the 2nd week. In another study  researchers provided 47 patients with a similar drink rich with probiotics and reported that they found minimal improvements in 1st week however the significant improvements didn’t occur until week 4.
Research shows that microbes can help improve flatulence, bloating, and discomfort. In a recent study, patients saw enormous improvements with bloating  in as fast as 21 days. In another clinical trial  researchers provided 60 patients with probiotics for 8 weeks. While patients started seeing improvements by week 4, symptoms continued to see improvements through week 8.
This review  showed that probiotic therapy helped to improved flatulence within 4 weeks, however, patients required a maintenance program for about 6 months for better results.
In case of issues outside of your digestive tract, results can take somewhat longer. A study of 90 obese and overweight adults showed that taking a supplement with probiotics for twelve weeks had a good effect on the patient?s visceral fat . Besides another 24 week research of a probiotic supplement combined with a low-calorie diet  found similar results for weight loss and maintenance .
Probiotic effects on skin health may depend on the condition. In a review  researchers studied a few different skin issues and reported that while probiotic treatment can help cure eczema or dermatitis in 4 weeks, it can take a long as 3 months. Another study  that investigated how milk with high probiotics affected acne in 18 individuals reported that improvements in visible acne and skin inflammation became noticeable in about twelve weeks.
The full timeline
If we combine all the researches together, we can reach the conclusion that results from probiotic treatment can take anywhere from 2 days to several weeks.
Here is a list that can give you an idea of what to expect when it comes to the timeline of results (mind you, this list does not contain all of the conditions that probiotics can help with):
- Bloating: three to four weeks.
- Non-chronic constipation: seven days to four weeks.
- Occasional diarrhea: two days to two weeks.
- Skin problems: four weeks to three months.
- Weight maintenance: eight weeks to 12 weeks.
Note: Although several factors may influence how effective your probiotic is, you should see positive changes within two weeks, with more benefits with continued use after six weeks
Tips To Make Your Probiotic Work Faster and Better
Here are some certain things you can do to help make your probiotic work faster, better, and more efficiently:
- Use the right strain of probiotics that are specific to your health symptoms or conditions.
- Ensure that you’re getting the right dosage.
- Follow the proper storage instructions.
- Eat a healthy diet that contains lots of gut-friendly and fermented foods.
- Manage your stress levels and prioritize taking a break.
- Take probiotics on an empty stomach or when stomach acid is lower.
There are a few trusted probiotic brands that hold many benefits for your health. One of them is Jetson probiotics. Jetson is the only company in the world that provides seasonal probiotics. They rotate their strains four times yearly to offer your seasonal probiotics when you need them.
Another trusted brand of probiotics is Seed. Seed probiotics are developed for systemic benefits beyond digestive health. This product works to reclaim the normal beneficial microbes needed by the body for a healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle.
This blog and Seed have an affiliate agreement. What this means is that if you decide to try their Daily Synbiotic treatment after clicking on the above link, I receive a small commission from the company for telling you about it. In no way will it affect the price you pay for the product. In other words, you won’t be able to get it cheaper if you don’t click on the link. However, if you do, you will be supporting this blog that aims to educate as many people as possible on health, nutrition, sleep, supplements, and other topics that allow you to be extraordinary.
When it comes to how long it takes for probiotics to work, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, repeated research by scientists has revealed a timeline of about two weeks. So, in most cases, you should expect probiotics to take about two weeks to work.
But if you have been taking your probiotics sometimes and not seeing any positive results, make sure that you’re choosing the right strains of probiotics targeted to your specific health condition.