Probiotics are often recommended as dietary supplements to restore the ecosystem in your gut, or to counteract the damage of antibiotics. This in itself is not bad and it is good to use a natural product to keep your body healthy. However, there are risks associated with the use of these probiotic supplements.
In this article, we look at what probiotic nutritional supplements are and what you should pay attention to when using them.

What are probiotic dietary supplements?

Probiotic Nutritional Supplements 1Billions of bacteria live in your gut. Although having bacteria doesn't sound very nice on its own, these organisms help keep your gut healthy. When your gut is healthy, the rest of your body usually is too. We call these bacteria “good” bacteria. However, sometimes something goes wrong, or you have eaten wrong for a while, causing the number of good bacteria to decrease. If so, you can use probiotic nutritional supplements.

These supplements contain millions of these “good” bacteria. By taking the probiotics, your body immediately gets a boost with the right organisms so that it can repair itself. Probiotics usually consist of bacteria, but can also consist of yeasts. They occur naturally in fermented foods, such as kefir, yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut, but you can also buy them as capsules.
The most common probiotic bacteria are the lactobacilli and the Bifidobacterium. There are many more types, each of which has its function. That is why it is important to know which bacteria you need for a healthy body. However, many probiotic food supplements contain 4 or more types of bacteria so that you almost always get the right bacteria.

Are there any risks associated with taking probiotic dietary supplements?

Probiotic Nutritional Supplements 2As with all medicines and supplements, the use of probiotics is not entirely risk-free. However, it does little harm to take these supplements, provided you are aware of the following risks and possible side effects. In addition, it is always useful to only start taking probiotic supplements after you have discussed this with your doctor.

1. Intestinal complaints

Because probiotic dietary supplements have the most influence on your gut, you will also experience side effects here. For example, your body may have to get used to the new bacteria, causing you to experience abdominal distention, flatulence, or cramping. When you take yeast-based probiotics, you can also suffer from constipation and considerable thirst. However, this should go away after a period of getting used to it.

2. Increased histamine levels

Taking probiotics can cause your gut to produce more histamines. Normally, your immune system only does this when a certain substance is seen as a threat. A logical consequence of this is that you will have a mild allergic reaction to your probiotics. Especially if you are sensitive to histamine, it is wise to avoid food and probiotics with histamine and to choose another variant.

3. More infections

If you have a weak immune system or have recently undergone severe treatment, probiotic dietary supplements can increase the risk of infections. However, the chance of this is so small that it is something you don't have to worry about. According to research, it only affects 1 in 1 million people with the Lactobacillus bacteria and even 1 in 5.6 million people with yeast probiotics.

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