Probiotics: 4 Common Myths

With probiotics increasing in popularity and many now turning to them for various health conditions, I thought it was time to clear up a few common myths and misconceptions around probiotics...


1. There’s no point taking a probiotic alongside a course of antibiotics Wrong! Research shows that probiotics are very effective when taken alongside antibiotics. For best results, take them as soon as the antibiotics are started – not after you have finished. Taking the right strains from when you start until 1-2 weeks after you have finished will help reduce the incidence of unwanted side effects and protect the gut microbiome. Just take at least 2 hours away from antibiotics. 2. The higher the dose of probiotic, the more effective A product that says 2x the strength does not guarantee 2x the benefit! It’s important to look at the research as many products may be unnecessarily overcompensating without any clinical evidence to show a higher dose is of greater benefit. We know that for some strains a lower dose is as effective as a higher dose, whereas in other instances we do know that a higher dose is required to elicit the greatest benefit. So it’s a case by case situation of assessing the evidence on the strain(s) and health condition you are working with. Basically, don’t over-compensate for the sake of it. 3. Multi-strain probiotics are best 🦠 It isn’t a case of chucking as many strains as possible in and hoping for the best. If a combination of strains has been researched and we know they work well together and provide a benefit for a particular condition – great! But this is not always the case. Quite often a small combination of very carefully selected strains (or even just one strain) can be just as or more effective than 10 random strains. Additionally, we know that the benefits of probiotics are very much strain specific when it comes to health conditions. 4. Probiotic supplements become permanent residents in our gut Most probiotic bacteria are transient, meaning that they will hang around in our gut for a while, but they wont join our microbiome for good. This doesn’t mean they aren’t beneficial though! While they are hanging around they help encourage an environment that allows our native beneficial bacteria to thrive, improving our own microflora which = better health outcomes