Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Purpose-Driven Probiotics

Dear Dr. Walt,

Once I’ve taken probiotics for a few months, will the positive bacteria remain in my system, or do I have to keep taking them?

—Intestinal Issues in Illinois

Dear Gassy,

In general, the bacteria from probiotics only survive in your gastrointestinal tract for a limited amount of time.

So, how long you should take a probiotic will vary based upon the reason you are taking it, the dosage you are taking, and the particular bacteria you are ingesting.

For example, preliminary clinical research shows that taking a specific probiotic, Bifidobacterium longum, can help adults or children with constipation, while another probiotic, Bifidobacterium infantis, may help patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and another specific probiotic mixture containing strains of Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Streptococcus helps some patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS.

But, all of these require continuing the probiotic for effect.

Dr. Walt

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2018. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.
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