What Happens When You Stop Taking Probiotics?

You've probably heard about probiotics and how good they are for your digestive health. With dozens of brands now selling this supplement in grocery stores across the country, there's probably a good chance you've taken them for a period of time. If you are currently taking probiotics, you might be wondering about what happens when you stop taking them. Fortunately, probiotics have been found safe to take for long periods of time and safe to discontinue in recent studies (via Dr. Ruscio DNM, DC). If you're a generally healthy person, you can probably expect the levels of bacteria in your gut to return to what they were before you started taking probiotics. This process can take days or weeks.

This is good news and bad news. If you experienced negative side effects from taking probiotics, you will probably be glad to get your gut back to normal. On the other hand, if you felt like your gut health improved when taking these supplements, you may be disappointed to lose those benefits. Ultimately, when you start or stop taking probiotics should be dependent on how you feel. If they don't make you feel very good, you should probably stop taking them. If they make you feel great, you should be safe to continue your use. If you plan on extended use of probiotics, speak with your doctor to ensure you're taking a healthy dosage and using a high-quality brand.

Health benefits of probiotics

If you've never taken probiotics before, you may want to give them a try. They are considered a generally safe supplement that can offer many health benefits by supporting healthy bacteria growth in your gut. "No one I know has the perfect microbiome, and I personally check a lot of patients," integrative physician Bindiya Gandhi, MD, told Mindbodygreen. "No one eats perfectly all the time: eating fermented foods, fiber, prebiotic foods, vegetables, and fruits. That's why I highly recommend everyone of all ages take a daily probiotic for generalized overall health."

Probiotics can be particularly helpful for people with gut health issues like IBS, frequent bloating, or nausea after eating. But the benefits of probiotics aren't limited to the digestive system. Our gut health affects many parts of our body (via Healthline). Probiotics have been shown to help with some mental health conditions, allergies, and eczema. They can even help you lose weight and boost your immune system. It's always a good idea to speak to a healthcare professional before adding a new supplement to your diet, so talk to your doctor if you'd like to begin taking probiotics.