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When is the Best Time to Take a Probiotic Supplement?

There have been some questions about whether when you take a probiotic supplement is important for effectiveness. A recent study suggests that it does not matter if they’re taken on an empty stomach or with food.


Participants in the study included 20 healthy adults. Half were given 4 billion colony forming units of Bifidobacterium longum BB536 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 before breakfast and the other half took them after breakfast daily for one month.


At the conclusion of the study, both groups had increases in probiotic load. The increases were still present one month after the end of supplementation. The researchers also found that both groups had a 50% reduction in harmful Firmicutes bacteria after one month and a 20% reduction one month after ending supplementation, when compared with baseline. The probiotic supplement was associated with a 58% reduction in harmful Proteobacteria after one month. The researchers also noted an increase in beneficial bacteria species.


Researchers from the University of Milan led the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 21, 2017, in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.


While probiotics are most commonly linked to improving digestion and gut health, they have also been shown to been shown to help the body in numerous other ways.


Probiotics can be found naturally in many foods, such as yogurt, milk and sauerkraut. You may also consider taking a high quality supplement but make sure it is packaged to block light, air and moisture, which can easily kill probiotics.

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