8 Signs Probiotics Are Working (and How to Tell If They Aren’t)

Posted by Dr. Ian Stern Admin on

If you have hopped on the probiotics train, good for you! A healthy balance of gut bacteria has been linked to numerous health benefits. A healthy gut, which has been referred to as the second brain, is key when it comes to elevating your mood and creating a sense of well-being.

Our bodies do not lie.  If you listen to your body, it will send clear signs indicating that the product you’re taking is working.

It will thank you for adding good bacteria to your digestive tract, thereby promoting proper balance and a healthy environment, resulting in better emotional, cognitive, and physical health.

That is, if your probiotic product is, in fact, working!

How can you tell if you’re just popping pills with your morning coffee or the beneficial bacteria are effective? Here are eight signs probiotics are working you can look for.

Sign 1 – Better Mood

The gut produces many of the same neurotransmitters as the brain does. There is a partnership of sorts between the gut and the brain, which is called the gut-brain axis.

During stressful times, often there is a fight-or-flight response in the body, where
your brain sends a warning signal to the gut of potential danger, resulting in
digestive problems, such as a nervous or upset stomach.

Likewise, people with chronic digestive issues often experience depression or

What affects the gut often affects the brain, and vice versa. It is estimated that the digestive tract is responsible for producing 90% of the serotonin in our bodies [1].

Serotonin is referred to as the “happy chemical”– it provides a general sense of
happiness and well-being. In addition, the gut generates dopamine and gamma-
aminobutyric acid, which also play a key role in regulating our mood.

Therefore, if your probiotic is working, and your gut has become happier, you will

Sign 2 – Increased Cognitive Function

Gut bacteria plays a crucial role in regulating a lot of what goes on in the body, and
there is notion that microbes can also help enhance cognition. There have been a
number of positive findings confirming the benefits of probiotics on cognition,
including in individuals with various cognitive dysfunction, such as bipolar or
Alzheimer's disease [2].

Changes in gut bacteria composition after just four weeks of supplementation
caused better cognitive test results.  Over time probiotics have shown to
significantly improve memory, attention, and psychomotor processing speed.

So take note of your ability to focus, remember, and process information! Better
performance in these areas might be another sign that your probiotics are working.

Sign 3 – Ease of Digestive Troubles

Perhaps the strongest evidence for probiotics is in treating diarrhea caused by a
viral infection or from taking antibiotics.

Probiotics restore the natural balance of bacteria, which is disrupted during an
infection or when taking antibiotics.

Additionally, researchers found that probiotics also help constipation (3.2 million
doctor visits in the US each year are due to constipation).

Studies from King’s College in London show that probiotics increased the number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3, and helped soften stools, making them easier to pass [3].

Therefore, if you see an improvement in diarrhea or constipation symptoms after
starting probiotics it can be the most obvious sign that the supplements are

Sign 4 – Better Response to Stress and Lower Anxiety

The link between the brain and the gut can also be seen in the body’s response to
stress. Stress has been shown to harm our gut just as much as junk food.

Likewise, one study found that having an intestinal infection is associated with an
increased risk of developing an anxiety disorder over the next two years.

The absence of certain bacteria in our guts could alter areas in our brains that are
involved in anxiety. Probiotics can therefore be helpful to establish, or reestablish,
beneficial microorganisms in the gut, especially when there is a deficiency of good
bacteria, helping us to stave off stress and reduce anxiety.

So pay attention to your ability to deal with stress after you start taking probiotics
as an improvement in this area could be related to a healthy probiotic balance.

Sign 5 – Increased Energy

A good multi-strain probiotic helps you absorb the vitamins and nutrients from food,
whereas the lack thereof leads to feeling like you are running on empty.

A healthy gut flora also aids in the production of extra B vitamins, which are
essential for energy production in the body.

Abnormalities within the digestive system lead to unhealthy gut bacteria, causing your body to produce high levels of immune cells to fight off the toxins and leaving you feeling tired. Probiotics increase the numbers of healthy bacteria that live in the gut while
decreasing the unhealthy bacteria, resulting in greater energy!

Sign 6 – Weight Loss

Ever wondered why some people stay thin no matter what they eat? Research
suggests this too has to do with the gut flora, which is different in normal weight
people compared to those of overweight people.

By improving your gut health, you are also helping your body get rid of excess
weight through biochemical modulation of fat metabolism.

Additionally, your gut helps regulate appetite by telling the brain when it's time to stop eating.
Probiotics may help release the satiety (appetite-reducing) hormone GLP-1, causing
you to eat less and help you burn calories and fat, as well as increase of ANGPTL4 protein levels, which helps decrease fat storage.

Probiotics may also inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, increasing the amount of fat you excrete. All this can lead to weight loss.


Sign 7 – Fewer Sugar Cravings

Some experts consider adding probiotics into the diet to be one of the best ways to
reduce sugar cravings.

A poor diet leads to less diversity of gut bacteria, and having an imbalance of bacteria in your gut, called dysbiosis, leads to cravings for sugary foods and drinks.

Certain microbes in the gut prefer sugar, causing an increase in the number of
sweet receptors. Thus you crave and consume more sugary foods and drinks,
thereby creating a snowball effect where you feed and create more sugar-loving
bacteria in the gut, causing more sugar cravings.

It’s a vicious cycle that can be broken by taking a high-quality probiotic, which increases the diversity and health of the gut, thereby reducing the influence of any one species of bacteria, say the sugar loving one, on the body.


Sign 8 – Improved Immunity

Last but not least, probiotics strengthen the immune system. As much as 70-80% of
immune cells are located in the gut, so the health of your gut and your immune
system are closely related.

The gut plays a key role in the digestion of food and subsequent absorption of
vitamins, minerals and other nutrients – including those that are vital for the
immune system. Beneficial bacteria provide a barrier against harmful bacteria,
where ingested pathogens are fought off.

The gut microbiota protects us by strengthening the gut wall, competing with harmful bacteria for both space and food and regulating inflammation and the inflammatory immune response.
Therefore, a sure sign that your probiotic is working is being sick less often – fewer
colds, flus, and seasonal allergies!


How Long Does It Take Probiotics to Work?

It takes probiotics 30-60 minutes to work. If you’re using a high quality, potent
probiotic supplement with billions of microorganisms and a high colony forming unit (CFU), which is proven to survive the harsh acidic conditions of the stomach.  In fact, it’s possible to feel the therapeutic effects as soon as an hour after taking them.

The two most common strains of probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, both have very short generation times, which means that they can start working almost immediately.

However, it can take 4-8 weeks of regular doses for you to get the maximum benefit
from your probiotic.


Signs Your Probiotics Aren’t Working and What to Do About It

The problem is that many existing probiotic products are ineffective. They may
contain strains that are dead or don’t survive in your digestive tract, since an
overwhelmingly large percentage of probiotics die upon contact with stomach acid.

Here are some signs that your probiotics aren’t working:

  • The symptoms are not improving: If after 4 weeks of taking your probiotic
  • regularly, you don’t feel the therapeutic effects described above, or your symptoms have shown no improvement, it may mean that your probiotic is not working.
  • You experience side effects: The most common side effects include bloating, gas, and headaches.
  • You are getting sick more often: If after several weeks you’re experiencing any of the above, it may be time to change your probiotic. Ideally, you want to purchase the highest quality, most potent probiotic you can afford, one which uses human-sourced strains of both lactobacilli (for the small intestine) and bifidobacteria (for the large intestine) and has been proven to survive the harsh conditions of the stomach.

If you want a probiotic supplement that is guaranteed to work, go ahead and try my Rebalance Formula.  Years of research and testing went into creating a unique blend of 12 clinically-proven strains, to support the entire digestive process.   Additionally, it is stored in our climate-controlled facility to make sure that it stays alive and effective so that you can see the best possible results.

Click the link below to order.