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A probiotic overdose?

Gut Health, Well Being| Views: 3803

Different brands of probiotics can contain many billions of active bacteria. Contrary to what one might think, it is best to not think too big. When it comes to good bacteria, you must know when to stop…MORE is not necessarily better!

Feed your system without overloading it

For those who wish to maintain the balance of their microbiota, a few billion active cells will suffice (such is the dosage in the Probaclac product line)1. When it comes to rebuilding its intestinal flora following an antibiotic therapy or in case of nosocomial diarrhea, the punctual intake of a higher dose (or Probaclac Medic featuring the antimicrobial yeast Saccharomyces boulardii) for about 2 weeks is then recommended1.

Beware of industrial quantities

As with any natural health product, there is a risk of overdose if the amount consumed exceeds the requirements2. It is best to exercise caution and moderation to avoid adverse effects such as bloating, flatulence and abdominal cramps3. People with a weakened immune system should consult their physician before using bacterial capsules4.

The illusion of enteric coating

Some argue that enteric-coated probiotic capsules survive better in the gastric environment and are more likely to make their way to the intestines. In order to maximize a good assimilation of strains, it is preferable to consume probiotics after eating. When you eat, the pH of your stomach increases which means it becomes more alkaline and therefor the bacteria are not attacked by the acidity5. That’s not all, taking a non-coated capsule allows delivery of Lactobacilli  in the stomach to counter ulcers.

Flash Quiz to see who the Experts are!

True or False? A fixed dosage is suitable for most people.

Not necessarily! Each individual is unique and will react in its own way to probiotics. Above all, you must listen to your body and evaluate your tolerance.

True or False? The law of simplicity and moderation can also be applied to the number of strains included in probiotics.

True. Formulas with more than 9 strains are not necessarily superior. Too many strains can cause digestive problems.


1 Livestrong [Website]. Consulted June 23rd 2017. http://www.livestrong.com/article/367869-recommended-dosage-for-probiotics/ 

Yates AA, Edman JW, Shao A et al. Bioactive nutrients – Time for tolerable upper intake levels to address safety. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2017 Mar; 84: 94-101.

3 Jean-Yves Dionne [Website]. Consulted June 23rd 2017. http://www.jydionne.com/comment-choisir- un-supplement-de-probiotiques/

4 Van den Nieuwboer M, Brummer RJ, Guarner F et al. The administration of probiotics and synbiotics in immune compromised adults: is it safe? Benef Microbes. 2015 Mar; 6(1):3-17.

5 Probaclac.ca [Website] Consulted July 12th 2017. http://www.probaclac.ca/capsules-entero-soluble