When someone runs to a doctor for an upset stomach, the doctor generally prescribes probiotics intake along with other medicines. What exactly are probiotics? In simple terms, probiotics are bio-organisms that are helpful for the human body. Or in other words, probiotics are bacteria and yeast (live ones) that are helpful for the digestive system to function properly. Food like yoghurt has natural probiotic lactobacillus in it which is good for cleaning the gut.
Is Probiotic Good for Health?
When someone is rehabilitating from illness, the medication would have killed all the bacteria in their system. Probiotic supplements the human body with the lost good bacteria and helps in faster recovery. It is also observed that infectious diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, etc. can be controlled by probiotics intake.
Research has also proved that since the brain and the gut are interconnected, there is a continuous signal exchange between the digestive system and the nervous system. The connection is via the vagus nerve and with the consumption of probiotics, it has been observed that the nerve receives signals that can cause mood boost and improved cognitive functioning. Some studies have even recorded a higher degree of calmness and reduced stress levels among those who consume probiotics 4 times a week.
Does Probiotics Cause Side Effects?
While some say probiotics have increased the mental health and well-being of patients, there are side effects too observed in some. While the population who has recorded unpleasant side-effects is minimal, these harmful side effects cannot be ignored. Some of the most observed side effects are:
The most frequently reported reaction to bacterial probiotic supplement is abdominal bloating. Bloating is a feeling of increased gas in the stomach which subsides over a few days. It has been observed and published in the clinical and translational gastroenterology journals as well.
2. Brain fog:
Another most common reaction to the excessive use of probiotic supplements is brain fog. This is a situation when the subject feels a temporary clouding in the mental condition. This creates difficulty in concentration, confusion and temporary memory disability. It has been observed that as the subject weaned away from probiotic consumption, the brain fog cleared automatically. Similarly, it was the case with gas and bloating too.
Why Such Side effects?
Probiotics are helpful bacteria. When such an adverse effect is recorded with repeated consumption of probiotics, it is scary. Doctors who have analyzed the brain fog and bloating conditions due to probiotics have understood the reason for such side effects.
- In both cases, subjects have recorded an increased amount of bacteria in their small intestine and also increased levels of D-lactic acid in the blood.
- Alarmingly, it was observed that the test results were two to three times more than the prescribed quantities.
- It is interesting that lactobacillus bacteria, the most common probiotic, produces D-lactic acid while breaking down the sugar in the food. So, when the subjects discontinued their probiotic intake, the D-lactic acidosis reduced and slowly bloating subsided and brain fog too reduced gradually.
Based on this research, doctors are suggesting the usage of probiotic as a drug to cure diarrhoea or irritable bowel syndrome and not as a food supplement that can be consumed anywhere, anytime. Though probiotics are helpful to keep the gut good, an overdose of the same can affect other body functions.