Lesson 4: Are Probiotics Safe

Are probiotics safe?

Generally Regarded as safe

While probiotics are generally regarded as safe from the FDA, some studies report minor gastrointestinal side effects. These side effects are usually temporary and mild. However, there is a risk of infection associated with introducing bacteria into the body for those with severely compromised immune systems, preterm infants, and individuals using intravenous medical devices. Probiotics are not recommended for these populations.

What about sibo?

I get asked a lot if probiotics are safe for SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). The answer is no, most probiotics are not considered appropriate for SIBO infections. Some probiotics may worsen bacterial growth in the small intestine and increase symptoms. Research suggests that soil-based probiotics, such as Primal Earth, are more suitable for people with SIBO. Unlike other probiotics, these probiotics do not colonize the small intestine or feed the already present bacteria. Amy Myers suggests SIBO patients start very slowly, dosing only 1-2 times per week and working up from there.