Why do probiotics sometimes cause gas?

Why Do Probiotics Sometimes Cause Gas?

When first using probiotics, you may experience gas, bloating, or diarrhea. These are due to changes in the gut microbiota from the probiotic which can result in bacteria producing more gas than usual, which can lead to bloating. However, you should know, these side effects usually clear up within a few days or weeks of taking the probiotics.

If this is a problem for you, we suggest looking into something more comfortable for your stomach to digest like a prebiotic. We’ve been having great results with Performance Lab Prebiotic which contains no living organisms, and feeds the good bacteria that is already in your stomach.

Or if you wish to see our Best Prebiotics you can see those here.

Why does taking a Probiotic give me gas?

It currently not known why people experience gas and bloating when taking probiotic supplements. [1] However, research shows that these effects do subside after a few weeks of use.

To reduce the effects and risk of this happening when first taking probiotics, it may be easier to start on a lower dose if at all possible.

By taking in less, your stomach can still build up a tolerance without getting the more extreme side effects associated with a full dose.

Do Yeast-Based Probiotics also give you gas?

No. Taking yeast based probiotics may not give you gas. They actually work in a different way, and instead of giving you gas, these probiotics may cause constipation and an increased thirst. [2]

Again, in these cases taking a reduced dosage may be able to reduce the overall side effects from these supplements.

And if all else fails, you could always try out prebiotics to help promote your overall digestive health.

Do Probiotics cause any other side effects besides gas?

Yes. Probiotics may trigger more side effects than just bloating and gas.

Probiotics may also cause headaches, aside from gas. This is because some probiotics contain amines. You typically find these in probiotic foods such as kimchi, yogurt and sauerkraut – heavily fermented foods. [3]

These amines can excite your body’s central nervous system and in doing so can reduce the blood flow to your brain which can initiate headaches. [4]

Some people can also suffer from intolerance to forms of probiotics. Those with histamine intolerance, as well as allergens and lactose intolerance may run into issues when taking some probiotics.

Also check the label before hand to make sure you don’t get gas, bloating or general issues related to these kinds of intolerance.

So, why do probiotics sometimes give you gas?

No one really knows why probiotics sometimes give you gas. It may be tied to introducing new bacteria into your gut and your body not knowing how to manage it correctly.

However, over time most of these issues typically fade away. That said there are numerous other side effects which have been linked to the supplementation of probiotics.

If a probiotic is giving you gas, maybe reduce down to a lower dosage until your stomach adjusts to the issues.

Related articles:


[1] Williams NT. Probiotics. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2010;67(6):449-458. doi:10.2146/ajhp090168

[2] Karpa KD. Probiotics for Clostridium difficile diarrhea: putting it into perspective. Ann Pharmacother. 2007;41(7):1284-1287. doi:10.1345/aph.1K228

[3] Gezginc Y, Akyol I, Kuley E, Özogul F. Biogenic amines formation in Streptococcus thermophilus isolated from home-made natural yogurt. Food Chem. 2013;138(1):655-662. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.10.138

[4] Martin VT, Vij B. Diet and Headache: Part 1. Headache. 2016;56(9):1543-1552. doi:10.1111/head.12953


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