Probiotics: Do you have to keep taking them?


I just bought and took a probiotic supplement for the first time. The instructions say to take it every day, but is that really necessary? Once the first pill’s bacteria get in your gut, can’t they just reproduce themselves in there?


There was a recent article published that suggests that every individual has their own unique microbiome. If this is the case, probiotics might not help as much as claimed. As I understand it, probiotics are the organisms, and prebiotics are the stuff that helps keep them healthy.

Probiotics would be still helpful if you have recently taking something that has killed many of the organisms that make up your microbiome. Otherwise yes, they will reproduce to a healthy number, after which your body will keep them in check.


Most advice out there says you should take one daily for about two weeks, then consider taking one once or twice a week thereafter. While they do reproduce, they also die off.


I was going to ask this question myself. I just started taking a probiotic. It’s been a couple days and I think I’ve seen a change for the better.

I had heard people say that they usually stop being effective after a month or so. You answer was what I was thinking was happening. In any case, it’s nice not to have to keep buying them forever.


There are allot of different microbes that call our intestines home each performs its own task in our digestive tract. Occasionally they get out of balance as one or more die off for one reason or another. The idea behind taking probiotics is to reseed your guts with a few strains of good bacteria. Many of these bacteria die on their way to your intestines. Still more get killed by the bacteria already in your intestines and need daily reinforcements to establish a foothold. Eventually they will build up a large enough number to be self-sustaining and you can stop taking the probiotic. If they die off again for no good reason then I would say you need to switch to a different brand of probiotic.