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What Are the Side Effects of Probiotics?

Submitted by on December 29, 2011 – 4:05 amNo Comment

Probiotics which are also known as friendly bacteria are generally considered to be safe like other nutritional supplements but many a times they may also pose harmful side effects.

The live bacteria content of probiotic supplement can over colonize the intestine and cause infection which is one of the probiotic side effects. This type of risks generally occurs in newborns, elderly people and people having severely compromised immune system. Antibiotics may be needed in order to treat this type of infection. Thus proper care should be observed while taking large doses of probiotics.

One of the most common probiotic side effects is the gastrointestinal distress. In cases when large doses of probiotics are taken they do adjust the floral balance but there is a possibility that they might also result in abdominal discomfort and gas. Along with the large doses of probiotic, biological adjustment is also the reason for these problems. These digestive problems occur temporarily only for a short period of time and then ultimately subside.

There is a possibility that the use of probiotics may lead to unusual shifts in metabolism as these friendly bacteria slightly alters the functioning of colon. At times some might experience problems like slowing down of the bowel habits while other may suffer from frequent bowel movements with the use of probiotics. Metabolic changes in the body due to probiotic can also lead to weight gain, malabsorption of nutrients and weight loss. Though majority of people using probiotics experience positive metabolism but few of them may also suffer from probiotic side effects related to metabolic changes.

Other side effects are the overstimulation of immune system. In cases where the body mistakenly recognizes the probiotics as infectious or foreign invaders, it might react to it in the same way as it reacts to infections. This situation may cause problems like fever, fatigue and increased count of white blood cells. Thorough studies have also not been done in probiotics with the people having autoimmune diseases. Though probiotics may be beneficial in treating these disorders but chances of rare or unknown complications are also there.

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