Too Much Probiotic

Today we need to talk about a problem that WILL come out – How Much Is Too Much of a Probiotic?  Can taking too much ofa probiotic cause more problems than they actually help?  Make no doubt about it, probiotics have a lot of benefits – when used correctly.  But can we abuse probiotics?  About a decade ago ( maybe a bit longer ) I coined a word which, unfortunately, may be coming to the forefront sooner than originally thought … Over-Probioticized.

What is Over-Probioticized?

The state of being over-probioticized is characterized by causing an imbalance in the ratios of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. As stated in a previous article, the intestinal tract is lined with over 500 million different species of bacteria. Best guess is that scientists have some idea about the location of various species, but they have no clue about in what quantities they exist.

How Do You Become Over-Probioticized?

It’s simple really: take too much of a single or multi-strain probiotic that causes a shift in the delicate balance of the various species that exist in the intestinal tract.

The sad truth is that with our lifestyles, the need for “more” continues to gain momentum.

Bigger Houses – more room.

Faster Cars – more speed.

Super-Sized Meals – more food.

And with all of these “mores” come … MORE problems.

And now, Multi-Billion and Multi-Strain Probiotic formulas – With all due respect, NO ONE NEEDS 200 billion bacteria per dose of anything nor does anyone need 8, 13 or 19 strains of probiotics per dose either. Besides, who came up with the idea that you need a minimum of 1 billion bacteria per dose? “They” are responsible and if you want to know more about them, you can read about “them” in previous article.

Question the So-Called “Experts”

The next time someone recommends you take a multi-billion and/or a multi-strain probiotic formula, do yourself and your family a favor and ask the following questions:

Why do I need so many billions of bacteria per dose?

If it is a multi-strain formula: Why do I need so many different strains?

How did you come up with the number of bacteria of each strain per dose?

If bacteria compete amongst each other in the intestinal tract, why aren’t they competing amongst each other in the capsule?

Some of the answers I hear to these questions are hysterical – some are just plain sad.

Let’s face it, too much of anything can be a bad thing – natural or not and whether we need it or not!

Water is natural and we need it – yet people have died from consuming too much water.  I’m not saying people will die from consuming probiotics, but too much of anything can cause more harm than good.

In The Future of Probiotics, I promised that if I had any say in their longevity in the marketplace, probiotics would be around for a lot longer than any of us. Consider this a public service to keep them around, because if nutritional supplement manufacturers and “bandwagon-jumpers” who simply promote probiotics to increase their bottom line without regard for public safety continue to misinform the public and, even worse, create a problem with taking too much without knowing why someone is taking probiotics in the first place, then probiotics will fall to the wayside and die an untimely death.



The information posted is my opinion from my experience and is for educational purposes only and is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. I do believe that the right medical doctors can play a significant role, but I do feel it is up to each person to take personal responsibility for their own health. The reader should always consult his/her qualified healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.



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12 Responses to Too Much Probiotic

  1. Kevin Bettencourt says:

    A great point about the misuse of probiotics. Similar stories are associated with other types of supplements and they have fallen as well.

    Las Vegas Air Conditioning Service & Repairs

  2. What happens if one becomes Over-probioticized? can one recover easily? What happens if one does become over-probioticized?

    Mark Hogan

  3. Dennis Perry says:

    As is true in most all of medicine and supplements, if some is good, more is definitely not always better.

    Follow directions and take only the recommended amount.

    Thank you for this important message.

    Rich Life Coach

  4. Neil, that’s a very important message. Society is so used to ‘super-sizing’ in all aspects of life, that no-one questions it any more. Thanks for highlighting a very important problem.

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  5. Neil, I would have never guessed that someone could have too many probiotics.
    Scott Sylvan Bell
    Reading body language of men
    Now go implement!

  6. I didn’t realize you could have TOO much probiotic. What are the symptoms?

    Cherie Miranda
    Mantra Meditation

  7. I didn’t realize you could take too much probiotics! Like Cherie asked, what kind of side effects or symptoms are common with taking too much?

    Hugh MacLeod

  8. Andrew Miner says:

    Can you still get over-probioticised from one of those refrigerated brands? I’ve taken Metagenics probiotics for years and they are refrigerated. Wondering if they are doing any good…


  9. You coined the Probiotics industry term, “Over-Probioticized?” That is fascinating. So too much of a good thing really can throw off our systems.

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Where to Meet Quality Professional Women SF Bay Area

  10. Sonya Lenzo says:

    I think I used to have that problem…sort of like with ice cream…if SOME is good, well then more has to be better!
    Sonya Lenzo

  11. Michael Paulse says:

    Those are good questions that you pose to ask about probiotic concentrations. Those questions would be great to ask of any medication or suppliment.

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