We recently got a 1-star review for our Multi-Strain Probiotic on Amazon where the reviewer said the product did nothing for them.
The customer was upset. Therefore, one star.
(I'd be upset too.)
Of course, we immediately refunded their purchase price. But it got me thinking...
It got me thinking about what people expect from probiotics - they expect it to work!
But probiotics are not like those other nutrients.
A probiotic that works perfectly for someone else may do nothing for you.
There are a few reasons why you may not notice changes after taking probiotics:
1) Your diet and gut health may already be pretty good
The closer your diet and gut health is to optimal, the less likely you are to notice dramatic changes to your gut and bowel functions.
This reminds me of two recent scenarios I faced.
First, I took my car to the mechanic with a minor intermittent problem. Of course, the car worked just fine at the mechanic. 'There's nothing wrong with your car!' Great.
Second, I recently went to my Integrative Medicine MD for my annual check up. (Dr. Krochmal in Woodland Hills, California).
He looked at the lab results and said 'Well, I know your diet is optimal. I know your exercise is fairly good. The only remaining levers left to pull are sleep and stress...and knowing you, those are probably pretty good too.'
Health nuts with minor chronic issues are difficult for doctors to treat because there's little room for improvement.
If you already eat a really good diet, prebiotics or probiotics may not make a big difference.
2) Your gut health may be so messed up that taking probiotics/prebiotic is barely going to move the needle
This is the opposite of the point above.
Keeping with the car analogy, if your wheels have come off, focus on that before you get a new paint job.
Your gut health may be so far from optimal that you may need medical intervention first.
You may still be eating like a teenager.
Time to fix bigger issues first.
For many of us with enduring gut issues, there are often infections and/or small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) that require medical treatment first.
Probiotics/prebiotics will not fix that quickly.
If this is the case, you will require medical diagnosis from an Integrative Medicine MD who specializes in gut health.
With a proper diagnosis, your doctor can treat the issue. That will have to be followed by dramatic dietary corrections.
Most gut health specialists will put you on some sort of probiotics, but that usually come after other dietary interventions and treatments.
3) You may have Leaky Gut (aka Intestinal Permeability)
This requires medical diagnosis and needs to be treated before you can add prebiotic fiber to your routine.
If you go to a traditional doctor, you're likely to get a skeptical response. This is because Leaky Gut or Intestinal Permeability is not a recognized medical condition. Yet. And it's likely to get dismissed as an imaginary ailment.
There's nothing quite like a doctor dismissing your suffering as imaginary.
A couple of analogies: you need drywall before you paint...or better yet, you need a plant in the ground before you fertilize.
This applies to probiotics as well as prebiotics.
Fix your leaky gut first with the help of an Integrative Medicine doctor. Taking probiotic supplements alone or as a first line of defense will not cure leaky gut.
This applies mostly to prebiotic fiber.
If your gut is in reasonable health, then we suggest you start small with a quarter or half scoop a day.
Many of us here at InnovixLabs have slowly graduated to 1 to 2 scoops a day.
At one or two scoops a day, I can PROMISE you that you will become more regular. That is impossible to not notice.
If you have a reasonably good gut, then adding fermentable prebiotic fibers will cause a dramatic increase in the number and diversity of good gut bacteria.
A positive side effect of that is more regular bowel movements.
Probiotics are Different
Probiotics do not have uniform effects on everyone. It stands apart from other nutritional supplements in that regard.
Try these gut health tips first before you try a probiotic or prebiotic.