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What Are Custom Probiotics And Do I Need Them?
Updated on January 31, 2024
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Microbiome
What Are Custom Probiotics And Do I Need Them?

Custom probiotics are special supplements designed to fit your unique health needs. Instead of generic, one-size-fits-all probiotics, these are made to address specific health conditions or personal preferences.

They are made to contain particular types and amounts of probiotics to aid in resolving health concerns like digestive problems or boosting the immune system.

What Are Custom Probiotics And Do I Need Them? 3

Custom probiotics may involve certain factors, such as:

  • Choosing the right strain – Depending on the intended purpose, custom probiotics may contain specific strains of good bacteria. Different types of bacteria do other things in your body and can target various health issues.
  • Getting the proper amount – Custom probiotics ensure you get the correct dose of these helpful bacteria to ensure they work effectively.
  • Combination of different types – In some cases, custom probiotics mix various kinds of good bacteria to achieve a specific health goal.
  • Formulation – This might include other elements like prebiotics or vitamins and minerals, which help the good bacteria grow and do a better job.
  • Specific health goals – Custom probiotics are made with a particular goal in mind, like making your gut healthier, boosting your immune system, or dealing with issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Personalization – Some manufacturers can make probiotics just for you based on your unique health history.

Custom probiotics can be beneficial because they're made to aid with your specific health needs and goals. However, talk to a doctor or a health expert before you start taking any kind of probiotics to make sure they’re safe and right for you.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms or good bacteria that you can eat from food or supplements. They are consumed for potential health benefits, especially for the digestive system.

These good microorganisms can help maintain a balanced and healthy gut microbiome, which is essential for overall well-being.

Probiotics are commonly found in certain foods, such as yogurt, kefir, or sauerkraut, and also in dietary supplements.

Benefits of Probiotics

Probiotics offer several potential health benefits, including:

  • Keeping the gut microbiome healthy
  • Keeping bad bacteria in check
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Promoting overall wellness

Probiotic supplements may reduce the risk of:

  • Diarrhea1
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome2
  • Ulcerative colitis3
  • H. Pylori4
  • Digestive tract infections5
  • Vaginal and urinary tract infections6
  • Eczema7
  • Recurrence of bladder cancer8

People also use probiotics to deal with digestive disorders and promote digestive health. They help relieve digestive issues like diarrhea and constipation.

A research study has shown that taking probiotics improves bowel movement.9 People report softer stools that are easier to pass.

Probiotics also reduce the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.10

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What Are Custom or Personalized Probiotics?

Custom or personalized probiotics are probiotic supplements made just for you and your unique health needs.

While standard probiotic offers health benefits, custom probiotics may even be better.

Every person has their own unique needs. This is why probiotics do not follow the “one size fits all” concept.

What Are Custom Probiotics And Do I Need Them? 4

Since probiotics are not created equal, you can have them customized. These probiotics could be based on:

  • Your own unique needs
  • Age
  • Lifestyle
  • How your immune system functions

A great example is probiotics tailored to provide support for different people, such as:

  • Pregnant women
  • Athletes
  • Seniors

For some, probiotics come from a diet high in fermented foods. But this isn’t possible for everyone. Not everyone enjoys the taste of fermented foods. And for people with "leaky gut," fermented foods might make their situation worse.

What is Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut occurs because the gut lining has become hyper-permeable. It is caused by inflammation in the digestive system. Things meant to be absorbed in the gut seep out when this happens, and they end up passing through the blood to other parts of the body.

Leaky gut happens because of an imbalance in the gut microbiome. It is usually caused by:

  • Poor diet
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Antibiotic use

Taking a probiotic may:

  • Decrease intestinal permeability
  • Heal gut barrier
  • Cure leaky gut

In some cases, bacteria introduced into the gut make the problem worse.

The negative reaction occurs when a probiotic:

  • Isn’t designed for your body and lifestyle
  • May have interacted with another supplement you’re taking
  • Didn’t mix well with your medication

Using a personalized probiotic prevents this problem. The probiotic is designed with your personal circumstances in mind.

The final verdict is still out on probiotics and how helpful they are. More research studies showing convincing data are needed. However, medical experts believe solid scientific proof is on the way.

What Are the Benefits of Personalized Probiotics?

The biggest benefit is customization.

Custom or personalized probiotics are created to address your unique needs. They bring several advantages, such as:

  • Targeted solutions – Custom probiotics aim to fix the gut imbalance. They can target deficiencies or overgrowth of certain bacteria to promote gut health.
  • Improved digestive health – Custom probiotics can help with digestive issues like IBS, diarrhea, constipation, or bloating. They promote the growth of good gut bacteria, which can ease these symptoms.
  • Boost your immune system – Your gut health is closely connected to your immune system. A healthy gut can impact the immune system.
  • Long-term gut health – Custom probiotics can help you maintain a healthy gut over the long run by addressing underlying issues. This reduces the chances of future digestive problems.
  • Supports changes and adjustments – Your custom probiotics can change as your needs change. This means you'll always have the right support for your health.

How Do You Get a Personalized Probiotic?

Getting a personalized probiotic involves several steps. To do this right, talk to a health expert specializing in gut health and microbiome analysis.

Here’s a quick overview of the process:

  1. Talk to your doctor – Start the process by contacting a healthcare expert who knows about gut health and probiotics. They'll talk to you about your health concerns and goals.
  2. Discuss your health history – Tell them about your medical history. This includes details on any gut problems, allergies, and the medicines you're taking.
  3. Take a microbiome test – You might need a test that checks the bacteria in your gut. This test shows if you have any issues with your gut bacteria.
  4. Understand the data – Your doctor can look at the test results and figure out which probiotics will work best for you. They will also consider your age and overall health.
  5. Unique probiotic mix – Based on all your information, they can produce a unique blend of probiotics just for you. They pick the suitable probiotic strains and decide how much you should take.
  6. Taking your probiotic – Your personalized probiotic could come as pills, powder, or liquid. Your doctor will tell you how to take it.
  7. Monitor your progress – As you start taking your custom probiotic, your doctor will keep an eye on how you're doing. They might do more tests to see how your gut is changing.
  8. Integrate healthy habits – Along with the probiotics, you might be given advice on eating better, staying active, managing stress, and getting good sleep. All these things help your gut.
  9. Follow-up – You'll need to see your doctor regularly. They'll know how you're doing with your personalized probiotic and make changes if required.

Every person’s gut microbiome is different. Understanding your microbiome will allow you to find relief from your digestive issues. After understanding your microbiome, you can include probiotics in your daily routine.

However, you can’t just walk into a supermarket and find a probiotic designed for your personal needs. You’ll need to work with your doctor and undergo testing. You can also test from your own home, which is more cost-effective.

If you want to know the condition of your gut, take a gut health test. A gut microbiome test kit can provide answers from the comfort of home.

The results will give you a comprehensive picture of your gut’s microbiome. It will allow you to take the necessary steps for excellent overall health.

Is There a Downside to Taking Probiotics?

While custom probiotics are generally safe, they have a few potential downsides.

Some people may experience mild digestive issues like gas, bloating, diarrhea, or stomach discomfort when they first start using custom probiotics. These symptoms usually subside as your body adjusts to the new bacteria.

So, it's critical to start with a low dose and gradually increase it to minimize these discomforts.

Allergic reactions are possible but uncommon. When symptoms like hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing after taking custom probiotics manifest, stop their use and seek medical attention immediately.

Another consideration is that custom probiotics can interact with medications you might be taking.

Discuss any supplements, including probiotics, with your doctor to ensure they won't interfere with your medications.

Are Custom Probiotics Worth It?

When it comes to custom probiotics, they can be worth it if they match your unique health goals and your budget.

Think about what you're aiming for with your health. If you're dealing with specific gut issues or have particular health goals tied to your digestive system, custom probiotics might offer some real benefits.

Digestive problems, autoimmune disorders, or other gut-related health concerns might see better results with custom probiotics because they're designed to work in harmony with your unique gut microbiome.

However, it is an extra expense to consider. Custom probiotics are usually priced at a premium compared to generic ones. So, you'll need to weigh the potential benefits against the added cost, especially if you're working with a tight budget.

Additionally, your current health status matters. If you have underlying health conditions, are on medications, or have a compromised immune system, it’s best to talk to your doctor before starting any custom probiotic plan.

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Updated on January 31, 2024
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10 sources cited
Updated on January 31, 2024
Dr. Dhingra
Dr. Harshi Dhingra
Medical Reviewer
Dr Harshi Dhingra is a licensed medical doctor with a specialization in Pathology. Dr. Dhingra has of over a decade in diagnostic, clinical, research and teaching work, including managing all sections of Pathology laboratory including histopathology, cytology, hematology and clinical Pathology.
Kelly Brown
Kelly Brown
Content Contributor
Kelly has experience working with clients in a variety of industries, including legal, medical, marketing, and travel. Her goal is to share important information that people can use to make decisions about their health and the health of their loved ones. From choosing the best treatment programs to improving dental and vision health to finding the best method for helping anyone who is struggling with health issues, she hopes to share what she learns through informative content.
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