When is the Best Time to Take a Probiotic?

By: Mark Lange, PhD

It’s a common question – “Should I take my probiotic on an empty stomach or with a meal?”  A new study[i] suggests any time is fine.   Taking a probiotic on an empty stomach would mean a shorter stay in the stomach and less exposure to gastric juices.  Taking a probiotic with a meal might mean more probiotic degradation due to the low pH.  However, the study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology indicates that timing has little effect on the ability of probiotics to induce a beneficially change in the gut microbiota.

Twenty healthy participants split into two groups, one taking the probiotic 30 minutes before breakfast and the other 30 minutes after breakfast.  After one month, both groups displayed an increase in good bacterial load and the level of Firmicutes bacteria – associated with obesity – decreased.

[i] World Journal of Gastroenterology 2017, Vol 23, No 15, pp 2696-2704