How Long Does it Take for Probiotics to Work?

How Long Does it Take for Probiotics to Work?

So you’ve heard about the health benefits probiotics offer your gut, and now you want to know precisely how long it will take to see results? These gut-defending warriors work hard to get our bodies back on track but to understand how long it will take them to do so; we need to delve in a little deeper and consider every factor.

Probiotics can start to show us results as early as 1-2 weeks, depending on how we take them and what results we are looking for.

In this article, we’ll look at the factors that explain how long it takes probiotics to work for different afflictions. For a better understanding of why these healthy bacteria take time to work and what we can do to optimize their effectiveness, keep reading.

What do probiotics have to do in our bodies before we see results?

Probiotics are the good bacteria we consume to maintain a healthy gut microbiome to fight off harmful bacteria. 

But we can’t expect to take one capsule of these gut-loving little warriors and see instant results. The harmful bacteria in our guts are there in full force, and sending in one little troop of probiotics is only the beginning of the fight for digestive peace.

We have to understand that probiotics have a checklist of tasks to do before we can see the effects: 

  • increase the good bacteria in our gut 
  • decrease the harmful bacteria 
  • reduce the inflammation that causes our gut to need help in the first place

This takes time and consistency to complete, so 1-2 weeks is the standard time range we can expect to see results from taking probiotics. However, there are extenuating factors we need to discuss that may affect the length of time.

Probiotics can fix some problems faster than others

We now know that obtaining a healthy gut microbiome can take time. 

To arrive at the general gut health we need for our immune system to function properly and fight off infections, we can expect it to take weeks. 

But for other minor bodily issues, such as diarrhea, probiotic products may be able to provide relief much faster. 

Research suggests that in combination with rehydration therapy, probiotics have effectively decreased the side effects of diarrhea in as little as two days.

Meanwhile, one 2011 study concluded that those suffering from long-term digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome experienced an improvement in their symptoms in as little as four weeks. 

This is why it’s essential to know why you’re taking probiotics in the first place. Different results can be expected to manifest in different periods. See the table below for an estimated timeline of the effect of probiotics on certain conditions.

Condition or ailment

The time it takes probiotics to help


2 - 14 days

Nonchronic constipation

1 - 4 weeks


3 - 4 weeks

Weight maintenance

8 - 12 weeks

Skin problems

4 weeks - 3 months

Data from mindbodygreen (3)

Why probiotics may not be working for you

Have you been taking probiotics but not seeing any improvements in your digestive health? Here are a few explanations as to why this may be.

Your gut needs more time.

The rate at which probiotics help us can depend on our health when we first start taking them. If someone is suffering from the long-term effects of a particularly unhealthy gut microbiome, probiotics may take a little longer to restore gut health.

It would help if you had a different strain of probiotics

Probiotics come in many different strains. Not all strains can cure every affliction - it’s essential to read the label of your probiotic source and make sure you’re taking the right kind for you.

You aren’t taking them as intended.

Some probiotics are meant to be taken with food, while others are intended to be taken on an empty stomach. Some are designed to be taken once a day, while others are taken multiple times. Following the instructions can help us make sure we’re maximizing the effects of our probiotics. 

Your diet is lowering the effectiveness. 

The food we eat can affect our gut microbiome and the effectiveness of probiotics. Dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, or milk can act as an irritant to our gut. It’s essential to eat food that serves our gut health and does not counteract the effects of probiotics.

The takeaway

The health of our gut is crucial in ensuring our bodies are functioning correctly. Probiotics can help restore gut health in as little as 1-2 weeks and provide relief even more quickly with more minor ailments.

If you’ve decided to look into probiotics to achieve a healthier gut microbiome or resolve a specific digestive issue, we must have a realistic idea of how long probiotics take to work and what we can do to optimize their use.

Luckily, anyone in the market for dietary supplements with live cultures can try FuelOrganic’s high-quality vegan probiotic supplement filled with the probiotic strains necessary to support gut health.

For more information on where to find probiotic sources, check out our vegan-friendly guide: Why you need Vegan Probiotics

Trusted Sources

  1. Allen SJ, Martinez EG, Gregorio GV, Dans LF. Probiotics for treating acute infectious diarrhea. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 11.
  2. Choi CH, Jo SY, Park HJ, Chang SK, Byeon JS, Myung SJ. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial of saccharomyces boulardii in irritable bowel syndrome: effect on quality of life. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2011
  3. Boyers, L. How long does it actually take for your probiotic to start working? Mindbodygreen. 2020
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