Should I Use Liquid Or Tablet Probiotics ?

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There are a plethora of probiotics available on the market, and it can be a minefield deciding which ones to take and in what form.

Two of the more popular forms are liquid and tablet. But is there a difference between them? Which one is more fast acting?

Let’s consider what they actually do and what’s available. 

What are they?

Probiotics are made up of a combination of various live bacteria that reside naturally in our bodies. The body is packed full of good and bad bacteria, and occasionally bad bacteria overpopulate and cause an imbalance in the gut.

Probiotics attempt to replace good bacteria, so you can regain normal bowel functioning. 

Much of the body’s bacteria live in the gut, however, they also reside in the urinary tract, vagina, skin, and lungs. 

If your system is struggling to keep them in check, you may be more prone to illness. Using probiotics regularly can really benefit your health.

When the gut is compromised it can affect many parts of the body including the brain. There have been many studies regarding the connection between gut health and psychological issues such as depression and anxiety as well as neurological illnesses, like Alzheimer’s disease. 

So, are they worth it?

Do they work?

Studies have shown that a good quality probiotic is effective in replacing good bacteria in the gut.  All sorts of things can cause good bacteria to diminish such as bad diet, obesity, digestive disorders and some allergies.

For children who suffer with eczema, probiotics have proven beneficial at reducing symptoms.

For those with food allergies such as gluten and dairy allergies, a good quality probiotic can reduce the severity of an inflammatory response. 

As mentioned, there is a clear link between mental health and good gut health, so healing the gut is vital, especially if prone to bouts of depressive episodes or anxiety. 

Probiotics are also key to boosting immunity. By inhibiting the growth of bacteria, the immune system is able to do a much better job at protecting us from illness but also reducing the likelihood of developing serious infections from viruses and bacteria. 

Some probiotics help promote weight loss by helping you feel full for longer, storing less fat and burning more calories; who knew! 

Probiotics can also increase digestive health, reduce general inflammation and help serious conditions developing such as autoimmune disorders or heart disease. Some studies suggest that consuming probiotics can lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.  

Additionally, a good probiotic can treat diarrhea and gastrointestinal issues by reducing the inflammation that causes it. 

A largely female problem is that of vaginal yeast infections (or Candida). When the good bacteria in the vagina is off balance it can cause a plethora of unpleasant symptoms such as itching, burning and increased urination.

Learn more about the connection between IBS and Candida.

A high quality probiotic specially designed for women can rebalance the normal vaginal flora, easing symptoms and providing relief overall.  

Liquid vs Tablet Probiotics 

Taking a tablet form of a probiotic is the simplest way to take them, and you’ll find most come as pills, but what if taking tablets is problematic for you? Some people don’t like swallowing large capsules, but do not fear, liquid is here! 

Liquid probiotics are easy to take, and you can add them to water or beverages. They are also absorbed more quickly into the body.

Another benefit is that liquid probiotics can work their magic in the mouth and esophagus en route to the intestines, which may be a good solution if you suffer from oral thrush or the like. 

It’s important to research any brand you’re thinking of trying, as some are better quality than others. It’s also useful to identify what area of the body you wish to target. 

Products will be made to specifically tackle different parts such as skin, gut or urinary tract. Most probiotics will list what strains of bacteria it contains. Always ensure you keep liquid refrigerated, as the shelf life isn’t as stable as tablets.

Probiotic tinctures are particularly agreeable for those that struggle to drink unpleasant tasting liquid. They’re usually mixed with some sort of fruit juice and barely noticeable, ideal if you’re a touch squeamish.

Other Probiotic Forms – Changing it up

If you can’t even stomach a liquid or tincture, how about being really creative and purchasing some probiotic drinks? Some companies produce drink mixes that are super tasty and that you can add to a liquid that you like.

The great thing about powder formulations that you can mix into a drink of your choice is that they are delicious, and you will enjoy your daily dose of probiotics and even start to look forward to it. 

Powdered drinks can usually be consumed hot or cold, but if choosing the hot option it’s important not to make your drink too hot. Heat kills off good bacteria. 

The powdered variety is usually available in various flavors, so there’s lots of choice depending on taste; there are even chocolate ones out there for all you chocoholics.

Of course, before investing in man made probiotics it’s useful to remember that much of the food we eat contains live probiotic cultures. Combining a supplement with a healthy diet is good practice and can benefit health tremendously. 

Fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, and pickles are packed full of the good guys.

If you don’t have a dairy intolerance, live yogurt is very beneficial and can help ease symptoms of yeast infections and populate the gut with good bacteria. 

Furthermore, using probiotics can increase vitamin D levels, which is a very common deficiency. 

There’s no denying that introducing a probiotic, especially a liquid version, is a good health choice that has a variety of benefits.

Not only can it address serious health complaints, it helps prevent health issues in the future. Using tinctures and liquid will speed up the healing process and is a great addition to your health regime. The increased energy and vitality it provides will be worth every penny. 

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Written and Medically Reviewed By

  • Chelsea Cleary, RDN

    Chelsea is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) specializing in holistic treatment for chronic digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), SIBO, and Crohn’s disease. She educates patients on how they can heal themselves from their conditions by modifying lifestyle and dietary habits.

  • Julie Guider, M.D.

    Dr. Julie Guider earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She completed residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia. She completed her general gastroenterology and advanced endoscopy fellowships at University of Texas-Houston. She is a member of several national GI societies including the AGA, ACG, and ASGE as well as state and local medical societies.