A spoonful of probiotics on a blurred background with three probiotic pills in front of it

When venturing down the rabbit hole that is health and nutrition education, oftentimes it’s difficult to know exactly where you’re heading. There are countless signs claiming to be the way to go – offering a cure-all to your every ailment – and guaranteeing your success if you just follow along. Among these many signs and signals is a message to take probiotics – to load up on yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha – but is taking probiotics really the way to go? And if so, how do you know if it is the right path for you?

To start, we know that probiotics are good for us, and that they are a natural part of the body’s environment. Probiotics are microorganisms (microflora) that reside in our intestine. They are good bacteria that keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms or bacteria) in check, aid in proper digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function. Probiotics have been researched extensively, showing positive results for an array of conditions ranging from asthma and allergies, to skin disorders and vaginal and urinary infections. They crowd out bad bacteria, preventing the bacteria’s ability to host in the body, which inhibits infection, inflammation and disease.

Another way in which probiotics impact the health of the body is by improving digestion. Proper levels of probiotics in the gut have been shown to be effective in combating diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, they help the body to absorb nutrients, making sure your body receives the vitamins, minerals, fats and amino acids from the foods that you are consuming. In fact, probiotics are needed for the generation of certain B vitamins, vitamin K, folate, and some short-chain fatty acids.

Finally, we know that probiotics are the foundation of a concept called the “gut-brain” connection. This is the idea that microflora (probiotics) directly impact your brain behavior. Proven by researchers at UCLA, the correction of healthy bacteria in the gut can optimize neurotransmitter function, leading to a reduction in anxiety, depression, and stress, and may even improve learning and sharpen focus and memory.

Now that we see how probiotics help the body, how do we know if our body needs them? Probiotics exist naturally in your gut, so we really only need to supplement with them if they have been depleted. And how do we know if they have been depleted? Take a look at our list of the top signs that indicate deficiency, and see if a probiotic supplement needs to be added to your shopping list.

Insider’s Info: Probiotics are abundant in fermented foods, but most often their probiotic concentration is not enough to be used therapeutically when the gut flora has been drastically depleted. Therefore, use fermented probiotic-rich foods as an ongoing part of the diet to keep your levels up as a form of prevention. Then choose a high-quality probiotic (like these favorites), as a form of nutrition therapy.

9 signs you need probiotics

Antibiotic Use

Antibiotic means anti-life, which is the exact opposite of probiotic, which means pro-life. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria in the body, and they do not discriminate between the bad and the good. So if you have ever taken a round of antibiotics, consider taking a probiotic to reintroduce the healthy flora back into the body.

TCM Tip: Start a round of probiotics after you finish your antibiotics. Antibiotics prevent the probiotics from living in the body, so do not waste your money by taking them concurrently.

Food Poisoning

If you recently have had food poisoning or have eaten something that just didn’t sit right, there is a good chance bad bacteria has made a home in your body. Taking a probiotic will fight off these bad guys and get your digestion and bowel movements back to normal.

TCM Tip: When traveling in a foreign country, take probiotics as a preventative measure both before and during the trip. The more healthy bacteria you have in the gut, the better defense your body has against potential invaders.

Digestive Disturbances

If your gut has not been functioning correctly and you are suffering from a condition of the digestive tract, consider using a probiotic supplement. Oftentimes the simple addition of these healthy bacteria can quell symptoms, and no further treatment is needed. Research has shown probiotics to be helpful for diarrhea, gas, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s and H. pylori infection.

TCM Tip: Always improve the diet first, eliminating hard-to-digest foods such as processed, packaged, and fried foods, dairy, gluten and soy. If your condition is still occurring, then you know it is time to bring in probiotics.

Skin Conditions

If you suffer from acne, eczema, rashes, hives, or psoriasis, it’s most likely due to poor digestion and an imbalance in gut bacteria. Start using probiotics while also cleaning up your diet.

TCM Tip: If your skin does not clear from diet and probiotics alone, you may consider using digestive aids such as HCL and enzymes, and agents to heal the intestinal lining (glutamine and aloe). Checking your hormones is also important when acne is present, especially on the chin, chest and upper back.

Mood Disorders

If your daily life is riddled with stress, anxiety, irritability and depression, it could be because your intestinal flora is out of whack. Start using probiotics to normalize the flora, which will improve the functioning of your neurotransmitters and therefore your mood.

TCM Tip: If your mood does not improve with the use of probiotics, consider taking live-source B vitamins, and herbs to strengthen the kidney. These are oftentimes the missing link when mood conditions are present.

Weak Immunity

If you get sick from the flu every year, have maxed out your work sick days and seem to catch everything that goes around, then try probiotics. Probiotics have been clinically found to boost the immune system and strengthen the body’s defenses against illness. Healthy bacteria can train your immune system to distinguish between “foreign” microbes and those originating in your body, making probiotics the best front line against infection.

TCM Tip: In order to keep the immune system strong, it is ideal to do a round of probiotics for a month or so, and to stay on a low dose as a form of prevention. Eating probiotic-rich foods daily is also going to be a key component for keeping the healthy bacteria in balance.

Asthma and Allergies

Research has shown promise in the effects of probiotics in reducing symptom severity and medication use for asthma. Probiotics may also be helpful in reducing allergies, especially food allergies. Most often the root cause of food allergies is leaky gut, which can be improved by proper flora levels in the gut. Studies indicate that children with healthier gut flora have a reduced risk of developing allergies and asthma.

TCM Tip: In order to help prevent asthma and allergies in your children, consider breastfeeding. Breastfeeding helps protect your baby from this abnormal gut flora by introducing naturally occurring probiotics via the breastmilk.


New research suggests that probiotics may have therapeutic potential in autism spectrum disorder. They believe that gut bacteria may contribute to symptoms of Autism. By balancing the gut bacteria – reintroducing healthy probiotics – communicative, stereotypic, anxiety-like and sensorimotor behaviors were shown to decrease. While more research has to be done on the topic, probiotic supplementation for autism appears hopeful.

Yeast Infections

If you suffer from recurring yeast infections or Candida, then this is a good indicator that there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the body. The best way to bring it back into balance is with probiotics. Probiotics, or good bacteria, crowd out the bad bacteria, helping to relieve the body of the symptoms attributed to the overgrowth.

TCM Tip: Eliminate white sugar and significantly reduce natural sugars, and sugary carbohydrates. These foods are what bad bacteria feed on, so in order to expedite their elimination from the body, it is best to cut off their food source.

Bottom banner image
From our friends


  1. I just watched the video by Drew Canole about the 7 signs you may need probiotics for good good gut balance. I joined the VFX program about 1 month ago & am learning a wealth of information regarding the gut & how affects our immune system & so many other things that can affect our daily lives. I’ve already purchased the product Pro-X10 & found it to be very beneficial. I’ve suffered from IBS-C for many years & trips to the bathroom were a nightmare. Now I find they are much easier & with much less discomfort. Unfortunately, I’m also taking antibiotics on a regular basis due to the fact I have comprised immune system. I’ve found the Pro-X10, along with Green Juice I’ve also purchased has given me a better sense of well-being & more energy. I feel great! I only wish I could have the benefits of your wonderful juicer! I would love to start juicing my own vegetables & reap all of the rewards it provides to help me optimize my health! I can’t afford to buy one on my own because I’m on disability. Do you think you could help me out? I’d be forever grateful!! Thank you much for listing to my story…
    Love & Light~ Sandie Masini, California

    Sandie Masini | 11.03.2016 | Reply
  2. Seen your site and is an excellent eye opener. Would like to learn more from you good people.

    Kenneth Kavai Sabatia | 11.11.2017 | Reply
  3. Just eat a normal healthy diet, all your problems stop, what a bunch of malarkey to sell products, we have survived to this point in just plain food, even 50 years ago, no throwing stuff we don’t need in us. There is no substitute for eating even close to right, get rid of high sugar drinks and artificial sweeteners and things will be much better.

    Mike gratz | 01.09.2018 | Reply
  4. The reason eating healthy food alone is not good enough any more is because these foods are sprayed with all sorts of chemicals, while growing and also in transportation to prolong the shelf life. These chemicals kill off a lot of their goodness. Therefore, nowadays we need extra help such as these probiotics. It makes a lot of sense.

    Jenny | 01.15.2018 | Reply
  5. Gratz’s premise is false, we, as a species, also survived without cars, soap and hospitals, yet it is my opinion that they have improved the quality of our lives.

  6. I agree with Mike. Probiotics are a money gimmick and a fad. Many people become sicker on probiotics; they are not for everyone. A strict, nutritious diet is what really matters.

    Heather | 07.25.2018 | Reply
  7. I was sick with digestive issues for months even though I am on an incredibly healthy, balanced plant-based diet. I just started taking a probiotic supplement and drinking kombucha (which is loaded with probiotics) and my issues cleared up instantly. No, it’s not “malarkey,” this is an article potentially beneficially to someone struggling with the same issues I was.

    Rose | 05.25.2019 | Reply
  8. I had an ulcer, and IBS and both are gone. I preach Probiotics to anyone who will listen.

  9. Probiotics completely cleared up my psoriasis, an issue I had been struggling with for 7 years. Within 4 weeks of taking a daily supplement, the plaques stopped forming, and within two months, it cleared up completely. Probiotics may be unnecessary for some people- but for me they solved a debilitating problem that changes in my lifestyle/diet, topical cream regimens, and medications could not.

    Markus Kobi | 09.06.2019 | Reply
  10. I’ve been Dealing with digestive issues for 10 plus years. The doctors claim it’s IBS-D. I can’t eat one bite without running to the restroom. I become bloated, gassy and constipated for days because I have to take imodium every day if I want to actually eat food. Otherwise I won’t be able to leave the house because Ill spend most of my day inside the restroom. It’s an absolute nightmare. I’ve been in hell for so many years and it never gets better. Oh! I forgot the WORST PART OF IT ALL!!!!
    The PAIN!!!!!!!!!! The intense, horrible, I cry because the pain is so bad that comes along with the stomach issues.
    I have tried everything. Changing my diet, taking pills. I’ve had test after test done.
    But the ONE thing I have not tried yet is taking a probiotic.
    Tomorrow I am going to go to the store and get some and try it out for a few weeks and see if anything improves.
    I will come back here and give an update to let everyone know how and if taking probiotics has helped.

    Wish me luck!!!!

    Alyssa | 10.11.2019 | Reply
  11. Just a note based on experience. I did not have a good opinion regarding probiotics because when I took them, I had the normal side effects…gas, etc. When I had to go to the emergency room with a really bad infection on my hand from a cut, they STRESSED that I should take probiotics WITH my 2 strong antibiotics!! Well, since I had my negative opinion about them, I reluctantly bought a bottle of the best ones with many strains that I could afford (they are expensive) and I put them aside. I took the antibiotics as directed without the probiotics 🙂 After 1 day of severe diarrhea, I knew if I didn’t do something, I wouldn’t be able to continue taking the meds 🙁 So, I got my bottle of probiotics out and gave it a shot! I took 2 probiotics with each dose of antibiotics, and within 24 hours, the diarrhea STOPPED!! It was a MIRACLE!! I was/am amazed! I was able to finish taking the pills. My new opinion is this: not everyone needs probiotics, and taking them if you don’t need them can cause you more grief; but when the good bacteria in the gut are being destroyed by antibiotics or other meds, then it is absolutely in your best interest to take them and keep your intestines healthy. We are all different, so we have to listen to our bodies….they do talk to us 🙂 God bless you all on your journey to wellness…it can be a long one!

    Barbara | 10.31.2019 | Reply
  12. Thank you for reminding me to never read the comments ☹️

    HippieYays | 12.19.2019 | Reply

Leave A Comment