Do Probiotics change stool color? The short answer to the question of whether probiotics effect stool is yes. Sometimes probiotics can effect your stool because of the different type of bacteria colonizing the gut, for example taking pepto bismol can change the color of your stool to black. Your stomachs contents are mixed with bile as they move through the digestive systems which can cause stool to be green. A change in stool color can be normal after taking probiotics and may not be anything to worry about.
Many times probiotics will actually normalize the color of a stool from a different color because the bacteria is now fermenting the food within your gut. However in certain instances a person may have a negative reaction to the probiotic which is rare and this will cause the foods to expel a bit faster than usual causing a greenish type of stool. If you have a reaction to a certain probiotic its important to switch or try a few brands before you settle on something that works for you. The inverse is also possible which is harder browner stools from the bacteria fermenting in a different way. All of our microbiomes are very different between each other so a certain probiotic may have a different effect similar to you introducing a new species into a new habitat some will thrive and some will die dependent on the habitat this is similar with stool color in regards to probiotics it is very much dependent on your microbiomes current state.
The chart above is an accurate representation of how the color of our stool can mean different things.
Brown – This is a normal stool type most common to people around the world, this signals your stool is normal and when seeing brown you cant really determine any unnatural issues from color alone.
Green – This color of stool can mean bowel inflammation from stool moving through the body too fast and being mixed with bile without a chance to be filtered. This may be malabsorption and if its consistent there may be cause for some worry. However we start to see how vague stool color analysis can be here since many type of green vegetables and leafy greens such as spinach or water additives.
Light brownish or yellowish – This could signal gallbladder or liver problems.
Light grey – Could Signal Pancreatitis
Red– This is a big warning mark, if there is blood in your stool see a doctor immediately, it could be something small like hemorrhoids from over whipping or straining however it could also be something more serious such as stomach cancer. Also sometimes eating beats can give the false impression of red stool but are harmless
Black – This could be a sign of upper GI bleeding, if your stool is black we recommend seeing a doctor since this may be dried blood from the upper gi tract and may be serious. However keep in mind some things such as pepto bismol cause black stool and black stool after pepto bismol is nothing to worry about. Red wine has also been known to cause black stool.
Our poop says a lot of things about our health! Yes indeed! It may sound revolting, but it’s a fact, one that may be a bit hard to swallow depending on your squeamishness. If you want to determine the health of your digestive system, you only need to look at your poop and see what it looks like.
Most people still have the misconception about the effects and benefits of probiotics. Although most know that probiotics are good bacteria that are good for our health, particularly our digestive system. Many don’t know exactly ‘how’ probiotics can keep us healthy.
Stools are made up of bacteria being discharged from the body through our digestive system. While it’s a fact that bacteria reside in our body, not all of them are bad. There are also good bacteria, and we need both of these types of bacteria to maintain healthy immune and digestive systems, as long as there’s a good balance between the good and bad bacteria. The problem arises when bad bacteria dominate over the good. And this problem can manifest in our stool. This is where our guts need Probiotics to replace good bacteria that have been lost.
Most people also experience diarrhea after taking antibiotics. This is because antibiotics ‘kill’ bacteria, both good and bad. We are advised to take probiotics to help balance the good and bad bacteria in our body.
Before we discuss how probiotics affect our stool, here are some things to look for in your poop to tell whether you have a healthy gut:
- Shape: Poop should be in an S-shape when it hits the water, small balls or unformed stool can’t be signs of constipation or diarrhea.
- Noise: Poop shouldn’t make a splashing sound when it hits the water. It should go down gently and quietly if it makes a sound that can mean it is not properly absorbed and overly dense.
- Size: Healthy poop is bulky and long. Releasing should be easy and effortless.
- Color: The color of foods we eat can affect the color of our poop. But if the color is consistently green or yellow, it could be an indication of a health problem.
- Consistency: Poop should not float, it should sink slowly. If it splashes or drops quickly, it means there’s something wrong with your digestion.
If your stool frequently looks watery or hard and with unusual color, consider the signs and take it seriously. Don’t be embarrassed to tell your doctor about it.
How Probiotics Affect your Stool
Bacteria reside in our guts more than anywhere else in our body. Probiotics (the good bacteria) serve as our gut’s protection against the harmful bacteria. As long as the number of probiotics keeps up with the number of bad bacteria, we’re safe and good. In the event that the probiotics weaken and decrease in number, that’s when we become more exposed to the hazard of harmful bacteria.
We can replace lost probiotics by taking in supplements and foods rich in probiotics. And there are two types of probiotics that you can take in: Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. The main difference between these two types is their site of residence. Lactobacilli commonly dwell in the small intestine while Bifidobacteria inhabit in the large intestine. Lactobacilli can be found in yogurt and fermented milk drink. Bifidobacteria are found in some dairy products.
Probiotics help provide formed stool within 4 days is the average time it takes for your gut to be temporarily colonized by the probiotics. In multiple studies where children were given probiotics with diarrhea the stools began to become more formed and the children recovered in half the time. Since these studies there have been multiple studies attesting to the same.
Probiotics protect the guts by:
- boosting the number of good bacteria to displace the harmful bacteria;
- neutralizing harmful bacteria;
- assisting the immune system in forcing out harmful toxins and unsafe pathogens.
When our digestive system fails, our immune system also weakens. We need probiotics to keep our guts protected and healthy. That is why you need to pay attention to what your stool is telling you about the health of your gut.