6 Possible Side Effects of Probiotics You Shouldn’t Overlook

Probiotics can do wonders for your gut health, but like anything else, they have the potential to also do harm. Look out for these potential side effects of probiotics.

The idea that bacteria improve health baffles many. After all, people are increasingly using antibiotics and antibacterial soaps to fight bacteria.

However, not all bacteria pose a danger to your health. Some bacteria offer incredible health benefits. For instance, probiotics, which are living bacteria and yeast, have been proven to improve digestion and lower the risk of chronic diseases.

It’s for this reason that probiotic supplements are so popular and people are increasing the intake of probiotic-rich foods. However, probiotics are not a miraculous remedy. Taking them can sometimes trigger awful side effects.

Below are possible side effects of probiotics you should know about.

1. Skin Rashes and Itchiness

Chances are you won’t experience this side effect, because it’s rare, but it’s worth noting in the off chance you experience it. This report shows that probiotics caused itchy rashes in participants taking them to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Stop taking a probiotic if it causes you any skin problems. Try a different brand or stick to probiotics from natural sources.

2. Headaches and Migraines

Probiotic-rich foods may cause headaches and migraines, because they can contain biogenic amines.

When you ferment protein food, it produces a substance called biogenic amines. According to research, amines interfere with your central nervous system, which consequently increases or decreases circulation and may cause headaches.

3. A Higher Risk of Infections

Probiotics may increase the risk of fungal and bacterial infections in people with severe illnesses or weak immune systems, this review shows.

This may sound confusing, because some sources show that probiotics strengthen the immune system, but keep in mind that different bodies work differently. Talk to your doctor before taking probiotics if you have a condition that’s weakening your immune system.

4. Allergy Symptoms

Probiotic-rich foods may cause allergic reactions. Most of these foods contain soy, dairy, lactose or gluten, which may trigger allergies in some people. If you have any food allergies or intolerances, remember to read the label before buying probiotics.

Additionally, some of the strains used in probiotic supplements may produce histamine in your digestive tract. As a result, some people may experience allergy-like symptoms such as itchiness, running nose and difficulty breathing.

5. Digestive Issues

Probiotics are supposed to boost your digestive health, right? Well, some people may experience gas, bloating and diarrhea after taking them. Researchers say that high intake of probiotics can raise levels of D-lactic acid, which may cause gas, bloating and brain fog hours after taking probiotics.

6. Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth

Did you know that the large and small intestines house different types of bacteria? Sometimes, however, the large intestines’ bacteria start growing in the small intestines, which is known as small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

In this study, researchers found there was a link between probiotic supplements and SIBO. Not only that, SIBO symptoms reduced when participants quit probiotics and started taking antibiotics.

Frankly, these side effects only affect a small percentage of people. Most people can benefit from taking probiotics. Just keep an eye out, in case you’re in the small group who does have an adverse reaction.


Anna R
Anna R6 days ago

thanks for this

Leo C
Leo C19 days ago

Thank you for posting!

hELEN hEARFIELD20 days ago


Thomas M
Thomas M20 days ago

thank you for sharing

Roxana Saez
Roxana S21 days ago


Mike R
Mike R22 days ago


Lorraine A

Thanks for sharing

Frances G
Past Member 22 days ago


Christine Stewart