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Probiotics for Bloating: The Science Explained

Woman holding stomach and showing discomfort

If you find yourself struggling with bloating on a regular occasion, you’re not alone. Research shows that 1 in 7 people in the U.S. experience bloating at least once a week, and many of those individuals have yet to seek treatment to cope with the pain. 

Managing the discomfort with over-the-counter medications is one way to manage bloating, but probiotics can offer a more holistic approach to getting rid of the bloating and keeping it at bay.

Let’s take a closer look at why bloating occurs, and why to consider taking a probiotic to reduce bloating and get it under control. 

Common Causes of Bloating

Bloating is an uncomfortable feeling that occurs in the stomach when the GI tract is filled with gas or air. If you’re feeling more bloated than usual, it may be the result of:

  • Swallowing air while chewing
  • Constipation
  • GERD
  • Weight gain
  • Menstruation
  • Inflammation
  • IBS, PID, Crohn’s disease or another condition that impacts digestion
  • General gut imbalance

While temporary bloating is generally nothing serious, it can still cause discomfort that makes it difficult to relax and enjoy your day-to-day activities. If your bloating is so uncomfortable to the point of making you feel painful and uneasy, talk to your doctor. 

Are Probiotics Good for Bloating?

The good news is that mild bloating can in fact be tamed with the use of probiotics; since gut imbalance may be the cause of your bloating to begin with, probiotics can be your ticket to an improved gut microbiome. It’s important to note, however, that when you incorporate probiotics into your dietary habits, the bloating may get worse before it gets better. This is merely your body getting used to the new bacteria.

As explained by The Cleveland Clinic, probiotics are helpful in rebalancing your gut and helping you digest food better, but they can also absorb excess gas in your gut.  

In fact, researchers of the Gillings School of Global Public Health, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tested the impact of Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07, Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, and Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM strains on the symptoms of bloating vs placebo. The probiotic test group participants had to take probiotics twice a day for eight weeks.

The results were clear: In comparison to the placebo group, the probiotic group showed significant improvement in the severity of their bloating.

In a similar study, researchers of DuPont Nutrition and Health found that participants who took a probiotic supplement with Bifidobacterium lactis for 28 days saw a significant difference in their bowel habits - there was an increase in bowel movement regularity and a decrease in constipation, two conditions that can lead to bloating. 

A Note on Probiotics and Bloating

While there is a lot of evidence that shows how beneficial probiotics may be for bloating, there may be certain instances where probiotics make bloating and other symptoms worse. Researchers of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia found that certain probiotics may cause more issues regarding gas and bloating for those with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

They concluded that those with overgrowth in the small intestine could lead to further fermentation and gas production, ultimately leading to worse gas, bloating, cramping, and other related symptoms. In other words, if there are too many bacteria in the gut, it can make your bloating even worse. Having a better understanding of the baseline health of your GI tract can help you make the smartest decision to get rid of the bloat. 

Other Ways to Stop Bloating

If you feel as though you’re dealing with a mild case of bloating, a few changes to your everyday habits can make a big difference in your gut. Here are some simple ways to reduce bloating.

  • Consider your eating habits. Eating slowly and making sure you chew your food down well enough can have an impact on your digestion (and the amount of air you swallow while eating). Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day can also help. 
  • Think about your drinking habits, too. Temperature has an impact on digestion and bloating. Drinking liquids at room temperature requires less energy from the body during the digestion process
  • Be mindful of your actions. Increased physical activity during the day can also be helpful in reducing bloat. Sitting up straight or taking a walk after eating can accelerate the digestion process and reduce the chances of bloating.  

Looking for the Best Probiotics for Bloating? 

Looking for the best probiotics for bloating and gas? Nella is a revolutionary probiotic that’s shaking things up in the health and wellness industry. By studying the microbiome of some of the most active people navigating today’s modern world, we’ve developed a probiotic that works for every body. When you add Nella to your everyday regimen, you’ll notice improvements in your gut health, energy levels, and sleeping habits. 

With time, you’ll find that it’s a useful probiotic for stomach bloating, gas, and other similar symptoms of an unbalanced gut.

Ready to optimize your holistic health? Subscribe to Nella today.

WRITTEN BY:  Marina Santiago, PhD

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Santiago has a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology from the Microbiology and Immunobiology Department of Harvard Medical School, but she has been fascinated by microbes and microbial communities for as long as she can remember. She works as an independent R&D strategy consultant and helps companies create and use evidence-based frameworks for making strategy decisions as well as helping them launch new programs or initiatives. Dr. Santiago is also passionate about fitness and the outdoors. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, and backpacking very long distances, as well as slowly getting better at yoga, Muay Thai, and Jiu Jitsu.

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