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My Experience With Megadosing Probiotics + Side Effects

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:
I’ve never really noticed much of an effect from probiotics. About a year ago I started to take them in higher dosages and I started noticing some benefits for the gut, but not much else.

As I study the immune system more and these individual probiotic species that I’m ingesting, I started thinking that there is a gap between what I’m reading and what I’m experiencing.

Probiotics are good, but reading the research, I would’ve expected more from it.

So I thought it’s time to experiment with probiotics the same way I do with other substances: take more until I feel an acute effect.

The reason I wanted to do this was that I was getting some gas from my experiments with NAG, Sialic acid, and Mannose. I also couldn’t take NAC because I’d get gas from that, too.

I also wanted to do some experiments for inducing oral tolerance more.

Experiments

My First Two Experiments: Ingesting 280 Billion Microbes

So, at first, I decided to do a little experiment and ingest 280 billion probiotic bacteria in one shot, containing 15 different strains. This is equivalent to two bottles of your run of the mill probiotics.

My result? I felt a bit high and blissful. The effect was strong.

It felt something like a mix of butyrate, lactic acid, and oxytocin (produced by L Reuteri). Indeed, these are byproducts of these bacteria.

I also got a bit itchy and red in some places, but nothing serious.

My Third Experiment: Ingesting 660 Billion Bacteria

In the first 2 experiments, I took most of the bottle of a probiotic with a smaller count of 5 billion bacteria. There were also some confounding variables.

I waited maybe a month between this and the last two experiments.

This time I took 10 capsules of a probiotic with 66 billion bacteria in each pill. This equals 660 billion bacteria. I made sure there were no confounding variables this time.

To take the amount that I took, you’d have to take 132 pills of your standard 5 billion species probiotic. Many probiotics have only 1 billion bacteria, which means you’d have to take 660 pills of this to get the dosage I got.

I also had some gas from over-consuming these dried Blueberries (a pound) and too much brussels sprouts (a pound). It could also be because I was experimenting with lots of chocolate in the preceding days, which makes my gut act up.

Anyway, the effect was the same as the first two times, but stronger. It was incredibly relaxing and made me feel really good. It’s an incredible anti-depressant.

I experienced cognitive sensations the next day was pretty powerful. Any stronger and it would’ve turned into a headache.

There were the same sensations in my skin as well. I felt a bit of intestinal discomfort for an hour, but this went away.

In all three experiments, all gas went away when challenged with gas promoting supplements and food.

Honestly, most of the effects took place while I was sleeping because it hit me strongly an hour before bed and I felt it strongly still as I woke up and the next day. My sleep was really good.

Also, my appetite was noticeably suppressed.

While it’s relaxing, it’s also wakeful-promoting.

I also seem to tolerate lectins better (not as fatigued after).

660 billion bacteria are too much for me. I don’t know what the long-term effects of this would be. I’d rather take 1 pill 2X a day chronically, which I would consider a minimum effective dosage.

Well, it was important that I knew it was working and how.

My Fourth Experiment: Ingesting 2 Trillion Probiotics

I decided to get into the trillions of species. I decided to take 20 pills of this probiotic, and it was stronger, but I didn’t notice that much of a difference than from 660 billion.

Overall, it had some good effects on mood and I thought it would be good for going out and socializing, as I felt more social.

Future Experiments

I’m going to experiment in the future with creating tolerance to eggs. To do this, I will take megadoses of probiotics – probably the same dosage of 660 billion bacteria together with my eggs. I will make sure to add Cod liver as well.

Using Probiotics

Potential Side Effects

This approach isn’t risk-free, but if done in a careful way, it’s relatively safe.

The only potential problem I see is throwing your immune system off balance more. So make sure you take probiotics that balance your immune system the way you want it to. This is why you should start small.

See the species you should take to lower Th1 dominance or Th2 dominance.

For myself, I just wasn’t concerned about an imbalanced immune system, but everyone is different.

I had a client who felt more than a half of a capsule of 5 billion species was too strong for her. She reacted to every supplement she took.

If you’re in a precarious state, then your risks are greater, but your potential rewards are also greater.

Overall, though, probiotics are pretty safe.

Recommended Probiotics

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Takeaway

The takeaway is that you need to hit things hard. Don’t think you will be cured by taking 1 small pill of 5 billion probiotics.

I see people that can’t function at all in the day and they’re being timid. If your body is broken, baby steps won’t fix you. They’re better than nothing, but bold (but safe) actions need to be taken.

I currently have no health problems I’m still hitting things hard (more to see the effects).

If you have gut problems, then slowly ramp up your probiotic usage until you get side effects or the desired effect.

Don’t be timid.

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen won the genetic lottery of bad genes. As a kid, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, and other issues that were poorly understood in both conventional and alternative medicine.Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a journey of self-experimentation and self-learning to improve his health--something that has since become known as “biohacking”. With thousands of experiments and pubmed articles under his belt, Joe founded SelfHacked, the resource that was missing when he needed it. SelfHacked now gets millions of monthly readers.Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the CEO of SelfHacked, SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer.His mission is to help people gain access to the most up-to-date, unbiased, and science-based ways to optimize their health.
Joe has been studying health sciences for 17 years and has read over 30,000 PubMed articles. He's given consultations to over 1000 people who have sought his health advice. After completing the pre-med requirements at university, he founded SelfHacked because he wanted to make a big impact in improving global health. He's written hundreds of science posts, multiple books on improving health, and speaks at various health conferences. He's keen on building a brain-trust of top scientists who will improve the level of accuracy of health content on the web. He's also founded SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer, popular genetic and lab software tools to improve health.

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