Do Probiotics Break A Fast?

Probiotics are live bacterial cultures that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. Depending on how they’re consumed will determine whether or not they will break your fast.

Probiotics taken in supplement (capsule or tablet) form will not break a fast whereas those that come in foods, like yogurt, sauerkraut, and popular drinks like Yakult unfortunately will.

Read on below to find out if you can successfully take probiotics while fasting and what forms of probiotics will not break your fast.

Do Probiotics Contain Calories?

Taken in capsule or tablet form (oral form, to swallow) probiotics do not contain any calories. In other words, they will not break your fast.

However, if you were to consume your probiotic from sweetened sources, such as chewable pills, powders, or even yogurt, then there would be a definite calorie load to accompany it. This value can range significantly, from 60-300 calories per serving of yogurt, for example.

The same can be said of food; sauerkraut or kimchi for example. While made of low-carb veggies themselves (cabbage), they still contain a moderate number of calories.

Another great example is the fan favorite, Yakult. The delicious bite-sized beverage, which has one of the highest probiotic concentrations in the market, contains 50 calories per 80ml serving.

Yakult nutritional facts

In short, as long as you are taking your probiotics in an oral supplement form and not consuming them in foods or enhanced with sweeteners, their calorie value will not affect your fast.

Will Probiotics Raise Blood Glucose Or Insulin Levels?

Pure probiotics taken in capsule or tablet form will not raise your blood sugar or insulin levels, since they do not contain any calories.

In fact, probiotics might help to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels.

One study found a significant difference in HbA1c (blood sugar) levels between subjects given probiotics and those who did not.

This is good news for those fasting for weight loss, as it means that you will be able to maintain low insulin levels throughout the day and continue burning stored body fat (since high insulin in blood shuts down fat usage).

However, as mentioned above, if you were to take your probiotics in a sugary form, such as sweetened yogurt, powders, or chewable form then this would of course lead to a rise in blood sugar and insulin.

You would also get the same result from consuming any sugary food while fasting.

So it’s best to stick with the supplement form if you want to maintain low insulin and blood glucose levels while fasting.

Will Probiotics Affect Autophagy?

Consuming probiotics in a capsule or tablet will not negatively affect autophagy, since they don’t contain any calories.

In fact, some studies have shown that probiotics can actually enhance autophagy.

One study found that Lactobacillus Plantarum (a type of probiotic) increased levels of LC3-II, a protein involved in autophagy.

Probiotic infused foods or those with high-calorie yield will of course have an effect on autophagy. So if you are trying to maximize autophagy through fasting, it’s best to consume your probiotics in supplement form.

Can I Use Probiotics on Fasting Days?

Absolutely! Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that help support gut health, so they’re great to take on any day, including fasting days.

Just make sure you’re taking them in capsule or tablet form (oral supplement) rather than in a food or drink, especially if you will be using them during fasting hours. Outside of the fasting window, anything is fair game.

Final Words

Probiotics are a great way to support gut health, and they can be taken on fasting days without breaking your fast. Just make sure to take them in capsule or tablet form (oral supplement) rather than in a food or drink. Enjoy!

Curious what else might break your fast? Read these:

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Michael Jessimy, BSc(Pharmacy)

Michael is a qualified Pharmacist with over 10 years experience dealing with a range of both prescription and alternative remedies. He is also an amateur heavyweight bodybuilder and loves spending his spare time hitting the gym. He strives to help others build the best body possible through fitness, health and nutrition consultation and has several published books under his name.

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