Generally speaking, all probiotics perform through the same mechanism. Probiotics contain live bacteria that interact with both your human cells and the resident microbes in your microbiome to produce beneficial processes and compounds in the body. Commensal bacteria strains are selected based on the roles they play in the body, and may also be introduced to restore the balance of microbes in your inner ecosystem.
Most probiotics target your digestive system (aka your gut), which inhabits the largest microbiome in the body. Probiotics for lung health target the gut-lung axis, producing metabolites that can support a healthy inflammatory response as well as lung structure and function over time. Some probiotics for lung health may also contain additional ingredients, including herbs or botanicals, that have been shown to address inflammation and lung function in studies.
Is there a risk of lung probiotics interacting with other supplements or medications?
While most respiratory supplements and lung support supplements act on different pathways than most respiratory care medications, certain herbal dietary supplements may carry a risk of interacting with prescription medications. It is always important to check with not only the supplement manufacturer but also with a healthcare practitioner who knows your complete list of medications, before adding a new supplement to your regimen.
It’s also important to pay attention to the probiotic strains in a supplement if you consider taking more than one probiotic blend. In theory, if the supplements you are taking contain different bacteria or target different organ systems, it’s fine to take multiple probiotic supplements. That said, tolerance typically depends on the dose and the individual’s sensitivity factors, and side effects such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and gastroesophageal reflux have been associated with large daily doses. Again, make sure your doctor knows everything you’re taking – natural supplements included – before adding anything new to your list.