Ultimate Flora is the name of a probiotic supplement that includes the active ingredients Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus. According to MayoClinic.com, there is evidence that the good bacteria in probiotics work to restore balance in the digestive tract by treating conditions such as diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome and certain intestinal infections. Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not strictly regulate supplements, however, there is no guarantee of the strength, safety or purity of Ultimate Flora, so its effects may vary. In certain cases, individuals develop side effects from taking probiotic supplements such as Ultimate Flora.
Abdominal discomfort is the most common complaint when taking Ultimate Flora. This discomfort results from excess gas in the intestinal tract, which can happen when new bacteria enter the digestive system and temporarily upset its bacterial balance. The excess gas can cause pain, bloating, flatulence or cramping, but it usually resolves with continued use of the probiotic as the digestive tract adjusts. If your discomfort persists, limiting your daily dose of Ultimate Flora can help. Severe abdominal discomfort or discomfort lasting for more than two days should be checked by a doctor.
Excessive Drainage Syndrome
Excessive drainage syndrome can be a side effect of taking Ultimate Flora. This is a condition that causes an array of symptoms including diarrhoea, bloating, headache and constipation. It happens when too many probiotics are consumed too rapidly, causing the digestive and immune systems to kick into overdrive. Alleviate this condition by reducing your consumption of probiotics until your body learns to deal with the extra bacteria. Once your body has adjusted, gradually increase the dosage. If your symptoms persist, consult a doctor.
Developing an infection from Ultimate Flora is a rarer side effect. Infection can occur in individuals taking probiotics who suffer from weakened immune systems due to disease or as a result of therapy requiring chemotherapy or immunosuppressants. Individuals with weakened immune systems have also been known to develop fungal infections from probiotics. In addition, there are rare reports of heart valve infections in people taking supplements containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, particularly individuals with artificial heart valves. Anyone with a compromised immune system or an artificial heart valve should avoid Ultimate Flora.
One of the claimed beneficial effects of Ultimate Flora is its ability to speed up the digestive process; however, this can also interfere with the way the body metabolises drugs. Sulfasalazine is a drug used to treat ulcerative colitis. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it is improperly metabolised when taken by someone consuming supplements containing Lactobacillus acidophilus. People taking sulfasalazine should not take Ultimate Flora.
- Mayo Clinic; "Consumer Health: Is It Important to Include Probiotics in a Healthy Diet?; Katherine Zeratsky; 2010
- Mayo Clinic: Lactobacillus acidophilus: Safety
- Probiotics-LoveThatBug: Side Effects of Probiotics
- imithome.org: Probiotic Side Effects
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Lactobacillus acidophilus