T Nation

Probiotics?

I’m on a GI kick today!

I’d like a concensus on the Probiotics that many of you use, and why you like them.

I’ve been looking at Dr. Williams and LEF…

Any thoughts?

Mufasa

I’ve read that drinking Kefir works much better than taking probiotics pills. I’d go that routine if it was easy as popping pills but it’s something you’d have to make an effort to make kefir. You’d have to get coconut water, pour kefir in, wait for a few day, drink then and repeat the process but the results might be alot better than the probiotic pills. Here’s the website that would explain it better - http://www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com/mall/kefir_culture.ASP

This topic, like digestive enzymes (assuming one believes that they can be helpful), is all over the place i.e. there are many different formulations, no “proof” which is better.

A few thoughts:

  1. FOS: while this is supposed to be good in a probiotic, there are some people who FOS makes them worse. See Leo Galland, M.D.

http://www.mdheal.org/parasites.htm

INTESTINAL PARASITES, BACTERIAL DYSBIOSIS AND LEAKY GUT

  1. The amount of probiotic support a person needs depends on how bad their condition is e.g. a healthy women who gets 3-4 yeast infections/year may benefit from almost any reasonable flora, while a women I worked with who had MS and what amounted to a continual yeast infection for years needed a more potent product.

  2. A good high potency one that I like/use is metagenics ultra-bifidus and ultra-dophilus. It comes in both powder and capsule forms. Metagenics is a brand that sells only to docs. There is a line for non-docs…forget what it is called.

If you need bigger guns, there is a company in Seattle that makes very high quality product (this is what I used for the woman with MS). If you need it PM me and I’ll try to track it down.

  1. What about the “soil bacteria”…I think it is called primal defense? Anything is possible, but I’m skeptical, as are other people I’ve talked to in the field. I’d save it for when all else fails.

LEF sells acidophilus/bifidus which should be fine for routine use. Dr. W is…a bit slick…

Mafusa,

I forgot:

–Jarrow makes…flora for…kids (infants??)

–If you have a patient with known pathology confined to e.g. just the small bowel or just the colon I’d suggest you do some research as bacteria e.g. acidophilus vs bifidus, etc are most effective in different parts of the colon.

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
I’m on a GI kick today!

I’d like a concensus on the Probiotics that many of you use, and why you like them…Any thoughts?

Mufasa[/quote]

Plenty of thoughts for my fellow t-nationer :slight_smile: The short answer is to take them, most people can benefit from them.
I know I did?

The longer answer is that it depends. What brought you to thinking that you need them? What are the symptoms that you’re experiencing?

Kefir was suggested as a good source if them?Kefir is good if your local
store carries a quality brand. The only commercial Kefir I use is Helios.
http://www.heliosnutrition.com/html/kefir1.html

But in my opinion Kefir is not affective to restoring your gut bacteria to an appropriate
levels. Why? Simply because the concentration of the probiotick bacteria in it can?t be compared to the supplements. You want at least 3 billion per serving concentration and a typical Kefir, Yogurt, etc can?t touch that. You also want to make sure that this minimum of 3 billion units be guaranteed to be present in the supplement at the time when you take them. Thus, Kefir and Yogurt as well as other cultured dairy should be a part of ones diet.

Here?s what I recommend.
To get things going the right way get Bio-K+ Original.
http://www.biokplus.com/product_detail.asp?lang_id=E&nav_id=5707&f=1
Take Bio-K + as recommended on the label. You can do one or two cycles as you wish. When you’re done with it you have a number of options. For maintains purposes you can continue with Bio-K products or DDS brand http://shop.store.yahoo.com/marcella75/aguidetoqualityprobiotics.html
or you can do what I did and go with Acidophilus Pearls (just make sure to take 3 caplets at one time to get 3 billion count since each caplet is 1 billion). http://store.yahoo.com/iherb/acidophilus8.html

This is GREAT information, guys! THANKS!

Question: I few of you have asked about “symptoms” or “being symptomatic”…or have pointed out individuals with obvious disease states…

Is there benefit to a sort of “GI Prophylaxis?” In other words, do you see a benefit to taking Probiotics if one has no GI symptoms?

I would THINK so…but would like you guys thoughts…

Mufasa

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
Is there benefit to a sort of “GI Prophylaxis?” In other words, do you see a benefit to taking Probiotics if one has no GI symptoms?..[/quote]

Well, some say that our health starts in the gut and given that nobody is perfect and doesn’t eat perfect all the time I would look at it in the way people usually think of taking multi vitamins as insurance.

If one doesn’t have any obvious symptoms and thinks that all is ok down there, then I would recommend just taking the pills as maintainenance and cycle it on and off: let’s say 1 month on and 1 month off or whatever one finds appropriate.

i’ve been taking enzymes as well. It definitely helps. I feel less bloated after big meals and my shits don’t stink as bad. Probably because it makes your shits smaller.

[quote]yustas wrote:

But in my opinion Kefir is not affective to restoring your gut bacteria to an appropriate levels. Why? Simply because the concentration of the probiotick bacteria in it can’t be compared to the supplements. You want at least 3 billion per serving concentration and a typical Kefir, Yogurt, etc can’t touch that. You also want to make sure that this minimum of 3 billion units be guaranteed to be present in the supplement at the time when you take them. Thus, Kefir and Yogurt as well as other cultured dairy should be a part of ones diet.

Here’s what I recommend.
To get things going the right way get Bio-K+ Original.
http://www.biokplus.com/product_detail.asp?lang_id=E&nav_id=5707&f=1
Take Bio-K + as recommended on the label. You can do one or two cycles as you wish. When you’re done with it you have a number of options. For maintains purposes you can continue with Bio-K products or DDS brand http://shop.store.yahoo.com/marcella75/aguidetoqualityprobiotics.html
or you can do what I did and go with Acidophilus Pearls (just make sure to take 3 caplets at one time to get 3 billion count since each caplet is 1 billion). http://store.yahoo.com/iherb/acidophilus8.html

[/quote]

What’s funny is that I cannot find a single product on the market that delivers Bacteroides in a probiotic formulation. Given that Bacteroides is about 25% of your gut microflora, why do none of these products address the major anaerobe in humans? That is a full pound on average of Bacteroides that ought to be in your gut.

I mean I think there is value in maintaing healthy microflora–after all about 10% of our daily absorbed calories are the result of microbial metabolism–but I don’t quite understand the logic of ingesting large doses of 2-3 species when you’ve got about 1,000 bacterial species in your gut and the 2-3 your are taking megadoses of are not the major players.

Also, I’m not sure cell density difference between live cultures in dairy and pills is so important in exponentially dividing organisms. You can drop a billion or a hundred billion bacterial cells inside–the number of cells you add has no bearing on if they will successfully invade an exisiting biofilm (which your gut microbiota, all 4 plus pounds of it, is). Established microbial communities have a funny way of excluding new members.

Anyway, while I certain believe that ingesting a billion Lactobacilli is certainly better than the billion Staphyloccoci on your lettuce picked by people who don’t wash their hands, I am skeptical of these products and their outdated focus on monocultures (or at best, 3 species). We’re about 100 PhD dissertations away from actually understanding how the intestinal flora works–we’re essentially talking about a 4 pound organ with 1000 distinct cell types. In some sense, outside of the brain, its probably the most complicated organ in the body. Dumping tons of bacteria which comprise only a small portion of this community, while ignoring totally the vitally important anaerobes, doesn’t seem like the optimal solution to maintaining a healthy microbial community. If anything, you’re overrepresenting things that are good at eating milk basically, while neglecting things that eat plant polysaccharides. Stick that Lactobacillus on some plant fiber and we’ll see how fast they divide…

“We’re about 100 PhD dissertations away from actually understanding how the intestinal flora works”

I suspect that a few years from now much of what we think we know about many things will be proved wrong. Remember ulcers were caused by overproduction of acid until H. pylori was discovered.

Despite this lack of understanding many patients can be improved with simple measures that empirically work. See my comments above. This empirical treatment of course needs to be geared to the particulars of any given patient.

Mercola-

“As with all foods, you should be very careful about what kefir you consume and how it is made. The prepared kefir you will find on the shelves of most grocery stores is not recommended. For one, it is made with pasteurized milk, and the pasteurization destroys many of the enzymes that make kefir healthy in the first place. Furthermore, when you read the labels of these grocery store “kefirs” carefully, it usually does not contain all the strains of friendly bacteria and the good yeast of traditional (i.e., real) kefir.”