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probiotics

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:11 am
by robertscott
I'm on a bit of a gut health kick the now, and I'm considering taking a probiotic. This is the one I was thinking about:

http://www.solgar.co.uk/product/advance ... 0-E27.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

it says it's for people over 40, but I don't think that matters particularly. The horrible atrocities my stomach has had to endure probably means it's old before its time anyway.

What I'm wondering is if probiotic supplementation is the real deal, whether there's a particular type or brand I should look out for, and if there's anything else to consider regarding probiotic use.

Thanks in advance as always
Bob

Re: probiotics

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:36 am
by stuward
Different strains of probiotics will have different effects and there's no specific probiotic that will be useful in all cases. They're only recently testing specific strains for major gut diseases like colitis and Crohn's. For minor issues, you could try a series of different ones until you find one that works.

You can encourage natural growth of healthy bacteria by eating a variety of good foods. Prebiotics, which are food for healthy bacteria, are found in raw garlic, onions, bananas and a few other less common foods like chicory root and Jerusalem artichoke. Prebiotic supplements are probably a better idea since it's hard to get the volume to make a difference if you have a problem. 3 types of prebiotics ate Inulin, FOS and GOS. Each may help in different cases. Healthy people will see no benefit.
Here's an example:
http://www.amazon.com/Prebiotic-Fiber-S ... _sim_hpc_1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Probiotics are bacteria that will populate the gut and provide health benefits. They can also drive out bad bacteria. The problem is that the strains you need may not be that which is easily available. The product you quoted has: L.acidophilus, L.rhamnosus, L.paracasei, B.lactis and S.thermophilus
This one http://www.amazon.com/Natures-Way-Prima ... _sim_hpc_1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; has B. longum, B. bifidum, B. breve, and B. infantis.

You have to try one or both and and see what works. They may or may not provide strains that your missing or that work in your specific population of bacteria already present.

The volume of live bacteria in a particular product is important but in both these examples that information is absent. As well, these are both non-refrigerated products. Refrigerated products tend to be higher in potency and they have a longer shelf life. Non-refrigerated products will lose their potency at higher temperatures and may be useless after a few months on the shelf. Check the due date on the bottle and be prepared that the bottle could contain dead bacteria or in some cases, strains different than what's in the bottle and may even make your issue worse.

Naturally fermented foods like real yogurt, sauerkraut and kefir contain live prebiotics that you know will still be active, assuming of course that you're buying refrigerated product that is withing it's due date. It's usually obvious once they've gone bad.

You could also try a fecal transplant assuming you can find a healthy donor.

Summary: What I'm recommending is eat real food including fermented food, supplement with prebiotics, and if you have a specific clinical disease, consider with your doctor, probiotics specifically tested for that disease. You can experiment with probiotic supplements but they may or may not do what you need. If you have recently taken antibiotics, take probiotics of any type you can get as fast as you can to prevent re-population with undesirable strains.

Re: probiotics

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:07 am
by robertscott
Stuward you are a saint. Thank you for your detailed response. Let me just see if I am understanding this correctly:

- Probiotics may not necessarily contain the right strains of bacteria to provide benefit
- I'd be better off with prebiotic fiber supplements. I am assuming these are different from psyllium husk fiber? I already add that to my shakes, but I could easily add a spoonful of prebiotic stuff too if it's different
- by fermented foods, do you mean I should drink one of those horrible yakult things a day? I'm not too keen but I'll do it if there's a benefit
- I really hope the fecal transplant thing was a joke. Oh god please let it be a joke.
- I have recently taken antibiotics, so I should get some probiotic anyway, but only as a short term thing, my long term efforts should be concentrated on prebiotics

that sound about right?

Re: probiotics

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:21 am
by stuward
Fecal transplant was a joke but it actually does work. Few do it due to the ick factor.

Psyllium does contain a type of prebiotic. What you're using may be enough.

If you like Yakult, go for it. I like yogurt and sauerkraut. Different cultures have different foods but it seems that all traditional culture has some fermented food that they eat. Variety is good.

Otherwise, you have it.

Re: probiotics

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:56 am
by stuward
Apparently there is a traditional fermented drink in Scotland called blaand. I want to try that sometime.

This site contains a list of different strains and their apparent effects.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probiotic" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: probiotics

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:01 pm
by Oscar_Actuary
I'll be a donor.

Re: probiotics

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:15 pm
by robertscott
Cheers Ozzy, send me over a tupperware box to chow down.

Stu thanks again for the help, what I think I'll start doing is choking down a yakult everyday. I'm not keen on those horrible things but I'll do it if I must. Cheers.

Re: probiotics

Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:03 am
by Jungledoc
robertscott wrote:chow down.
Uh.... That's not how it's done.

:pale:

Re: probiotics

Posted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:50 pm
by Oscar_Actuary
Jungledoc wrote:
robertscott wrote:chow down.
Uh.... That's not how it's done.

:pale:
yeah, and I thought I was the freaky one.

Re: probiotics

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:34 am
by robertscott
just a wee update here: I picked up some prebiotic fiber, so hopefully I won't have to resort to eating Oscar's, um, byproducts?

Re: probiotics

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:12 pm
by Jungledoc
You still refer to "eating" with regard to Oscar's generous offer of donation. I'm telling you, that isn't how it works at all. You don't receive the "transplant" orally.

Re: probiotics

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 4:24 pm
by robertscott
hehe, I was just kidding. I wouldn't want anyone else's faeces inside me, regardless of how it got there.

Re: probiotics

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:18 pm
by anzafrank
Just make your own probiotics and at least you know stuff is in it. Even the best probiotic caps might have nothing in them at times. Just get a bunch of cabage, maybe some onions and garlic (thats how I make it) and a carrot or two, put it in a food processor to shread up, add a little canning salt, then put it in a very big jar or crock and let it ferment for several days and thats it. Mighty tasty! And it lasts for months in the fridge. Beats the heck out of oral fecal transplantation. Couldn't help keeping the fecal madness thing going.

Re: probiotics

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:43 pm
by stuward
oral fecal transplantation = how vegans used to get their B12 before they had injections.

Re: probiotics

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:44 am
by Jungledoc
Frank! How's it going?