I'm going into my second week on antibiotics and feeling a little "loose." I don't want to get C diff. What's a good probiotic I can order online? If you get yours from Amazon Prime, that would be really good.
I notice there's a huge price difference on amazon between probiotics. It's very confusing. Is just lactobacillus ok, or do i need billions of other bacteria, too?
WHY is Culturelle a good product? Some say the pills aren't the way to go. The (expensive) refrigerated probiotics seem to be the gold standard.
How does kefir stack up as a probiotic drink?
All you need is my hermaphrodite yogurt.
Sustenex is supposed to be pretty good
After an extended course of Flagyl (nasty stuff) a few years ago, my gastroenterologist told me to start taking Florastor while I finished the Flagyl and for another two weeks after. He said it was not affected by antibiotics and had had some success against c. diff. in studies. It cleared up the issues I had been having within the first day or so, but I finished the course as directed.
I did have to ask for it as it is kept behind the pharmacy counter, and it wasn't the cheapest, but it did the trick. Incidentally, it's been around over 50 years, so for what it's worth, it does have an established track record.
Good luck with whichever you choose.
I get mine from vitacost.com (Probiotic 15-35). 240 capsules (serving = 2 capsules/day) and it was $49. Plus, many times they offer a BOGO 50% off so I got 2 bottles for around $75.
I totally swear by these things and will never miss a day. I'd been suffering with a really bad flare-up of my IBS this summer - had to go to the doctor and have all sorts of tests because it was so bad. Fast-forward two months later and I've been symptom-free since beginning the regimen.
What I have heard about probiotics is that you need to get one that has different strains of microorganisms - the more, the better. The one I take has 15. Also, yogurts do not contain enough probiotics to really make a big difference - especially if you suffer from digestive issues like I do.
Below is a link to the probios that I take.
R2, technically yes, because you have flushed away everything in the area, including your good bacteria. but if you're eating something like yogurt daily, that might be enough (everyone's a little different, so see if your immune system stays strong doing that).
R5, kefir is excellent! I know there are storebought versions which aren't anywhere near what homemade can give you, but they are probably still helpful.
If you make your own kefir, it takes only 5 minutes a day (and that's including the time it takes washing the strainer). You get kefir grains from eBay or a kefir making yahoo group, or from GEM Cultures. Expect to pay about $10-20. You only need 1-2Tablespoons of grains to begin. You will have them forever and never need to buy them again. Then, for just the cost of milk (any animal milk you like (vegan milks are harder or impossible to sustain dairy kefir grains on)), you can drink literally billions of probiotic cultures in every cup. Homemade kefir (not quasi kefir which you get in the store) has billions of the 42 different strains in it. Storebought kefir is made with isolated strains, not the full spectrum within real kefir. They do this to have a consistent texture. It is probably still supportive, so I'm not throwing stones here. I occasionally buy it when I'm not in the mood to deal with my kefir jar.
But, if you're not into making probiotics yourself, there are many good probiotic products out there. Such as Bio-Kult. It's just that products are expensive, and milk is cheap.
Note: if you make real kefir, you need to start slowly, drinking 1 teaspoon a day, and slowly increase your quantity so long as you don't have bad die off symptoms (google Herxheimer reaction). I will guess that most people can get up to a cup daily pretty quickly, but you just want to make sure your system is ready for it. That's all.
If anyone wants to go this route, I'm well-versed and can answer detailed questions about making kefir.
You can also eat unpasteurized, raw sauerkraut. This is another probiotic food, and good to have a little with each meal. Raw kraut is much easier to digest than cooked or raw cabbage - it's a totally different food when it hits your belly. IOW, don't worry that you'll get bad gas. Most krauts in the store are cooked and mushy. This is dead stuff. Unpasteurized has all the appropriate probiotics and is crunchy, tasty and digestible. There are many varieties featuring various herbs and vegetables. Kraut is easy to make, just time consuming, shredding the cabbage. You can also buy unpasteurized from various brands. Pickled Planet is a good one. In addition to his mainstays, the guy makes a bunch of small batch experimentals as well which are delicious. My fave is his moroccan kraut.
I don't believe there is any real evidence as of now that taking probiotics has a real effect.
Which of course doesn't necessarily mean they don't, but something to think about as you are spending money on them.
You can buy shredded cabbage at Trader Joes.
And supermarkets sell shredded cabbage with shredded carrots for making cole slaw.
Dairy free Kefir is wonderful, but you'd have to get it at the store in the fridge section. About 6 bucks
I've read that probiotic foods are better than probiotic supplements - try live yogurt, miso paste (don't boil the paste though).
I prefer amateurbiotic stuff.
Kefir trumps yogurt by billions.
There is scientific evidence that probiotics can prevent or reduce diarrhea in people taking antibiotics, R11.
Only one recent study found otherwise, and it needs to be replicated.
Whether it works for things like IBS or gassiness, I don't know.
R11, it's okay if you don't believe it. It doesn't mean it hasn't been studied quite a bit. It just means you haven't been exposed to that evidence.
One thing I will tell you is probiotics are transitory. We are all populated with whatever bacteria was in our mothers' vagina. Some of us have better systems than others. We can eat probiotics, but they have limited longterm application as they move through the digestive system and are then gone. They need to be replenished regularly. This is why I recommend whole food methods of obtaining them, because the price is totally reasonable and depending on the particular probiotic, more effective than pills. Plus you get nutrition from the whole food used as well. Win-win.
But you are right that some people seem to have less need for them than others. That's because of what they lucked out on in the birthing process.
I personally think probiotic pill use should be limited to people with severe conditions or people with lots of disposable income. For the rest of us, kefir, yogurt and kraut are best, and what our ancestors used.
I use SunBiotics Probiotics which are organic, chewable, don't need refrigeration and made in the USA. They contain 18 billion cells. They work well on my digestive system/intestines and I can resume dairy product use without any problems. They make me feel younger when I didn't have any digestive inssues and IBS. I don't eat yogurt or drink kefir on a daily basis but these tablets really do work.
I forgot to mention that you only need one tablet per day of SunBiotics.
[quote]I don't believe there is any real evidence as of now that taking probiotics has a real effect.
I am real evidence. First, I have a nasty toenail fungal infection. When I take pro-biotics the nail is not nearly as thick and discoloured. Also, it helps with the jock itch that I constantly suffer with being a competitive runner. Jock itch is also a fungus. Taking pro-biotics cuts down on the amount of fungus on my skin and under my nails.
I forgot to mention that I use Ultimate 10 Pro-Biotics from The Vitamin Shoppe.
The gatroenterologist in our building...is a leading autority.
UCSF refer patients to him
one packet of VSL #3...can find at costco...refigerate
5oz of Kefir
5 oz of Lassi yoghurt...found at Whole foods we we live
2 oz pomegranate concentrate,,,found at whole foods
2 oz ground flax seed
mix and take for brakfast..don't have anything else for a couple of hours..
I have done this for the past 8 months...every day
It is very anti-infammatory for your body and gives you all the probiotics you need.
I have listened to his one hour lecture at the across the street...very...very detailed with research.
In our office we prescribe it for some dermatology conditions and have seen great results. Our dogtor is going to publish the results soon.
Kimchi is as good as sauerkraut so long as it's unpasteurized.
If you want to make your own kraut, I recommend a cabbage, a carrot, 1-2 cloves of garlic, along with 1tsp caraway seeds. You can either ferment without salt using kefir whey (strain homemade kefir through thin cloth and the yellow liquid is the whey), or the salt method (which I haven't done). The salt method needs a month of fermenting at room temp. The kefir method takes 3 days at room temp.
R21, I wonder how they keep the probiotics alive if they're not refrigerated or in process of eating a fuel source. Also, they can only say how many they have tested to be present. There are frequently much less active than the packages say. The most important part is that you personally see a difference when taking them.
The best probiotic I've used is GoodBelly Straight Shot. That shit works! It's a bit pricey, and you have to keep it refrigerated, but it is very effective.
Who is the gatroenterologist, r25? I'm intrigued by this combo and would like to give it a shot if I could verify the ID of the doctor recommending it... I'd also like to check out the research he bases his recommendations on
Is it true vinegar kills any probiotic properties of pickled things?
The New York Times has an interesting article on gut health a few months ago.
One interesting finding: Of the 15 probiotic products tested, only 1 contained what was on the label. ONE!
They concluded that people were wasting their money on these capsules and encouraged people to eat sauerkraut (the fresh kind) or other fermented vegetables.
The article also pointed out that even if the pills contain good bacteria, the intestines are hostile to new bacteria and it is hard for it to establish a foothold in the gut.
So many of you are wasting your money.
R10, my mouth is watering after reading your post. :-)
I made my own kefir for several years. For some reason, I got bored with the process and I gave away the grains. Now, you've got me thinking I need to start back.
I still make my own sauerkraut and kimchi occasionally. Unfortunately, my partner won't even try kefir, sauerkraut, or kimchi. He calls it all voodoo food. As you might expect, he is constantly sick with some sort of infection or ailment. Me, I never get sick. I just don't. Some of that is just what we're born with, but part of it is surely that my partner will sit down with a diet Coke while I sit down with a glass of sauerkraut juice. :-)
Another vote for kimchi.
Be careful -- easy to get hooked
I was for a year until my Asian grocer changed suppliers.
favorite brands of kimchi?
[quote]favorite brands of kimchi?
Homemade. Nothing could be easier. You can google other recipes for ideas, but David Lebovitz has a nice one.
If you go with kraut/kim chi all of the time, prepare to have it seep through your pores. You'll stink to high hell.
Gross, R36. I know kimchi stunk, but I didn't think homemade kraut did. I was going to make some, but you're giving me second thoughts.
It's inevitable because of the vinegar. Any kind of pickled foods -if eaten on a regular basis- will have that effect on the body.
Plus, it's probably not good for your teeth to eat those things all of the time.
[quote]If you go with kraut/kim chi all of the time, prepare to have it seep through your pores. You'll stink to high hell.
Not true at all.
R30, that doesn't sound right to me. I don't have info on it, though. You don't make probiotic foods starting with vinegar, rather, you use a starter culture or salt, but I wouldn't be surprised if the results have vinegar-like components.
R31, mostly true. What is on the label of your probiotic is probably not what you're really getting. BUT! 1/ Any probiotic that you're getting is better than none. 2/ You body might not be able to handle billions at one time anyway, so maybe it's for the best. It's not a competition to get the most bacteria. :) 3/ This is the most important part - I recently read that the body still obtains benefits from dead probiotics, so I feel if someone wants to pay an arm and a leg for a pill, they'll still get some benefit from it, even if it wasn't as great as the living flora. 4/ Probiotics won't permanently colonize your gut anyway, regardless what's in them. You digest them and poop them out. You have to keep eating probiotics as part of your diet to get the benefits, just like you have to keep eating protein, fat, carbs, etc. There has been talk that fecal implants from someone healthy can help, but it's too new to know whether this is safe and effective.
R36 and R37, sorta true. If your kraut or kimchi has a lot of alliums (leek, onion, garlic), you could be facing the same stink problem as if you ate those foods cooked or raw. Kraut typically has very little stink-causing stuff in it. The proportions are such that you can eat it all the time and smell fine. YMMV with kimchi, but if you crave lots of kimchi, you need it for some reason and I'd go with that.
If you make your own kraut or kimchi (I used to do it), yes, it's true that the area around your krauting vessels smell. The more pungent foods used, the more it stinks, so kraut is mild and kimchi is more intense. Some people can handle it, some people are really put off. I didn't mind it too much, but my partner did. If I made it now, I'd do it in the shed or laundry room, so our living spaces were more pleasant.
R38, they're now postulating that tooth health is related to body chemistry and not as much related to sugar sticking to them. There are not enough scientific conclusions yet, but it seems to me that having a healthier constitution (which you can support with probiotic foods and other healthy lifestyle choices) is more likely to keep your teeth healthy. Bear in mind I'm making a leap here that I can't back up with certainty. I knew a little boy who was never allowed sweets and had a ton of cavities. A doctor friend told them to get on some chewables that were supposed to regenerate the teeth - they used Catalyn and Bio-Dent. Neutral flavor, expensive, can only get from doctors. They also used fermented cod liver oil. It was all supposed to help. The kid's cavities healed over several months. FYI - glycerin prevents teeth from naturally regenerating. Guess what's in most toothpastes?
You'll probably be fine without anything, but the organism that has produced the best results in the scientific literature is Saccharomyces boulardii. If you can find a commercial probiotic that contains this organism- you've got the best product. Most of what's on the market as a probiotic do little
R44 is correct. I mentioned the same up thread as Florastor (there may be generics available -- you have to ask for it at the pharmacy counter anyway, so just ask them). It is the probiotic that contains Saccharomyces boulardii lyo which saw usefulness against c. diff. in research. Somehow though, this veered off into a thread about preparing & eating rotten food. That's not what the OP was asking for.
If you are put on an antibiotic in our hospital you are placed on VSL #3 probiotics.
VSL has eight different strains of propietary bacteria...mix with kefir...