I used to think I couldn’t take probiotics. Now I know that I was just having a big die-off and that was an indicator that I really did need to take them, BUT just in a different form.
Repopulating your bacterial flora to contain predominately good bacteria (via probiotic supplementation) will result in a drastic reduction – if not elimination – of many harmful pathogens like yeast, fungus, mold, parasites, viruses and bad bacteria from your gut environment. The good bacteria will also form a protective coating of your mucosal cell lining and produce B vitamins and digestive enzymes. As a result, proper digestion and absorption of nutrients will gradually be restored.
– Jini Patel Thompson
There are some guidelines you need to know about taking probiotics:
- You need to take the right strain for the job.
- You need to take a high enough dose to maximise your results.
- You may need various different strains to finish the job.
- Start off very slowly and gradually build up your tolerance to minimize the die-off.
- Take your probiotics away from meals.
Strategy one – multi-strain probiotics
In the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet , Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride provides the following guidelines:
- A good probiotic should have as many different species of beneficial bacteria as possible. A human gut contains hundreds of known species of different bacteria. We should try to get as close to that as we can. Different species of probiotic bacteria have different strengths and weaknesses. If we have a mixture of them then we have a better chance of deriving maximum benefit.
- A mixture of strains from different groups of probiotic bacteria is more beneficial than just one group. For example, many probiotics on the market contain just Lacobaccilli. A combination of representatives from the three main groups: Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria and soil bacteria usually works best.
- A good probiotic should have a concentrated amount of bacteria: at least 8 billion of bacterial cells per gram. You need to provide probiotic bacteria in large enough doses to see an improvement.
- The manufacturer of the probiotic should test every batch for strength and bacterial composition and should be prepared to publish the results of the testing.
To manage the die-off, Natasha recommends starting off very slowly and gradually increasing the dose.
Natasha recommends the GAPS-safe probiotic:
Here’s a great article on the 7 health benefits of the GAPS diet, if you want further information.
Strategy two – swap single strain probiotics then go multi-strain
Jini Patel Thompson, describes in her book “Listen to your gut” how she overcame her Crohn’s disease by starting with Natren’s Bifido Factor powder (Bifidobacterium bifidum Malyoth strain). She stayed on the B. bifidum bacteria for another three months before trying the L. acidophilus again and able to tolerate it. About a month after that, she added L. bulgaricus and tolerated it successfully.
You may want to consider beginning probiotic supplementation with B. infantis, especially if you try B. bifidum and can’t tolerate it. and just to confuse you even more, I have talked with readers who couldn’t tolerate B. bifidum at first, but could tolerate L. acidophilus.
– Jini Patel Thompson
Her approach is to start with a single strain of probiotic and build up from there. She says you need to establish a healthy bacterial flora (consisting of all three major species). She recommends the Natren range, starting with:
- B. bifidum* – Bifido Factor, then
- L. acidophilus – Megadophilus, then
- L. bulgaricus – Digest-Lac (this strain can sometimes be found in yoghurt), and then
- all three Holy Trinity.
If you try all the adult strains and can’t tolerate them, then try the infant strain: B. infantis (LifeStart by Natren). Maybe you have to start with what you never had as a baby, and gradually move on from there.
– Jini Patel Thompson
In Australia, the distributor is Integria. They can be ordered in through your local health food store or Healthy Life. However only the following products are available:
- Natren Bulgaricum
- Natren Lifestart
- Natren Natradophilus
- Natren Trenev Trio
Here are some other single stain probiotics you could start with:
- Ethical Nutrients – “Eczema Relief” contains L. rhamnosus (LGG) only. “Eczema Shield” is the powdered version.
- Ethical Nutrients – “IBS Support” contains L. plantarum (which is good for IBDs).
- Metagenics product – “Ultra Flora LGG” contains L. rhamnosus (LGG) – needs to be practitioner prescribed
Still no luck?
If you are having trouble with a particular product:
- The dose may be too strong at the moment.
- It may contain too many different probiotics which you aren’t ready for.
- It may have dairy in it.
- It may contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and/or inulin, which are prebiotics. These will feed your bad bacteria, as well as good bacteria.
- Check all of your beauty and cleaning products, including your toothpaste. Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS) destroys good bacteria.
- Avoid fake sugars, particularly aspartame as these destroys your good bacteria.
You will also need to follow a diet which supports your healing, such as:
- Body Ecology Diet
- Erica White’s Candida Information Pack or Erica White’s Beat Candida Cookbook
- Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) or Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet
If you are still having problems taking probiotics, you may like to explore these alternatives:
- Arrange to have your food allergies and intolerances tested, including for celiac desease.
- See a practitioner to arrange for a poo sample to be sent to a lab like Metametrix.
- If you think you may have a parasite, take a parasite formula such as Triplex. Look for one based on Dr Hulda Clark’s original parasite remedy, which will contain black walnut, wormwood and clove.
- Try a probiotic retention enema. Jini Patel Thompson has instructions on how to do this.
- Alternatively try a colonic.
- Try Fecal Microbiota Transplantation [FMT] (a.k.a, Bacteriotherapy, or Fecal Transplant Therapy)
- Probiotics: Choosing the right one for your needs (PDF) – by Jason Hawrelak
Please let me know how you were able to take probiotics to heal your health?