Probiotics Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here is a collection of the most popular and frequent asked questions about probiotics: the hows, whens, whats, whos, ares and more! Scroll down to get anwers to your questions[toc]

Top popular frequently asked questions faq about Gut, Good bacteria or probiotics

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are the non-disease causing living micro-organism that have beneficial effects and help in the prevention, treatment and management of a disease when delivered to the intestines in adequate colony forming units.

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What probiotics should I take?

There is a wide variety from which you could choose your probiotics from. This includes:

Yoghurt – probiotic yoghurt is prepared by first pasteurizing the milk then addition of beneficial bacteria to the product. Fermentation occurs in the presence of lactobacilli. Yoghurt is beneficial in the replenishment of lost gut flora, in management of lactose intolerance and in the correction of dysbiosis in the gut.

Black Tea in mixture with fermented mushroom-like bacterial colony. It is believed that this preparation habors two commonest probiotics indicated for diarrhea such as the Bacillus coagulants and the Saccharomyces boulardii.

Salty pickles brined in water and sea salt – the reason why this formulation is done in water is to encourage bacterial growth. Brining can also be done in vinegar but this would be an unsuitable solvent for the culturing of bacteria. The probiotic bacteria can be picked up from this home-made preparation.

Fermented cabbage and cucumber – this is a popular dish that involves pickling of the vegetables. The vegetables fermented, may be deployed in a sandwich after a bit of steaming. Care should however be taken not to kill the thermo labile (easily destroyed by temperature change) probiotic bacteria.

Sauerkraut – this is majorly fermented cabbages that have been initially pasteurized.

Sourdough bread – contains Lactobacillus upon fermentation.

Soy beans fermented with brown rice – this combination produces what is called a miso paste with colonies of Lactobacillus strains.

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What probiotics do to your body?

Probiotics restore balance of bacteria in your body. Whenever there is an imbalance in the commensal and pathogenic bacteria in the intestines, probiotics help regain the normal healthy ratio. They also help treat a variety of diseases and conditions depending on the bacteria species. Some species are very effective against bacterial vaginosis overgrowth in the intestines including treatment and management of acne and eczema.

What are probiotics good for?

They are good for proper motility throughout the gut. They are also good against certain common conditions such as:

  1. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  2. Antibiotic related diarrhea
  3. Bacteria overgrowth such as in Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and Bacterial Vaginosis (BV).
  4. Infectious diarrhea caused by parasites, bacteria and viruses.
  5. Skin conditions such as eczema and acne
  6. They are good against vaginal candidiasis

What foods have probiotics?

Refer to “What probiotics should I take?” above

What probiotics are best?

To choose the best probiotics, check for signs of ‘Live and Active Cultures’ or ‘Natural fermentation’. Check to ensure that you have a wider array of beneficial bacteria which assures you of wider spectrum of benefits.

What probiotics are in kombucha?

Kombucha contains an elixir of Gluconacetobacter and ZygoSaccharomyces making up a whopping 85 % and 95 % respectively, Acetobacter and Lactobacillus (journal Food Microbiology)

What probiotics are in kefir?

It contains many strains of beneficial bacteria including the Leuconostac, Acetobacter and Lactobacillus caucasus. Apart from these, kefir also has some beneficial yeast that will help outcompete pathogenic bacteria too. Some brands of kefir have as much as 12 species of beneficial bacteria. Kefir has a wide array of strains including Streptococcus, Leuconostac and Lactobacillus genera. It also contains beneficial yeast such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir. They help control yeast. Kefir is specifically used to supply your pet with an army against yeast infections.

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What probiotics are in sauerkraut?

This probiotic contains fermented vegetables with about ten trillion bacteria in 4 – 6 ounces. It is very potent in such a way that 16 ounces is equivalent to 8 bottles of commercial probiotic. It contains Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

What probiotics are in yogurt?

The only yogurt that has live and active cultures (LAC) are those that say so on the labels otherwise they are not probiotics. Yogurt contains Lactobacillus spp. They are able to ferment lactose into lactic acid that gives the yogurt the characteristic tangy taste and also provide live and active culture of these species.

What probiotics are in Kimchi?

Kimchi may vary depending on the process used to prepare it. It is known that most Kimchi bought from the stores lack viable cultures of beneficial bacteria. It is therefore important to ensure that the product has ‘Live and Active Culture” on it, states that is has been naturally fermented or is unpasteurized. The probiotics present in Kimchi predominantly include Lactobacillus strains. 11 of the 12 strains were identified as Lactobacillus plantarum while the 12th, Lactobacillus sake (Lee et al, 2011).

What probiotics are in align?

Align probiotics contain the bacterium Bifidobacterium infantis.

What probiotics to take with antibiotics?

As it is commonly done, probiotics are taken 2-3 hours after a dose of antibiotics. This however depends on the microbe and species. There are strains in probiotics that should not be taken with antifungals and one of them is Saccharomyces boulardii. It is however, stable in acidic environments and can thence be taken at any time.

Probiotics that have been well configured with strains and formulation forms that can survive antibiotics state that on their products. One such probiotic is EndoMune developed by Dr. Hoberman, a gastroenterologist (Consumerlab).

Who needs probiotics?

It is important to keep your intestinal flora in check. It is therefore necessary for you to take probiotics frequently for proper digestion and maintenance of balance of bacteria both in your skin and gut. Other persons that may require probiotics are expectant mothers. According to the National Institute of Health, probiotics are safe due to their low absorption through the epithelial wall of the gut.

The conclusion made is that probiotics are safe in both pregnancy and lactating mothers[i]. In pregnant mothers, it will help reduce prone to allergens, reduce post-partum stress, reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia and prevent antibiotic-induced diarrhea. Those on antibiotics should also consider using probiotics 3 hours after the dose of antibiotic. Babies too need probiotics for the prevention of colic.

Who sells probiotics?

Since probiotics are regulated by the FDA as food products, their regulation is sale is not as stringent.  Retailers of various kind are selling these probiotics including supermarkets, food stores, online markets such as Amazon and pharmacies.

Who discovered probiotics?

Probiotics were discovered by Russian scientist and Nobel Prize winner, Ellie Metchinkoff. This came to mind when he discovered that the people of Caucasus Mountains were taking fermented yogurt daily with Lactobacillus bulgaricus which happened to improve their health and make them live longer. In his postulation, Ellie proposed that the lactic acid bacilli may elicit some beneficial effects on the health of an individual.

Who found probiotics?

Refer to “Who discovered probiotics” above

Who regulates probiotics?

The Food and Drug Administration regulates dietary supplement products and their ingredients but as food not as medications. Therefore, manufacturers do not show their products’ safety and this will require that you ask for clarification and more information on the correct product for you.

Are probiotics really good for you?

Yes they are. Probiotics have been studied and its benefits confirmed. Consume it for the treatment of anti-biotic induced diarrhea, constipation, colicky symptoms in babies and infants, improving immune function, reduction of flares and itch in acne, dermatitis and rosacea and reducing the risk of pre-eclampsia in expectant mothers.

Are probiotics safe?

Oral or vaginal administration of probiotics are rendered safe. There is a trace in the ability of probiotics to cause systemic infections though rare. In some instance probiotic-induced bacteremia and fungemia have resulted and reported.

It is worthwhile to note that this blood infection lies at a probability of less than 1 per 1, 000, 000 users. The ratio is five times larger with fungemia caused by Saccharomyces boulardii. Note that the prevalence varies with individuals. A healthy individual will have less susceptibility to these kinds of infection while immune-compromised are at a higher risk.

Other causes that may lead to infection in the blood that may be passed on to the baby are:

  1. Critical and terminal illnesses
  2. Breach of the intestinal epithelium
  3. Drugs that may cause immunosuppression

Are probiotics good for IBS?

Yes. Probiotics restore the balance of commensal bacteria against pathogenic ones treating diarrhea or constipation associated with IBS. According to a preliminary research, probiotics can alter the enteric (gut) neurotransmitters and allowing the body deal with anxiety and depression and hence probiotics are also considered psychobiotics against psychological etiology of IBS

Are probiotics vegan?

There are probiotics that are vegan. You can cut out all animal products and still get your probiotics. Try pickled/fermented vegetables in bacterial starter cultures. This includes Kimchi and sauerkraut. Try kombucha tea too which is fermented from black team. Do not forget fermented soy products such as miso and tempeh.

Are probiotics effective?

Refer to ‘What are probiotics good for’

Are probiotics good for dogs?

Dogs can benefit from probiotics as humans do. Probiotics act in a similar manner in dogs to elicit similar functions and effects. There are probiotics specific to dogs and a keen check on the ingredients shows that there is an overlap in the strains of choice in human and dog probiotics.

The dog’s digestive system is the largest organ in its body and the intestines harbor the friendly bacteria considered as normal flora. There are a variety of species belonging to the genera of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus and Enterococcus.

The existence of beneficial bacteria shows that an imbalance in the ratio of beneficial to pathogenic bacteria will ultimately lead to dysbiosis. Dysbiosis will manifest as digestive discomforts and inflammatory diseases and conditions. They are also beneficial in the prevention of scratching and associated shedding, helping the dog achieve peak strength and vigor, elimination of smelly stool and gas and improving the overall smell of the dog.

Are probiotics good for acid reflux?

Yes they are.

Are probiotics worth it?

Yes they are. They have an all-in-one package full-fledged for your needs that you do not need to have a shelf of medications to stay healthy.

Are probiotics good for acne?

Probiotics help in the management of acne in a variety of ways. These mechanisms may take different paths but may all elicit the beneficial attributes in acne. Such include:

Antimicrobial attributes – when you ingest probiotics with various strains that balance out harmful bacteria in the gut, they treat dysbiosis (imbalance). The ‘good’ strains prevent the adherence of harmful bacteria along the intestinal wall and therefore prevent them from releasing toxic compounds into the intestinal epithelia. When this harmful bugs are suppressed, inflammation is countered. The gut-brain axis is therefore suppressed and so is the gut-brain-skin axis (Dr. Bowe). When probiotics are applied on the skin (topically), they also compete with the harmful bacteria. The latter can therefore not trigger an immune response.

They offer a protective shield – bacterial interference is a phenomenon through which ‘good’ bacteria in the probiotics prevent the induction of cell inflammation on the skin dermal layer. Perhaps if the epidermis is scoured and the dermis is exposed to the harmful effects of bacteria as observed in acne.

Reduction of flares and itch in acne – this occurs via the prevention of inflammation when the immune response of the body is suppressed. In the pathology of acne, the itch and flares occur as a result of attack by the immune system.


Are probiotics dangerous?

Probiotics may be potentially dangerous to particular groups of people and therefore contraindicated. A healthy individual will have less susceptibility to these kinds of infection while immune-compromised are at a higher risk. Such immune compromised people are those with critical and terminal illnesses, those who have a leaky gut syndrome and those who are on drugs whose mode of action or side effect involves immune suppression.

Are probiotics safe for dogs?

They are safe. For both cats and dogs, studies’ findings show that healthy colonies of gut bacteria are essential for a fit gastrointestinal tract. The president of the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians mentions that gut flora and mucosa act as barriers against pathogens.

One study found that healthy dogs fed on kibble coated with L. acidophilus had increased volumes of lactobacilli while there was a remarkable reduction in the volumes of clostridia. Clostridia is a pathogenic bacteria. To add, the dogs had a higher count of hematologic parameters. This includes the number of neutrophil, red blood cells and monocytes.

Are probiotics good for ulcers?

Yes they are. They are able to provide protection of the stomach lining from ulcers. Try probiotics from sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt or supplements. For stomach ulcers, it is suggested that you take antibiotics in the evening then taking the probiotics in the evening. Vice-versa could also work.

Are probiotics harmful?

They may be harmful if taken in overdose and further lead to an overgrowth of bacteria. This may cause an imbalance of bacteria in the gut and therefore affect immune-modulation. They may themselves cause infection especially in immune-compromised persons.

Are probiotics dairy free?

This depends with the probiotic in question. Some probiotics such as yogurt or those with fermented milk are dairy products. However, some probiotics such as sauerkraut are dairy free.

Are probiotics good for your skin?

Yes they are.  They help maintain the balance of flora on the skin, prevent and treat skin conditions such as cutaneous fungal infections of Candida albicans, treatment of acne and atopic dermatitis.

Are probiotics good to take?

Yes they are. Refer to ‘Are probiotics really good for you?’

Are probiotics bullshit?

Not they are not. They have been studied and proven for their beneficial activity in the body of human and animals including dogs and cats.

Why probiotics are important to health?

They increase absorption of water and food nutrients and mineral such as calcium and iron, reduce harmful bacteria, lower the pH of the colon, prevent allergies, synthesizing vitamin B such as folate and biotin and also vitamin k2 and train the immune system by modulation against pathogens.

Why probiotics are good?

Refer to ‘Why probiotics are important to health?’ above

Why probiotics are bad?

Refer to ‘Are probiotics dangerous?’ above

Why probiotics cause gas

Refer to ‘Why probiotics gives me gas’ above

Why probiotics don’t work

Probiotics may not work due to the CFU number in the product. The body needs above 10 million of probiotic bacteria for proper action. The shelf life of some products may lead to depletion of bacteria and therefore their inactivation.

Why probiotics are bad for you

Probiotics may only be bad for you if you have adverse reactions towards them but this might be limited to particular bacteria. There is a wide range of bacteria to choose from and not all will react in the same way. If you are immune-compromised or on medication that leads to the same, then probiotics might instead exacerbate the condition.

Why probiotics cause diarrhea

Probiotics cause diarrhea perhaps due to the remodeling of the gut as it reinforces and stamps out pathogenic bacteria. This is what causes temporary diarrhea when you first start on probiotics. Some bacteria such as L. rhamnosus are able to bind toxins such as heavy metal cadmium. During the detox process, diarrhea occurs (Ibrahim F, Halttunen T)[ii].

This is why during consumption of probiotics with this bacterium, it is required that you take plenty of water to help flush out toxins and will otherwise cause diarrhea. You might get diarrhea when your body goes into shock or you have taken an overdose such as you overload the system with bacteria. The latter mostly occurs with children alongside their lack of inherent immunity that leads to allergic reactions including diarrhea.

Why probiotics with antibiotics

This depends with the brand of probiotics. Probiotics that have been well configured with strains and formulation forms that can survive antibiotics state that on their products. One such probiotic is EndoMune developed by Dr. Hoberman, a gastroenterologist (Consumerlab).


Why probiotics gives me gas

Probiotics can cause gas depending on your interaction with the bacteria culture. It may therefore be idiosyncratic. However, probiotics do some remodeling on the intestinal wall epithelium and may therefore lead to undesirable effects such as bloating and gassy feel. You might also feel gassy when you first take probiotics for the first time but this usually subsides within a few days.

Why probiotics for babies

In babies, in utero, nutrients are usually leached from the mother. The immune system may be lowered and probiotics foot in to regulate the immune system. Probiotics also strengthen the immune system of infants and help reduce reflux of acid. The latter has been shown in a publication in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation whereby babies on Lactobacillus reuterii had lowered reflux symptoms.

Babies are normally prone to candida infection in the form of a diaper rash an oral thrush. The probiotics suppress the growth of candida.  This benefit has also been retrogressively used as seen in the introduction of yeast in some probiotic products to infants so as to make them immune-competent against the yeast infection.

Why probiotics make me bloated

Refer to ‘Why probiotics gives me gas’ above

Why probiotics in deodorant

Your gut is not the only part of the body that has beneficial bacteria in billions. More study is currently ongoing to discover the importance of the symbiotic relationship human skin has with its trillions of flora. Having probiotics applied to the skin is a direct impact on the skin other than the gut-skin axis gut flora may have.

Probiotics generally help with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, improve collagen and stabilize microflora on the skin preventing irritations[1]. There has also been a link between the bacteria that reside in the inner elbow as being able to process raw fats and hence moisturize the skin.

Why probiotics stop working

Probiotics may stop working or work undesirably due to:

Dehydration – lacking water in the gut will not be good during the detox process as water is the ultimate detox medium. Without water, the toxins bound by the strains in the probiotic will not be excreted and instead accumulates in the gut. This causes more signs and symptoms of detoxification. Binding to toxins from both food and water such as to heavy metals such as cadmium and lead. This has been assessed in L. rhamnosus. Some foods contain these metals and when the strains bind them, detox symptoms may occur including diarrhea (Ibrahim F, Halttunen T)[iii].

Acidic corrosion and reduction of colony forming units of bacteria before they reach the intestines rendering them useless.

Why probiotics after antibiotics

Taking probiotics after antibiotics allows the antibiotic to work without killing the probiotics. There are strains in probiotics that should not be taken with antifungals and one of them is Saccharomyces boulardii. It is however, stable in acidic environments and can thence be taken at any time.

How probiotics work?

Probiotics work by replenishing lost commensal bacteria say after taking antibiotics and balancing the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria and further prevent dysbiosis within the gut.

How probiotics help?

Refer to ‘How probiotics work’ above

How probiotics are made?

Probiotics are generally made by allowing overgrowth of bacteria in a media a process known as fermentation such as fermentation of cabbage or cucumber in Sauerkraut. If ‘fermentation’ were to be used in reference to Lactobacillus acidophilus culture growth, then it would be specific to the conversion of lactate in milk to lactic acid the process of making yogurt with live and active culture. Black tea probiotics are made by fermenting mushroom-like bacterial colony to yield Saccharomyces boulardii.

All these processes differ depending on the probiotic in mind but all begin with a starter culture. This is a low concentrate of culture bacteria blend that allows incubation and therefore bulk cultivation. Water may be used to encourage growth of bacteria such as in Salty pickles brined in water and sea salt probiotics.

How probiotics help digestion?

They prevent slow bowel movements keeping motility at par. By preserving the integrity of the small intestines through immune-modulation and balance of bacteria, they allow last stage digestion and therefore easier absorption of digested food.

How probiotics help immune system?

Probiotics decrease allergic responses in the gut via modulation of various signaling pathways. This is especially important for management of the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease[iv]. They improve immune system function[v] – probiotics decrease allergic responses in the gut via modulation of various signaling pathways. This is especially important for management of the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.

How probiotics help IBS?

In the prophylactic treatment of diarrhea, strains of probiotics such as Saccharomyces boulardii, B. lactis, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus thermophiles and Bifidobacterium breve are deployed. Clostridium difficile occurs as a major agent in the cause of diarrhea among others such as the rotavirus that results in nosocomial diarrhea[vi].

How probiotics help with weight loss?

Probiotics alter the permeability of the intestinal wall. This prevents pro-inflammatory molecules from entering the blood stream and hence preventing glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes and obesity which are linked to weight gain.

This has been proven in a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition authored by Nestle and Universite Laval in Quebec. This study however showed that weight loss only occurred in women and not men. However, to get maximal slimming effect, it is suggested that you eat more foods with less fat and high in fiber

How probiotics work in gut?

Refer to ‘How probiotics work’ above.

How probiotics lower cholesterol?

It has been shown by Lee et al 2011, in a study of the Lactobacillus strains present in Kimchi probiotic during which it was discovered that the strains have the ability to lower cholesterol via bile salt hydrolytic activity (BSH) and assimilation of cholesterol in vitro studies. The BSH activity is thought to be linked to lowering of cholesterol.

How probiotics help eczema?

The mechanism behind the action of probiotics in eczema may be microbiological, immunological, epithelial and gut-brain-skin axis. They maintain the balance of the normal flora in the intestine hence reducing the number of pathogenic flora. This happens when the beneficial bacteria compete with the harmful bacteria for the limited nutrients in the gut. They also prevent the invasion of pathogenic bacteria through the intestinal epithelium that may otherwise see them into circulation. Such an effect may be seen on the skin as allergic reactions.

By modulating the pathogenic bacteria, the immune system is ‘augmented’ and immune messengers that are involved in inflammation are also not triggered[vii].

Another study did not quite show the relation between the dysbiosis and acne but at least gave leverage to the existence of the gut-brain-skin axis theory. This study done in China had results showing the correlation between the impairment of normal gut flora and dandruff. Dandruff is scientifically referred to as seborrheic dermatitis. This study still shows that this axis sure may lead to the occurrence of skin conditions such as acne (Zhang H, Yu L, Yi M, and Li K)[viii]

How probiotics help constipation?

Probiotics have an effect on the pH of the gut. This in turn influences the peristaltic movement of the bowel and results in management of constipation. It has also been found that the effect of some strains of these flora on the integrity of the bile salts results in hypertonicity in the gut. This results in water being osmotically drained into the bowel and softening the stool. The stool can then be easily defecated.

How probiotics survive stomach acid?

The stomach has acid of about 2.5 pH which is very strong and will definitely kill bacteria.  Therefore, you require antiques that will enable the commensals pass efficiently. One way is to open a probiotic capsule and mix it with water. The stomach will empty the water content in about 20 minutes while store food for as much as 1 hour to one and a half. During this time, it will release the acid and kill the commensals. Probiotics also survive acid when taken 15-30 minutes before any meal. Some probiotics are enteric-coated which provides a polymer barrier around the commensals. Another maneuver involves taking the probiotic with an antacid to neutralize stomach acid.

How probiotics help acne?

Refer to “Are probiotics good for acne?”

How probiotics help your body?

Refer to ‘How probiotics work’ above

How probiotics help diarrhea?

One etiology of diarrhea may be antibiotic induced diarrhea. This is commonly caused by prolonged intake of antibacterial drugs. They clear the normal flora of the intestines. In the prophylactic treatment of diarrhea, strains of probiotics such as Saccharomyces boulardii, B. lactis, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus thermophiles and Bifidobacterium breve are deployed.

Antibiotics in therapeutic doses have been shown to cause diarrhea due to elimination of pathogenic bacteria and therefore overgrowth of one of the commensal species in the intestines, Clostridium difficile[ix]. This bacterium causes pseudomembranous colitis associated with diarrhea. Probiotics help restore competition within the system and prevent further adherence of bacteria onto the intestinal wall.

How probiotics help allergies?

This is the inability of the gut to digest lactose for easier absorption. This occurs due to a deficiency of the enzyme lactase that helps digest lactose. While taking enzyme replacement therapy to increase the level of lactase in the gut, a simpler remedy may help alleviate the malabsorption. Intake of yoghurt with the Lactobacillus acidophilus strain has proven beneficial. This is due to their ability to churn out beta-galactasidase and lactase that digests the lactose. Streptococcus thermophiles co-administered with the L. acidophilus is also beneficial.

Where are probiotics found in the body?

Probiotics are found in the intestines majorly the small and large intestines whereby they are able to survive. The ileum and colon harbor commensals by providing an environment that is less harsh as compared to the stomach and which involves less motility with time. The intestines contains billions of beneficial bacteria. The skin also contains bacteria to the tune of a trillion and even when thoroughly washed, topples down to a million. In total your body carries 10 times the number of body cells you have.

Where probiotics are found?

You can get probiotics from products prepared by fermentation and which contain live and active cultures. These may be bought from food stores and from supermarkets. Probiotics can also be found in DIY homemade fermented preparation such as yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut.

Where do probiotics work in the gut?

Probiotics should be delivered to the intestines and this is why manufacturers are working extra hard to coat it and prevent destruction by stomach acid.

Where are probiotics found naturally?

Probiotics are found in your gut and on your skin. It is found more specifically in the intestines.

Where can I buy probiotic supplements?

Get your probiotics from food and nutritional stores, pharmacies and supermarkets. They can also be bought through online markets though care should be taken when accessing online platforms. Make sure to get appropriate advice from a health professional before consuming one.

Which probiotics are best?

The best probiotics are those that contain the stated colony forming units (CFU) and state that they contain ‘Live and Active Cultures’ or say ‘Naturally fermented’. Those that have a rich blend of probiotic bacteria such as different species of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Saccharomyces are the best since they provide a wide range of benefits to your body.

Which probiotics for weight loss?

Lactobacillus strains have been shown to lower bile salt hydrolytic activity (BSH) and therefore assimilation of cholesterol. Species of the Bifidobacterium spp are also able to prevent weigh gain via pathologies of obesity and diabetes mellitus following increased intestinal permeability and entry of bacteria into circulation.

Which probiotics should I take?

Refer to ‘What probiotics should I take’ above

Which probiotics work

Probiotics that work are those with live and active cultures and have a high colony forming units. Colony forming units refers to the number of a species in a population that are able to multiply via binary fission.

Which probiotics survive stomach acid

Those that are enteric coated are able to survive the stomach acid. Probiotics that are taken 30 minutes before a meal also reach the intestines. There has however been a study that was conducted on groups of dogs. The groups received a range of doses of L. rhamnosus strain GG. A freeze-dried form of L. rhamnosus GG was mixed with canned dog food and fed to the dogs once a day for five days. Fecal samples collected on the 11th day, showed that this strain in deed survived the gastric region and even colonized the intestines[x]. Culturelle probiotic contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. Saccharomyces boulardii with MOS from Jarrow’s Formulas is also able to survive passage through the stomach acid.

Which probiotics are best for constipation?

Probiotics all have an effect on the pH of the gut. This allows them to influence the motility of the gut and hence result in management of constipation. Some strains such as Lactobacillus have an effect on bile salts and their integrity which results in hypertonicity of the gut. This pulls water into the lumen and stool is softened.

Which probiotics for IBS

Probiotics with Bifidobacterium infantis are able to alleviate the symptoms of IBS such as bloating, irregular bowel movement and abdominal pain.

Which probiotics are best for candida?

Lactobacillus is specifically useful against candida infections of the mouth and the vagina. Yogurt contains these species in large amounts and able to treat candidiasis.

Which probiotics for anxiety

Probiotics that have the following species of beneficial bacteria are best for anxiety and other mental depressive states.  Get Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium breve, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium longum. These species have been involved in different mechanisms including reducing the level of serotonin metabolite 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the prefrontal cortex and reducing some dopamine metabolites in the amygdaloid cortex (Desbonnet et al. 2008). (For further information access the study

Which probiotics are best for acne?

  1. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium probiotics have shown improved clinical results in those who have acne (Marchetti F et. Al 1987)[2]. Get brands such as Primal Defense Ultra with a blend of the aforementioned species of bacteria, AOR Probiotic-3 which has Streptococcus,Clostridium, andBacillus or Prescript Assist with as much as 1229 strains of probiotics.

Which probiotics are gluten free?

The only research that’s been done on probiotics in celiac disease has involved the strain Bifidobacterium infantis, which is included in many different probiotics formulas. Those that are gluten free state that on their products and include:

  1. CeliAct Gluten-Free Diet Support
  2. Culturelle Digestive Health
  3. Florastor Probiotics
  4. Country Life Power-Dophilus
  5. Kirkman Labs Pro-Life Gold Hypoallergenic

Which probiotics are best for diarrhea?

Diarrhea that has been induced by antibiotic intake can be treated with probiotics with Saccharomyces  boulardii and including some strains of Lactobacillus such as those of acidophilus. That which occurs as traveler’s diarrhea can be controlled by consuming probiotics with Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum. Clostridium difficile overgrowth can be managed with Lactobacillus plantarum.

Which probiotics to take after antibiotics?

Refer to ‘Which probiotics for antibiotics’


Which probiotics are in kombucha?

Refer to ‘What probiotics are in kombucha’

Which probiotics contain Saccharomyces Boulardii?

Florastor probiotics contain this friendly yeast. Products from Jarrow’s Formulas have this yeast in combination with mannanoligosaccharides (MOS)

Which probiotics to take while on antibiotics

Probiotics that can be taken with antibiotics have stated that on their product and would therefore be prepared for this.

Which probiotics for antibiotics

What you need after an intake of antibiotics, is a balance of the general commensal against pathogenic bacteria. Therefore, a probiotic that has Lactobacillus spp and Bifidobacterium spp will help alleviate diarrhea-induced diarrhea.

Which probiotics have Bifidobacterium Infantis?

These probiotics include Align Probiotics, Digestive Probiotics, Propolis Plus, Super 10 Probiotic Complex, Flora 20-14, LactoPrime Plus, MegaFlora Plus, LifeStart-2, Probiotic All-Flora, Ultimate Flora Critical Colon and Ultimate Flora Ultra Potent.

When to take probiotics

Take probiotics when you feel bloated such as in IBS, are experiencing bouts of diarrhea due to antibiotic use or traveler’s diarrhea or when you have a skin condition as an adjunct therapy. Take probiotics 30 minutes before your meal to make sure that the beneficial bacteria are delivered to the intestines.

When probiotics are bad

Watch out for any adverse reactions when taking probiotics. Do not take probiotics when you are immune-compromised. If the shelf life of the probiotics has been exceeded, chances are that it has lost most of its bacteria and therefore its CFU is low.

When probiotics cause pain

Probiotics rarely cause pain. However, pain seems to occur in the abdomen with an accompanied bloating and gassy feel. This mostly occurs when you have just started on probiotics. This goes away with time though if this does not go, try on some new probiotics.

When probiotics hurt

Refer to ‘When probiotics cause pain’

When probiotics cause bloating

Refer to ‘Why probiotics gives me gas’ above




[i] Are probiotics safe for use during pregnancy and lactation? Jackie Elias, RPh, Pina Bozzo, and Adrienne Einarson, RN

[ii] Probiotic bacteria as potential detoxification tools: assessing their heavy metal binding isotherms. Ibrahim F1Halttunen TTahvonen RSalminen S.

[iii] Probiotic bacteria as potential detoxification tools: assessing their heavy metal binding isotherms. Ibrahim F1Halttunen TTahvonen RSalminen S.

[iv] Lemberg DA, Ooi CY, Day AS. Probiotics in pediatric gastrointestinal diseases. J Pediatric Child Health 2007; 43:331-336.

[v] Lemberg DA, Ooi CY, Day AS. Probiotics in pediatric gastrointestinal diseases. J Pediatric Child Health 2007; 43:331-336.

[vi]  Guandalini S. Probiotics for children with diarrhea: An update. J Clin Gastroenterol 2008; 42 (Suppl 2):S53-S57.

A complete and useful review that focuses on the efficacy of probiotics for diarrhea of different etiologies in children in different settings.

[vii] Boza, a natural source of probiotic lactic acid bacteria. Todorov SD, Botes M, Guigas C, Schillinger U, Wiid I, Wachsman MB, Holzapfel WH, Dicks LM J Appl Microbiol. 2008 Feb; 104(2):465-77.

[viii] Quantitative studies on normal flora on seborrheic dermatitis.

[ix]  Guandalini S. Probiotics for children with diarrhea: An update. J Clin Gastroenterol 2008; 42 (Suppl 2):S53-S57.

A complete and useful review that focuses on the efficacy of probiotics for diarrhea of different etiologies in children in different settings.

[x] Guarino A, Lo Vecchio A, Canani RB. Probiotics as prevention and treatment for diarrhea. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2008; 25(1):18-23.

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