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Can anyone tell me what probiotics are for?

I've read conflicting things, such as take them all the time, take them when you are on antibiotics, every few days, after getting glutened...

I've read that you should get the freeze-dried kind, not the kind you keep in your fridge.

I've read that you can also get them in yogurt.

But, most importantly, I don't know what they are or what they are for. I'm wary about vitamins because doctors ride the fence on whether or not supplements work.

Should I take probiotics? (BTW, I'm on antibiotics now for a staff infection)

More importantly, what are they?

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I'm sure that others will reply with the technical stuff. I'm not really good with explaining that part. I do know that I have tried many many different types of probiotics and have learned that some work for me and some don't. I think that they are VERY important, but you have to try and experiment with a few different kinds to see what works best for you.

Kim

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My doctor highly recommends probiotics. They keep the good bacteria flourishing in your intestines. They help especially when you are on antibiotics since it kills pretty much most of the bacteria in your body, good and bad (hence, that's why women get yeast infections when they are on antibiotics). I've used the kind that's kept in the fridge to pills. Right now my doctor recommends FloraStor, but it's extremely expensive. My HF store suggested another brand that is also pretty good (and a lot less money). It's a capsule and I take it on an empty stomach every morning. Probiotics, for me, aren't anything that I notice different when I take them. My doctor suggests that I take probiotics, so I do ;) !

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I'm certainly not an expert, but here's what I know. I take them AFTER I take antibiotics. The antibiotics will kill all bacteria in your gut (good and bad) so you want to replenish the good after a round of antibiotics. If you take them during, you'll continue to kill the ones in the pills you take, so I'd wait until after.

Not sure about whether you should take a bunch after antibiotics and then stop or keep going. If you've got a healthy gut, you can probably stop, but I wonder if things like Candida would eventually take over if you have a problem with that if you don't keep going. I also think I read somewhere that birth control pills can alter bacteria in your gut so that might be another reason to keep taking them. Not sure if getting glutened would affect the bacteria in your gut - I lean towards no, but I have no idea.

You can get some from yogurt, but I don't think it's as many as in the pills. And Activia yogurt is not gluten-free so you can't take that.

I get the kind that go in the fridge. I read that you want the "active" cultures. If you take the ones that are just sitting on the shelf, they're not still alive so they won't offer the same benefit. I'm not sure if that's what you meant by freeze-dried. Although I was at Target the other day and their ones on the shelf said "refrigerate after opening" so I don't know if that means they're good or not. I wish I could remember where I read all this and the details, but you know how brain fog is...

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Probiotics balance the good and bad bacteria in your gut. I used to use yogurt for the probiotic effects, when taking antibiotics I would make sure to eat one or two yogurts a day during the treatment and that seems to ward off the antibiotic related D that my family would get. Since I have had to give up dairy I use sauerkraut for the same purpose. Not quite as effective but almost as many of the same 'balancers' are in there as in yogurt. My ex-naturopath told me about the kraut right before he prescribed a soy and dairy loaded probiotic, which I handed right back to him.

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Well I never saw any NEGATIVE side effects to them...

How good they are??? Hard to say but I personally believe that the Western diet has removed them almost completely.

An interesting statistic is that many Mediterranean countries have longer life expectancy, lower infant mortality etc. than the UK, US and countries where these are removed from the diet.

I eat a lot of raw food, including eggs (FREE RANGE ONLY), unpasturised cheeses (sheep and goat cheeses) and raw meat (Carpaccio, prosciutto crudo, Breasola) and drink raw goats milk when I can find it. And I also get the active yogourts.

I know millions of French and Italians who eat this reguarly yet I never heard of anyone actually dying from it!

This doesn't mean people might not get a little tummy bug from time to time, it just means they are not dying from it nor their babies...

When I was in France and eating Fresh food almost exclusively I didn't bother supplementing the pro-biotics. Now I'm in London and its near impossible to find fresh food I can eat I think it might be a good idea. (Not that I'd eat raw beef in the UK anyway, the quality is terrible)

So I can't give a definitive answer.... my personal preference is to get these naturally... raw cheeses, yogourts etc. (for instance one important pro-biotic is found in sheeps stomachs and this is exactly the part used to make natural rennet. Hence if the cheese is unpasturised the cheese becomes a culture of this (its a while since I researched this so I forget exactly which one).

Lacking this I think pro-biotics can be a good idea.

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I have been taking chewable probiotics that I got at whole foods. I probably would just assume that they are doing *something* but doubt it in the back of my mind if not for the fact that I am having BM's more often and more solid now. Kinda interesting.

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Just last week I was checking into probiotics and I read that you needed to take either FOS or inulin with it to make sure the benefitial bacteria's make it to where they need to go because the acids in the gut will kill off alot of them. They say inulin is easier on you than FOS. However if you take too much inulin you will have diarrhea. They also say the only time you will notice any difference (one that you feel) is when you don't feel good and you take them, then you start feeling better. Does that make sense? They work to keep you feeling good so you don't consistantly get yeast infections, for example, especially if you are taking antibiotics. So if you do feel good, you won't feel them working but they are.

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My doctor told me to start taking Align when he found out I had celiac. So far I haven't really seen any benefit to it, but it's only been two weeks. It has the probiotic called Bifidobacterium infantis.

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Probiotics rule!!!!

I wish more people were educated about how important they are

I will eat them every day until I die. I eat 50 BILLLION organisms a day

www.usprobiotics.org

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Thanks to everyone for their information/opinions!

This board has been so informative, and entertaining at times, too. :rolleyes:

I am loading up on yogurt. I couldn't digest it a few months ago, but things seem okay now. Unfortunately, I did get a yeast infection from the antibiotics. I should just ask for a prescription to counter that when they prescribe me the antibiotics... I forget every time.

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You can take probiotics while you are on antibiotics. You just can't take them at the same time (i.e., don't pop the antibiotic and the probiotic at the same time). Leave time in between and you will be fine.

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Hello! I have been gluten-free now since September and I too could not digest yogurt right away. However, I have tried it again, and it really helps my tummy feel better! I have also learned about Kefir, which it amazing stuff, and my body actually seems to crave it now. I figure that has to b a good thing! Also, I am reading a book right now about probiotics called "The Probiotics Revolution" by Gary B. Huffnagle. It is a great and informative book so far, and even has a special little section on Celiac. Check it out. Drink some Kefir, and best of luck! :)

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For those of you taking probiotics:

How often do you take them?

What dosage?

Do you take them with food or on an empty stomach?

Thanks!

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For those of you taking probiotics:

How often do you take them?

What dosage?

Do you take them with food or on an empty stomach?

Thanks!

I take one a day with the propriatary blend of 1 billion CFU per capsule the first thing in the morning before I exercise on the bowflex machine (about 20 to 30 minutes before I eat). They tell you to take them with or without food. It depends on how your stomach feels about taking things before you have some food in it. If I've been around to much wheat products or have been contaminated by gluten is when my stomach gets to sensitive to take anything until I can keep food in me.

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