Probiotics

Does anyone take daily probiotics (or eat yogurt for probiotics)? I have chronic abdominal pain (GI related) and I am pretty sure the probiotics help; however, I also think the placebo effect is strong with me too, so it’s sometimes difficult to tell if certain supplements or meds actually help. Much of what I read, seems to be in favor that probiotic use has merit.

I like nonfat yogurt in place of sour cream, so I do use it then. However, I always buy a large bucket of it if I’ve been put on an antibiotic for some bug or other. I don’t like the effects the antibiotics have on my intestinal flora, so as soon as I’m finished, I make sure to eat some yogurt with each meal for the following week or two. It’s also worthwhile eating fresh fruit and vegetables (which usually have a variety of helpful bacteria on them) and maybe salads with dressing made by adding blue cheese that hasn’t been pasturized.
I like my gut bacteria and I want to protect them. :slight_smile:
Occam

Probiotics are an area where not a lot is known but much is being offered and claimed.
The theory behind probiotics is based on a relatively new concept known as the microbiome. We all harbor thousands of different species of bacteria in and on our bodies (see the Human Biome Project here]). Our gut is essentially a self contained and very complex ecosystem. Derangements of this ecosystem have been implicated in all manner of illness from diarrhea, to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diabetes, obesity, and even Alzheimers. Right now this is a lot of speculation without a lot of good evidence. Some of these relationships will no doubt turn out to be accurate and others will not.
Because it is well established that some gastrointestinal issues are associated with an altered microbiome this are has gotten the most attention. Studies have shown some benefit when treating certain conditions like antibiotic induced diarrhea. Others have experimenting with using these products to treat everything from irritable bowel syndrome to gas but as you have already noticed, the symptoms associated with these conditions are so subjective and can vary from day to day making it difficult to know whether these treatments actually help or are we just dealing with a placebo effect. Without a definitive diagnosis of your condition and well controlled studies to address whether probiotics help with that condition it is difficult for anyone to know whether these products will actually help or not. Its also possible that they may be harmful. Although there have been no reports of short term problems there is the possibility that the use of probiotics may have unintended long term consequences.
Unfortunately we are at the very beginning of trying to understand a very complex concept. With thousands of species interacting within the immense complexity of our own bodies the number and variety of possible interactions that could be going on is mind boggling. Some have tried to condense the whole field to an idea of “good bacteria” and "bad bacteria but this concept is simplistic and naive. It would be similar to studying the ecosystem of North America and dividing the thousands of species of animals and plants into good species and bad species but this approach is flawed. Mountain lions may be a bad species if you are a deer, but take them away and the deer destroy the vegetation and become the bad species. The truth is that we need the proper balance of organisms to create a healthy ecosystem and the optimal balance may differ from one person to the next. Products that claim to provide us with a dose of “good bacteria” may be helpful or may not help at all or may in some cases upset the balance entirely.
I would certainly discuss probiotics with your physician before using them for any condition you suffer from.
Antibiotics and Probiotics- Why you shouldn’t take either without a good reason]

Isn’t a fecal transplant the ultimate probiotic?

Isn't a fecal transplant the ultimate probiotic?
I don;t know if its the "ultimate probiotic" but it would be considered a broad spectrum probiotic.

Well, I might have a sample of mine stored before I go on an antibiotic regimen to take after I’m finished with it. However, I’ll be damned if I’m going to eat someone else’s S_ _ _. :lol:
Occam

Does anyone take daily probiotics (or eat yogurt for probiotics)? I have chronic abdominal pain (GI related) and I am pretty sure the probiotics help; however, I also think the placebo effect is strong with me too, so it's sometimes difficult to tell if certain supplements or meds actually help. Much of what I read, seems to be in favor that probiotic use has merit.
I had a friend who was a medical doctor. She used to say, "I'll take the placebo effect." Maybe it has merit, maybe not. If it makes you feel better and has not beEn shown to cause harm, i would keep on using it, as long as you check with your doctor that you aren't doing anything potentially harmful. Anyway, you seem to have a pretty good record of choosing well. Lois
Well, I might have a sample of mine stored before I go on an antibiotic regimen to take after I'm finished with it. However, I'll be damned if I'm going to eat someone else's S_ _ _. :lol: Occam
Actually you eat--and drink-- someone else's s___ and urine every day. Lois

I know that, Lois, but I’d just as soon not consciously contribute it to it. :lol:
Occam

I know that, Lois, but I'd just as soon not consciously contribute it to it. :lol: Occam
But it's ony because you choose to be inconscious of it. In other words, you are pretending it isn't happening. Lois

Right. That which I’m not aware of doesn’t exist. :slight_smile:
I can’t help ingesting ground up contaminants in the processed food I eat, but I’d just as soon avoid adding to that burden consciously.
Occam

Probiotics for direct help pertaining to the health and functionality of the GI system seems plausible; however, I discovered some other information online that has interested me and perplexed me–“The Brain Gut Axis” and how probiotics may effect mood. I have anxiety disorder, so this caught my attention:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201206/do-probiotics-help-anxiety
http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/10609763/3601973.pdf?sequence=1