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Probiotics 10 strains , 10 billion and better than others?

How about Probiotics? I have tried products like Align, Culturelle, Digestive Advantage and no real help with IBS symptoms. I have some lactose sensitivity, and I love coffee but issues there as well!

Are 10 billion and 10 strain probiotics better than the one or two strains. I know they need to be alive during the period to use them and not just when manufactured.

Any real help with symptoms, like nausea, bloating, constipation etc?

4 Replies

A brilliant book called The Diet Myth by Tim Spector explains why it's likely that the same probiotics don't help everyone because my gut microbes will be different to yours. The species of bacteria which may help your IBS will possibly not be the same species which will help mine. That seems to be why some people swear by certain probiotics and others either find them no use, or worse. Unless you have your stools analysed to see what your range of gut microbes is comprised of, you may have to trial a few types of probiotics to see if any of them work for you. It's a book worth reading though.

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I was taking probiotics for 3 months, not for IBS but for help with other issues, I felt no different at all and I do believe that some probiotics will work for some but not others. I also was taking Omega 3/6/9 supplement, again no help - in fact during the 3 months I was taking them my mood was low!

I really do believe that people should go to their GPs and speak to them and be tested to see if they do need supplements or not.


I have spent a fortune on these (including ones suggested by a TOP gut specialist - only to find that one contained lactose and gluten.) I tried Symprove, which has some evidence behind it but it triggered my nasal allergies. The company told me it was FODMAP friendly but as it is barley based I don't see how it can be and also one of the flavours (Mango) is FODMAP. I won't go into the whole story. My dietician told me that Probiotics with too many strains just cancel out each other, so it is better to try one with just a few strains. Then some of them contain Fructo-ologosaccarides (FOS) which is a Prebiotic and a FODMAP and I've found that makes bloating worse. A recent book says to avoid taking Probiotics and Prebiotics. Then by "accident" I discovered one that works for me. I had 2 strong antibiotics to sort out an infection and took OPTIBAC Probiotics designed for taking when on Anti-biotics (in a green packet, from TESCO), and they seemed to help. They only have 2 strains. I am now trying a longer course with the agreement of my consultant. Take them with a glass of water in the morning and don't have any hot drinks with them or for a while after them. I have read a lot about the microbiome (our colony of gut bacteria) to learn that our own gut bacteria colony is unique to us - so it may well be that what strains of bacteria suits some doesn't suit others.

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Another thumbs up for the Optibac range. I alternate each day - one capsule of the Daily Well-being one and next day one capsule of For Travelling Abroad. I also take their Saccharomyces boulardii - one capsule opened and mixed in with Greek yoghourt, once a day. I also take grapefruit seed extract, 10 drops in water once a day. I have managed to keep my diverticulitis at bay for 8 months without having to take antibiotics and am just starting to feel confident I am finally managing my condition which has meant the bad bacteria overcoming all the good ones and giving me awful infections in the diverticula pouches. The 'good guys' seem to be winning! I have tried many different brands of probiotics and think Optibac are the best I've tried.


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