Probiotics recommendations please

Dear helpful people, can anyone give me a recommendation for a good brand, and strength, of probiotics to use please? I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (Hashi's) in September this year, so I'm quite new to the forum but have learnt loads reading other people's posts. I went gluten-free a few days ago to try to help my gut and reduce antibodies, and I'd like to use probiotics too, but googling them just gives too much choice of brands and strengths, and I don't know what's good or not! Any suggestions, please? Thanks in advance.

59 Replies

Have a look at Optibacs, you will have to choose which you want and you can take 2 or more types. They are good and if you call them they will help.

Thank you, bantam12 - I'll take a look.

Bio kult

Thanks, reallyfedup123 - will look at that one too.

Perhaps look at adding fermented foods to your diet. I have been making my own kefir for over a year now using the same set of grains I bought originally. Will work out cheaper than buying capsules/tablets - just add milk, coconut milk, water and so on.

The TV program "Trust Me Im A Doctor" did an experiment on what form of probiotic was most effective (yoghurt, prebiotic diet and kefir) and kefir proved to be the most effective.


Thanks for that; will watch the programme and look into it. If it's effective and cheaper, sounds good to me!

I use Optibac. I’ve had other more expensive probiotics from the health store but Optibac are fine. I tried mak8ng my own water kefir but I was produc8ng it much faster than I could drink it - I felt like Micky Mouse with those buckets of water in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice- so I’m afraid I killed the plant off and just stuck with the Optibac.

Did I suggest you join Coeliac UK to help you with going gluten free? If I didn’t then it’s well worth it.

Ah - another vote for Optibac - thanks.

And thanks for the suggestion of joining Coeliac UK. I have a friend who is Coeliac and when I mentioned to her that I was going gluten free, she lent me a couple of magazines. It all looks v helpful so may well join up (and, note to self, must join Thyroid UK as well to support their efforts). So grateful for both organisations and people who can point me in the right direction!

It’s expensive but I find Symprove is very good.

Thanks for the recommendation.

KEFIR is tasty & nutritious!

It's a much maintenance as making a pot of tea or coffee. Buy grains (about £10 for 10g is enough for 2 small glasses) feed them on organic wholemilk, keep at an ambient temperature, strain, drink, repeat. Mine grew to 500g, & are probably that weight now, though I regularly give them away.

And another Kefir vote. Seems worth a try!

Yes if you look at Chuckling Goat page on Facebookthis is the Kefir supplier mentioned on “Trust me I’m a Doctor” there is a lot of information. I am wondering whether to try this myself

I've decided to give kefir a go - have ordered some grains and I'll see how I get on! It seems worth a try.

How's your kefir? :)

My grains arrived by post today - so am about to get started!! Will give you an update in a couple of days. Weirdly excited about feeding those funny little grains and seeing them grow... and drinking this strange new drink as well... 😂


Mine weren't palatable for a week, then it took another week before they stped being too yeasty, & started to taste good. The poor wee critters will be starved & stressed from posting, so need a fair bit of TLC. Treat them gently, & they'll grow fast. If you can get whole unhomogenised organic milk to feed them, the fat floats to the top, where their carbon dioxide production makes them float. They seem to like this rather a lot, & grow in size much faster in a fatty environment. It took only a few months for the 10g I bought to make a glass full of kefir, to grow to 100g that makes a litre, :) I need to keep my tummy beasts in the fridge on rotation, & share once I get too 500g.

Contact me or look up Yemoos if you have any issues.

Good luck!

Thanks, BadHare, for the tips; that will stop me worrying if things don't seem right for the first couple of weeks :-) . Will see what sort of milk I can get to give them a good start!

But I have to ask, "tummy beats" - is that a typo or a technical term that I haven't come across yet?!?!

You're welcome!

Organic milk is on sale in most supermarkets. If you use ordinary milk, the antibiotics given to the cows will affect the kefir's growth, They like any whole milk, but reproduce faster in unhomogenised.

I meant to write tummy beasts, it's from a Roald Dahl poem about a child with a beast in her tummy. We have an average 2kg/trillion or so bacteria in our guts, so hope mine are the good sort from my kefir.

Hope you can see this post:

Thanks, BadHare - lots more interesting info there to think about!

Loving the idea of tummy beasts too :-) .

Very good tummy beasts, not like this one:


On the 'Doctor in The House' series on TV, where Dr Rangan Chatterjee stayed with families for 24 hours; he said we need to eat a 'rainbow' of fruit and veg to help the gut. He also said 2 apples a day are good but they are even better when stewed and recommended adding cinnamon to help counteract a spike in blood sugar (when stewing apples with sugar).

Now that's interesting. I have lots of apples at the moment as there are a couple of trees in my garden, and I like them baked with cinnamon and some chopped dates or a sprinkle of brown sugar. Lately I've been finding myself more and more inclined to eat them, whether as dessert in the evening, or with my morning porridge - perhaps my body has been trying to tell me something!! Just as well I have a glut of them stored up :-) .

Yes!........I make apple sauce. So easy to make and with the cinnamon, especially the nice Sri Lankan variety. Amazing how all that chopped apple reduces down with just a splash of water!

Eating apple sauce is really healing and good for the inflamed gut that is the problem with those with Hashi. It's the pectin that's good for you.

I also make my own sauerkraut. Don't bother buying the shop stuff as you often see on the label that it has been pasteurised which completely defeats the object of all the helpful bacteria. Most all also just pickled cabbage in vinegar, NOT the wonderful lactic fermentation of real sauerkraut!

I like mine with carraway seeds added. I have heard of a serving of 'kraut can have around 10 trillion of healthy bacteria. Sometimes good to start low and build up as you can get a bit windy in the beginning! :D

I’m trying to work up courage to mix two years worth of salt with the cabbage I have. I may just cook the cabbage & stick to kefir, though I like your idea of adding caraway. I’d been thinking star anise. Maybe both...

I used to fret about the amount of salt but find that a tablespoon of Himalayan pink to a 750-800g cabbage seems about right. sometimes add a grated carrot or two. I love making it. Once I've finely chopped the cabbage and sprinkled and folded the salt in a bowl I leave it for 20 minutes and the salt starts breaking down the cabbage. Then give it a really good squeezing and massaging for about 15 minutes until there's a good bit of juice in the bottom of the bowl. It's a real workout for the hands!

Let it brew in its mason jar with a little circular "hat" made out of a cabbage leaf to hold the chopped stuff under the juice level for about a week giving it a little "burp" every now and again. Yum. :) Some people like to let it ferment longer, it's all down to taste because once it goes in the fridge the ferment slows right down.

It's probably the cheapest thing to make...ever!

I've never made or even had sauerkraut before - sounds like it's time to give it a go!

I react very badly to salty foods, though it’s Himalayan salt that I use sparingly. A tablespoonn is over a year’s worth. I have Weck jars, which I prefer to Kilner’s as the latter have plastic in the lids I’ve spotted some with a glass lid & metal closure which are better, though my kefir seems happier in a litre jug

My kefir habit costs about £6 a week, with the added benefit of being a good source of protein for me as I don’t eat meat. It’s very high in B12 & K2, as is sauerkraut, though I don’t seem to absorb the B12 as well as I'd like. It has another advantage of having a shorter fermentation time.

I’m going to have to bite the bullet & use this cabbage before it goes in the bin! Top tip re saving a leaf as a lid!😀

Can you use any type of cabbage or is it more suited to certain varieties?

I've used red cabbage and white cabbage. A sweetheart cabbage was quite nice too.

Tried with a Savoy cabbage and it was OK but the crinkles seemed weird to me and I don't think the taste was as good!

Be sure to remove the internal "heart" stalk when you cut the cabbage into quarters, it's horribly tough and chewey. Then chop the rest finely with a very sharp knife or use one of those mandolin thingies. Stuff it really tightly into the jar and pour the juice in. The juice should come above the chopped stuff and then put the cabbage leaf "hat" over it all, cut the leaf into a disc shape.

The jars go under so many names but are generically called Kilner jars (I've also got some called Fido jars but are the same), are made of tough glass and have a wire closure and rubber seal on the lid and look like this.....

I mentioned Mason jar before and they generally have a screw-top lid with a removable central section, usually used for making jams and pickles. I don't think they would be suitable for fermenting stuff so well. The one with the wire catch is the one I meant!

Thank you ☺


May I suggest an alternative is to stew them with some green cardamom pods? Either take the seeds out of the pods and throw them in, or throw in whole pods and take them out afterwards. Add a bit of decent vanilla extract.

No health benefit of the cardamom - just tastes and smells nice! And I would never add sugar when doing this.

What a fabulous idea! I love cardamom, & have never tried it with apple. 😀

Ooh - sounds lovely! Will give that a go. Thanks.

They freeze well when stewed, or you could store them in jars in the fridge.

With foods like that, I like a mix of raw & cooked. Some fruits such as tomatoes have more lycopene available from being heated, though that looses the vitamin C.

Yup, I end up freezing lots of stewed apple each autumn. Amidst all the juggling of different supplements and getting used to what I can't eat due to going gluten free, it's nice to find something I really like that is so good for my gut too :-) .

There’s a chap called Jerry on the HU Healthy Eating forum who has some amazing GF recipes.

Will take a look...

Please try Garden Of Life probiotics they are vegan and an excellent company good luck

Thanks; will take a look.

These are good probiotics too

Also make sure you eat foods that are prebiotics ie ones that feed the probiotics :)

Good point - I hadn't got as far as thinking about probiotics. Thanks

Sorry, prebiotics - I blame autocorrect!

After watching "Trust me I'm a Doctor" & also reading online the results of trials testing probiotics in supplement form,I stopped buying them.Only Symprove survived the intestinal journey into the bowel alive.Its more expensive even than "Chuckling Goat's"kefir recommended by Michael Moseley.

I bought a bottle of live organic kefir for £1.99 from my local health shop & now make my own using fresh goats milk from the supermarket chiller.I use a heated metal pad designed for brewing beer,a kilner jar & a digital food thermometer.When its ready I store it in a kilner bottle in the fridge door.I used a "How to make kefir from bought kefir"on "Youtube"having failed with grains.Its dead simple once you've done it a couple of times.It keeps well in the fridge & just gets stronger!

Thank you for the advice! I do like the idea of something that doesn't involve taking yet another pill/capsule.

What does water kefir taste like? Or does the "normal" kefir taste like natural yoghurt? I might fancy making some because in around 3-4 weeks I'm having 4 dental implants done and they give you antibiotic prophylaxis....I think I will need to re-populate my insides afterwards!

From what I've read you can add fruit to flavour water Kefir or some juices. I'm contemplating making the water version. I buy a milk version from the supermarket for my dogs

THank you for the info. I'll give it a go.

I first bought a course of "Chuckling Goat" kefir(delivered to the door)following the worst sinus attack ever & 3 courses of antibios).Its thin & fizzy & not much like yoghurt.Then I made my own from a bottle of organic live kefir in addition to using "Chuckling Goat" kefir as a starter.

I think PRObiotics is one of the most effective ways to improve digestive health & kefir one of the most effective as well as cost effective.A small glass every day before any food.I add FOS to mine,a PREbiotic I bought on special offer from "Healthspan"when I've finished those tubs I will buy Innulin to add.

Thanks for the tip about FOS options.

Kefir, it will work out more economical in the end and you can have a choice of a milk or water version

Thanks - having learnt about kefir from various replies on this thread I've just ordered some grains so will see how I get on!

I think I'll give the water kefir a go. My head says try it with cranberry juice or cherry juice which I love.

Just seen a website that has answered a lot of my questions. It's an American site but seems comprehensive but you can order the grains from Amazon I suppose, just go with a recommended supplier for quick delivery and freshness I guess.

Ebay has many suppliers of grains,too

Don't waste money on expensive probiotics . Most if it is hype and marketing. Any good plain yoghurt is good and contains probiotics ( check the label) . I would always choose organic though because I like dairy cows to be treated well and fed well! Unfortunately this disease requires patience . . From you and your family and friends . . no quick fixes in the early days and months. I think if I went back to my early treatment I'd have taken up doing jigsaws to pass the time Good luck

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm going to give kefir a try following advice on this thread. I eat plain yoghurt most days already but just want to give my gut a bit of extra help. I'm very aware that there are no quick fixes, so please don't worry that I'm expecting any one thing to make it all better! I've learnt so much from this forum already, and so there are various steps that I'm taking to give my body its best chance over the long term. Probiotics is just one of those. Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

I've had good results with the brand BIOHM, it works to balance fungi and bacteria in your gut. It is one of the few probiotics I have tried that I noticed an actual difference while taking.

Thanks for the suggestion.

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