Being a fan of probiotics but keen to avoid too much yoghurt, I'm wondering which probiotic supplements are good. Unfortunately the area seems far more complex than choosing vitamin D supplements, where you know pretty much exactly what you want/don't want. Value for money is a key concern, but I'd be interested in any pointers as to what to look for in a good probiotic supplement.
I am taking Now Foods Gr8-Dophilus (8 Strains, 4 Billion Organisms each pill)
I read that it is quite common for people to have too many Lactobacillus bacteria compared to Bifidobacterium (there is a 'healthy' ratio apparently) ... So the common supplementation of just Lactobacillus can be ineffective in correcting the balance because often it is this Bifidobacterium that is needed.
I have also read good reports about these guys: http://www.customprobiotics.com/ Apparently you can send them a stool sample and they will develop a custom probiotic formula for you based on what they find. Personally I am not going to that level but it is probably the most comprehensive approach to probiotic supplementation.
I use a probiotic supplement from Solgar. They seem like a nice company, but I've done some of their courses so I'm very biased and haven't actually done a background check on them ;) They use a pill that melts in the stomach environment and then forms a new shell to reach the intestins, which sounds very smart.
I have bottles of Puritan's Pride acidophilus on the way to try. I also found that, when I traveled abroad, prepping and using Gut Health kept everything in top shape. Unfortunately the company no longer exists.
Kefir is also nice to try, you can get it plain or get the bacterial culture and make it yourself from milk (the bacteria basically breaks down all the lactose and uses up all the sugar in the dairy used so it pretty much becomes pure fat +protien+ good bacteria) it tastes sorta like a sour lassi and is easily flavored with fresh fruit or whatever you'd like.
What about Kombucha? It's expensive, but I like a bottle now and then.
Also... I have made my own sauerkraut! It was easier than I thought. Here's Stephan's recipe:
Thanks for all the answers every-one. For what it's worth, I've now settled on some probiotic supplements from Holland and Barrett (normally the biggest emporium of unhealthy food on the high street), since they were cheap.
They contain: Lactobacillus acidophilus (125mg), Bifidobacterium BB-12 (15mg), Lactobacillus brevis (0.5mg), Lactobacillus bulgicarus(0.5mg), Lactobacillus salivarus (0.5mg) and pectin as a prebiotic. (Giving wildly varying amounts of viable cells).
It just comes in a sealed tub, but suggests refrigerating once open. Given how awful H&B are I don't know if this is any good, although in theory it looks to be a pretty good spread and most of the above have been linked to some sort of health benefit (depending on strain of course).
Gluten in Supplements...How bad is this? 3 Answers
Supplements for acne? 8 Answers
preventing future hypothyroidism? 2 Answers
The Pleistocene Diet - Your thoughts? 11 Answers