I've been using probiotics for a while now and they seem to working (about 2 months). I had Crohn's - ulcerative colitis; the inflammation is gone but I still had (and have) IBS-like symtoms. I've been taking Lactobacillus Plantarum 299v probiotics for about 2 months and I can say I feel improvement.
I've got some questions:
I dont understand the benefits myself. There are some 600 odd native bacteria in your gut, and the most proven beneficial one is a strain of e coli which never occurs in any probiotic. Good bacteria is a bit of misnomer, as very few individual strains have any proven benefit - we just know mainly that we need some of those 600 odd native ones. If you take serious anti-biotics, and then stop, your gut bacteria return fully in about a month, so the system is very robust...
I dont see how taking 1 or 2 types of bacteria that dont have hugely proven benefits would be that much help. Additionally, these bacteria are supposed to exist in your bowel, not your whole digestive system.
I see this more as marketing - although some specific bacteria may have some proven benefit, so if i used them I would do research each strain to see if they actually help.
But if it floats your boat, go for it (especially if you find its really helped). Then again, you dont want those bacteria camping out, in other parts of your body than your colon, like your small intenstine..
Why do you think your bacterial balance is out? Is it overgrowth/SIBO? Or did you take anti-biotics for awhile? Or is it something people often try for chrons, just to see if it works?
I could be wrong, but I don't see any harm in taken them permanently. Especially if you consume ample amounts of cooked food. (I only consume them with cooked food.) Maybe switch over to a digestive enzyme for a while?
From what I've been researching, fermented foods, although an awesome source of probiotics, get quite destroyed in the stomach acid before digestion. Therefore, erasing a lot of it's benefits? Do NOT quote me on that, but it's what I've been seeing.
NOW digestive enzymes are wicked cheap (and recommended by Robb Wolf and other paleo enthusiasts) but like I said, I think they are only important for major cooked meals. Raw foods generally still have their natural enzymes for breaking down.
inactive brewer yeast could lead to a worse state of Inflammatory bowel disease; refs are 5 and 6 in http://www.passeportsante.net/fr/Solutions/PlantesSupplements/Fiche.aspx?doc=levure_biere_cerevisiae_ps
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