What types should I use and what brands are best?
The entire act of digestion is hard on me, especially with meats. Anyway, what would you all recommend?
Just before I figured out the paleo thing, I turned my messed up body over to a good nutritionist for help who hooked me up with a successful, albeit pricey protocol using prescription grade digestive enzymes, probiotics, and natural soil organisms. I believe most of them were by Theramedix and Biotics.
I was popping something like 12 pills a day for 2 months, and questioning through a lot of it if I was just flushing my money down the toilet. But, boy howdy, after that 2 months I was a new woman! I don't know if I really had disbiosis, leaky gut, or the dreaded and controversial "candida overgrowth" that were diagnosed, but I lost all sugar cravings after about 6 weeks, and had to cut my thyroid dose in half a month after I finished, so something was definitely resolved. Digestion improved dramatically too.
The most profound change came as a bit of a shock, I hadn't noticed previously how all of those little food cravings caused a background static in my mind, making me mentally exhausted before even getting to the other stuff I'd rather be thinking about, that is, until they went silent. It was like I had learned to meditate without learning to meditate, glorious silence.
For maintenance I now take Vitamineral Green for NSO's and probiotics every couple of days, and eat sauerkraut or kim chi whenever I remember to put them on the plate, at least every 3-4 days.
It was an expensive and time consuming protocol to go through. Even though I very much liked the results, if I had it all to do over again, I think I'd make a barrel of sauerkraut, and include it at every meal for 3 months before deciding whether to move on to the pricier supplements.
Digestion has difficult for me as well. I take Jarro probiotics, basically because that's what Robb Wolf had suggested in some of his posts and podcasts. I haven't tried others as it has seemed to work for me. I also tried NOW Super Enzymes based on Wolf's recommendation but have moved to betaine HCl and have found success there. I use less of each now than when I first started taking them, which indicates some gut healing has perhaps happend for me.
Source Naturals Betaine HCl (2-4/meal)
Now Digest Platinum (2 per meal)
And a few probiotics:
Now Gr8Dophilus (almost the same as Jarrow EPS but much cheaper. just as effective. shelf stable. perfect for travel)
Now Foods, Probiotic-10 50 Billion, 50 Veggie Caps(requires refrigeration but excellent formula)
I also occasionally have used Ohhira
Having said that, I'm pretty much off probiotics as I'm making refermented foods. And I'm following Kresser's advice from his GERD series.
Has anyone actually experienced better digestion, elimination of constipation (or diarrhea), better bowel movement, or anything at all taking digestive enzymes or pre/probiotics?
I've tried a dozen probiotic brands and 3 different digestive enzymes.
Nothing. Nada. I initially felt something strange in my intestines which became a cramp. I got all excited because I thought the good gut bacteria is vanquishing those pesky bad bacteria! But aside from that sensation, which immediately went away, I never felt anything. No change at all in digestion, constipation, bowel movement or anything for that matter. (I was taking it for chronic constipation). But I never had any problem with digestion anyway; it was always my constipation.
I guess that just means I don't have dysbiosis (disbacteriosis) and I need to look elsewhere to solve constipation.
I am beginning to think that for some people, probiotics and digestive enzymes act like a placebo.
I have something called "Udo's Best", kept it in my freezer since about a year ago when I thought my problems were due to digestion (they weren't), now I took them out again and tried them again for the heck of it, just to see what happens (nothing), so I don't know anything about the subject but I do have a question.
How come yourebsupposed to take one with every meal? I mean, if they allegedly restore your gastroflora balance or whatever, shouldn't one pill be enough? or just one day's worth? Like sourdough starter or cheese culture or something. You don't have to keep throwing that stuff in you dough or your cheese, just one dollop to plant the seed. What makes these probiotics different?
NOW super enzymes are the best and cleanest I've found. They helped me when I was having issues, take one before, one during and one after a meal until you start to see some relief. Maybe in a couple weeks you'll note some difference. I've backed off them now as my system seems to be working better again,
Probiotics do more harm than good for me, I guess that depends on your system to see if you need it or not.