To a Happy Belly is Paved with Good Bacteria

Upset Stomach

Probiotics are the naturally occurring “good” bacteria that live in your gut and play a significant role in your total wellness.

When you’re healthy, your intestinal tract hosts over 100 trillion friendly bacteria (that’s 10 times more than the number of cells in your body), which spend their days aiding digestion, boosting the immune system and consuming bad bacteria. They manufacture key nutrients and limit the growth of yeast and unhealthy bacteria – and in their spare time, probiotics help inhibit bouts of lactose intolerance, poor digestion and diarrhea.

When your “good” bacteria levels are optimal, they outnumber the bad guys by roughly 5 to 1, but take a few gastro-intestinal wrong-turns and the bad bacteria can quickly over-whelm the good, triggering a host of gut problems. So how to keep your gut functioning at its best? Get to know the probiotic basics to help your belly – and its 100 trillion good bacteria – flourish:

An Unbalanced Belly is a Sick One

It is said that about 70% of our immune system is housed in our gut, so keeping it in good working order is job #1. In a healthy gut, parasites and yeast may be present in small numbers but don’t cause any problems. However, when enough of the good guys (beneficial bacteria) are killed (e.g.,-with antibiotics), the bad guys (parasites, yeast and bad bacteria) gain the upper hand, causing an imbalance that can manifest itself in a variety of unpleasant ways, including:

  • Numerous digestive problems (e.g. constipation, colitis, IBS)
  • Skin problems (e.g. eczema)
  • Joint problems (e.g. arthritis)
  • Altered behavior patterns and brain function

Know the Enemy

Without enough good bacteria keeping things in check, your gut will act and feel like a bacterial battleground, with the bad guys running rampant and stirring up debilitating gut troubles like the ones mentioned above. And while aging does contribute to declining levels of good bacteria, there are a number of other factors that can wipe out the good guys (no matter your age) and create the perfect environment for the bad bacteria to flourish. Among the most common killers of our good bacteria:

  • Antibiotics – they’re Kryptonite to both good and bad bacteria
  • Over-the-counter drugs such as Advil, Motrin and Midol
  • Chlorine, found in almost all tap and bottled drinking water
  • Virtually all non-organic meat, chicken and dairy, because they’re loaded with antibiotics
  • A diet high in meats or fats, which the body is slow to break down, which in turn promotes the growth of harmful bacteria
  • Constipation, which allows harmful bacteria to remain in the gut too long and multiply
  • Cigarettes, alcohol, junk food and stress
  • Radiation and chemotherapy

Enjoy a Bowlful of Probiotics

For a tasty and easy way to optimize good bacteria, simply increase your intake of fermented foods. Why? Because they contain and deliver a wide variety of good bacteria to the gut, versus processed foods, which have the opposite effect. Miso, tempeh, kim chi, sauerkraut and kefir are great sources.

But What About Yogurt?

Many people eat yogurt because they have been told that it’s a good source of friendly bacteria. However, this is not necessarily true. The bacteria used to make most yogurt (L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus) are not the key beneficial bacteria. Some brands add a small amount of acidophilus just so they can say so on the label.

Plus, much of the yogurt you buy in the store is pasteurized after it is made. This is done to increase the shelf life, but pasteurization destroys all the benefits of the yogurt. So, if you do chose yogurt in the store, make sure the label says “live, active cultures.” And of course you want to make sure your dairy products have not been produced with antibiotics or hormones.

Send in the Probiotic Cavalry

To restore your “friendly” bacteria, in addition to eating the fermented foods mentioned above, probiotic supplementation is an extremely effective way to repopulate your gut quickly and return it to a healthy, balanced state.

The two most well researched and commonly used types of healthy bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, taken in capsule or powder form. The dose for both beneficial bacteria should be 5-30 billion viable bacteria a day. Side effects are rare, although probiotic supplementation may at first cause gas and bloating, but the effect usually subsides within a few days. If side effects are bothersome, reduce your dose and then gradually increase it over the course of a week or two.

After the initial phase, I generally advise my clients to continue taking probiotics daily to support optimal health.

The No-prescription, Probiotic Prescription

When buying probiotics, look for a probiotic blend that delivers the highest number of live organisms to the intestinal tract, and by that I mean at least 5-30 billion capsule or teaspoon of powder. Though it may sound like a lot, keep in mind that your gut needs trillions of good bacteria to stay on an even keel, so don’t be put off by the number of zeros involved!

A good probiotic supplement should also contain a combination of different strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. The Be Well Probiotics contain the 5 most viable and stable strains representing the best-researched bacteria known today. Take the probiotics as directed, once or twice a day, preferably with meals.

Also, keep in mind that due to recent improvements in processing techniques, you don’t need to buy probiotics that require refrigeration – the difference in potency is debatable, and for many people, refrigerated probiotics are too inconvenient to manage.

Bottom Line ….

What I love about quality probiotics, is their almost miraculous ability to transform sick people into healthy ones simply, quickly and effectively, without drugs, negative side-effects or, dare I say it, much extra effort.

Just a few inexpensive capsules taken with meals can help prevent and correct debilitating digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Probiotics produce immunity boosting chemicals and kill off invading pathogens. They help protect against stomach ulcers, food poisoning, lactose intolerance, yeast overgrowth, yeast infections, harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi. They even help improve your skin’s health and appearance. How many things can do all that? In short, probiotics offer a massive bang for your health buck – so do all you can to help them flourish!

Have Probiotics worked for you? Please share in your comments.

  • Diana Brook

    Informative article…thank you. Do you have probiotic supplements available in your Be Well range? If so, are they available in the UK?

  • Anonymous

    Hi Diana, so glad you enjoyed the article. We do have probiotic supplements by Be Well, but unfortunately the products are not available in the UK as of yet.
    Either way, you can find the products here:

    – Katrine

  • I have taken probiotics for almost 20 years and feel it makes a tremendous difference. I just turned 70, am prescription-free and am in better health than I was in my 50’s.

  • Daisy

    What kind of water do you recommend drinking, if all bottled and tap water is chlorinated? I’ve been struggling with this for a while. I can’t afford to put in a water filtration system into my entire home.

    Thanks in advance!!

  • Anonymous

    Bootled water that comes in glass bottles are a good option. And Mountain Valley Water delivers water in glass containers. A freestanding water filter for your tap in the kitchen and a chlorine filter in the shower is also pretty affordable and well worth it!
    I hope that helps!

  • Anonymous

    That’s great Joanne. Such an easy thing for all of us to do to protect our health.

  • Sarah

    Thanks for the information, I’ve used probiotics for years and have never been sick. It’s something my mother got me into years ago.

  • Jeannie

    This is great information and also the article about coding on produce was very helpful because I am unbelievably sensitive to genetically engineered ANYTHING, including animals fed on GMO grains. Canola oil and GMO tomatoes are killers, I get major heart palpitations within minutes. But back to the probiotic’s article, I have been battling IBS-PI (from a trip) since mid January and had never had any problems whatsoever before. In the process of this ‘antibiotic’ journey I had my gallbladder removed and was also diagnosed with coeliac. During my hospital stay, the GI and Internist were pro antibiotic so I was on them over 2 months. My PCP embraces a natural approach and has me on the right track now but says it could still take time. This article is very helpful and I have to tell you I feel I was meant to find you because your clinic name, Eleven Eleven, is my birthday! I’m on the other side of the country, but I will be a regular on your site now. Thank You.

  • PhillyLass

    This is very helpful information but I still have a question– is it possible to overdose on probiotics and end up with too much of even the good bacteria?

  • concerned grandmother

    Jeannie, you should send this info to the fda! One reason we are not protected from GMOs or at least having them labeled is due to the fact that the fda says they receive no reports of ill effects…

    Contact FDA
    Consumers: [email protected]

  • concerned grandmother

    Lots of places have those water machine contraptions outside that have reverse osmosis water. I have a RO filter for my kitchen sink.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing you r experience Jeannie. I’m glad you’re on the right track and slowly and steadily feeling better. Best of luck to you!

  • Anonymous

    Usually you’ll start noticing if you’re taking in too much probiotics – it can start to cause gas and bloating. If that’s happening just cut back on your dose.

  • ybnrff

    It’s true! after going trough all kind of pains in my abdomen I was adwised
    By a doctor to take probiotics! It was amazing after just a week my stomach
    Stopped rumbleing , the horrible foul smell of my stool almost disappeared
    COMPLETELY! Than improved going to the bathroom a lot the stool started to
    Be softer & more uniform texture !!! Thanks to the good Dr. My life is getting
    Better !!!!!!

  • Ann

    probiotics have been so helpful. for years felt uncomfortable: bloating, digestion issues and at times rumbling could be persistent. After taking probiotics for a week felt so much better which in turn motivated to continue working on my health. My children, ages 20 and 16, now take probiotics as well. Thank you so much for everything you do! I love receiving all these articles. Now to get the last 20 pds off!

  • Phyllis

    Probiotics also work for sick dogs, cats, and even birds when nothing else does. Just had a friend who was to the point of having to put her dog down due to explosive bowels, hair falling out, anxiety attacks, and started her on probiotics and 100% improvement in two weeks.

  • Is there a danger of probiotic bacteria getting stronger than the original natural bacteria in the gut, and resulting in the death of those bacteria? I probably sound silly but I’m worried of being colonized by the bacteria in Yakult (which is the probiotic supplement available widely in my country).

  • Anna

    I kept getting sinus infections (monthly) and was constantly on antibiotics. My dr. recommended Probiotics. I started taking them. Did not have a sinus infection for a year. I was a believer. I then looked around for “good deals (cheaper brands)” since I was taking them daily. Not a good thing. I had been taking Nature Made (10 Billion live cells) and realized after I switched brands and I got sick that I was only taking a capsule of 1 Billion live cells. I have read that 5 Billion is the lowest one should take to be effective. I am back to Nature Made.

  • Alisha Como

    Distilled water

  • Maryna

    I was told that if I would go and buy myself a probiotic in capsules it can be taken only once a year, as a treatment to plant some good bacteria in my gut. Is this true?

  • Anonymous

    Hi Maryna,

    We recommend supplementing with probiotics on a daily basis to receive the maximum benefit.

    ~Jackie, Be Well Coach

  • sue

    Can you take too much?

  • Silly Rabbit

    Lactobacillus is an IMAGINARY name made up by marketing companies to drive their product in the market place. The ACTUAL popular species of probiotic is Lactobacilli, I was very taken by this blog until this very obvious mistake… I have been searching for real information on this matter, but it seems everyone is trying to MARKET “probiotics” to us instead of just provide us with honest non-propagated forum… aarrrg! Is there any way to find the truth anywhere? Everybody just trying to make a buck!

  • Kargiver

    The difference is the Latin plural vs singular. Words that end in “i” are plural, words that end in “us” are singular; it’s the same noun.

  • Kargiver
  • Anonymous

    I believe that the people producing GMO foods (Monsanto) are ruining the health of millions of people worldwide. Our politicians know full well that GMO foods are unsafe, but do nothing to protect us – because the FDA, USDA, etc. are all staffed with industry profiteers.

    We need to all band together to rid the world of these murderous corporations and corrupt politicians who support them.
    These people are guilty of Crimes Against Humanity and need to be punished accordingly.

  • Anonymous

    The FDA knows full well that GMO foods are toxic. The problem is that Monsanto people are in the FDA!
    In 2016, we need to keep this issue on the forefront of election issues. Obama is just as bad as Bush in this regard.

  • Anonymous

    I have had horrible skin problems (diagnosed as Eczema) with terrible itching, rashes, and bleeding for years now. I have tried everything that I can think of – including probiotics for the last few months, with no improvement.
    Besides being miserable 90% of the time, I can’t wear shorts or short sleeves all Summer long.
    I am about to go back on Prednisone for the third time in a year.
    This cures it for a few weeks, then it comes right back.
    If I keep my faith in probiotics, should I see improvement anytime soon?
    Should I up my does to more than one a day?

  • Anonymous

    You are right. The TRUTH is that MONEY is all that matters in this country and marketing scammers are literally ruining this world. The U.S. has a phony Scammer Economy where very little is done that actually benefits anyone.

    If you hear of some college kid wanting to major in “Marketing” please stop him or her. They simply don’t realize that the profession is actually “Professional Liar/Scammer”.

    To address your first concern, Lactobacilli is obviously the plural of Lactobacillus

  • Joy

    I think that a beneficial dose would need to be over 5 billion per serving but you can go a lot higher than that. I have just bought a 10.5 billion per capsule (extra strength) probiotic which recommends two doses per day but one is too strong for me and I’m going to have to lower it and build up to it over a couple of weeks. Have you transformed your diet too? I am eating almost paleo now (not through choice but due to increased food intolerances due to leaky gut syndrome). My health problems are resolving, and eating paleo has done miracuolous wonders for my own longstanding skin problems.

  • hanna

    natural and organic food, loads of good fats, coconut oil especially. Also use natural and organic skincare products x

  • bob

    If i take even one half of a teaspoon of a probiotic it causes GAS.

  • Charla

    God help us. U will need supernatural intervention – cause there are demons involved. “-) May the Truth prevail. Much wisdom needed. Many have tried ……….ps: glad to see the probiotic info, very important to have as one is on the journey of getting rid of fungi – they resist too much. thanks

  • Tia

    About 3 months ago antibiotics obliterated my gut. Every since, I’ve had loose BMs. I’ve cut out a lot of offensive foods per recommendations of my integrative MD. Both he and my acupuncturist want me to take probiotics. I want me to take probiotics. However, my gut does NOT like probiotics. I’ve tried 3 different brands all with different strains (including one soil based with pro & prebiotics). It causes horrible cramping that always subsides when I don’t take more. What in the world can I do????

  • Angela

    in the 20 years that you took Probiotics did you ever have to increase your dose? I’m 34 and have been taking it for just a few weeks. (I LOVE what it does for me)

  • Joanne Estes

    I have always taken the same amount – at first it was in a little bottle and 1 capsule equaled 250 million Bifobacterium longum and 250 million Lactobacillus acidophilus (which has a patented triple-layer encapsulation technology designed for live delivery of probiotics to the large intenstine), and then the company introduced a daily strip which included the same little capsule.

  • Stephanie Pickett

    Does taking probiotics help with blood pressure n is 70 billion to much to take

  • Anonymous

    Hi Stephanie,

    Studies have shown a slight correlation between taking probiotics and blood pressure – it does seem to help lower it a bit.
    We generally recommend taking between 20-50 billion cfu but everyone is different, so if you believe you need extra support in this area, it may be beneficial to supplement with a higher dose.

    Be Well,
    ~ Jackie, Be Well Coach

  • Marcia


    I am trying to treat my acid reflux with probiotics. I take two daily of a high potency one and wondering if I should up the dose? I also was diagnosed three years ago with a hiatal hernia

  • Brenda Cook

    Aditya, I’d choose another source for your probiotics. Yakult has massive amounts of sugar in it, which in turn decreases vitamins and is quite well known to to be contrary to good health.

  • Lee

    With only a couple seconds of research, you would find out there is are NO GMO TOMATOES. They don’t genetically modify them yet or probably ever. Duh..

  • Harold David

    Have you tried taking it consistently and tracking your efforts? What’s the rest of your diet like, Bob?

  • Susan Denise Stiles

    I just bought some probiotics today! I’m hoping it will help my stomach! I have been eating clean for quite some time. I’ve been experiencing bloat and gas every day. I was trying to eliminate gasey foods…but then it seemed to be everything I ate.

  • Tashimoto

    I recently met a woman who told me that she got rid of terrible eczema by eliminating all dairy from her diet and drinking Nettle Leaf tea daily. Anecdotal, I know, but she had remarkably clear skin. Good luck finding a solution.

  • Tashimoto

    Have you tried soil based probiotics? Google a product called Prescript Assist or one called Primal Defense by Now Foods.

  • Guest

    I know it’s been months but I’ve had acne, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis for as long as I can remember. Used creams and took antibiotics, which made it good temporarily then much much worse in the long run… ruining my gut as well.

    Have been taking a good probiotic (always choose a reputable company!!! look at reviews) for about 2 months now.
    At first, I took 2 capsules x 20 billion a day. I now take 3 capsules x 20 billion (60billion CFU total a day), spread throughout the day. Accompanied with 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil (as an antifungal) between my second and third dose, I’ve cleared my skin problems.

    It’s not cheap… so you can maybe opt to take 1-2 capsules a day and maybe make your own kefir, which is the cheapest source of probiotics but you have to make it (easier if you have a couple minutes to spare a day). At the time, I didn’t have the option to make kefir and so was willing to pay for this.

    At first, skin was pretty bad — but soon it cleared up and it’s the best it’s been in so long. My immune system is back in check as well. I used to get white spots on my arm because apparently my immune system was attacking melanocytes.

    Do not be afraid to take 40-60 billion CFU a day! People report that kefir has 250 billion (and up to a trillion) per cup… and drink it daily.

    Lastly, drugs like prednisone will just put a band-aid on the problem. Wean off the drug like I did antibiotics and begin fixing the problem! Probiotics may be your answer, as it has helped many with eczema issues before … including me.

  • eastkp

    I know it’s been months since your post… but I have to tell you about my story with probiotics. I’ve had acne, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis for as long as I can remember. Used creams and took antibiotics, which made it good temporarily then much much worse in the long run… ruining my gut as well.

    Have been taking a good probiotic (always choose a reputable company!!! look at reviews) for about 2 months now.
    At first, I took 2 capsules x 20 billion a day. I now take 3 capsules x 20 billion (60billion CFU total a day), spread throughout the day. Accompanied with 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil (as an antifungal) between my second and third dose, I’ve cleared my skin problems.

    It’s not cheap… so you can maybe opt to take 1-2 capsules a day and maybe make your own kefir, which is the cheapest source of probiotics but you have to make it (easier if you have a couple minutes to spare a day). At the time, I didn’t have the option to make kefir and so was willing to pay for this.

    At first, skin was pretty bad — but soon it cleared up and it’s the best it’s been in so long. My immune system is back in check as well. I used to get white spots on my arm because apparently my immune system was attacking melanocytes.

    Do not be afraid to take 40-60 billion CFU a day! People report that kefir has 250 billion (and up to a trillion) per cup… and drink it daily.

    Lastly, drugs like prednisone will just put a band-aid on the problem. Wean off the drug like I did antibiotics and begin fixing the problem! Probiotics may be your answer, as it has helped many with eczema issues before … including me.

  • Ruth

    I had pnuemonia and was treated with 3 different antibiotics totalling 2,125 mg. I recently have been taking 100 billion cfu’s of a multi probiotic, been doing so for 3 months with no side effects. Before that 25 billion cfu’s for several years. My Dr. advised to up my dose of probiotics to 100 billion 2x daily because of the high dosage of antibiotics I took to clear the pnuemonia. Is it safe to take that much?

  • Ali Pinckney

    Hello! I’m having a really hard time finding this information so I’m hoping you can help. Is all lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (one of the strains in USANA’s probiotics) made on a dairy medium? USANA’s website does not talk about how the bacteria is produced. The product states it is dairy free but I have a vegan client who insists that all lactobacillus strains are developed on dairy (due to the “lacto” in the word) but I told her more and more probiotics are not using dairy to cultivate the bacteria and that lacto actually refers to the lactic acid in the fermentation process. She claims she was taking a probiotic and it gave her terrible stomach pains due to her being ultra sensitive to dairy. She can’t remember what brand this was. Is this true? Any resources you can recommend?
    Thank you so much in advance!!

  • Anonymous

    I have a question about refrigerated vs. shelf-stable probiotics. Your new book recommends the refrigerated version over the shelf-stable version. I’m curious to know what your current opinion is on this – is the above a newer recommendation than what you have in your book? Thanks!

  • has a theory and complaint concerning vaxxers. Has it occurred to anyone that the link from vaccinations to autism is the contamination of injection site from non use of gloves and mask handling vials barehanded reusing for next patient without cleaning tops and not returning to fridge. The link to streptococcus and undiagnosed strep throat in med workers? Cdc 1981 a certain uptick in vaccinations due to the press this topic has received should be met with serious warnings about sterility and safety. It seems we are still in the 1660s when dr van leeuwenhouk was ridiculed for asking doctors to wash their hands!

  • Marilyn

    I have been battling I B S for 43 years and have tried mant things without improvement. I will, now, try the probiotics. I have trouble with diarrhea at least twice a week. I am hopeful that taking probiotics will help me.Thanks for all the info.

  • Pam

    I started giving my grand daughter Culturelle..1 capsule a day in her formula..when she was 6 months old. She is now almost 8 years old and has never been on an antibiotic!

  • Amanda

    I have been on the probiotic powder for less than a week and already see so much of a difference! My skin is glowing again and my IBS stomach issues are at ease!

  • tintin carlson

    I just have to say that if you experience any cramps or bloating, reduce your intake immediately! I ignored them and ended up in the hospital with abdominal cramps, diarrhea and uncontrollable vomiting. Probiotics are not a quick fix, and should be added to your diet gradually.

  • Sean

    I’m hoping you are joking but if not you didn’t look very hard because it’s a very easy thing to find see link below:

    Also as a quote from a study with another link below:

    “Genetically modified tomatoes fed to rats were shown to cause bleeding stomachs and eventually killed many of the rats.”

  • Olutomi Brown

    You look great Joanne. The ones l used to use wasn’t so good. Hope this one l just bought works better than the previous ones l bought. By now you should be like 72 year young :)

  • Olutomi Brown

    I am with you 100%

  • Olutomi Brown

    You believe them, they lie a lot you know

  • Olutomi Brown

    Yes, indeed. He’s their puppet

  • Olutomi Brown

    This is my kind of crowd. When l talk to people about this they look at me like l’m crazy. Is like don’t mess with my bacon :)

  • Olutomi Brown

    I think is Roma tomatoes don’t quote me on that :)

  • Joanne Estes

    Thanks Olutomi! Yes, I am now 72 and still prescription-free! Ask me about the probiotic I use :)

  • Olutomi Brown

    You know my next question then. What type of probiotic do you use? I would love to use that. I am 60 and prescription free too. You’re such a cool lady :)

  • Joanne Estes

    Congratulations on being prescription-free! I have been a Shaklee distributor for 22 years and use their product Optiflora. Click on link to find out about it :

  • Joanne Estes

    Congratulations on being prescription-free! I have been a Shaklee distributor for 22 years and use their product Optiflora. Click on link to find out about it :

  • Olutomi Brown

    Yes, thanks for the link. Like l said, l just bought the probiotic product. I will try if it doesn’t work then l will buy from you

  • Joanne Estes

    Hi Angela,
    Hope you have continued taking that probiotic – it is important to use every day!

  • Joanne Estes

    You are welcome ~ hope you have success with your product and if not, look forward to hearing from you. Shaklee has a 100% money-back guarantee if it does not work for you.

  • Bill Chamberlin

    Also too much sugar helps feed yeast and the bad bacteria.

  • Bill Chamberlin

    Actually they have added fish genes to tomatoes.. GMO tomatoes were the first fruit / vegetable to be sold in markets.

  • Trin

    I have been taking a probiotic pill consistently for the last week because of diarrhea I also started adding in water kefir and the diarrhea is worse. Is this normal?

  • Shagufta Naz

    I have bad bectarea in my tummy and I have very bad breath can anybody help me plz

  • Shagufta Naz

    I have bad bectarea in my tummy and I have very bad breath can anybody help me plz

  • Natalie

    Joanne do you have any equally strong probiotics (not prebiotic) I am recovering from cdiff and I also have ulcerative colitis which means I can’t have all of that extra fiber from the prebiotic. I need to add new good Bacteria

  • Joanne Estes

    Hi Natalie – Shaklee has a Prebiotic with a triple-layer encapsulation technology, which helps ensure potency and guarantees live delivery of Bifidobacterium longum and Lactobacillus acidophilus to the intestine. Go to my website and put in Optiflora Prebiotic Complex in the search box and it will describe it for you. Good luck with your recovery!

  • Susan Steen

    What if the discussion stays on this topic and not try to make it an opportunity to sale your own products?
    Provirus are great and vastly understated by the medical community.

  • Beth

    I am 66, very fit and have always had excellent colon health. I just took a 5 day trip out west and things have not been right since. Intermittent diaharrea, exhaustion etc. I am new to experiencing any digestive problems. I have always had what I considered a very healthy diet, but now I am afraid to eat many things that were staples for me….lots of veggies and fruits, nuts, legumes, salads, fish, chicken, moderate dairy etc. The one cup of coffee with skim milk each morning sends me running to the bathroom. Should I just try your advice and not alter my diet ? Or….what dietary alterations would you suggest ?
    Thank You,

  • Anonymous

    Hi Beth,

    Sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well! While it may be possible that you picked up a bug or virus, you can certainly try to alter your diet to see if it helps – I recommend going dairy and gluten free to see if that helps.

    Be Well,

  • chezron

    Avoiding GMO food will also preserve gut flora. I am surprised you didn’t mention this. Glyphosate kills bacteria by destroying the Shikimate Pathway that bacteria rely on.

  • aileen

    hi there! is kombucha a good source of probiotic? also, anybody taking soil based organisms as supplement?

  • Laura

    Can too much probiotic can make you constipated?

  • Karen murphy

    I suffer diverticular disease each month around my cycle I suffer severe lower back pain when I started probotics the pain virtually gone ‘ I’m only on them a week I feel I need to take twice daily can I do this now introduce 2nd dose . karen

  • beverly fullerton

    I have been taking Mega Sporebiotic for a couple of months it has corralled the diarrhea and absorbtion problem but here lately I have so much bloating clothes are tightening up on me have indigestion even tho i am carefull to eat gluten free,i do have a lymes co infection bartonella that has rared up cut down to one pill most of the time a day sometimes take two

  • AJ

    A friend recently gave me some kefir grains but I prefer a diary-free diet (although I’m not intolerant) and it seems to require so much milk to make the kefir. I know kefir is a powerhouse of good bacteria so do you think this balances out the dairy? I always use raw or unpasteurised organic milk.

  • Barb H

    I took a look and this has Soy and Gelatin coating, not Vegetarian, which I cannot take either. I take Natren have for well over 31 years now. They saved my life, both the Lactobacillus and Bifidus , no fillers either. It help all 3 of us here and our Dogs too.
    I prefer never taking Soy not good for the Thyroid, and I am Hypothyroid so I watch that carefully.
    Many are not tested properly and so many are Hypothyroid now! I research this highly as it is not caught as often as it should be.
    Probiotics are wonderful. And many are extremely good others are not that great! Looks like these work great for you. Wonderful! Thank you Joanne

  • Linda Kim

    I have been making kefir at home, and adding 100+ million in pill form. It has taken about 2 weeks, but I am feeling incredible! My energy level is high, I do not need caffeine to get going, and if I drink 8 to 10 oz of kefir before bed I sleep solidly. I am not new to kefir, but adding the pill form helped with much more energy. I teach middle school and having a positive attitude can be a challenge… now it is much less stressful. A small investment in health for a great return.

  • Pamela Cotter Lewis

    Has probotics helped anyone with uti’s. I have had a constant infection for 2 years. I have been on antibotics 24 yrs but regularly last 10 yrs, and not stop last 2. I have take probotics for almost a week now. I think I am immune to antibotics now.

  • Wanda

    I started probiotics 9 days ago, i have ibs an am diabetic. Started having stomach cramps an diarhea yesterday an today. Is that normal

  • Guest

    I actually wish the issue of gmo’s would come up more, however, the hot button issues are immigration, improper email usage among other things. Meanwhile, ppl are getting sicker and sicker not realizing the correlation of gmos and illness.

  • Kansas

    bloating and gas initially is showing you that the probiotic is working by killing off the bad bacteria. the die off is what leads to the gas and bloating. It will subside within a week or so usually. After that, if you take it daily as a maintenance, you won’t have the die off problem again.

    Chobani Greek Yogurt has live active cultures in it and no artificial sweetners (which can upset the gut)as well and may be more enjoyable than taking a pill. I do both because we need trillions in our gut and I have a few habits that I like so I need more probiotic to compensate.

    For the maintenance, I take the Pearl probiotics each evening with a meal as I have found they work best and have nothing in them that could cause an undue allergy.

  • rasil4u

    Thanks so much for this posting. Lately, my gut has been somewhat painful (ascending colon). I took a good probiotic and the pain immediately ceased. I always eat organic foods, no meats and am wondering if I ate something contaminated bc I have never had any stomach problems b4. This is baffling and wondering if it is more serious that it appears. Had all the tests and everything they claim is fine. Is the gut problem continual? Does one consume probiotics for life? Thanks.

  • Ellie

    Thank you so much for all the new and helpful information. Do you think the good bacteria can help someone overcome anxiety and depression?? Also, is it possible that if you are gluten sensitive or if you are suffering from Pyroluria you can eventually be cured by using the good bacteria? Could all of these problems be caused by the lack of good bacteria in your system?? I hope to God!! I have suffered for too long and so have so many other people.
    I appreciate any guidance on this

  • Guest

    Try checking out Jason Vale’s site online. There is a documentary that is incredible that could change your life, it’s called Super Juice Me by Jason Vale.

    I hope this helps .

  • Shonda Vaughn

    I turned 51 a couple weeks ago have always been able to go to the bathroom but recently I struggle with it and I have terrible gas and my tummy feels bloated all the time? My diet has not changed? Will probiotics help me or cause more bloating and gas?

  • Carlos Enrique Brito Sánchez

    What is the best way to take a probiotic pill? I mean, should I take it with meals or empty stomach?

  • John Cruz Rodriguez

    I just bought probiotics over the counter and and started taking them today and it says on the bottle to take three wafers a day and I want to know how many hours after taking the first dose can I take the second dose

  • Kim

    I just haven’t had good luck with probiotics, and I’m trying to understand why. I tried taking one for about a month several months ago and it made me less regular, more gassy and and more bloated–and I have been diagnosed with IBS so I already deal with those things! I’m trying a new one now and have been on it for several weeks and am having the same problems. It seems to get worse the longer I take it. Anyone have ideas as to why?

  • Paula

    Excellent advise. Thank you.

  • Emily BH

    The problem I have with it is that if you take it long term, you are sending messages to your gastro-intestinal system not to create it’s own friendly bacteria. Sorry, but the holistic/medical establishment has it WRONG when it says “give the body what it needs”. Rather, what we should be doing is giving the body whole foods grown in Nature including whole (unadulterated by man) herbs to restore the systems of the body so they can function on their own. Part of this is the cleaning out of acid wastes that cause all the inflammation in the first place. Remember, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Personally I’d rather eat pre-biotics like parsley and dandelion than need to take pro-biotic supplements all my life. We all should be more consumed with getting rid of toxic sludge than relying on supplements, a more harmless band-aid than Rx, to alleviate our symptoms.

  • Kate

    My husband had what we suspected to be travellers diarrhea
    A during a recent trip, so took the antibiotic Zithromax given to us by our Dr. (A short course of 3 days). He felt temporarily better, but it hit again about 10 days later. He took the antibiotic again. He has now been put on another different antibiotic. Testing shows no parasite as of yet. I have him taking a billion probiotic per day, but he is very low on energy and the diarrhea continues. Recommendations?

  • Vicky Ochoa

    Dr. Lipman, would you happen to know of a product that contains the good bacteria which delivers a high number of bacteria that you mentioned in this blog? I am searching for one for myself and my family…which includes a 6 year old.

    Thank you,

  • Vicky Ochoa

    revised question…I meant to say “contains the good bacteria which delivers a high number of “LIVE ORGANISMS”

    Thank You,

  • CJ

    I have had chronic stomach problems for a couple years ago. Have seen multiple doctors etc to no avail. I finally took it upon myself to try some of the high grade probiotics. I have been taking a probiotic with 80 billion and have had great success! All of my issues have seemed to magically resolved themselves!
    I recently (accidentally) bought a 50 billion and now have been suffering really smelly gas… I wonder if I am able to double up on the 50s until I get through this bottle? Or is that “over-medicating”. The product I am buying is from a health food store and quite expensive so was hoping I could use these up before buying more of the 80 billion?

    Thanks CJ

  • Cathy

    Is it normal to have tingling all over your body and a burning on your tongue when you first start I’m taking 30 billion I have bad sinus and it also makes me cough my head feels weird