The “Straight Poop” About Probiotics

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Loads of information about probiotics. What works, what doesn't, and whether you need them or not.

Gut health is crucial to overall health – and fermented foods and probiotics are apparently 2 things that are very useful for improving gut health. I’ve had issues with fermented foods in the past, so I have focused mainly on probiotics when it comes to improving the digestive health of my family.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the benefits of probiotics recently while trying to boost the good bacteria count in my intestines.

And what I’ve been learning is fascinating.

Today I’m going to share some of what I’ve been learning plus more about my personal experience.

The “straight poop” you might say.

Again, this post is a “lengthy one,” but as you’ll see, I have a lot I want to share with you.

10 Gut Facts and Benefits of Probiotics

First of all, you might want to check out my post about Gut Health Facts.

But here are more facts to spark your interest about gut health and probiotics.

1.  You have 400-500 different species of bacteria in your gut, weighing approximately 3 pounds. (Source)

2.  85% of your immune system is gut microbes. (Source)

3.  Good bacteria is passed through generations. As the baby passes through the birth canal, he receives beneficial bacteria from his mother.  That’s why it’s important for moms to keep up their levels of probiotics, and why C-section babies are bacteria compromised from birth. (Source)

4.  Probiotics have been proven to have a beneficial effect on the immune system (Source)

5.  Good bacteria are supposed to comprise 85 percent of the bacteria in the gut.

6.  In 2011, US sales of probiotics were over $770 million. I contributed a fair bit to that total! (Keep reading for more details.) (Source)

7.  Probiotics have been shown to be effective in treating:

– Lactose Maldigestion
– Traveler’s Diarrhea
– Acute Diarrhea
– Anti-biotic induced diarrhea
– Allergies
– C-Diff
– Dental Caries
– Respiratory Infections
– IBS

(Source)

8.  Probiotics might result in healthy weight loss. (Source)

9.  Probiotics might have a role in slowing the development of cancer.  (Source)

20.  Probiotics might have a beneficial effect on emotional health. (Source)

No wonder that the word “probiotics” comes from the word for “life.” Truly, our lives may depend on a healthy population of good gut flora.

Do All Probiotics Work?

A reader asked me a while ago what probiotic I recommend. Here’s the post where I answered that.

In a nutshell, my family and I have taken many probiotics over the years.

Some seemed to work.

And some didn’t.

For me, “working” constituted a clear change in digestive health, evidenced by either rumbling in the stomach and flatulence (gas)(showing that the good bacteria is attacking the bad guys), improved bowel habits (regular bowel movements with improved consistency–sorry to be graphic folks, but when you’re talking about gut health, things get a little “messy.”)

{Please note there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on link and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.}

The Probiotics We Tried and the Results

1.  PB-8 – Didn’t see much change one way or another.

2.  NOW brand (Most recently we tried their Probiotic-10, but previously I think we tried another variety. Sorry, but I don’t remember the name.)

I don’t remember any particularly positive changes from this one.

3.  UAS DDS – This one came highly recommended to me.  I don’t recall noticing many changes from it.

4.  Primadophilus Bifidus – I noticed this one affecting the stools of my kids, particularly of my youngest, but I didn’t notice anything personally.

5.  Dr. Ohira’s Professional – I only took a few samples of this brand.  I had pretty clear “gurgling” in my stomach as a result but it was really pricey (about $60 per month with no option for a discount.)

You can see we’ve tried a lot. I’m guessing we’ve easily spent thousands of dollars on probiotics over the years, many of which did nothing or little to nothing for our health.

We are now trying Miessence’s InLiven and Fast Tract. Read on to find out why I chose this brand and what we’ve found.

Our New Probiotic – How I Found it and Our Experiences

As most of you know, since this past July, I have been experimenting with a new probiotic, InLiven.

The story behind why I even tried InLiven is a funny one.

I was taking the NOW brand that I mentioned above (but wasn’t noticing any real positive benefits), and I was also taking 1 teaspoon of Strata Flora in the afternoon.  Strata Flora is an amazing blend (and it really “makes you poop”), but it isn’t just a probiotic, so I was always feeling I should be supplementing with something with more of a “punch.”

Regardless, the makers of Strata Flora were having trouble financially and were possibly going out of business.

So in order to keep myself “regular” I felt I really needed to go on the hunt for a new probiotic.

At the time, I read a post at Kitchen Stewardship (Katie’s a good friend of mine) about probiotics, and as I perused the comments, I stumbled upon one by Lacey Swartz (she’ll be in on the probiotic teleseminar this Thursday night) that was really intriguing.

She said,

I started using InLiven two years ago and definitely noticed some major health improvements – namely, no more yeast infections (used to struggle with them chronically), was negative on the strep test with my 4th baby (had been positive with the first 3), and overall just fewer bouts of illness.

And then she mentioned the opportunity to get 20% off or even to earn products for free, and stated that the company was “no-hype” and “no pressure.”

Now I really was interested.

I decided to poke around her site and found it was a company I’d known about for a long time–Miessence.

I’d been getting emails mentioning Miessence’s cosmetics for a while, but I never thought twice about it because I didn’t use many cosmetics and wasn’t convinced I needed “organic stuff” on my face. (Now I know differently.)

But now that I found out that they had probiotics as well.

Now you’re talking!

I spent hours poking around their site, reading about their mission statement for organic standards and sustainability, and I was hooked.

I contacted  Lacey and asked a ton of questions (literally, a ton–you know how “investigative” I can be) and even got to run some questions by the owner of the company.

Anyway, I finally signed up as a rep and started using the InLiven in July of 2012.

You can read about my struggles with InLiven and all my wondering whether I could handle fermented foods in Why I Don’t Have Fermented Foods on My Blog.

But now, I am taking Miessence’s even stronger fermented probiotic drink and am tolerating it fine.

I even decided to put my whole family on InLiven to see how they would do.

Really, I would have loved to put my whole family on Miessence’s probiotics right from the start, but I buy my probiotics in bulk so we had some bottles to use up. Plus, I wanted to make sure it was really worth it before I put them all on something that cost more than we were already spending.

Here are the results:

Husband’s Results

Recently I noticed my husband having a lot of, let’s say, digestive issues. Lots of time in the bathroom and that kind of thing.

I asked him to try the InLiven and the very next day the lengthy bathroom visits stopped and he said he clearly and quickly noticed improved digestion.

UPDATE:  (later in the date on 5/28.)  In the interest of saving money, I asked my husband to go back to his other probiotic yesterday and today so we could use up what we had.  Well, let’s just say that there was a lot more time in the bathroom both yesterday and today.  Hmmmm….

Oldest Son’s Results

I started my oldest on 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon of InLiven.  He has troubles with stress and said that he’s felt better since starting the InLiven.

I think it really might be helping because we have had a real overload of stress in our family over the past month (way beyond the norm), and although he is struggling, he’s weathering it better than I think he normally would have.

Youngest Son’s Results

My youngest has been having a horrid time with allergies this spring.

So bad that we almost went to Urgent Care once.

He’s had swollen eyes, sneezing, runny nose and even hives.

I started him on 1/2 teaspoon of InLiven and within a few days I noticed his symptoms lessening. I track the pollen count daily, so I know that there have been really high counts in our area since starting it.  But he hasn’t had the really severe symptoms since he started taking InLiven. Still bad on some days, but not quite as bad.

My Results

I already wrote about my “intense gurgling” and itching ears, constipation, loose stools, and the like (see Why I Don’t Have Fermented Foods on My Blog and Probiotics Experiment Update), so I already knew that the InLiven and Fast Tract were working.

I’ve continued upping my dose of Fast Tract (2 Tbsp is the recommended daily dose) to my current dose of 8.5 Tablespoons per day and I’m spreading it out over 3 doses.

My digestion seems to be stabilizing, but I am still getting some die off reactions. Some ear and rectal itching, mainly, but also fatigue. I am sleeping heavily, waking up about 5-6 hours after I go to sleep and then sleeping heavily for a total of 8 or more hours.

It appears the probiotics have a lot of the “bad guys” to fight off in my gut.

No surprise after all of the antibiotics I was given as a kid, and the sugar I ate willfully.  Oh, and the stress. And environmental toxins. Gah. (Read Candida and The Beginning of My Sugar-Free Life for more “juicy details.”)

Anyway, I am thrilled that it appears we’ve found something that is really high quality to help with our family’s health.

And now, I get to share with all of you what I have learned–and more–in the Free Probiotics Teleseminar this Thursday night, May 30, at 9pm EST.

Even if you aren’t free then, please sign up to join us. You’ll get an email of the recording, plus you’ll be eligible to enter a giveaway for these powerful probiotics (there will be 2 winners).

**UPDATE: You can still get an email of the recording by signing up here.**  Click here to read some of the more notable quotes from the teleseminar.  

I am going to interview the maker of InLiven and Fast Tract, Czerral, and you will have time to have your own questions answered at the end of our time together. Just think–you’ll get to ask the expert yourself whatever you like.

I am just gushing over with thanks for the time Czerral has given me and for being introduced to these great products.

And I’m thrilled to share what I’ve learned.

Come along with me this Thursday and let’s learn some more.

For more on probiotics, check out the Probiotics Teleseminar Wrap-Up that includes some of the more notable quotes from the call.

What questions would you like me to ask Czerral?

The information here is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a medical professional before changing your diet, exercise program, or before trying any natural remedies.

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  1. It looks like I’m joining the conversation a year late…
    I recently started using PB-8 and I noticed a difference. I read to keep probiotics refridgerated, which I do. The difference I noticed was going from 2 BM’s a day to about 12 once I started using it. From other research, that is what a supposed to happen eventually it will lessen. I also take alive multi-vitamins which have digestive enzymes in them as well.

    As far as your son’s seasonal allergies, I highly recommend local honey. Once I started having local honey every day I noticed a big difference in how my allergies affected me.

    • We did get local honey – need to get on it again. Thanks for the reminder! My allergies were sooooo severe in my younger days that I would have needed to eat 1 gallon per day :).

  2. Hi Adrienne,

    Just came across your site a week ago and have started taking Fast Tract to deal with a candida overgrowth in the gut. Since your last update last year, do you consider yourself candida-free after the high doses of Fast Tract?

    • I am not sure what is going on but likely not. I did see a great increased tolerance to dietary changes (eating more carbs and such), but it is clear now that other things were going on that I have been addressing. I hope to update everyone soon. It’s been a very interesting road for sure.

  3. Hi Adrienne,

    I cannot find anywhere that it states the number of servings in the InLiven probiotic. About how long does one jar last you?

    Thanks,
    Kathleen

    • It all depends on how much you take. If you do a heaping tsp it will last about 1 month. A level tsp per day has the container yield about 53 days. And so on. Thanks and I hope that helps!

  4. Michelle says:

    Do you still recommend InLiven probiotic superfood?? I have really bad rashes and eczema and been doing everything in the book to help it.

    Thanks

  5. Regina Wright says:

    Is anyone still monitoring comments on this subject? I have had a similar experience and would like to ask a couple of questions as well as find out if a transcript of the webinar is still available.

    • Yes, I am . What are you wondering please? I’ll do my best to help.

      • Hi Adrienne, thank you for the post. i have used pb8 and noticed a big difference. I’m always changing it up a bit with other brands so i get different strands of probiotics though. you recommend this and looks like it worked well for your family but for your personal experience looks like u said it gave u bad itching of rectum and hair and gurgling? how is that good? I’m confused.. or maybe i sped read your post too quickly.. did i miss something?

        • I don’t know that I mentioned rectal itching but did you read both parts of the fermented food posts? Thanks! I’m glad PB8 worked for you – I am still trying other varieties. The one I am on now isn’t making any visible difference. Thanks and let me know if you have any more questions.

  6. Adrienne, just found this post from 2013…is there a way to still listen to / retrieve the audio from the Probiotics Teleseminar? I’d love to listen and learn more. Or maybe u have an updates post about probiotics? Thank you!

  7. Heather Forrey says:

    read your article on Rosacea, but now that you are using this probiotic company (totally unfamiliar w/ probiotics & just starting with alternative/holistic/whatever medicine, lol) what do you recommend for treating rosacea? not terrible & don’t take meds, hate the Rx cream, so don’t use it either, usually use coconut oil on face, but winter is coming & have terrible time with skin being sore. plus is getting slowly worse as I get older :(, also have mild psoriasis, so anything to help with skin :)

  8. I went searching for a pro-biotic with Saccharomyces Boulardii in it and came across this thread. Then also found this product which seems like it may be related or the same as the Fast Track stuff. Can you confirm if it is? It’s way cheaper. Link: http://livesuperfoods.com/body-ecology-coco-biotic-probiotic-beverage.html

    • Hi there. Sorry for the delay. I have been inundated and your comment got buried. It looks similar but of course the ingredients are different. There are no gluten grains in the Fast Tract. I can say that I trust the maker of Fast Tract implicitly regarding quality and I don’t know how Body Ecology’s product is produced. There isn’t enough information there.

      I guess you could try both and see what you think?

      Thanks and Happy New Year!

  9. Have you heard of or tried VSL3 probiotics? I heard that they’re really good, but I’d like to hear what you have to say about them.

    Thank you :)

  10. Lydia Freund says:

    Dear Adrienne, Thanks for going through all the trouble to document your experience. Mine is so similar that I am working my way through your series. Please tell me if you were on already no carb diet at the time you started InLiven, or if you were still eating grain or fruit. I am reading Donna Gates’ book and listening to her Healthy Gut Summit right now, but finding YOUR BLOG more HELPFUL – Go Figure! I already understand much of the science. What I need is a protocol. and recipes. I hope you can find the time to reply. Blessings to you.

    • Hi there and thanks. I wasn’t on a no carb diet at the time….I was eating fewer but not none. I wasn’t eating much fruit at all. Wow – that’s a high compliment about the summit. I am actually eating a bit more carbs now for my adrenals. I got that idea from the doctor who wrote this book. http://amzn.to/17dpeCp (affiliate link). It’s a really fascinating concept. Hope that helps!