I’ve suffered with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) for over 4 years now. I’ve mainly cut out gluten and dairy, but their other foods that don’t agree with me either and the list is getting longer e.g. broccoli, onions, garlic, chips (french fries) etc. If I could out bad stress that would be very good for me too. The last time I saw a dietician (about 2-3 years ago on the NHS) she did not really want me to cut out too many other foods all together – like a low FODMAP diet for example, but she did give me some leaflets for probiotics to try. However, these probiotics seemed too expensive until now. Now I think I just need to invest in them to hopefully get better – a more stable gut.
I was recently watching an interview by Tom Bilyeu with Jillian Teta on his Health Theory sub-channel on YouTube. Nb. I watch a lot of his interviews, also known as Impact Theory, as he invites inspirational people who have spent a good deal of time either working on themselves (emotions, health, learning entrepreneurship etc.). But for once I decided to take some notes as Jillian Teta seemed to have some good and easy advice to make the choosing of a suitable probiotic easier. Here is the video in full: https://youtu.be/EJG_5wokfN0
Probiotics mimic generally healthy human gut flora
What to look for in a probiotic?
They are not a ‘Silver Bullet’
- A good probiotic needs to be very rich in the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains;
- Look for multiple strains / a high number of strain counts; approx.
- 20-100 billion strains
- High CFU (Colony Forming Units) count;
- Free from corn, soy and milk.
What to avoid in a probiotic?
- Not an enzyme;
- Not a pre-biotic as well i.e. avoid one that tries to be more than a probiotic;
- Milk (lactose), Soy/Soya and Corn/corn syrup.
Of course the above is just one person’s advice but it looks to be a good start. I also checked out another website and came across a summary of reasearch carried out on probiotics, specifically treating IBS: PROBIOTIC THERAPY FOR GASTROINTESTINAL CONDITIONS (scroll down to the relevant heading: Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
The Gastroenterologist’s Guide to Probiotics (also linked above) says the following for IBS sufferers:
A Bifidobacterium infantis strain (B.infantis 35624, Align, Proctor and Gamble, Cincinnati, OH) was evaluated in two clinical trials. One study found significant reductions in pain, bloating, bowel movement difficulty and composite symptom score versus placebo and a lactobacillus species.49 In a larger follow-up study, reduction in pain and global relief of IBS symptoms were significantly greater in the B.infantis treated group compared to placebo.50
General recommendations from the American College of Gastroenterology as well as expert consensus panels from both the United States and in Europe are similar.15, 17, 38 There is reasonable rationale for why probiotics may work as treatment for IBS. There are at least some positive controlled studies showing that probiotic supplementation reduces IBS symptoms in some patients. The evidence of benefit is not sufficiently strong to support the general recommendation of probiotics for IBS; however, the benefit appears greatest for bifidobacteria species and certain combinations of probiotics which include bifidobacteria species rather than single species lactobacillus probiotics.
With probiotics, patients might experience a global improvement in symptomatology rather than specific improvement in bowel function. Since treatment options for IBS remain limited in both number and efficacy, a therapeutic trial of probiotics is reasonable for patients interested in this approach.
Now, with the above advice to hand, I can narrow down a suitable probiotic to test on myself.