You want to take care of your gut, and probiotics are a fantastic way to start…but STARTING is the problem!
How do you determine which strains are best for you?
If it’s your first time taking probiotics, Jini recommends you start with an infant species of bacteria called B. infantis, then gradually work your way up to the adult species like L. acidophilus, B. bifidus and L. bulgaricus.
Here are the target spots for each strain of bacteria:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus: NAS super strain, to optimize beneficial activity in the small intestine
- Bifidobacterium bifidum: Malyoth super strain to support the function of the large intestine
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus: LB-51 super strain to police the transient flora, which is part of the 40 percent of dry-weight fecal matter. Active in both the small and large intestine.
Which probiotics does Jini recommend?
Here is a probiotic cheat sheet Jini created, that you can use to choose which products are best for you depending on your symptoms. Natren is the brand Jini recommends, and the brand she has used in all of her tried-and-tested protocols. If you choose to use another brand, you can use this guide to finding a potent probiotic.
I can’t find what I’m looking for in my country?
Will my probiotics still be good if the ice pack has melted during transit?
We had a reader write in recently about shipping probiotics from the US to the UK, as he was concerned the ice packs would not last and the probiotics would spoil.
We have already shipped cold orders to the UK, and our packages are stored at the correct temperatures in the truck to maintain quality and safety. The probiotics are packed to retain chill throughout the multi-stop delivery process, especially in the heat of summer! Oftentimes the dry ice or ice packs will have completely, or almost completely evaporated or melted during shipping, which is normal – it just means the ice packs have done their job, so your probiotics are fine and should contain the amount of live bacteria stated on the label!
Natren assures us this is fine as long as the probiotics have not been warm for longer than 30 hours. And did you know, Natren automatically includes MORE bacteria than is stated on the label to accommodate for potential die offs in transit? So even if your probiotics feel warm or room temperature when you open them, they will still contain the amount of live bacteria stated on the label. Just remember to put your probiotics into the refrigerator immediately!
Okay, so I have my probiotics… when do I take them?
Here are a couple of posts on the blog which provide some helpful guidance:
As mentioned at the very beginning of this post, if this is your first time taking Natren therapeutic probiotics it’s highly recommended to start with small amount to introduce the bacteria, then work your way up to the full dose. Some people find Natren to be TOO potent, so they must gradually work their way up to tolerance.
To avoid or minimize the temporary reaction, lets say you start with only 1/4 tsp. of Bifido once or twice a day. Then, once you feel you’ve built tolerance to this particular strain, you can then add one of the other strains, again, you may want to start with just 1/4 tsp. – until you can tolerate all 3 strains.
How do I take my probiotics?
Unless you are following a specific protocol of Jini’s, you can follow the dosage instructions on the bottle.
For powder-based probiotics, you can mix the powder in a glass of room temperature filtered or spring water. Don’t use tap water, as the chlorine in tap water kills bacteria! Some people’s guts are so toxic that they are only able to tolerate one dose every four days, or only a pinch of powder, so listen to your gut, start SLOW and proceed at the pace that’s right for your body.
Powdered probiotics (whether encapsulated or in loose powder) need to be taken completely on their own, at LEAST 2 hours away from any antibiotic or anti-pathogen (such as wild oregano, potentized garlic, olive leaf, etc). For maximum efficacy, take your probiotics 20 minutes before food or 2 hours after food – UNLESS you are using Natren 3-in-1 Healthy Trinity.
Healthy Trinity capsules are not powdered, so they cannot be mixed in water like the others. They contain 3 strains which are individually encapsulated within an oil matrix formulation, so they need to be taken with food to help break down the capsule and distribute the good bacteria.
ALL bacteria compete for space. That is how the organism works, so there are no species that are compatible and others are not compatible. Every single species of bacteria needs to be stored on its own for maximum potency. The reason Healthy Trinity can have three species in the same capsule, is because the species are each enrobed/protected inside their own oil bubble, so although the three species are together in one capsule, they are not touching each other.
This is a technology proprietary to Natren, and they had a $1.5 million machine custom-made for them in Germany that can encapsulate this way – such a cool science!
What about prebiotics?
According to Jini, some companies package their probiotics with fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and/or inulin – indigestible substances referred to as prebiotics, which they claim feed the bacteria, thereby improving performance. Keep in mind though, that many bacteria (both good and bad) can feed on these substances. So if you have a predominantly bad bacterial flora (as most, if not all people with IBD do) consuming prebiotics may exacerbate your symptoms.
Also, most FOS is manufactured via chemical synthesis and in many instances has been shown to cause abdominal pain, bloating, and gas. Jini especially doesn’t recommend it for people with IBS or IBD. She also recommends avoiding FOS and inulin in vitamin/mineral supplements, whey protein powders, etc. Be sure to read labels as it’s become popular to add them to all kinds of products. For perfectly healthy people with an established beneficial bacterial flora, prebiotics are probably okay, especially if they are not able to obtain these substances naturally through a good diet. Check the links below for more information:
Lastly, here’s an interview with Jini and Natasha Trenev, founder of Natren probiotics, regarding probiotics and prebiotics.
I know choosing the right probiotic can be overwhelming to start, so I hope you find all this information helpful. Happy healing, and listen to your gut! 🙂
Savannah is Jini’s assistant. An avid cook who loves to travel, is fluent in Spanish and has a particular affinity for animals. Savannah is always ready with helpful resources and answers to challenging questions.