In this post, I will give you some alternative methods for introducing healthy bacteria into your diet; these methods and recipes should help you augment your probiotic supplementation. With that said, this post is not about yogurt making. Many people with IBD cannot tolerate pasteurized dairy products. If you are one of those people, this post will be helpful for you. If you want to experiment, to add diversity to your diet, then this post will be helpful for you. I’ll just come out and say it: I think fermenting, done properly, will be helpful for anyone with IBD. Read the rest of this entry

In this post, I write about how to choose a good probiotic, and list some brands you can think about in your search for the ideal probiotic supplement.

Interested in reading the peer-review, scientific literature on probiotics?

It can be intimidating, if you’ve not searched scientific studies before, to wade through the myriad studies out there on probiotics (or any topic for that matter). has done a lot of the work for you. The site provides abstracts and links to studies involving probiotics and health. They even break it down by category (probiotic studies on immunity, H. pylori, infants and children, IBS, etc.).

You can sign up for RSS feeds and have summaries delivered to your feed reader or email. It doesn’t get any easier than that unless you get your own research assistant.

You can also check out the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics for more information on probiotics.

 Eating an Anti-inflammatory diet plus consuming beneficial bacteria are the key factors in restoring gut health.

Before I get on with the meat of the post, let me remind you quickly why we talk so much about probiotics in the natural health and healing realm. Read the rest of this entry

Probiotics for IBD, Part 6: Recap and Future Posts

I know I promised to conclude the probiotic series with this post, but I’m going back on my word. There’s just too much about which to write. With that in mind, let’s get on with the post.

Supplementation/Therapeutic treatment with healthful (probiotic) bacteria has been shown to reduce inflammation, and reduce or eliminate manifestations of disease activity in people with Crohn’s and Colitis (Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD). Combined with antibiotic therapy, many people have seen relief from symptoms.

What I have taken issue with in this series is the common approach to probiotic therapy that both the medical community, and by and large the naturopathic community, seem to take towards IBD treatment, not the probiotics per se. I maintain that diversity, as much diversity as your body can handle, will be a better therapeutic approach than single-strain therapies, such as L. acidophilus alone.

Summary of the Principles:

If you’ve been reading the series in its entirety, then recall from my first post that I used an email from Jini Patel Thompson as a springboard for this conversation about probiotics. I used that email to introduce the need for diversity in probiotic treatments for Crohn’s and Colitis. To that end, I apologize Jini (if you’re reading this) for using your email in for such nefarious purposes. It was a wonderful introduction for a conversation about diversity in probiotic supplementation.

Since it’s been a while, I will highlight below some important points from the series. Read the rest of this entry

[Note: I am not a doctor. Caution is the better part of valor here. Always be cautious when starting a new treatment, and never do it without the supervision of a doctor.]


Throughout this series, have alluded to my perspective on probiotic supplementation for IBD; I think it should be diverse. People with IBD should intake as many beneficial species as their body can handle.

Last week’s idea of a pathogenic community, a community of bacteria to which, because of its functional properties, our IBD-prone bodies react unfavorably, suggests that probiotic supplementation should encourage the building of an entire community of bacteria which are non-pathogenic to your body.

The question of how to best do that remains undecided in my mind. In my first post, I introduced Jini Patel Thompson’s approach using Natren probiotics; three or four (if you use B. infantis too) species, slowly introduced one at a time. This is a very good approach (the one I used) to beginning probiotic supplementation. It allows you to tell exactly how you react to each species, and allows you to tailor the doses accordingly (increase one, decrease another, etc.) However, it doesn’t meet my diversity criterion, and it didn’t work for me (more on this later).

Oh, what to do, what to do?

Evidence: Are Probiotic Mixtures more Effective than Single Strains?

The operant question here is, Do probiotic mixtures demonstrate more or greater positive health effects than their component strains, when administered separately? Read the rest of this entry

In the last few posts, I’ve given a broad, conceptual, ecological view of the human gut. In this post, I’d like to drill down a bit, and begin to apply that framework to human micro-organisms—before we talk about IBD (Crohn’s, Colitis) treatments that use those microbes. Just to be clear, I am writing this entire series about permanent resident bacteria, those normally and commonly found in healthy human guts.

In my last post, I wrote some about the interdependence of organisms within an ecosystem. Today, I’d like for us to take a broad ecological view of the human-microbe-gut nexus, one in which survival of the microbe(s) depends upon humans, and one in which humans, equally depend upon microbes for survival. Because of how little we know about the gut microbiome, it is unclear how much of traditional ecological theory we can directly apply to the gut; however, the context provided in previous posts will still be informative as we move forward. Read the rest of this entry

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