Gut health

I want to take probiotics – where do I start?

You want to take care of your gut, and probiotics are a fantastic way to start … but START is the problem!

How do you determine which varieties are best for you?

If this is your first time taking probiotics, Jini recommends that you start with an infant bacterial species called B. infantis and then gradually work your way up to the adult species such as L. acidophilus, B. bifidus, and L. bulgaricus.

Here are the target points for each strain of bacteria:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus: NAS super strain, designed to optimize beneficial activity in the small intestine
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum: Malyoth super strain to support colon function
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus: LB-51 super strain used to monitor transient flora, which makes up 40 percent of the dry matter fecal matter. Active in the small and large intestines.

Which probiotics does Jini recommend?

Here is a probiotic cheat sheet from Jini that will help you choose which products will work best for you based on your symptoms. Natren is the brand that Jini recommends and has used in all of their tried and tested protocols. If you decide to go with a different brand, you can use this guide to find an effective probiotic.

I can’t find what I’m looking for in my country?

If we don’t currently have the product you are looking for in our Canada, UK or Australia stores, know our US store ships worldwide!

Are my probiotics still good if the ice pack melts in transit?

We recently had a reader who wrote about shipping probiotics from the US to the UK because they feared the ice packs would not hold and the probiotics would spoil.

We have already shipped cold orders to the UK and our packages are stored in the truck at the right temperatures to ensure quality and safety. The probiotics are packaged to stay cool with multiple stops throughout the delivery process, especially in the summer heat! Often times, the dry ice or ice packs will be completely or almost completely evaporated or melted during shipping, which is normal – it just means the ice packs did their job, so your probiotics are fine and should contain the amount of live bacteria that are on is the label!

Natren assures us that this is fine as long as the probiotics have not been warm for more than 30 hours. And did you know that Natren automatically contains MORE bacteria than is stated on the label to allow for possible death during transport? Even if your probiotics feel warm or room temperature when you open them, they still contain the amount of live bacteria indicated on the label. Remember to put your probiotics in the refrigerator right away!

Okay so I have my probiotics … when do I take them?

Here are a few posts on the blog that offer some helpful guides:

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, if this is your first time taking Natren therapeutic probiotics, it is highly recommended that you start with a small amount to introduce the bacteria and then work your way up to the full dose. Some people find soda to be TOO strong so they have to gradually work their way up to tolerance.

For example:

To avoid or minimize the temporary reaction, start with just 1/4 tsp. Bifido once or twice a day. Then when you feel like you’ve developed a tolerance to that particular strain, you can add one of the other strains. You can also start with just 1/4 tsp. – until you can tolerate all 3 loads.

How do I take my probiotics?

Unless you are following a specific protocol from Jini, you can follow the dosing instructions on the bottle.

For powder-based probiotics, you can mix the powder in a glass of filtered or spring water at room temperature. Do not use tap water as the chlorine in tap water kills bacteria! Some people’s intestines are so toxic that they can only tolerate a dose every four days or just a pinch of powder. So, listen to your gut, start SLOWLY and continue at the pace that is right for your body.

Powdered probiotics (whether encapsulated or in loose powder) must be consumed entirely on their own, at least 2 hours away from antibiotics or antipathogens (such as wild oregano, potentized garlic, olive leaf, etc.). For maximum effectiveness, take your probiotics 20 minutes before you eat or 2 hours after you eat – unless you are using Natren 3-in-1 Healthy Trinity.

Healthy Trinity capsules are not powdered and therefore cannot be mixed in water like the others. They contain 3 strains individually encapsulated in an oil matrix formulation so they must be taken with food to break down the capsule and spread the good bacteria.

ALL bacteria compete for space. This is how the organism works, so there are no species that are compatible and others are incompatible. Each and every bacterial species must be stored on its own for maximum effectiveness. The reason Healthy Trinity can have three species in the same capsule is because the species are each encased / protected in their own oil bladder. So even though the three species are in a capsule, they don’t touch.

This is a proprietary technology from Natren, and they had a $ 1.5 million custom machine made 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 known as prebiotics that supposedly feed the bacteria and thereby improve performance. Remember, however, that many bacteria (both good and bad) can feed on these substances. So, if you have mostly bad bacterial flora (like most, if not all people with IBD), consuming prebiotics can make your symptoms worse.

Also, most FOS are made by chemical synthesis and have been shown in many cases to cause abdominal pain, gas, and gas. Jini especially does not 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 the labels as it becomes more and more popular to add them to all types of products. For perfectly healthy people with an established beneficial bacterial flora, prebiotics are probably fine, especially if they cannot naturally absorb them through a good diet. For more information, see the links below:

Current research on prebiotics and probiotics

Towards a broader approach to prebiotics

Lactobacillus Species: Taxonomic Complexity and Controversial Vulnerabilities

Finally, an interview with Jini and Natasha Trenev, the founder of Natren Probiotika, about probiotics and prebiotics.

I know choosing the right probiotic to start with can be overwhelming, so I hope you find all of this information helpful. Have fun healing and listen to your gut feeling! 🙂

Savannah is Jini’s assistant. An avid chef who loves to travel, speaks fluent Spanish and has a special affinity for animals. Savannah is always ready with helpful resources and answers to tough questions.

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