My Experience with Probiotics & Prebiotics

First of all what are Prebiotics?

Probiotics need food to survive in your gut – This is where Prebiotics come in.

 

They are an indigestible form of fibre that neither your body nor the unfriendly bacteria in your gut can do anything with.

That makes them a great food source for your probiotics to multiply and make your immune system stronger. Technically you could take the Prebiotics in through food, by eating onions, garlic, chicory and Jerusalem artichokes for instance. It’s just that you’d have to eat an awful lot of them to get the same effect as you are getting from the supplements.

Typical forms of Prebiotics are:

  • FOS (fructooligosaccharides)
  • GOS (galactooligosaccharides)
  • inulin
  • lactulose

Which Probiotics & Prebiotics Did I Take to Help me Cure Candida

I started with a very low dose.

probiotics

I started of with Probio Intensive (3 billion CFUs per capsule, 3 strains) about 1-2 weeks after I had started taking antifungals and about 3 weeks into the candida diet alltogether.

I ordered this supplement online from the same place where I order my Multi Vit & Mineral Supplements from, highernature.co.uk. The dosage & strains count is very low on this one – in comparison typical probiotics  these days have 20-200 billion CFUs and 14 different strains! 

 When I first followed the candida diet, way back in the day, you were lucky to find probiotic supplements that even had a few billion micro-organisms in it.

Hence I counted myself lucky to have found a place to buy some online and started taking them twice a day, before my meals with a glass of water.

The supplements were heat sensitive and therefore had to be kept in the fridge, which was a bit of a pain when I wanted to go anywhere.

    According to what everyone else seems to preach I should still be sick, because I didn’t take enough probiotics. But I’m not.

    I only have 1 or 2 candida symptoms and not every day, which is quite something considering I started of with symptoms everywhere 24/7.

    So I wonder how I was able to heal at all without taking the recommended high dose of probiotics, let alone regular rotation of different ones. My only explanation is the fact that I ate a lot of cabbage, practically daily.

    Stir fried, fermented, Sauerkraut, the whole works.

    And since fermented Cabbage is naturally one of the best probiotics, this seems to have been my saving grace.

    I had no idea!

    It just goes to show.You might be already doing something that is helping you heal without you even knowing about it, hah!

    So, hang in there. You are doing great!

    About a Year Later I swapped the Probiotic for a different one with Prebiotics

    Prebiotics

    Some time last year I finally noticed that some supplement providers were now offering high strength versions, even so called ‘Synbiotics’, which means ‘Probiotics’ with ‘Prebiotics’.

    So I swapped to Optibac Probiotics for daily wellbeing  (2.5 billions per  capsule, 6 different strains which included 88 mg prebiotics).

    These Probiotics didn’t have massive amounts of CFUs but the company specialised in probiotics which gave me faith, and the supplements seemed to agree better with me.

    I was also fascinated by their other product, a prebiotics powder for a flatter stomach, which had raving revues. I haven’t tried it though. If you do, please let me know ?

    FOS & Prebiotics Review

    When mine were delivered I got free samples of their prebiotics powder that was advertised to “promote regularity” (see green box on the left and white sachet in the front of the picture above)

    Well, I thought with my constipation it couldn’t hurt to try this. So I took the sachets with me on holiday, and I did try them.

    They tasted like a sugar solution, which alarmed me slightly.

    I knew that it was meant to have indigestible prebiotics in there to feed the probios, but I had no idea that the probios had such a sweet tooth (how on earth did they cope in my gut then with zero sweet input – not so well probably, hah!)

    The sachets did help.

    I decided not to take them on an ongoing basis though because I felt that I already was a walking medicine cupboard :-)

    Since then I have stuck with the original Optibacs ones.

    What about the More Potent Optibacs Extra Strength Probiotic (20 billion CFUs; just without the prebiotics)

    Yes, 20 billion sounds a lot more than the 2.5/ 5 billion I was taking.

    I did take those, too, while I was on holiday.

    I think they helped me cope better with the ice creams and cakes I ate :-) (I virtually had no candida symptoms while I was on holiday – only when I took olive leaf capsules, which I don’t recommend.)

    Since then I have been taking just the original low dosage ones.

    Why did I opt for the 2.5 billion ones? Simply because they are cheaper sshh…don’t tell anyone ?

    And also because I didn’t know about any probiotics with 50-200 strains. The naturopath I saw didn’t know about it, neither did I, oops!

    I think this is predominantly a thing in America though. I only know of one company in the UK who offers a range of probiotics like that. In the US you have much more choice.

    Be that as it my, I do wonder know if I would have healed much quicker by taking high-strength probiotics early on, or even if it made sense to ramp it up a notch know.

    But I’m thinking, I’m almost healed know, and my body is used to a small amount of micro-organisms. I don’t want the delicate balance to get out of kilter again, so that I would need to take super expensive high strength probiotics ALL the time to not get ill.

    So, what’s my current Plan of Action? Which probiotic & prebiotic do I intend to take to re-balance my gut flora properly once and for all?

    I’m swayed to do a quick bout of the Optibac Extra Strength (20 billion) ones (since I’ve already got them…) until the bottle is empty and then go back to the ones I’m taking now (5 billion). I’m eating lots of stir fries with onions, leek and garlic, so I’m taking in food based prebiotics as well as the FOS type prebiotics from my supplement.

    The idea is to eat even more fermented vegetables and also try Kefir.

    Sauerkraut

    With help of those probiotic foods I hope to beat the last stubborn bit of candida and be able to maintain a healthy immune system long term without having to rely on supplements. That’s the plan!

    Recommendation for You based on my Experience:

    I recommend you take start with a low dose of probiotics. But then gradually take stronger ones until you are virtually symptom free.

    Then I would start to eat more and more probiotic foods (and prebiotics, to feed them). And slowly take less supplements until you have reached a level that you are personally comfortable with. I’m guessing you have already browsed through the FAQ section on probiotics, if not, here’s a link to the answers again. And here’s a list of good quality pro & prebiotics.

    If you want to stay in touch with what’s happening on my blog (candida diet experiences and yummy sugar free recipes…) then pop your details in the box below, so you’re not missing out on my weekly round-up newsletter :-)

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      Sandra

      2 Comments

      • angela knight

        Reply Reply January 14, 2014

        Hi , all this info is very useful. Curious though as why you don’t recommend taking olive leaf capsules ? I have been taking olive leaf extract in liquid form for a few days now, any advice on that ? Last night I took probiotics on a fuller stomach and then had about 4 spoonfuls of freshly made chicken stock, I felt really really sick. What did I do wrong ? Thanks

      • Sandra

        Reply Reply January 14, 2014

        Thanks Angela, I’ve given my two cents about olive leaf and other antifungals here: http://candidadietplan.com/home-remedies/antifungal/
        It’s one of my favourite since it’s so powerful.

        Regarding the probiotics – they work best when taken on an empty stomach because otherwise they might get nuked from all the stomach acid. That generally shouldn’t make you feel sick though, just influence how effective they are.

        It’s more likely to have had to do with what you ate and drunk. Did you eat a lot of rich, fatty foods? I don’t think it had to do with the chicken stock as such, just that perhaps that it tipped your “tummy fullness” over the edge and you then started noticing that your liver was clogged up and the stuff that normally gets filtered out was still going round your system making you sick?

        Sometimes also when you eat something that is easy to digest (here the stock, could also be fruit or a sandwich for instance) after you have eaten something that was harder to digest (meat, fish, coconut…) then this requires a different digestive environment and there is too much acid being produced then which can make you sick.

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